Enforcement from bank account in Poland
Enforcement from bank account as one of the possible and most popular methods of enforcing monetary claims in Poland, is fairly effective and relatively fast.
To begin with, let's explain who a court bailiff is ?
In Poland bailiff is a public officer acting within the territory of a district court as rule performing enforcement actions in Polish civil matters.
Polish enforcement title is a necessary document for carrying out a bailiff enforcement. Polish enforcement title is an execution title accompanied by an enforcement clause. Polish enforceable title is a specific document stating a specific performance obligation.
It may include:
- Final court judgments or settlements before the court
- Judgments of an arbitration court
- Notarial deeds in which the debtor submits to enforcement proceedings
- Settlements before the mediator
- Bank enforcement title
To initiate the enforcement proceedings, the creditor must submit a written application for initiation of enforcement proceedings accompanied by an enforcement title.
How can we find out if a debtor holds a bank account in Poland ?
The creditor often has knowledge of the existence of he debtor's bank account (e.g. the parties might be in business relations), thus, while preparing the enforcement application for the bailiff, it is in his interest to include as much information as possible in regards to the debtor's assets, that is to indicate the debtor's bank account.
In case when there is no resources in the debtor's bank account or if the creditor lacks knowledge about the bank account held…
While submitting a request to initiate enforcement proceedings with the bailiff as well as during the enforcement proceedings, the creditor may submit a request for the bailiff to search for the debtor's assets, pursuant to the art. 7971 of the Polish Civil Proceedings Code, according to which the creditor may order the bailiff to search for the debtor's assets against payment.
In the search for the debtor's assets, the bailiff sends inquiries to many institutions to establish if the debtor has any assets, e.g. a real property or a vehicle, or if he is entitled to ZUS benefits.
In case of determining the debtor's bank account number, the bailiff uses the OGNIVO system. It allows for verification if the debtor holds a bank account in a specific bank or in any other commercial banks by sending inquiries using the information system.
Using OGNIVO system is subject to a fee; therefore before the search, the bailiff shall require an appropriate down payment from the creditor. The amount of the down payment depends on a bank and may amount to several dozen to several hundred złotys.
Attachment of bank accounts
Attachment of the debtor's bank account is initiated a the time of serving a bank (a branch or other business unit of the bank, in which the debtor holds an account), with a notice of the attachment of the debtor's account, up to the amount of debt subject to the execution plus execution costs. At the same time the bank is ordered not to make any payments from the account without the bailiff's consent up to the amount of the executable claim, but to immediately transfer the amount attached to pay the debt, or to notify the judicial officer within seven days of any obstacle that prevents transfer of the attached amount. Attachment also includes amounts which were not held on a bank account at the time of attachment thereof and were paid into the account after its attachment.
Limits on bank account assets' withholdings
Assets held on a bank account to the amount of three times the average salary in the private sector, without payment of awards from profits, published by the President of the Central Statistical Office, are exempt from attachment. The amount of the exemption limit is calculated for the period directly preceding the date of the enforcement title. Therefore, the bailiff may attach the part of the debtor's assets accumulated in a bank exceeding the amount referred to in the art. 54 of the banking law act.
The exemption applies to savings accounts in all forms only (e.g. savings accounts, current and savings accounts, fixed term deposit accounts).
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