Top-Rated Debt Collection Agency in Colombia
Fast and reliable debt collection in Colombia - no upfront costs, only pay for success. Request a FREE Consultation or upload your claim today.
Recovering your debt in Colombia can be accomplished most easily through this method.
Debitura's area of expertise lies in debt recovery in Colombia. Our team of seasoned professionals offers a broad range of services such as handling accounts receivables, sending debt collection notices, pre-legal and legal debt collection, and pursuing court proceedings for debt enforcement. By utilizing our extensive knowledge of Colombia's debt collection regulations and laws, we provide efficient and effective solutions to assist businesses in recouping outstanding debts.
We provide continuous support throughout the entire process.
Tailored recovery plan.
We have over 500 professionals who specialize in global debt collection.
Achieving a 87% success rate at the most affordable cost.
The ultimate guide about debt collection in Colombia
If you have money that someone else owes you from Colombia, you are in the right place. We can help you get the money that they owe you. It can be hard to get money from people in other countries, but we have helped many people do it.
At Debitura, we always try to help you get your money back while still keeping a good relationship with your customer. Our efforts are always fair, but firm-which means that your reputation is very important to us! If you want to learn more about how to collect debt yourself in Colombia, please read on. But if you would rather work with a local law firm that specializes in debt recovery in Colombia, we can help you with that too.
At Debitura, we provide a simple way to collect your debt in Colombia and other countries. You can start by uploading your claim today. We will review your case and provide you with 3 free quotes from local debt collection lawyers in Colombia within 24 hours. We combine a people-oriented approach with the latest tech-driven solutions to drive results and provide better contact management. This comprehensive method gets the results you need while preserving customer relationships. In addition, our network of debt collectors, attorneys, suppliers and vendors are cherished relationships that allows us to get the job done. We value each of these relationships, no matter how small or large.
Begin your debt collection process in Colombia today at no cost. Simply create a free profile and upload your case in less than 2 minutes.
During the initial 3 months, we use our reliable pre-legal recovery process to attempt the collection of your claim. 100% no-cure-no-pay.
If your debt remains unpaid during the pre-legal phase, we'll offer you three quotes from our nearby debt collection lawyers.
You get access to our online portal where you can track your case in real-time
Introduction to collecting debt in Colombia
Do you have trouble getting paid by people in Colombia? We can help you. When someone owes a debt, we call them the debtor. The person they owe the debt to is called the creditor. If the creditor collects the debt themselves, we call it first-party collection. If the creditor gives the job of collecting the debt to someone else, we call it third-party collections.
- The payment behavior of domestic companies was impacted during 2020 (Covid-19). Nevertheless, by June 2020, the Colombian government announced a complete deconfinement and reactivation of all economic activities. DSO on average is acceptable and has been improving, but some economic sectors take long payment terms and frequently have late payments.
- Procedural costs and delays can be significant, so it's generally best to avoid going to court. However, the court system has too many requirements in order to accept security titles.
- When a person owes money and cannot pay, it is hard to get the money back. The legal process takes a long time. It is better to try to work out a plan to get the money back before going to court.
Days Sales Outstanding (DSO)
In Colombia, people usually have 30 to 150 days to pay for something, depending on what type of thing it is. But usually, people end up taking 30 to 60 days to actually pay. This means that businesses sometimes have to wait a long time to get paid. But a new law called the “Fair Payments Law” says that businesses must be paid within 45 days. This will help businesses have enough money to keep running.
Common payment types in Colombia
Here are some of the most common ways people pay for things:
Banks can quickly move money from one place to another. This is called a bank transfer. It is a popular payment method because it is fast and secure. There is also a large network of banks that support this type of payment, both domestically and internationally. When you export goods, you usually have an insurance policy that protects you in case the customer cannot pay you back. This policy helps to reduce the risk of sudden or unexpected customer insolvency. Allianz Trade has a lot of risk offices all over the world. These offices make sure that our customers can trade and that they will get paid if something goes wrong. We also have something called Standby Letters of Credit. This is when a bank promises to pay the person we owe money to if we don't have enough money to pay them back. Either way, we have good guarantees that show we are honest and will keep our promise to pay people back.
