New provisions to the Code of Civil Procedure are intended to facilitate the recovery of creditor claims and to strengthen the protection of creditors after judgement validation.
Effective on 1 June 2017, the new provisions were one of the key elements of the "100 changes for businesses" plan prepared by the Ministry of Development, and are part of a larger facility package aimed primarily at small and medium-sized entrepreneurs.
What has changed?
One of the most significant changes to the Code of Civil Procedure is the increase of the upper threshold for simplified proceedings from PLN 10,000 to PLN 20,000 (approx. EUR 2,340 to EUR 4,680). The simplified procedure is a very creditor-friendly, expeditious procedure available for contractual, warranty/guarantee, and consumer sales contract disputes that meet the maximum claim value limitations. The changes in the law should make the procedure available in more claim situations.
More time for creditors
A court awarding a judgment for a monetary claim to a creditor may, upon the creditor's motion, also grant the creditor security. The problem in Poland has been that the collateral only remained available for one month when the required procedures to realize upon that collateral might take more than one month. The new provisions provide that collateral for monetary claims remains available for two months from judgement validation or validation of the court's decision to reject an appeal filed by a party.
Business information offices
A number of Polish governmental offices have been providing creditors with information about debtors (e.g. National Debt Register or National Telecommunication Debt Information) and, in the past, it has been necessary to approach each of them separately. The new regulations streamline the process. The offices are now obliged to exchange information about debtors allowing entrepreneurs the opportunity to check the databases in all offices operating in Poland on the basis of a single application.
All the aforementioned changes have been desired and expected and will certainly make it easier for creditors to pursue their claims in Poland.
However, work remains to be done on the procedural processes. For example, examination proceedings are still far too lengthy even though progress has clearly been made on this front as well.