Top-Rated Debt Collection Agency in Italy
Fast and reliable debt collection in Italy - no upfront costs, only pay for success. Request a FREE Consultation or upload your claim today.
Recover your debt in Italy easily.
Debitura's expertise lies in debt recovery in Italy. Our team of seasoned professionals provides a wide range of services such as accounts receivables management, debt collection notices, pre-legal and legal debt collection, as well as enforcement court proceedings. We have a thorough understanding of debt collection laws and regulations in Italy, enabling us to deliver swift and effective solutions to assist enterprises in recovering outstanding debts.
Receive ongoing support throughout the entire debt collection process.
Tailored debt collection plan.
We have over 500 experts who specialize in international debt collection.
We have the lowest cost with a success rate of 87%.
Giambrone offers a full range of debt collection services for Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and French individuals and commercial organisations across the globe with the recovery of all types of debts. We fully realise that managing debt is a critical part of maintaining the stability of most businesses, Our recovery rate is high and in most cases, we make every effort to negotiate a settlement without judicial intervention to limit the attendant legal costs. If litigation is unavoidable our robust litigation lawyers will act with vigour to ensure that our clients achieve settlement of their outstanding invoices.
The ultimate guide about debt collection in Italy
If you have a financial claim against a business or customer in Italy, we can help you. We have helped hundreds of other businesses recover debt in Italy.
It can be hard to get people to pay you back if you loan them money in Italy. This is because there are different laws and customs, and 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 put people first. We will do everything we can to get your money back while still having a good relationship with the person who owes you money. Our efforts are always fair and firm. This means that we will work hard to make sure your reputation is not hurt in any way. 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 recovery in Italy, we can help you with that too.
Debitura provides a simple way to collect debt in Italy and 192 other countries. Upload your claim to get started. Within 24 hours, we will assess your case and provide you with 3 free quotes from local debt collection lawyers in Italy. Our team uses 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 who help us with our work. We have people who help us collect money, people who help us with the law, people who help us get supplies, and people who help us do our job. We like all of these friends and we think they are important.
Begin your debt collection process in Italy today, for no charge. In just 2 minutes, you can create a complimentary profile and submit your case.
We will attempt to collect your claim through our effective pre-legal recovery process for the initial 3 months. Our service operates on a 100% no-cure-no-pay basis.
If your claim remains unpaid after the pre-legal phase, we offer you three quotes from our nearby debt collection attorneys.
You get access to our online portal where you can track your case in real-time
Introduction to collecting debt in Italy
Do you have trouble getting paid by your Italian customers? Do not worry; we can help you get the money you are owed.
The person who owes the debt is called the debtor. The person who gave the debt is called the creditor. If the creditor collects the debt, it is called first-party collection. If someone else collects the debt for the creditor, it is called third-party collections.
- The average DSO for domestic companies is too high, even though the rules about late payments are stricter than in the rest of the EU.
- If there are procedural delays or high costs while trying to get a court decision enforced, it could be very challenging. Therefore, it would not make sense to start legal action without first having a plan for collecting the money owed.
- For people with debt who cannot pay, there are mechanisms in place to renegotiate the debt. However, these are not often used in practice. The default route is liquidation, which is when a person declares bankruptcy. This does not give creditors many opportunities to get their money back.
Days Sales Outstanding
It is still hard to collect late payments in Italy, even though people are gradually getting better at paying on time. The average time it takes to get paid by a private company is 88 days, and by a public company it can take 6 months to 1 year. However, for companies that are listed on a stock exchange, the average time it takes to get paid is shorter and has been slowly getting shorter over the past few years.
This means that businesses are supposed to pay within 30 days, but sometimes they don't because of the economic crisis. Additionally, the recent reform of the insolvency law has allowed debtors to get more time to pay and better conditions. Also, debtors become harder to find.
Common payment types in Italy
The most common payment methods are:
- Sepa bank transfers are among the most popular payment means because they are fast, secured, and supported by a banking network that is becoming increasingly developed internationally and domestically.
- A bill of exchange is a document that shows you owe someone money. If you don't pay the money, the person can take legal action against you.
- It is also common for people to use checks (assegni) this way. If they don't pay for the check, they have to pay for it within six months from the due date. If they don't pay for it, they can't use the banking system for six months.
- Payment would occur through RID services, which means we would get the money from the buyer's bank. Another way to do this is with bank receipt, which is a way for businesses to get money from the debtor's bank. It is always a good idea to try to get a down payment from the buyer.
Main corporate structures
The legal structures that business owners use to protect themselves from being held responsible for business debts are:
- A Sole Proprietorship is a business that is owned by only one person. This type of business does not need a commercial structure.
