Private Enforcement Agents Fear that Code of Civil Procedure Revisions Will Be Detrimental to Small Debtors

Private Enforcement Agents Fear that Code of Civil Procedure Revisions Will Be Detrimental to Small Debtors

Sofia, September 13 (BTA) - "The proposed amendments to the Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) will be detrimental to small debtors. This group of people will find themselves in the hands of unlawful debt collectors, and the large debtors will be shielded and will practically get preferential treatment," according to the Bulgarian Chamber of Private Enforcement Agents (BCPEA).

The idea that the enforcement fees should not exceed the amount of the debt will make small debts uncollectible, private enforcement agents note.

BCPEA Council Chairman Georgi Dichev argued that if the proposed revisions are adopted, judicial enforcement will be liquidated and the work of the court will become pointless.

Thus, fees and costs of almost the same amount as under the effective version of the Code would be charged on a debt of 100 leva. The difference is just 10 leva costs. "Jurisconsult fees must be abolished because this money does not go to the jurisconsults but to their employers," Dichev said.

The Chamber warns that if the range of appealable steps taken by private enforcement agents is broadened, the operation of judicial enforcement may be practically blocked.

Dichev argued that the proposal to limit the garnishment of property to the amount of the debt is unfeasible.

The BCPEA has not been invited to the debate on the CCP amendments. "We, too, want revisions to the CCP. The proposed provisions, however, throw the door wide open to the executive meddling with the judiciary," he added.

The Chamber recalled that there is another bill, too, which has been discussed at the Justice Ministry and has been drawn up with the participation of a number of legal experts. It achieves a balance between the interests of debtor and creditor instead of calling into question the work of judicial enforcement.

The BCPEA comments were prompted by four bills amending the Code of Civil Procedure, moved by GERB, BSP for Bulgaria, the United Patriots and Volya, which were passed by Parliament on first reading in early July. The revisions are intended to curb the powers of private enforcement agents. The debtor's unseizable income is pegged to the minimum wage. The debtor will be entitled to appeal an appraisal of a corporeal immovable furnished as security which is made by the enforcement agent. The sum total of all enforcement fees may not exceed the amount of the debt, and that the fee be waived in case of voluntary compliance in due time. An absolute 10-year extinctive prescription on natural persons' debts is introduced.

Source: Sofia