Other options include an irrevocable and confirmed Documentary Letter of Credit. This is when a debtor guarantees that a certain amount of money is available to the beneficiary through a bank. The terms must be agreed upon by both parties before anything happens. Bank guarantees are usually expensive, so it is a good idea to try to pay less. Most business deals in the country use invoices, so if someone owes you money and you think they might not pay, you can ask for a promissory note. This will help your case if you have to go to court.
There are different types of corporate structures, but the main ones are sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations
Liability for business debts means that the business is responsible for paying them back. This is decided by legal structures, which are rules that tell us who is responsible for what.
- A Limited Partnership is when there is more than one person in charge of the company. The people in charge are responsible for the company's debts. The people who are not in charge only have to pay what they agreed to pay. This type of company is not as common because it is risky for the people involved.
- A Limited Liability Company (Ltda.) is a business with two or more people. Each person is only responsible for the amount of money they put into the company. The people who manage the company are called partners. They make decisions based on how much each person has invested in the company.
- A corporation must have at least five shareholders. This means that there are at least five people who own part of the company. Each shareholder is responsible for the amount of money they have put into the company.
- Simplified Shares Corporations (SAS) are used more and more as the main incorporated structure. This is because they may be owned by a single shareholder whose liability is limited to their contribution.
The debt collection process in Colombia
The debt collection process in Colombia usually happens in more than one step.
The image below explains the process we typically use to collect debt in Colombia:
1 Upload your claim:
If you want someone else to help you get your money back, you will need to find a debt collection partner and upload your claim to their website. If you use Debitura, we will provide you with 3 quotes from local partners in the South America country relevant to your case. This is 100% free - no strings attached.
2 Amicable collection:
If someone owes you money, Debitura will help you try to get it back. We will send them reminders using email, text messages, and letters. If they pay what they owe or agree to a payment plan, then we have done our job and you only have to pay us a small success fee. If we don't succeed, then you don't have to pay us anything!
If you have not gotten paid from the person you lent money to, it is time to look at what to do next. We will look at how much money you are owed, the chance of getting paid back, and other things to help you decide what is the best thing to do. There are three typical next steps:
If you are trying to get back an amount of money that is less than 2,000 to 5,000 Euros, it is often not worth it to take legal action. In this case, we recommend that you do "debt surveillance." This means that we will keep trying to contact the person who owes you money and try to reach an agreement about how much they will pay you back.
B: Legal collections:
We suggest beginning a set of legal steps for bigger complaints. The steps will vary depending on what you are complaining about and how big the issue is. Usually, it takes about a year and a half to finish the whole process.
C: Debt enforcement:
If you have talked to the person who owes you money and they agree, or if you have a court order, you can go to the bailiff's court to get your money.
At Debitura, we can help you with all three steps in Colombia.
Amicable collection in Colombia
At Debitura, we offer a 100% risk-free and efficient process for Amicable collections. You can submit your claim, and we will start working on it within 24 hours.
We will try to contact the person you owe money to using different ways, like email, text messages, letters, phone calls, and social media.
The reason we do this is to:
A) The debtor pays the whole amount.
B) The debtor agrees that they owe the money and makes a plan to pay it back in small amounts over time.
If the person you are trying to get money from says that they do not owe you money, you cannot try to resolve this problem without involving a lawyer.
Late payment interest
In Colombia, it is possible to charge interest for late payment. However, there is only one way to do this. The law provides a maximum interest rate that can be charged if someone pays late. Each company gets to decide if they want to charge interest or not. In commercial trades, it is usually not done because the company wants to keep its customers happy.
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amicable debt collection
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Legal collection in Colombia
If the other person doesn't pay you or they say they don't owe you money, we will give you 3 free quotes from local lawyers. The lawyer will talk to the other person and try to get them to pay you. If that doesn't work, our partners can go to court and get an order that says the other person has to pay you. Then we can make them pay you.
Legal action starts when amicable collection has failed. This happens when the person owes money and they do not dispute it. For example, if there is a promissory note or bill of exchange, the creditors may start executive proceedings to get a Payment Order. This means that the debtor must agree with the decision within four to ten days. However, Law 1231 has made it more difficult to start proceedings on the basis of a bill because there are now various conditions that must be met first.
If the debtor does not answer the claim within twenty days, the judge will issue a default judgment. This means that the debtor loses their right to appeal. If the debtor does not bring a defence, they will lose their right to appeal.