- When the owner is held liable for all business debts, this means that the owner is responsible for any money that the business owes. If two or more people own a business together, they may share ownership and responsibilities through something called a Partnership. This means that each person is responsible for the actions of the other people in the Partnership. There is also something called a Limited Liability Partnership which offers limited liability to the partners. This means that each person is only responsible for their own actions and not those of the other partners.
- There are also incorporated entities (Società di Capitali). Limited Liability Companies (società a responsabilità limitata, Srl) are the most favored legal entities because they require a reasonable minimum capital amount (EUR 10,000) while the partners’ liability is limited to their contribution. Joint-Stock Corporations (società per azioni, SpA) are used for larger structures and require a minimum capital amount of EUR 120,000 which must be divided into tradable shares. In these entities, the shareholders’ liability is limited to the value of their shares.
- Foreign businesses may set up a branch office in Italy, but these entities are not separate from the parent company’s legal structure and thus do not offer any liability limitations. For this reason, subsidiaries tend to be set up through Srl business structures. Joint Ventures may also be established by contract or through partnerships.
The debt collection process in Italy
The debt collection process in Italy usually happens in several steps. The picture below explains our standard process for collecting debt in the Italy:
1 Upload your claim:
If you want someone else 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 find three different partners who can help you in the European country where the money is owed. This service is free - there is no charge for using it.
2 Amicable collection:
The process of getting your money from someone who owes you typically starts with sending reminders to the person who owes you. This is called a "campaign." The reminders are sent through email, SMS (text messages), letters, and any other available communication channels in the debtor's country. The goal is to get the debtor to agree to pay the debt or at least start making payments on the debt. Debitura offers a solution called "no-cure-no-pay" for amicable collections. This means that you only have to pay a small success fee if we are able to collect your debt. Amicable collections with Debitura are, therefore 100% risk-free!
If you have not received payment from the debtor after trying to work things out, it is time to decide what to do next. We will look at the size of your claim, the chances of getting paid and other factors to help you decide what to do next. There are three common next steps:
If your claim is below 2,000-5,000 euros, it is not worth it to take any more legal actions. In this case, we recommend "debt surveillance." This means that we will keep trying to contact the person you owe money to and try to reach an agreement.
B: Legal collections:
If you have a big problem that you need help solving, it's a good idea to start a legal process. This means working with a lawyer or legal team to figure out what needs to be done. The way to do this will be different depending on how big the problem is, and what kind of problem it is. But usually, it will take about a year and a half to finish the process.
C: Debt enforcement:
If the person you are suing agrees that you are owed money, or if a judge has said you are owed money, you can ask the bailiff to help you get the money.
At Debitura, we can help you with all three steps in Italy.
Amicable collection in Italy
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 contact your debtor through all available channels in Italy. This might include email, text messages, letters, 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 payment plan
If the person you are trying to get money from has disputed your claim, you cannot start with an amicable resolution. This means you must start directly with legal collections.
Late Payment Interest
There are many different ways to pay for something. Some common payment methods are:
- Sepa bank transfers are among the most popular payment means because they are quick, secure, and supported by a banking network that is constantly improving.
- Bills of Exchange (cambiali) are usually used as debt recognition titles instead of as payment tools. If they are not paid, they turn into an instrument that can be used against the debtor without having Payment Injunctions.
- It is also common for people to use checks (assegni) this way. If someone does not pay for something with a check within six months, the check becomes enforceable. This means that the person who did not pay must pay what they owe.
- Payment will happen through RID services, which means that we will collect the money that the person owes us from their bank. We can do this because the buyer has given us permission, and we have asked their bank to allow us to take the money out of their account. Another way to get paid is through a bank receipt, which is a document that proves that someone owes us money. We can show this document to the debtor's bank and they will give us the money. It is always a good idea to try to negotiate for a down payment.
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amicable debt collection
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Legal collection in Italy
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 local lawyers. In the legal phase, our local lawyer will talk to the person you say owes you money and try to get them to agree on a payment. Our partners can also go to court and get an order that says the person owes you money. This order can be used to force the person to pay you back.
Mediation is no longer a required legal action before taking someone to court. However, you should start by sending them a registered demand letter that reminds them of their obligation to pay the money they owe, including interest for late payments (as contractually agreed or as legally allowed).
If a debt is not disputed, there is a way to settle it without going to court. The first thing that can be done is to get a Payment Decree ('decreto ingiuntivo' under Law no. 69/2009). But the creditor has to prove that the debt is certain and undisputed first. This can be done by providing a bad check or a dishonoured bill of exchange, orders, invoices and proof of delivery showing that the goods have been received by the debtor. The court will give you an Order to Pay within 40 days. If you do not pay, the court can send someone to take your things. The court can also put a claim on your property so that if you sell it, they will get the money that you owe them.If someone objects to a claim, they can take the claim to formal proceedings. Other summary proceedings allow creditors to recognize their rights if they have evidence that is not disputed. The order can be appealed within 30 days, which means the claim goes to a formal lawsuit.
