Top-Rated Debt Collection Agency in Greece
Fast and reliable debt collection in Greece - no upfront costs, only pay for success. Request a FREE Consultation or upload your claim today.
Recovering your debt in Greece is easiest with this method.
Debitura specializes in debt recovery in Greece and provides a comprehensive range of services through our team of experienced professionals. These services include accounts receivables management, debt collection notices, pre-legal and legal debt collection, and enforcement court proceedings. With our expertise in Greece's debt collection laws and regulations, we help businesses efficiently and effectively recover outstanding debts.
We provide continuous support throughout the entire process.
Tailored debt recovery plan.
We have a team of 500+ experts who specialize in international debt collection.
We achieve a success rate of 87% while maintaining the lowest cost.
Konstantinos Kanellakis is an international attorney licensed to practice law in New York (USA) and Greece, and the founder of Kanellakis Legal Services, a law firm that focuses exclusively on meeting the needs of foreign nationals, who face legal issues in Greece.
We practice in a wide range of fields, which keeps evolving. We are highly engaged in corporate legal matters, and we specialize in debt recovery services. We have also completed various transactions especially in the field of sale and transfer of receivables from non performing loans and credits.
We are established litigators for all instances of Greek Courts for more than 35 years. We promote equally Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). Our Managing Partner is a Fellow of CIArb, Member of VIAC, WIPO Neutral and Accredited Mediator.
The ultimate guide about debt collection in Greece
If you have money that you are owed from a business or customer in Greece, we can help you! We have helped hundreds of other businesses get their money back, and we can help you too.
Collecting a debt in Greece can be difficult because of different languages and customs, and because it is far away.
It is easier to get your money back when you use a collection agency that knows the laws and customs of the country where the person who owes you money lives.
At Debitura, we always try to help you get your money back while still keeping a good relationship with the person who owes you money. Our public relations efforts are always fair but firm-which means that protecting your reputation is our number one goal! If you want to learn more about how to collect debt yourself, keep reading this guide. But if you would rather work with a local law firm that specializes in debt collection in Greece, we can help you with that too.
Debitura helps you collect debt from people in Greece and other countries. To get started, upload your claim. We will look at it and give you 3 free quotes from local debt collection lawyers in Greece within 24 hours. We use the latest technology combined with a people-oriented approach to get results and provide better contact management. This comprehensive method gets the results you need while preserving customer relationships. We have a lot of friends in different places who help us do our job. We have debt collectors, attorneys, suppliers and vendors. We like all of these people and we appreciate their help.
Begin your debt collection process in Greece today without any charge. You can create a free profile and upload your case in just 2 minutes.
We'll use our successful pre-legal recovery process to try and collect your claim for the first 3 months. It's a 100% no-cure-no-pay approach.
In case your claim remains unpaid in the pre-legal phase, we offer 3 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 Greece
Are you having trouble collecting debt from your customers in Greece? Do not worry; we will make it easy for you to get paid by your Greek customers.
Debt collection in Greece is when someone owes money to another person or company. The person who owes the money is called the debtor, and the person who is owed the money is called the creditor. If the creditor collects the debt themselves, it's called first-party collection. If the creditor hires someone else to collect the debt, it's called third-party collections.
- In Greece, people often do not pay their bills on time. Even though things are getting better, the average number of days that people wait to pay their bills is still high compared to other countries in the European Union. This is not entirely surprising because the law in Greece has implemented EU rules on late payment with some flexibility.
- Although courts are mostly reliable, the legal process takes a long time, even though there have been changes to make it faster. It may also be difficult to get people to obey the law because they often know ways around the system.
- Insolvency law is a way to renegotiate debt, although it can be difficult to collect money at this stage.
Days Sales Outstanding (DSO)
The average DSO for Greek companies was 67 days in 2019. The biggest DSO was on the clothing sector and printing / publishing (source: ICAP / consolidated 2019 accounts of 21.349 companies). However, the DSO for listed companies has decreased significantly over the past few years.
