Top-Rated Debt Collection Agency in Hungary
Fast and reliable debt collection in Hungary - no upfront costs, only pay for success. Request a FREE Consultation or upload your claim today.
In Hungary, recovering your debt can be done most simply.
Debitura specializes in debt recovery in Hungary, providing a wide range of services, including accounts receivables management, debt collection notices, pre-legal and legal debt collection, and enforcement court proceedings. Our team of experienced professionals has a deep understanding of Hungary debt collection laws and regulations, enabling us to offer reliable and efficient solutions that help businesses recover their outstanding debts.
We provide committed assistance throughout the entire process.
Tailored approach for debt recovery.
We have a team of over 500 experts specialized in international debt collection.
Achieving a success rate of 87% with the lowest cost.
The ultimate guide about debt collection in Hungary
If you have money that you are owed from a business or customer in Hungary, we can help you get it back! We have helped many other businesses in Hungary get money they are owed, and we can help you too.
Collecting a debt in Hungary can be difficult because of different laws and customs, and because it is far away.
If you want to get your money back from someone who owes you, it is easier to use a collection agency that knows the laws and customs of the country where the debtor lives.
At Debitura, we care about people. We want to help you get your money back while still keeping a good relationship with your customer. Our efforts are fair and firm. We want to make sure that your reputation is our top priority! If you want to collect the debt yourself and understand the Hungarian debt collection process, read this guide. If you would rather work with a local law firm that specializes in debt recovery in Hungary, we can help you with that too.
At Debitura, we have a easy way for you to get your money from people who owe you money in Hungary and +192 other countries. To start, upload your claim today. Within 24 hours, we will look at your case and give you 3 free quotes from local debt collection lawyers in Hungary. We use both people and technology to get results and manage contact information. This method allows us to get the results we need while still preserving customer relationships. In addition, we have a network of debt collectors, attorneys, suppliers, and vendors that we value highly. These relationships allow us to get the job done effectively.
Begin your debt collection process in Hungary today at no cost. Simply create a free profile and upload your case, taking only 2 minutes to complete.
We offer a no-cure-no-pay pre-legal recovery process for the first 3 months to collect your claim.
If your debt remains unpaid during the pre-legal phase, our team will provide you with 3 quotes from local debt collection attorneys.
You get access to our online portal where you can track your case in real-time
Introduction to collecting debt in Hungary
Do you have a hard time collecting money that people owe you in Hungary? Do not worry; we can help you get paid by your Hungarian customers.
In Hungary, the person who owes money is called "the debtor." The person who gave them the money or invoice is called "the creditor." If the creditor collects the debt themselves, this is called "first-party collection." If the creditor hires someone else to collect the debt, this is called "third-party collections."
- Unfortunately, even though our domestic law agrees with EU rules about payment for business-to-business transactions, this does not stop companies from taking a long time to pay traders. The average payment term is over 35 days.
- When thinking about going to court, remember that it can be very long and expensive. In Hungary, it usually does not make sense to go to court because it takes too long and costs too much money.
- The law tries to help companies that are in debt by allowing them to write off some of the debt. This makes it more likely that the company can pay back what it owes. But there are no rules about how much debt a company can write off. And it is not common for people who are owed money by a company to get paid back if the company cannot pay its debts.
Days Sales Outstanding (DSO)
In Hungary, people usually take more than 35 days to pay their bills. But this number can be different depending on what kind of job a person has. Overdues are payments that people haven't made yet. The number of overdues has been getting higher since 2014. This is because many companies do not have enough money to pay their bills on time.
Common payment types in Hungary
Some of the most common ways to pay for something are listed below. People often use more than one method when they pay for something.
Sepa transfers are a popular way to pay for things because they are fast, secure, and there is a lot of support for them. Checks are not as common. Depending on how much money is involved, it may be a good idea to negotiate the down payment.
Main corporate structures
Who is responsible for business debts? This is decided by legal structures. These are explained below:
- A sole proprietorship is a business that is owned and operated by one person. The owner is responsible for all debts and liabilities of the business.
- Two or more people may decide to share ownership and responsibilities through an Unlimited Partnership. This means that the partners may be held responsible for the actions of the other partners. A Limited Partnership offers limited liability to the non-managing partners, which means that they are not responsible for the actions of the other partners.
- Korlátolt Felelősségű Társaság (Kft) is the best legal entity to use because it does not require a lot of money (about EUR 8,000 since March 2014) and the partners’ liability is only as much as their contribution. A corporation is a company that is owned by shareholders. The shareholders are people who own part of the company. They are only responsible for the part of the company that they own.