If people do not follow what the court says, the court may start collecting evidence. The court will then listen to what each person has to say and make a decision. Usually, the court will say that the person must do what they agreed to do, or stop doing something. The claimant must be paid for any losses suffered because of not following the agreement. Interest is usually added to any money that was supposed to be paid but wasn't.
Colombia has a type of law system called "Civil Law." This is where the government makes laws to protect people's rights. Some courts handle cases involving money, while others handle cases that are more complicated. The Civil Procedure Code governs how civil cases are handled in Colombia. This code was last amended in 2012, and the amendment went into effect in 2014. In a civil court, it is important to differentiate between ordinary and executive processes, as the policies are applicable to the latter regardless of whether it is a private individual or a company.
The amount of money you will need to pay a lawyer depends on how difficult your case is and how big your claim is. To get the best price, it is a good idea to ask for quotes from more than one lawyer. You can do this easily by using Debitura.
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legal debt collection
Upload your claim and get 3 FREE quotes from our local collection partners.
Debt enforcement in Colombia
If you have proof that the person you are trying to get money from owes you money, you can go to the bailiff's court in Colombia to get your money.
A judgment is final when all appeal venues have been used up. This means that the decision cannot be changed. Usually, the person who owes money will have their assets seized and auctioned off at the beginning of the executive process. This happens because security titles and original invoices have been obtained.
The way to do this and how much it will cost varies depending on your situation. You can upload your information onto Debitura. Then you will get 3 different quotes based on your claim within 24 hours.
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Upload your claim and get 3 FREE quotes from our local collection partners.
Insolvency proceedings in Colombia
If the person you owe money to can't pay you back, you can do something called an insolvency procedure. This means that you get to sell their things and use the money to pay yourself back.
- Out-of-court negotiations allow debtors to discuss debt restructuration with their creditors before they have become insolvent.
- Foreign judgments (including arbitral awards) are generally enforced effectively because the law permits foreign tribunals provided that the contract contains a jurisdiction clause (see above) and that certain conditions are met. In particular, Argentine civil procedure requires an exequatur proceeding to be conducted in order to ‘domesticate’ a foreign judgment: domestic courts would verify that the foreign decision complies with domestic law or, alternatively, with standards established by treaty between Argentina and the issuing country (Sections 517 to 519 of the National Civil and Commercial Procedural Code).
- It is also essential that the decision is valid and final in the issuing country, that the defendant benefited from a due process of law (i.e. opportunity to defend itself), that it is not manifestly contrary to laws and public policies of Argentina, and does not conflict with prior judgment issued by local court. This recognition phase may be simplified if issuing country is party to reciprocal recognition and enforcement treaty with Argentina.
Our analysis has shown that the risk of doing business in Colombia is medium-low. Based on this medium-low score, we recommend being careful providing credit and considering charging upfront payment or using credit insurance when trading if you don't know the customer in Colombia well. If possible, provide a short credit period or even better upfront payment. The medium-low risk score is based on the following factors:
The economic risk in Colombia
Our analysis shows that the economic risk in Colombia is medium-high (4 out of 6). An economic risk of 4 out of 6 is pretty average in South America.
GDP and economic growth are critical drivers for economic risk.
The GDP of Colombia is 314,32 bn. USD (2021), growing by 10,56% per year.
In terms of the size of its economy, Colombia ranks #43 out of 183 countries and has a large economy.
Looking at the growth rate, it is ranked #18 out of 183 countries and is therefore considered a fast-growing economy.
GDP per capita is 6131 USD, ranking Colombia number #86 out of 183 countries. This means the purchasing power of citizens in Colombia is average compared to the rest of the world.
You get a more detailed idea of GDP and economic growth in Colombia in the table below:
Another critical driver for the economic risk score is the inflation rate and the interest rates. You get a more detailed idea of monetary KPIs in Colombia in the table below:
The inflation in Colombia was 3,5% in 2021 which is considered a low inflation rate.
The interest rate for businesses is 9,34%.
The business environment risk in Colombia
Our analysis shows that the business environment risk in Colombia is medium (3 out of 6), which is a pretty average risk score in South America.
Economic freedom and rights determine the business environment risk in a country. You can see the critical facts for Colombia in the table below:
In the above table, you can see, the property rights index is 60 in Colombia, which is considered pretty average in South America.
