Enforcement has just been made easy with the new Central Enforcement Register

In 2021, an amendment to the law was adopted, creating a central enforcement register maintained by the Ministry of Justice, which will perform the functions of an enforcement register and an electronic attachment system. The register is expected to become operational on 1 January 2024.

Until now, the only way for persons to obtain information about enforcement proceedings against them was to visit the eesti.ee portal or make a separate request to the Chamber of Bailiffs and Administrators in Bankruptcy (KPK). However, the information provided there was mostly incomplete. For example, they did not provide information on the exact amount of the outstanding debt, the identity of the debt collector, etc. In addition, the response to the query also showed claims that had in fact already been closed.  The KPK sometimes sent the reply to the query in several different files, e.g. pdf and Excel, which also did not match. A separate query then had to be made to each bailiff.

To improve the situation, a new and single enforcement register was created. It gives both debtors and the public an accurate overview of their claims.

The Enforcement Register was intended to address the following strategic objectives of the Ministry of Justice:

  1. Ensure transparency and clarity for parties in enforcement proceedings;
  2. Ensure that parties to proceedings can at any time obtain an accurate overview of the claims and attachments against them in enforcement proceedings;
  3. To create a single place where third parties can obtain information on persons’ enforcement proceedings.

Through the Enforcement Register’s self-service portal, a party to proceedings can at any time obtain an overview of the claims and attachments against him or her in enforcement proceedings and their order of priority. The accuracy of the data in the Enforcement Register is ensured by the fact that the registration of enforcement proceedings in the Enforcement Register is mandatory for the prosecutor. Without the registration of the enforcement procedure in the Enforcement Register, the prosecutor is not in a position to carry out enforcement measures, in particular seizures.

Under the new law, the Enforcement Register will also contain publicly available information on whether a person owes maintenance and, if so, the amount of the outstanding debt, the name, telephone number and e-mail address of the bailiff collecting it and the enforcement procedure number.

The Enforcement Register also gives public access to information on whether a person has any other debt that is enforceable and, if so, the amount of the debt arising from the enforcement order and its residual amount. Information shall be provided on enforcement proceedings in which the time limit for voluntary payment has expired.

In theory, the introduction of an Enforcement Register could also reduce the amount of credit granted to debtors and improve their financial situation. When deciding whether to grant credit to a person, it is important to check whether he or she has any pending enforcement proceedings.

The Enforcement Register is also expected to be of interest to the various debtors’ registers. In addition to public authorities, the information would also be available to persons who, for example, need to obtain more general information on the payment discipline of a person in order to enter into a contractual relationship.

We recommend that both debtors and credit providers make active use of the Enforcement Register. Once debtors have obtained information on the proceedings against them from the Enforcement Register, a free guide on the Hedman website (https://hedman.legal/et/hedman-lift/) will help them with the next steps to get their debts under control.

The article was originally published in the Estonian daily „Pealinn.“ 

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