- Some businesses from other countries come to Hungary. They open up a Representative Office, which lets them do business activities without making money. Or they might open up a Branch Office, which lets them make money but doesn't protect the company if things go wrong. So usually these businesses set up a Limited Liability Company instead.
The debt collection process in Hungary
The debt collection process in Hungary is usually done in a few steps. The picture explains the standard way to collect debt in Hungary.
1 Upload your claim:
If you want to get your money back, you need to find a debt collection partner. You can upload your claim to their website. If you use Debitura, we will give you 3 quotes from local partners in the European country that is right for your case. There is no cost for this - you don't have to do anything else.
2 Amicable collection:
The collection process begins with sending reminders to the person who owes you money. This is called a campaign. The reminders go through email, SMS, and letter. The goal is to get the debtor to pay the money they owe or at least start a payment plan. Debitura offers a no-cure-no-pay solution, which means you only have to pay a small success fee if we are able to collect the debt. Therefore, amicable collections with Debitura are 100% risk-free!
If you have not received payment from the debtor after trying to work it 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 choose the best decision. There are three typical next steps:
If your claim is for less than 2,000-5,000 Euros, it is not usually worth it to take any more legal action. In this case, we recommend "debt surveillance." This means we will keep trying to contact the person you owe money to and try to reach an agreement that is fair for both of you.
B: Legal collections:
It's a good idea to start a legal process if you have a big claim. The specific steps you need to take depend on what you're claiming and how big it is. In general, it will take around one and a half to two years to finish the process.
At high school level, this passage is suggesting that if someone has a large claim, meaning a large issue or problem that they are seeking a legal solution for, it's a good idea to start a legal process. This process can vary depending on the specifics of the claim, but on average it takes about 12 to 18 months to complete.
C: Debt enforcement:
If the person you are claiming money from has said that they owe you money or if there is a court order, you can go to the bailiff's court to get your money.
Debitura can help you with all three steps in Hungary.
Amicable collection in Hungary
At Debitura, we offer a 100% risk-free and efficient process for Amicable collections. This means that you can submit your claim to us, and we will get started within 24 hours.
We will try to contact your debtor using different methods, which might include email, text messages, regular mail, phone calls, and social media.
The goal of this process is to either:
A) get the debtor to pay the full amount, or
B) get the debtor to agree that they owe the money and start a plan to pay it back.
If the person you are trying to collect money from has disputed your claim, you cannot start with an amicable resolution. This means you cannot try to work it out between yourselves. You must start directly with legal collections.
Late Payment Interest
The Recast Directive 2011/7/EU says that payments in the EU must be made within 60 days. This was turned into a law in Hungary. The rules in Hungary are stricter than the EU requirements: as a general rule, business-to-business transactions must be paid within 30 calendar days following the invoice date. This period may be slightly extended by contract but payment periods beyond 60 days shall be considered as unfair conditions and may be annulled by courts.
If the people involved in the contract cannot agree on what interest to use, then the Hungarian Central Bank's base rate will be used instead. This rate is usually increased by at least 8 percentage points. However, in practice, people rarely actually pay this interest to creditors.
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amicable debt collection
Upload your claim and get started with our 100% no-cure-no-pay collection solution.
Legal collection in Hungary
If the person you owe money to has not paid you back, or if they say they do not owe you money, we will give you 3 free quotes from attorneys who can help. The attorney will talk to the person you say owes you money and try to get them to pay. If that does not work, our partners can go to court and get an order that says the person owes you money. This order can be used to make the person pay you back.
If you want to start legal dunning, you should first send a registered Demand Letter. This will remind the debtor of their obligation to pay the principal amount along with late payment interest (as contractually agreed or taking a legal rate as a reference). It is important to know that since 2006, insolvency laws have changed. Now, dunning letters can be used as a reason to request a company’s liquidation. This means that the debtor has very limited options to dispute the claim. If done correctly, this threat will put pressure on the debtor and may help reach an agreement.
If you have a debt that is not disputed and is certain, there is a fast way to get an injunction of payment from a notary. This means that the Order becomes effective unless the person you owe money to brings a counterclaim within 15 days. If they do this, then you have to settle the claim through ordinary proceedings. It is common for a debtor to disagree with the claim in order to slow down the process. When the debtor company has assets in other EU countries, there is a European Payment Order procedure that can help recover undisputed debts.
When the only option left is to take legal action, the person who wants to take action must file a claim with the court. The court then has 30 days to decide if the case can be used. If the court approves, the court must give notice of the claim to the person who owes money. Hearings are organized so that people can say what they think and evidence is looked at by the court. The court then makes a decision.
