What happens in a debt collection process?

If you forget to pay a bill on time, the matter may be sent to debt collection. The process is divided into two phases – pre-legal debt collection and legal action.

1. What is pre-legal debt collection?

The first phase in a debt collection process is when your creditor passes your debt to a specialist debt collection agency such as Intrum. The agency will try to come to an agreement with you without involving legal measures, and most cases are resolved this way.

2. Original invoice

The original invoice is the first bill you receive. If the deadline for paying the first bill passes, the person you owe money to can send you a reminder. Many people expect to receive a reminder if they have forgotten to pay, but it is not actually something you are entitled to. In some cases, it is the people you owe money who send the reminder. In other cases, the reminder is sent from a debt collection agency.

3. Debt collection notice

If you do not pay the claim, the debt collectors can send you a debt collection notice. The notice must have a payment deadline of at least 14 days. If the debt collection notice is not paid before the deadline expires, your case may be sent to debt collection.

If your case is sent to debt collection, you will be sent a request for payment. You then have 14 days to either pay the claim, or to contact us if you disagree with the claim. If you are unable to pay within the deadline, it is important that you contact the debt collection agency so that you can reach a solution together. If they do not hear from you, legal proceedings may be initiated.

When a debt collection case has not been resolved voluntarily, the debt collection agency may go to the courts to recover funds. You will have received a notice in advance that a legal process will be started in your case, with a payment deadline of 14 days.

A legal debt collection process is more serious than the general debt collection process. There are different bodies the debt collection agency can take your case to.

1. Settlement complaint

If you have not paid the claim, and the debt collection agency has not received any inquiry from you, it can submit a settlement complaint to the settlement council, usually where you live. They will try to reach a solution between you and the person you owe money to. If you cannot agree, the conciliation council can make a final judgment. The conciliation council will ask you for a response to the conciliation complaint that has been sent to them. If you are not in dialogue with the conciliation council, a default judgment will be given. In the event of a judgment, the parentage period in the case is extended for 10 years.

2. Request for attachment

When the person you owe money to has grounds to collect the money by force, a request for attachment is sent to the bailiff. The bailiff will then investigate whether you have wages or assets that can be pledged. The bailiff has access to a range of information and public registers that provide information about you, and can, among other things, choose to deduct your salary or social security until the amount is paid. Upon completion, the case's limitation period is extended by 10 years.

Request for compulsory coverage

When the person you owe has taken a lien on something you own, and no other payment agreement has been entered into, a petition for forced sale/enforced coverage can be sent. This means that the asset on which a lien has been taken can be sold to cover the amount you owe.