If the company that owes money has assets in other EU countries, there is a way to make them pay the money they owe without going to court. This is called the European Payment Order procedure. With this, the company that is owed money can ask a domestic court to issue an order that says the other company has to pay. This order will be valid in all EU countries except Denmark.
You can start legal proceedings by filing a claim with the court and serving summons to the debtor. The debtor has 90 days to file a defence through a preliminary hearing. Both sides have to tell the court their side of the story and provide evidence. This takes a long time. If the person who owes money does not give a defense, the person they owe money to can ask for a default judgment. But this does not necessarily mean that the proceedings will end sooner. In Italy, the court usually decides what should happen next in a case by giving a declaratory judgment (saying that someone has a right), a constitutive judgment (changing the relationship between people), specific performance (making someone do what they agreed to do), or compensatory damages (a money award to make up for losses). But the court cannot give an award that was not asked for by either party. Punitive damages are not available.
Overall, it is not good when people have to go to court to solve their debt collection disputes. It is better to try to solve the problem without going to court.
In Italy, the Civil Law system means that the rules are written down and the courts have to follow them. This is different from common law countries, where court decisions (case law) can have a bigger impact. Business relations are regulated under the Civil Code, while litigation proceedings are governed by the Code of Civil Procedure.
All business cases go to regular courts. Sometimes there are different courts for different size cases. There are also appeal courts and a Supreme Court of Cassation.
The amount of money you will need to pay a lawyer varies depending on how difficult your case is and how big it is. To get the best price, we recommend that you ask for quotes from more than one lawyer so that you can compare them. You can do this easily by using Debitura.
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legal debt collection
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Debt enforcement in Italy
If you have gotten a written note from the person you are owed money from, or a court order, you can take it to the bailiff's court in Italy to get your money.
A judgment is final when all options to appeal the decision have been used. If the debtor does not pay what they owe, it is possible to ask the court to make them pay by taking their assets or money from someone who owes them money. Usually, it is cheaper to get the money from someone who already owes the debtor money.
Before the court can start execution proceedings, the executive order (titolo esecutivo) must be served to the debtor. The debtor then has ten days to make a payment. If the debtor does not make a payment, the court may proceed with forced execution.
It is a good idea to ask the person you think owes you money if they can pay it back, before you start a legal case.
The way to do this and how much it will cost depends on your situation. You can upload your information to Debitura. They will give you 3 different quotes within 24 hours.
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Insolvency proceedings in Italy
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.
- Out-of-Court proceedings: The 2012 Reform law first entitles a debtor facing financial difficulties to file an out-of-court application for composition by anticipation (pre- concordato/concordato in bianco).
- Negotiation on a composition agreement (accordo di ristrutturazione dei debiti) would thus commence 60 to 120 days prior to initiating formal debt restructuration proceedings before the court (Concordato Preventivo, see below) as a means to anticipate the stay of enforcement proceedings against the company.
- During this period, all execution proceedings are preventively frozen till the court declares the admission of the company to Concordato Preventivo. Under the 2012 Reform,the debtor retains control over company’s assets and activities (under control of supervisor).
- Alternatively,a new pre -agreed composition plan may also be agreed(ristrutturazione del debito) with approval of creditors representing at least 60% of debtor company’s debt.
European Late Payment Directive in Italy
Italy is part of the European Union (EU). That means the Directive 2011/7/EU on combating late payments across Europe in commercial transactions applies to Italy.
The directive includes the following:
- Public authorities cannot require payment terms of more than 30 days.
- Private businesses cannot require payment terms of more than 60 days.
- If the person you are owed money from is a business, you can charge them a fee of €40 for late payment.
- The interest rate for late payments must be at least 8% higher than the European Central Banks reference rate.
The Danish government cannot make rules that are not as good for creditors as the EEU-wide rules.
Credit risk and payment behaviour in Italy
- According to a survey, Italian businesses are extending more credit and having more difficulty collecting payments on that credit than in the past.
- The main reasons for late payment cited by respondents were insufficient availability of funds and formal insolvency of the buyer.
- On average, it takes Italian businesses 72 days to collect receivables, 10 days longer than the average for Western Europe.
- 2.5% of receivables are written off as uncollectable, more than twice the average for Western Europe.
Our analysis concludes that the risk of doing business in Italy is low. Based on this low score, You can feel reasonably confident that you will be able to get paid when trading with customers in Italy. Nonetheless, we always recommend doing a specific credit analysis on an individual customer basis before offering any credit. The low risk score is based on the following factors:
The economic risk in Italy
Our analysis shows that the economic risk in Italy is low (2 out of 6). An economic risk of 2 out of 6 is relatively low in Europe.