Depending on what happened, the court may give the person who was hurt some money (compensatory damages), make the other person do what they agreed to do (specific performance), stop the other person from doing something bad (injunctions), or tell the other person that they did something wrong (declarations). The court cannot give any punishment that was not asked for by the person who was hurt. The law does not allow for punitive damages.
In Hungary, there is a Civil Law system. This means that different courts are responsible for different types of claims, depending on the subject matter of the claim and the amount of money involved. In 2012, the names and attributions of courts were changed. Now, claims that are worth more than HUF 30,000,000=EUR 83,700 or that involve insolvency, administrative disputes, intellectual property, company law or international transportation fall under the jurisdiction of 20 County Courts. These courts increasingly operate through specialized divisions. Some cases need to go to the Township Courts, but cases that involve an amount of money under HUF 200,000=EUR 5,580 can only be resolved through payment injunctions delivered by public notaries without geographic restrictions.
People are starting to trust the Hungarian judicial system more because it is becoming more reliable and stable (compared to the country’s volatile legislative system), however transparency remains an issue since judges have a lot of power in deciding what evidence to use, and corruption scandals happen sometimes.
The amount of money you will spend on a lawyer depends on how big and complicated your case is. To get the best price, it is a good idea to ask different lawyers for their prices. You can do this quickly 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 Hungary
If the person you are owed money from has acknowledged your claim in writing, or if there is a court order, you can ask the bailiff's court in Hungary to help you get your money from them.
A judgment is enforceable when it becomes final. This means that the debtor cannot appeal the decision anymore. If the debtor does not pay the judgment, it is possible to request an enforcement order from the Court under Act LIII of 1994 on Judicial Enforcement (the Enforcement Act). If the court orders specific performance, that means the person who owes money must pay. The bailiff can take things from the person who owes money, like money from their bank account or their house, if they do not pay. The person who is owed money does not need to ask for this to happen. The person who owes money may also get fined.
The exact process and cost of getting a loan vary depending on your situation. You can upload your case to Debitura to get 3 specific 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 Hungary
If your debtor cannot pay his debts, you can initiate 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.
- Hungarian law does not formalize out-of-court workouts, but most insolvency proceedings in Hungary end in liquidation.
- Between a creditor’s request to liquidate a debtor and the court’s order, however, intense negotiations between the parties to avoid this outcome often take place and privately negotiated solutions often constitute a practical approach to avoid liquidation.
- If an agreement is reached between the two parties, they can request the suspension of the procedure until the agreement is respected.
- Companies in Hungary are under no obligation to file for mandatory insolvency proceedings, but the law entitles debtors to file for reorganization proceedings as a means to overcome financial difficulties. In practice, this method of solving insolvency situations remains rarely relied upon.
- Upon its application, the debtor is granted a systematic 90-day stay with a view to reach a composition agreement with creditors and preserve or restore solvency. From this moment on acts committed by debtor are overseen by administrator.
European Late Payment Directive in Hungary
Hungary is part of the European Union (EU). This means that the law that was made to stop people from paying too late for things they buy from others, called the Directive 2011/7/EU on combating late payments across Europe in commercial transactions, applies here too.
The directive includes the following things:
- Public authorities can't require payment terms of more than 30 days.
- Private businesses can't require payment terms of more than 60 days.
- If the person you owe money to is a business, you can charge them an extra fee of €40 for late payment.
- The interest rates for late payments must be at least 8% higher than the European Central Banks reference rate.
The Danish government is part of the EU. The EU has rules that the government must follow. These rules are for creditors and are different than EEU-wide rules.
Credit risk and payment behaviour in Hungary
- Late payment of invoices is reflected in the DSO figure, averaging 80 days.
- This is significantly above the 59 day average for Eastern Europe.
- Hungary appears to be the most inclined to use trade credit in B2B transactions.
- At the same time, the country is showing a stronger preference for trading on credit with foreign customers than with domestic ones.
- Domestic B2B customers of respondents in Hungary are given an average of 24 days from the invoice date to pay invoices.
- Foreign B2B customers of respondents in Hungary are given a little longer to settle their trade debts (27 days).
Our analysis concludes that the risk of doing business in Hungary 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 Hungary 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 Hungary
Our conclusion based on the economic risk factors, is that the economic risk in Hungary 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 Hungary is 182,28 bn. USD (2021), growing by 7,1% per year.
In terms of the size of its economy, Hungary ranks #54 out of 183 countries and has a medium-sized economy.
In terms of growth rate, it is ranked #44 out of 183 countries and is therefore considered a fast-growing economy.
GDP per capita is 18773 USD, ranking Hungary number #44 out of 183 countries. This means the purchasing power of citizens in Hungary is high compared to the rest of the world.