Common payment types in Greece
- Sepa bank transfers are very popular because they are fast, secure, and there is a lot of support for them from banks both in other countries and in our own country.
- Other ways to pay for things are checks and bills of exchange. Checks are a type of guarantee that the person has enough money to pay. If they don't, then they might go to jail. Promissory letters are used as debt documents. This means that the person agrees to pay the debt in time.
- Bank guarantees are usually expensive. Therefore, it is a good idea to ask for a down payment.
Main corporate structures
Business debts are paid for by legal structures. These are described as follows:
- A business that does not need a commercial organization can be run by one person. This person is called a Sole Trader. Two or more people can also decide to share ownership and responsibilities through something called a Partnership. With a Partnership, the partners are jointly and individually responsible for the actions of the other partners (which also increases fundraising capacity). There is another option called a Limited Partnership which offers limited liability to some of the partners.
- Incorporated entities may also be used. Limited Liability Companies (Etairia periorismenis efthinis, EPE) are popular because the shareholders are only liable to the company’s debts in relation to their capital contribution. This means that they would only have to pay back an amount of money equal to what they originally put into the company. Since 2013, the minimum capital fund of EUR 4,500 is no longer mandatory. A more flexible form of Limited Company (Idiotiki Kefalaiouchiki Eter, IKE) requiring a minimum capital of EUR 1 and allowing for increased flexibility in shareholding and decision making was also introduced in 2012 (Law 4072/2012). This means that there is now a company type that any person can start with just one euro, and that there are more ways to own shares and make decisions about the company.
- Larger businesses prefer to set up Joint-Stock Corporations or Public Limited Companies. This type of company requires a minimum capital of EUR 25,000. The shareholders are only liable for the value of their share in this type of company. Debts may only be recuperated on the company’s assets.
- Many times, foreign investors want to live in Greece. They do this by having a company that is part of a bigger company. This company is managed by someone who lives there and is responsible for what the company does. The bigger company might be held responsible for what the smaller company does, so it is also common to have a smaller company that is not part of a bigger one.
The debt collection process in Greece
The debt collection process in Greece usually happens in several steps. The picture below shows the typical process for collecting debt in Greece:
1 Upload your claim:
If you want someone to help you get your money back, you will start by finding a debt collection partner. You will give them some information about the money you are owed, and they will help you get it back. If you use Debitura, we will give you 3 quotes from local partners in the European country where your case is. This is free - there is nothing else you need to do.
2 Amicable collection:
Debitura offers a no-cure-no-pay solution for amicable collection, which means you only have to pay a small success fee if we're able to recover your debt. Amicable collections are 100% risk-free, which means there's no risk for you!
If you have not received payment from the debtor after trying to work things out, it is time to evaluate what to do next. We will look at the size of your claim, the payment probability and other factors to help you decide what to do next. There are three typical next steps:
If the amount of money you are owed is less than 2,000-5,000 Euros, it is often not worth it to take any more legal action. In this case, we recommend "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.
B: Legal collections:
It is suggested that if you are asking for a lot of money, it is a good idea to start a legal process to get it. How you do this exactly will depend on what you are asking for and how much. Usually, it takes around a year and a half to finish this process.
At a high school level, this passage is suggesting that if someone has a large claim or request for money, they should consider starting a legal process. The specific steps to do this will depend on the details of the claim, but in general, the process can take a long time, around 12-18 months.
C: Debt enforcement:
If the person you are owed money from has agreed that you are owed money, or if a judge has said you are owed money, you can go to the bailiff's court to get the money.
At Debitura, we can help you with all three steps in Greece.
Amicable collection in Greece
At Debitura, we have a process for Amicable collections that is 100% risk-free and very efficient. If you have a claim, submit it to us and we'll get started within 24 hours.
We will try to contact your debtor through different ways in Greece. This might include email, text messages, letters, phone calls, and social media.
