Since 2000 public notices of documents and decisions in insolvency proceedings must be published in the Internet Insolvency Gazette (the Gazette) and are no longer made available on the court notice board. The Gazette plays a central role in insolvency proceedings in Austria.
The Gazette contains details of insolvency edicts, court decisions on closing and reopening of proceedings for companies as well as on the distribution of available assets. The Gazette is updated Monday to Friday between 23:00 and midnight.
Insolvency proceedings are only considered to be initiated after details are entered into the Gazette and become effective at the start of the following day. Creditors can be served with notices through the Gazette. Due to the nature of the Gazette everyone has access to the current insolvency cases, which are always up to date.
Duty to monitor
Whether someone will be affected by notice of details posted in the Gazette depends upon who the affected party is and in particular whether it is a large organisation. The Supreme Court has decided that large companies, such as insurance companies and banks, should monitor the Gazette to stay informed about the affairs of business partners. Such companies have to establish a suitable system enabling them for example to deal with published insolvency openings and so as to ensure that on the first day of the insolvency payments to the debtor can be prevented if appropriate.
Smaller companies have a lesser duty to monitor the Gazette but would be expected in the case of large cash payments to have checked details in it. In respect of consumers, the Supreme Court considered there was no such duty. This does not apply in cases when the information about the opening of the insolvency proceeding is imposed on the consumer by the media.