You can see a more detailed picture of GDP and economic growth in Hungary in the table below:
Another critical driver for the economic risk score is the inflation rate and the interest rates. You can see a more detailed picture of monetary KPIs in Hungary in the table below:
The inflation in Hungary was 5,1% in 2021 which is considered a medium inflation rate.
Looking at the interest rate for businesses, it is 2,97%.
The business environment risk in Hungary
Our analysis shows that the business environment risk in Hungary is medium (3 out of 6), which is a relatively high risk score in Europe.
The business environment risk are determined by the level of economic freedom and rights in a country. You can see the critical facts for Hungary in the table below:
As you can see in the table, the property rights index is 66 in Hungary, which is considered quite 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 60 in Hungary, a quite low score for a country in Europe.
Hungary's overall economic freedom index is 67 out of 100 and is based on factors such as the rule of law, regulatory efficiency, and market openness.
The political risk in Hungary
The political risk in Hungary is medium, with a score of 3/6. This is a relatively high political risk score in Europe.
The governance and political stability indicators are critical drivers for political risk. An overview of Hungary can be seen in the graphs 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 Hungary, the rule of law index is at 0,53 points, with the score going from -2.5 (weak) to 2.5 (strong). Hungary has, therefore, a high rule of law index, which means you should have a good chance of enforcing your contracts. If your individual customers have good creditworthiness, you should therefore feel relatively safe when providing credit.
Other drivers for the medium political risks are the weak control of corruption, the average political stability index, and the medium-large shadow economy that is 20,49% of Hungary's GDP.
The commercial risk in Hungary
In Hungary, the commercial risk score is 2/4, which in our model is a low score. This low commercial risk score is relatively low 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 Hungary in the table below:
Hungary has a foreign exchange reserve of 43.48 bn. USD.
Hungary has a positive trade balance of 0,76% of GDP. What this means is that Hungary imports fewer goods and services than the country exports.
The annual growth of exports of goods and services has been growing 10,26% annually - now 81,33% of GDP. Import of goods and services represents 80,57% of the GDP in Hungary.
The financing risk in Hungary
We have calculated the financing risk to be 3/4, which equals a medium risk. A medium financing risk score is relatively high for countries in Europe.
The country's banking system, efficiency, and stability influence the financing risk. You can find the extra information for Hungary in the table below:
In Hungary, the credit information sharing index is 6 on a scale from 0 (low) to 8 (high). The consequence of that number, is that the access and quality of credit information available in Hungary is medium.
This makes it easy for you to understand the credit risk of your counterpart in Hungary. You would be able 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 9 out of 12 and, therefore, strong.
The medium financing risk for creditors also impacts the low interest rate in the private sector of 2,97%.
Debt Collection in Hungary: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
In Hungary, debt collection begins with amicable collection, which involves sending reminders to the debtor to pay the owed money or start a payment plan. If this does not work, the process moves on to evaluation, where a decision is made on how to proceed. Debt surveillance may be recommended for smaller claims, while larger claims may require legal collections, which can take up to 18 months. If the debtor admits to owing money or there is a court order, debt enforcement can be pursued through the bailiff's court. Debitura can assist with all three steps in Hungary.
The debt collection process in Hungary generally involves three steps: pre-legal collection, legal debt collection and debt enforcement. Pre-legal collection involves sending reminders to the debtor via email, SMS, and letter to try to get them to pay or agree to a payment plan. Legal debt collection is recommended for larger claims and can take around 12-18 months to complete. Debt enforcement involves going to the bailiff's court to get the money owed. Debitura can provide assistance with all three steps in Hungary.
Legal options for debt collection in Hungary include civil lawsuits, debt enforcement, and insolvency proceedings. Disputed debts require a civil lawsuit and legal actions require a local lawyer. Fast injunctions of payment can be obtained from a notary. Insolvency proceedings can be initiated to sell the debtor's assets and pay creditors. Negotiations between parties to avoid liquidation are possible. For debts under HUF 200,000, payment injunctions can be obtained without geographic restrictions. Jurisdiction of 20 County Courts depend on the subject matter and amount of money involved. Transparency remains an issue with the Hungarian judicial system.
Debitura offers a no-cure-no-pay model for pre-legal debt collection with success fees ranging between 10-20%. The cost for legal actions will depend on your case and desired actions, but we can connect you with the best debt collection lawyers in Hungary to provide you with 3 quotes. Contact us for more information.
The length of debt collection in Hungary depends on the debtor and the case. If the matter is resolved in the pre-legal phase, it usually takes 3-6 months. However, if legal actions are necessary, the collection process typically takes longer, around 12-18 months. The duration ultimately relies on the unique details of the case being dealt with.