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Debt Collection Finland: recover your Finnish claims

Is your debtor in Finland refusing to pay an outstanding debt? Non-payment abroad can cause a lot of headaches for both entrepreneurs and individuals. Which Finnish authorities do you have to turn to for debt collection? What do local laws and regulations say about debt recovery?

Collection Company specializes in international debt collection and works with top lawyers, bailiffs, and legal experts in Finland. Together with them, we can collect your outstanding claims as quickly and efficiently as possible. As a creditor, you will have one dedicated English speaking contact that coordinates the debt collection process.

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Specialized in debt collection in Finland

Dealing with defaulters is always a headache, especially when they are located abroad. Suddenly, you have to deal with different laws, regulations, and language. Starting a collection process and potentially filing a lawsuit against your debtor can seem complicated as a result.

However, Finland has an excellent legal system, and with the right assistance, it is generally speaking possible to get your money paid quickly.

In Finland, Collection Company has built an extensive network of local debt collection specialists, including lawyers, legal experts, and bailiffs. Together with them, we can help you collect your outstanding debt. It doesn’t matter if your debtor is located in Helsinki or Lapland, we can and will recover your money.

Do you want to know if your claim has a chance of success? Request a free and non-binding consultation.

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    Why choose Collection Company for debt recovery in Finland?

    How does debt collection work in Finland?

    The rules regarding debt collection are governed by the Finnish Debt Collection Act (Laki saatavien perinnästä). This law states that the creditor may send a payment reminder no earlier than 14 days after the due date of the invoice. 14 days after the first payment reminder, a demand for payment can be sent.

    If your debtor still does not pay after this reminder, the claim can be transferred to a debt collection agency and debt collection costs can be charged.

    The debt collection agency must be registered with the Finnish authorities and is supervised by the Finnish Consumer Ombudsman. Collection Company works together with official Finnish collection agencies to collect your debt.

    Extrajudicial debt collection in Finland

    If you transfer your monetary claim to us, we will always first try to collect your debt amicably. This means that we will not immediately initiate legal proceedings, but instead contact, call, send SMS messages, and email your debtor during an out-of-court collection process. This way, we remind your debtor of the debt and give them the chance to pay it off in a proper manner.

    Within a period of three weeks, we will make a total of 16 contacts with your debtor, gradually increasing the pressure. Ultimately, we will send a final demand, clearly stating that we will take legal action if payment is not made. Most debtors will choose to pay the debt before it actually comes to that.

    In some cases, your debtor may indicate that they are unable to pay the debt immediately but are willing to arrange a payment plan. In consultation with you as the creditor, we will determine if a payment plan is the most efficient way to collect your outstanding debt.

    Judicial proceedings in Finland

    If your debtor still does not pay the outstanding amount after extrajudicial collection, we can initiate legal proceedings (in consultation with you as the creditor).

    Fast-track procedure

    If a debt is not contested by your debtor (they do not dispute the invoice but simply do not pay), there is a fast-track written procedure available. We will have to submit your claim  online to the district court in the district of your defaulter and the court will issue a payment order.

    Judicial procedure

    If your debtor does dispute the claim, a lawsuit will follow at the district court (käräjäoikeus). All civil cases are handled at these district courts. The case must always be filed in the district where your debtor resides or, in the case of a business debtor, where the company is located.

    The judge will examine the evidence submitted by both parties and (representatives of) both parties will be heard during a hearing. After this, the judge will render a judgment.

    European Payment Order (EPO)

    It is not always necessary to collect the claim through the Finnish legal system. Finland is a member of the European Union (EU). Therefore, undisputed claims can sometimes be collected by obtaining a European Payment Order (EPO).

    The European Payment Order procedure has been established to make it easier to recover cross-border claims that are not disputed. For this procedure, we need to submit several standard forms to the court in your country.

    Subsequently, the court can issue an EPO. This payment order is directly enforceable without the intervention of a Finnish judge.

    However, your debtor has 30 days to object to the payment order. If he does not respond within this period, the order becomes final. The bailiff in Finland can then execute the order.

    Curious to know if you can get a European Payment Order for your claim? Our international debt collection experts will be happy to find out for you.

    European Small Claims Procedure

    Another possibility is the European Small Claims Procedure (ESCP). This is an expedited process designed to collect small, cross-border claims within the EU in a fast and efficient manner.

    The European Small Claims Procedure is intended for claims of less than 5,000 euros in EU countries other than the member state where you reside. The procedure can be initiated in your own country and is entirely digital. Any potential hearing is conducted via a video call.

    Ultimately, the judge in the creditor’s country renders a judgment. This judgment is enforceable in all EU countries, with the exception of Denmark.

    Enforcement proceedings

    Once we have a court ruling, we can proceed with the execution of the judgment (by a bailiff). This is done by submitting a request for enforcement to the National Enforcement Authority (Ulosottolaitos Utsökningsverket).

    The enforcement agency will send your debtor a payment order, giving them the opportunity to voluntarily pay off the debt (together with debt collection costs incurred). If the debtor fails to do so, the enforcement authority will proceed with seizure of assets.

    This is typically done first by an attachment on income, then on movable property, and only if these are insufficient, on immovable property.

    In Finland, household goods cannot be seized and, as a general rule, only one-third of your debtor’s income can be subject to seizure. The exact amount of income that can be seized depends on your debtor’s income. However, enough money must be left to provide for your debtor’s daily living expenses.

    A debtor can also be compelled to provide an overview of their assets. Failure to do so will result in a fine.