The business freedom index is based on 10 indicators, using data from the World Bank’s Doing Business study. The Index is 71 in Colombia, a quite good score for a country in South America.
Colombia's overall economic freedom index is 68 out of 100 and is based on factors such as the rule of law, regulatory efficiency, and market openness.
The political risk in Colombia
The political risk in Colombia is medium, with a score of 3/6. This is a relatively low political risk score in South America.
The governance and political stability indicators are vital drivers for political risk. An overview of Colombia can be seen in the data below:
The rule of law index analyses to which extent agents have confidence in and abide by the rules of society, in particular the quality of contract enforcement, property rights, the quality of the courts, and the police's ability to enforce court orders.
When transacting business in a country, the rule of law index is critical as it describes your ability to enforce commercial contracts.
In Colombia, the rule of law index is at -0,45 points, with the score going from -2.5 (weak) to 2.5 (strong). Colombia has, therefore, a very low rule of law index, which means it is often close to impossible to enforce your contracts. We, therefore, recommend avoiding credits and recommend charging upfront payment instead.
Other drivers for the medium political risks are the very weak control of corruption, the very weak political stability index, and the large shadow economy that is 25,25% of Colombia's GDP.
The commercial risk in Colombia
In Colombia, the commercial risk score is 2/4, which in our model is a low score. This low commercial risk score is pretty average compared to the average in South America.
The commercial risk is influenced by a country's international trade relationships. You can see some of the key facts for Colombia in the table below:
Colombia has a total of foreign exchange reserves of 58.02 bn. USD.
Colombia has a negative trade balance of -7,96% of GDP. This means that Colombia imports more goods and services than the country exports.
The annual growth of exports of goods and services has been growing 14,22% annually - now 16,31% of GDP. Import of goods and services represents 24,27% of the GDP in Colombia.
The financing risk in Colombia
We have calculated the financing risk to be 2/4, which equals a low risk. A low financing risk score is pretty average for countries in South America.
The country's banking system, efficiency, and stability influence the financing risk. You can find the critical facts for Colombia in the table below:
In Colombia, the credit information sharing index is 7 on a scale from 0 (low) to 8 (high). This means the accessibility and quality of credit information available in Colombia is medium-high.
This makes it easy for you to understand the credit risk of your counterpart in Colombia. You would be able to find a good local credit rating agency that can help you analyse the creditworthiness of your specific customers.
Your rights as a creditor are 11 out of 12 and, therefore, very strong.
The low financing risk for creditors also impacts the high interest rate in the private sector of 9,34%.
Debt Collection in Colombia: Frequently Asked Questions
In Colombia, debt collection usually happens in multiple steps. You can either collect the debt yourself (first-party) or hire someone else such as Debitura (third-party). The legal process can take a long time and be costly, so it is best to avoid court if possible. The payment behavior of domestic companies has improved, but DSO can take 30-150 days. Invoices, bank transfers, and promissory notes are common payment types. Colombia has different corporate structures, such as sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations. Debitura can help with the debt collection process in Colombia.
The debt collection process in Colombia typically involves pre-legal collection, legal debt collection, and debt enforcement. Pre-legal collection involves reminders to the debtor, followed by an evaluation of other steps to take. These steps can include surveillance for small amounts, legal collections for larger debts, and debt enforcement with a court order or agreement from the debtor. Debitura can help you with all three steps in Colombia, including finding local partners to upload your claim and providing 3 quotes for free.
In Colombia, if a debt is disputed, a civil lawsuit is necessary. Creditors may start executive proceedings if the debtor does not dispute the debt. The policy and procedures for civil cases are governed by the Civil Procedure Code. Insolvency procedures are available if the debtor cannot pay. Enforcing foreign judgments requires an exequatur proceeding. Legal action requires a local lawyer. Debitura can help you compare the prices of different lawyers.
The cost of debt collection in Colombia depends on your case and desired actions. Debitura offers a no-cure-no-pay model for pre-legal collection with a success fee between 10-20%. For legal actions, we can provide 3 quotes from the best debt collection lawyers in Colombia. Contact us for more information.
The duration of debt collection in Colombia varies depending on the debtor and the case. If the debt can be resolved in the pre-legal phase, the process typically takes 3-6 months. However, if legal actions are required, it can take 12-18 months to collect the debt. Factors like debtor's cooperation and case complexities can also impact the timeline of the collection process.