Injunctions / Orders for payment in Poland
- Debt Collection in Poland
- Injunctions / order for payment
- Debt collaterals / securities
- Enforcement of foreign judgements
- Enforcement procedure
- Late Payment Interest Rate in Poland
- Limitation periods
- Bankruptcy in Poland
- Debt collection in Polish cities
Types of orders for payment in Poland
There are two types of orders for payment available in the Polish civil procedure:
- order for payment in admonitory proceedings (postępowanie upominawcze),
- order for payment in injunction proceedings (postępowanie nakazowe).
Both are a type of a court determination. Apart from that and the identical names, these two types of payment orders are quite different.
Order for payment in admonitory proceedings
Order for payment in admonitory proceedings can be issued by a court in almost every case involving a monetary claim, even if a separate application for a payment order is not included in the document initiating the proceedings, namely the statement of claim. The court will hear the case under the standard procedure (finding there are no grounds for the issue of an order for payment in admonitory proceedings), if:
- the claim is clearly unjustified;
- there are doubts as to a point of fact;
- the claim is to be satisfied in exchange for a performance.
The content of an order for payment in admonitory proceedings
If the court hearing the case finds that none of the above elements exists, it will decide that the case should be dealt with by way of admonitory proceedings and issue an order for payment whereby the debtor will be ordered to pay the claim alleged in the statement of claim as well as litigation costs within 14 days from the service of the order.
Challenging an order for payment in admonitory proceedings
As a next step, the order for payment in admonitory proceedings is served on the debtor who, as stated in the order, can either pay the amount specified in the order within the prescribed deadline or file with the court a notice of objection (sprzeciw od nakazu zapłaty). When a notice of objection is filed, the order for payment is no longer enforceable, and the case is handled under standard proceedings, as if the order for payment had never been issued.
When an order for payment becomes final
If the debtor fails to file a notice of objection or files one that is ineffective, the order for payment in admonitory proceedings becomes final and, after being declared enforceable, it becomes an enforcement order (tytuł wykonawczy). An enforcement order is necessary for a debt enforcement officer to open enforcement proceedings.
Order for payment in injunction proceedings
An order for payment in injunction proceedings is issued in specific cases and only if the relevant application is included in the statement of claim. The court will grant the application and issue an order for payment in injunction proceedings, if the facts alleged to justify the claim are supported with the following documents attached to the statement of claim:
- a public document;
- a bill approved by the debtor;
- a notice of default addressed to the debtor and the debtor’s written statement on admission of debt;
- a correctly completed promissory note or a check, provided there are no doubts as to their authenticity and content; if the debtor is a consumer, the statement of claim must include the contract that gave rise to the claim secured with the promissory note/ bill of exchange, along with the promissory note/ bill of exchange agreement and appendixes.
- a contract, a proof that the performance to be provided in exchange for the payment was provided, a proof that an invoice or a bill were delivered to the debtor, if the claimant seeks the payment of a cash consideration (świadczenie pieniężne) as defined in the Act on Countering Excessive Delays in Business Transactions, interest on business transactions specified in this legislation or set-off.
Documents required to obtain an order for payment in injunction proceedings
The above listed documents should be easy to obtain in regular business transactions. A bill approved by the debtor is any document used in business transactions as a basis for payment, usually an invoice. A bill or an invoice is considered approved by the debtor usually if they are signed, initialed, stamped, dated or annotated as follows: “I accept this bill/invoice.” It is crucial that the document is approved by a person authorized to represent the debtor, for instance, a management board member. The debtor’s statement on admission of debt may be, for example, a letter written by the debtor who, having received a notice of default, asks the creditor to pay in installments. A public document is rarely used as a basis for the issue of an order in injunction proceedings. Promissory notes/ bills of exchange and, less popular, checks are also used, as well as contracts as defined in the Act on Countering Excessive Delays in Business Transactions, meaning contracts where both parties are businesses.
Benefits of an order for payment in injunction proceedings
What benefits does the creditor get by obtaining an order for payment in injunction proceedings?
Firstly, the claimant submitting a statement of claim with an application for an order for payment is required to pay only one-fourth of the court filing fee. This is something to bear in mind given that the fee is typically 5% of the alleged claim.
Option to secure the claim
Secondly, an order for payment in injunction proceedings is a much stronger tool than an order for payment in admonitory proceedings discussed above. As soon as an order for payment in injunction proceedings is issued, it becomes an injunction order (tytuł zabezpieczenia), which is enforceable without the need to obtain a declaration of enforceability. This means that the payment of the debt alleged by the claimant can be secured while the litigation is still pending.
Fee for a challenge filed by the debtor
Thirdly, although the defendant may lodge an appeal measure, called a plea against an order for payment in injunction proceedings (zarzut od nakazu zapłaty), within 14 days from receiving the order for payment issued in injunction proceedings – unlike in the case of admonitory proceedings – this does not mean that the order is canceled or rendered unenforceable (though, the debtor can apply for suspension of enforceability). What is more, if the defendant wants to lodge the plea, they need to first pay a fee equal to three-fourths of the fee for the filing of the statement of claim. In the plea, the defendant should also include a detailed and extensive explanation why, in their opinion, the order for payment issued in injunction proceedings should be rendered ineffective.
As a result of the pleas against the order for payment in injunction proceedings, the case is reviewed in terms of whether the lodged plea should succeed.
It follows from the above overview, that injunction proceedings are a better option for the creditor and allow for faster recovery of debt as compared to a standard procedure.