Bulgarian MPs voted on October 17 to pass amendments to the Civil Procedure Code, tabled by the Ombudsman’s office, aimed at strengthening debtor protection.
The amended law sets a progressive scale of limits on the fees that private debt collectors can charge, meant to eliminate the practice where debt collectors would go after small debts and charged fees that ended up being higher than the original debt.
Additionally, the amended law requires debt collectors to make a greater effort to contact debtors in cases where the matter has already been referred to the courts. Instead of just posting notice on a defendant’s post box, debt collectors will have to make at least three attempts to contact the person at their address, while the courts will be required to contact the person at their workplace.
One matter that caused some debate on the House floor was regarding writs of execution issued by courts at the request of banks. Opposition socialists asked to introduce an additional step to the proceedings, namely requiring an accounting review before a bank can ask for a writ, while the junior partner in the ruling coalition, the nationalist United Patriots, argued for banks to lose their ability to get writs of execution using speedy court proceedings.
In the end, the MPs decided not to amend those provisions, but instead passed an amendment so that appealing against the writ of execution would suspend the enforcement of the writ.
(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)