    Typically, your debtor will receive a notification prior to the attachment, announcing the seizure, stating the amount of the debt, and specifying what will be seized.

    How does a collection process work in Finland?

    Step 1

    If this has not yet been done, we will first send a payment reminder to your debtor, giving them an additional 14 days to pay the outstanding invoice. If payment is not received, we will send a demand for payment to the debtor 14 days later. From that point, collection costs may be charged to your debtor. In total, we will contact your debtor 16 times in a period of three weeks.

    Step 2

    If your debtor refuses to pay after the demand for payment, we will initiate legal proceedings at the Finnish District Court. If your debtor does not contest the claim, this is generally a written procedure. Once we have a judgment from the court, we can enforce it through the National Enforcement Authority.

    Step 3

    If the debt is not paid, the National Enforcement Authority has the right to seize income, bank accounts, or assets. By this means the National Enforcement Authority will pay back your outstanding claim.

    Interim measures in Finland

    Like in most countries, it is possible to request interim measures against your debtor in Finland. Interim remedies are a protective measure where money or other assets are secured while the case is under the court’s consideration.

    To obtain an interim attachment in Finland, we need to seek permission from the court. We must demonstrate that it is likely that your claim will be awarded and that you are at risk of not being able to collect it if precautionary measures are not taken.

    As the creditor, you are liable for any losses that arise from the interim attachment if the claim is subsequently found to be unjustified. Therefore, you may need to provide a guarantee.

    Bankruptcy (konkurssi)

    Both companies and individuals in Finland can be declared bankrupt if they fail to meet their payment obligations. Requesting the bankruptcy of your debtor is one of the most powerful ways to put pressure on your debtor to get your invoice paid. After all, your debtor risks losing their business and all their assets if they are declared bankrupt. Many debtors decide to pay their debts when bankruptcy is requested.

    The procedures for a bankruptcy application are set out in the Finnish Bankruptcy Act (Konkurssisääntö). In order to have your debtor declared bankrupt, we must first file a bankruptcy application with the district court in the district where your debtor resides or where their business (main office) is located.

    The court will review the bankruptcy application and appoint an administrator (Pesänhoitaja). The administrator will investigate whether a reorganization or restructuring is possible to repay the debts. The administrator will then submit a briefing to the court.

    If a reorganization or restructuring is not possible, the company (or the debtor themselves) will be declared bankrupt. Subsequently, a trustee (Toimitsijamies) will be appointed by the court. Often this is the same person as the administrator. The trustee will inventory the assets of the bankrupt and determine how they can be distributed among the creditors to repay the debts.

    When distributing the bankrupt estate, paying off debts incurred during the bankruptcy proceedings takes priority, followed by secured creditors, and only then unsecured debts.

    Advice about your case?

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      Legal areas of debt collection in Finland

      As an international debt collection specialist, Collection Company recovers various types of debts abroad. We support entrepreneurs dealing with business customers exhibiting poor payment behavior, as well as individuals involved in rental or purchase disputes. Additionally, we provide assistance in handling damage claims in Finland. 

      We specialize in the recovery of outstanding debts within the following legal areas:

      • Construction Law
      • Renting and leasing
      • Buying and selling
      • Labor Law
      • Agency Agreement
      • Transportation
      • Damages and wrongful acts

      We work not only for clients directly but also for intermediaries (such as law firms and accounting firms).

      Anything else we can help you with in Finland?

      • Reliable advice on contracts and terms
      • Credit information on companies in Finland
      • Disputes regarding retention of title and right of reclamation
      • Mediation in reaching private agreements and settlements

      Start a debt collection today

      Fill out our debt recovery registration form to submit your claim. Do you rather get personal advice from a debt collection specialist first? Submit your contact details. Any questions? Call us at 070 – 762 0330 or send us an email.

      Why 40.000 customers tried our services

      Gery Welten
      Gery Welten
      After 5 months of sending reminders and reminders myself, I have decided to outsource my company's unpaid invoice to the collection company! After only 1 demand from them, my customer finally paid. A lesson for me to outsource unpaid invoices more quickly to defaulters in the future.

      Meet our specialized legal team

      Free legal advice from your personal specialist

      Joost Konings LLM

      International debt collection specialist
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          FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions about debt collection in Finland

          In Finland, there is a central Credit Information Register (Luottotietorekisteri). The National Enforcement Authority provides information on outstanding debts to this register.

          In the Finnish court, Finnish and Swedish are recognized as official languages. In most courts, documents must be filled out in Finnish, but on the Åland Islands, the court also accepts paperwork filled out in Swedish. Additionally, Danes, Norwegians, and Icelanders are allowed to communicate in their own language in any court in Finland.

          The more documents we receive from you, the easier it is for us to substantiate your claim. Therefore, we would like to receive evidence such as the agreement and sent invoices.

          Don’t have these documents anymore? That’s not a problem either. Together with our collection specialist, you can see what papers you have to prove your claim.

          Think of documents such as:

          • Copies of agreements made, such as a purchase agreement, email correspondence, a fax confirmation, or simply a summary of what has been agreed
          • (Copies of) your invoices
          • (Copies of) your reminders
          • Your terms and conditions
          • Proof of delivery

          In Finland, a statute of limitations of 3 years for civil claims has been implemented since 2004. This means that you must file your claim with the court within 3 years of sending the invoice, or else your claim will expire.

          In Finland, it is not mandatory to hire a lawyer if you want to collect a claim through a judicial procedure. However, when there’s a lot at stake and the case is complex, it may be wise to seek legal assistance from a local attorney. Therefore, Collection Company works together with the top law firms in Finland.