In Estonia, a unified enforcement register will soon be opened, where everyone can get a detailed overview of their own debts and, if there is a legitimate interest, also the debts and claims of other individuals, writes lawyer Kaire Sepper from the law firm Hedman.
Managed by the Ministry of Justice, the register is expected to start operating this year. The unified enforcement register will be a central and accessible place for both individuals and third parties to obtain information about ongoing enforcement proceedings.
Lawyer Kaire Sepper from the Hedman law firm explained that until now, individuals could obtain information about enforcement proceedings against them through the eesti.ee portal or by querying the Chamber of Bailiffs and Bankruptcy Trustees. "So far, the data about a person's debts were incomplete, and individuals couldn't find accurate information about the amount of their debt, the creditor, etc. Often, the query responses displayed already closed claims, the responses came in multiple different files with mismatched data, requiring separate queries to each bailiff," explained Sepper.
In the future, the enforcement register will provide information about an individual's debts, their amounts, and balances. Information will be provided regarding enforcement proceedings for which the voluntary payment deadline has passed. The Ministry of Justice aims to ensure transparency and clarity in enforcement proceedings and to ensure that the parties involved can have an accurate overview of outstanding claims, their order, and imposed seizures at any given time.
The new register will perform the tasks of both the enforcement register and the electronic seizure system. "The accuracy of the data in the enforcement register is ensured by making registration of enforcement proceedings mandatory for the bailiff and without registration, the bailiff cannot perform enforcement actions, especially setting seizures," Sepper pointed out.
The lawyer from Hedman highlighted that in theory, the introduction of the enforcement register could reduce the number of loans granted to debtors and improve the financial situation of debtors. "For example, it makes sense for credit providers to check whether a person has ongoing enforcement proceedings before making a decision," she said. Individuals can also obtain information from the enforcement register to check the payment discipline of another party before entering into a contractual relationship.
For dealing with debts, Sepper recommended using the free downloadable "Enforcement Procedure Guide for Debtors," which includes instructions and sample applications. The guide can be found on the Hedman law firm's website: https://hedman.legal/et/hedman-lift/
Hedman Partners is a law firm specializing in business and corporate law supports its clients in raising investments, organizing shareholder and ownership relationships, technology law, mergers and acquisitions, cross-border movements of companies, IT law, and data protection and intellectual property matters.