A new electronic database of bankruptcy and liquidation petitions, open to any company, is being set up by the National Judicial Office.

This will enable any company to obtain a certificate showing whether it has had a bankruptcy or liquidation petition filed or liquidation proceedings initiated against it (but in each case not yet finally decided).

The introduction of the database and certificate system into the Bankruptcy Code is the result of concerted lobbying by the American Chamber of Commerce in Hungary and CMS Budapest Office.

Borrowers and those providing security could be required to obtain a ‘zero certificate’ as a condition precedent in order to mitigate the insolvency risk to be assumed by the lender.

At this stage, the NJO has not yet set up the electronic platform on which the database will operate, and currently only issues certificates in paper form.

All requests must state the company’s name, registered seat and registration number. Certificates requested by an attorney must use a power of attorney that refers to the Bankruptcy Code, s.6(1d).

Currently, certificates are issued free of charge and can be requested by fax (to +36-1/312-4453) or post (to Országos Bírósági Hivatal, Bírósági Főosztály, H-1055 Budapest, Szalay u. 16, H-1363 Pf: 24, marked for the attention of Dr. Hildenbrandné dr. Balogh Olga, deputy head of department).

NJO has not set timescales for issuing certificate: it will request the necessary information from the Hungarian courts within three business days and, once the information has been provided, post the certificate to the company. It is possible to ask to receive the certificate by email, to speed up the process.

Law: Hungarian Bankruptcy Code (Act XLIX of 1991 on bankruptcy and liquidation proceedings)