GDP and economic growth are critical drivers for economic risk.
The GDP of Italy is 2099,88 bn. USD (2021), growing by 6,64% per year.
In terms of the size of its economy, Italy ranks #9 out of 183 countries and has a large economy.
In terms of growth rate, it is ranked #52 out of 183 countries and is therefore considered a fast-growing economy.
GDP per capita is 35551 USD, ranking Italy number #27 out of 183 countries. The result of this is purchasing power of citizens in Italy is high compared to the rest of the world.
You can see a more throughout picture of GDP and economic growth in Italy in the table below:
Another significant influencer for the economic risk score is the inflation rate and the interest rates. You can see a more throughout picture of monetary KPIs in Italy in the table below:
The inflation in Italy was 1,9% in 2021 which is considered a very low inflation rate.
The interest rate for businesses is 2,03%.
The business environment risk in Italy
Our analysis shows that the business environment risk in Italy is low (2 out of 6), which is a pretty average 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 Italy in the table below:
As you can see in the table, the property rights index is 76 in Italy, which is considered pretty average in Europe.
The business freedom index is based on 10 indicators, using data from the World Bank’s Doing Business study. The Index is 68 in Italy, a quite low score for a country in Europe.
Italy's overall economic freedom index is 65 out of 100 and is based on factors such as the rule of law, regulatory efficiency, and market openness.
The political risk in Italy
The political risk in Italy is very low, with a score of 1/6. This is a low political risk score in Europe.
The governance and political stability indicators are critical drivers for political risk. An overview of Italy 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 Italy, the rule of law index is at 0,27 points, with the score going from -2.5 (weak) to 2.5 (strong). Italy 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 very low political risks are the weak control of corruption, the weak political stability index, and the medium-large shadow economy that is 22,97% of Italy's GDP.
The commercial risk in Italy
In Italy, 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 impacted by a country's international trade relationships. You can see some of the key facts for Italy in the table below:
Italy has a foreign exchange reserve of 227.48 bn. USD.
Italy has a positive trade balance of 2,42% of GDP. This means that Italy imports fewer goods and services than the country exports.
The annual growth of exports of goods and services has been growing 13,28% annually - now 32,74% of GDP. Import of goods and services represents 30,32% of the GDP in Italy.
The financing risk in Italy
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 Italy in the table below:
In Italy, the credit information sharing index is 7 on a scale from 0 (low) to 8 (high). The result of this is accessibility and quality of credit information available in Italy is medium-high.
This makes it easy for you to understand the credit risk of your counterpart in Italy. You would be able to find a good local credit rating agency that can help you analyse the creditworthiness of your specific customers.
Your legal rights as a creditor (and as a borrower) are 2 out of 12 and, therefore, very weak.
The low financing risk for creditors also impacts the low interest rate in the private sector of 2,03%.
Debt Collection in Italy: Your FAQs Answered
The debt collection process in Italy usually starts with sending reminders to the debtor through email, SMS, and letters. If amicable collections fail, the next step involves surveillance, legal collections, or debt enforcement. It is recommended to understand the size of the claim and chances of getting paid before taking any legal action. The most common payment methods in Italy include SEPA bank transfers, bills of exchange, and checks (assegni). It is also a good idea to get a down payment from the buyer before doing business.
The debt collection process in Italy usually consists of three main steps: pre-legal collection, legal debt collection, and debt enforcement. Pre-legal collection involves sending reminders to encourage the debtor to pay. If that does not work, legal collection with a lawyer may be necessary. If the debtor still does not pay, debt enforcement with the help of a bailiff may be required. Debitura can help with all aspects of debt collection in Italy.
In Italy, there are legal options available for debt collection. If the debt is disputed, a civil lawsuit is required. Debt enforcement and insolvency proceedings are also possible. It's important to note that legal actions require a local lawyer. To settle a debt before going to court, you can try sending a demand letter. The court order can be used to force payment. If a debt is undisputed, a Payment Decree can be obtained. Legal proceedings can be started by filing a claim and serving summons. The amount you pay a lawyer will depend on the case's difficulty and size. Insolvency proceedings are available if a debtor cannot pay their debts.
Debitura offers a no-cure-no-pay model for pre-legal debt collection in Italy with a success fee between 10-20%. The cost for legal actions varies depending on your case and desired actions. Debitura can provide you with 3 quotes from the best debt collection lawyers in Italy to help you determine the best option for your needs.
The length of the debt collection process in Italy depends on the debtor and the case. If resolved in the pre-legal phase, it takes 3-6 months. However, if legal action is needed, it typically takes 12-18 months to collect the debt.