The goal of this process is to either:
A) make the person who owes money pay the entire amount, or
B) make the person who owes money agree that they owe the money and start a plan to pay it back
If the person you are trying to get money from has said that they do not owe you money, you cannot try to resolve this issue peacefully. You must start by going through the legal process.
Late Payment Interest
The main idea under German law is that the person who owes money must pay back the money they owe, plus any extra costs that come from them not paying on time.
The Recast Directive 2011/7/EU says that payments in the EU must happen within 60 days. This means that the same rules now apply in our country. But our country's rules are stricter than the EU's. As a general rule, business-to-business transactions must be paid as soon as they are agreed upon in the contract. Otherwise, the company you owe money to can ask for it right away. They can also charge you extra money for being late on your payments. This extra money is called "late payment interest." The company you owe can charge you any interest rate they agree to with you, or they can charge you the legal rate of interest, which is calculated from the base rate set by the European Central Bank plus 9 percentage points.
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amicable debt collection
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Legal collection in Greece
If the person you are owed money from has not paid you during the first phase or if they dispute your claim, we will give you 3 free quotes from local debt collection attorneys. In the legal phase, our local attorney will reach out to your debtor and try to negotiate a payment. Our partners can also go to court and get an order that says the debtor owes you money. This order can then be used to force the debtor to pay you via enforcement court.
If you owe someone money and don't pay, they can send you a reminder letter. If you still don't pay, and the person you owe money to says you really do owe the money, they can go to court and ask for a Payment Order. The person who owes money does not need to be there, but all the papers must be translated into Greek. After looking at the request, the court may agree to issue a Payment Order. This is a document that says the debtor has three days to pay the money owed or to file a defence. If the debtor files a defence, then it becomes necessary to commence ordinary legal action. You have to file a defence within 15 working days if the Payment Order has been issued against a debtor whose residence or registered office is in Greece, and 30 days if the debtor’s residence or registered office is abroad. The Payment Order fast-track procedure usually takes three to four months depending on how busy the courts are. You may also start proceedings because of bounced checks (judgment would be obtained in three to five months). When the debtor has assets in other EU countries, a European Payment Order procedure (facilitating the recovery of undisputed debts under Regulation EC No 1896/2006) may then be triggered. In this case, the creditor may request a domestic court to issue an Order to Pay which would then be enforceable in all EU countries (except Denmark) without exequatur proceedings.
If you cannot come to an agreement about money owed and you cannot get a Payment Order, then you can start a legal action.
A lawsuit is filed with the court that has the authority to hear that type of case. The amount of money involved in the case determines which court has jurisdiction. The parties are required to try to resolve their differences through mediation if the claim is for more than 30,000 euros. So far, very few disputes have been resolved through mediation.
This type of court case needs only written evidence. There are no questions asked of the people who saw what happened, unless the judge thinks it is necessary. The proof consists of papers that are filed 100 days after the problem happened.
After 1 and a half years, there will be a hearing. The court will check that everything is done and that a judgment is ready. They will make a decision 6 to 10 months after the hearing.
You will need to have a local attorney represent you.
Greece's Civil Law system is inspired by the legal systems in France and Germany. This means that most of the law is written down in code, and court decisions are not necessarily based on precedent. However, similar cases tend to be used as guidelines. After a reform conducted in 2012, claims below EUR 20,000 fall under the jurisdiction of the Justices of the Peace Tribunals (Eirinodikeio), and claims up to EUR 250,000 are dealt with by Single-Member Courts of First Instance (Monomeles Protodikeio). Claims in excess of this amount are dealt with by Multi-Member Courts of First Instance (Polymeles Protodikeio).
Legal fees depend on how difficult your case is and how big it is. To get the best price, ask for quotes from different attorneys. You can find different attorneys by using Debitura.
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legal debt collection
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Debt enforcement in Greece
If you have a letter from the person you owe money to, or a court order, you can go to the bailiff's court in Greece to get your money.
The process and cost vary depending on your situation. You can upload your case to Debitura to get 3 quotes within 24 hours.
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Upload your claim and get 3 FREE quotes from our local collection partners.
Insolvency proceedings in Greece
The final stage you can initiate if your debtor cannot pay his debts is an insolvency procedure. The goal of this procedure is to sell the debtor's assets and give the money to the creditors following the debt priorities.
- An online early warning platform supervised by the Special Secretariat of Private Debt Management of Ministry of Finance has been introduced, which includes electronic alert mechanisms and free advisory services for individuals and entities that present a medium or high risk of insolvency.
- An online platform to apply to the out-of-court debt settlement mechanism has been introduced, for both individuals and legal entities. This mechanism permits debtors who owe exclusively to financial institutions, to the State and Social Security Funds to reach, via an online process, a haircut or a debt rescheduling.
- If 50%+1 of secured creditors and all other creditors agree on a rehabilitation agreement, it becomes binding on all relevant parties including those who did not agree to it. All individual and collective enforcement actions against the debtor are stayed automatically for four months following ratification by court.
- A simplified bankruptcy procedure is available for very small entities meeting two out of three criteria: max €350k in total assets; €700k net amount in turnover; average ten employees) which is carried out before Magistrates’ Court with petition submitted online.
European Late Payment Directive in Greece
Greece is part of the European Union (EU). This means that the Directive 2011/7/EU on combating late payments across Europe in commercial transactions applies to Greece.
The directive includes the following:
- Public authorities cannot require payment terms of more than 30 days.
- Private businesses can't require payment terms of more than 60 days.
- If you owe money to a business, they can charge you €40 for not paying on time.
- If you are late on your payments, the interest rate must be at least 8% higher than the European Central Banks reference rate.
The Danish government is a part of the European Union (EU). This means that the government cannot make any rules that would make it harder for creditors than the existing rules set by the EU.
Credit risk and payment behaviour in Greece
- Greece's economy will be impacted by the reduction in tourist numbers, but other sectors are showing signs of emerging from the pandemic recession.
- Businesses polled across Greece reported that nearly 40% of the total value of their B2B invoices were overdue.
- The total value of B2B sales that were still outstanding after 90 days and beyond remained stable at 7%. However, only 1% of these long outstanding sales were cashed in, with the remainder written-off as uncollectable.
- Many businesses polled in Greece told us they increased the amount of time and resources employed, as well as costs incurred, in an attempt to collect overdue invoices, especially those long overdue.
- Looking into 2022, most of the Greek businesses we spoke to (69%) expressed optimism and predicted growth next year. A vast majority believed customer payment practices will improve and 43% told us they plan to offer trade credit more often next year largely as a way to stimulate demand. Despite concerns over whether the pandemic could continue to hamper the rebound of the global economy. Greek businesses polled predicted a growth outlook.
Our analysis has shown that the risk of doing business in Greece 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 Greece 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 Greece
Our analysis shows that the economic risk in Greece is medium-high (4 out of 6). An economic risk of 4 out of 6 is relatively high in Europe.
GDP and economic growth are critical drivers for economic risk.
The GDP of Greece is 216,24 bn. USD (2021), growing by 8,34% per year.
In terms of the size of its economy, Greece ranks #50 out of 183 countries and has a medium-sized economy.
Looking at the growth rate, it is ranked #30 out of 183 countries and is therefore considered a fast-growing economy.
GDP per capita is 20277 USD, ranking Greece number #43 out of 183 countries. This means the purchasing power of citizens in Greece is high compared to the rest of the world.
You get a more detailed idea of GDP and economic growth in Greece in the table below:
Another big impact for the risk score is the inflation rate and the interest rates. You get a more detailed idea of monetary KPIs in Greece in the table below:
The inflation in Greece was 1,2% in 2021 which is considered a very low inflation rate.
The business environment risk in Greece
Our analysis shows that the business environment risk in Greece is low (2 out of 6), which is a pretty average risk score in Europe.
Economic freedom and rights determine the business environment risk in a country. Take a look at the important facts for Greece in the table below:
As you can see in the table, the property rights index is 56 in Greece, which is considered low in Europe.
The business freedom index is based on 10 indicators, using data from the World Bank’s Doing Business study. The Index is 76 in Greece, a quite average score for a country in Europe.
Greece's overall economic freedom index is 61 out of 100 and is based on factors such as the rule of law, regulatory efficiency, and market openness.
The political risk in Greece
The political risk in Greece is low, with a score of 2/6. This is a pretty average political risk score in Europe.
The governance and political stability indicators are important drivers for political risk. An overview of Greece can be seen in the table 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 trading with businesses in a country, the rule of law index is critical as it describes your ability to enforce commercial contracts.
In Greece, the rule of law index is at 0,35 points, with the score going from -2.5 (weak) to 2.5 (strong). Greece has, therefore, a medium rule of law index, which means it should be possible to enforce your contracts. If possible, we still recommend charging payment upfront or working with credit insurance for larger deals.
Other drivers for the low political risks are the weak control of corruption, the weak political stability index, and the large shadow economy that is 26,45% of Greece's GDP.
The commercial risk in Greece
In Greece, the commercial risk score is 3/4, which in our model is a medium score. This medium commercial risk score is pretty average compared to the average in Europe.
The commercial risk is relying on a country's international trade relationships. You can see some of the key facts for Greece in the table below:
Greece has a foreign exchange reserve of 14.45 bn. USD.
Greece has a negative trade balance of -7,92% of GDP. This means that Greece imports more goods and services than the country exports.
The annual growth of exports of goods and services has been growing 21,94% annually - now 40,63% of GDP. Import of goods and services represents 48,55% of the GDP in Greece.
The financing risk in Greece
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 Europe.
The country's banking system, efficiency, and stability influence the financing risk. Additional facts and info can be found for Greece in the table below:
In Greece, 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 Greece is medium-high.
This makes it easy for you to understand the credit risk of your counterpart in Greece. Based on this, it should be possible to to find a good local credit rating agency that can help you analyse the creditworthiness of your specific customers.
Your juridical rights as a creditor are 2 out of 12 and, therefore, very weak.
Debt Collection in Greece: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Debt collection in Greece involves the creditor collecting payment from the debtor, either through first-party or third-party collections. Courts are reliable but the process can be slow and there may be difficulty enforcing the law. Businesses are paid for by legal structures, such as Sole Traders, Partnerships, or Limited Liability Companies. Debt collection typically involves uploading the claim, amicable collection, evaluation, surveillance for small claims, legal collections for larger claims taking around 12-18 months, and debt enforcement after a judge's ruling. Debitura can assist with all these steps in Greece.
The debt collection process in Greece generally involves three steps: pre-legal collection, legal debt collection, and debt enforcement. Pre-legal collection involves finding a debt collection partner who will help you recover your debt. If this process does not yield results, legal debt collection may be necessary, which can take around 12-18 months to complete. Debt enforcement is the final step, where a judge or a bailiff's court can help you get the money owed to you. Debitura can assist you with all three steps in Greece.
In Greece, if a debt is disputed, a civil lawsuit is required for legal action. Debt enforcement and insolvency proceedings are also available. Legal actions will require a local lawyer to represent you. Court cases require written evidence and can take a year and a half before a decision is made. Legal fees depend on the complexity of the case. For insolvency proceedings, there are several options available, including an online early warning platform, out-of-court debt settlement mechanisms, and a simplified bankruptcy procedure for small entities.
Debitura offers a no-cure-no-pay model for pre-legal debt collection in Greece with a success fee between 10-20%. The cost for legal actions varies depending on your case and required actions, but Debitura can provide 3 quotes from top debt collection lawyers in Greece.
The duration of debt collection in Greece varies depending on the debtor and the case. If it can be resolved in the pre-legal phase, it usually takes 3-6 months. However, if legal actions are necessary, it can take 12-18 months. The length of the process depends on various factors, but we always strive to resolve cases as efficiently as possible.