The debtor will pay for the recovery


For many companies, especially micro and small ones, any additional costs, including debt collection costs (even small ones), are a big problem. As a result, many entrepreneurs write off debt and give up seeking money from an unreliable contractor. This situation is to be changed by the Act on Payment Deadlines in Commercial Transactions, in force since April 28, 2013, according to which the creditor may demand from the debtor the reimbursement of the costs of recovering the due debt in the amount of at least EUR 40.

Lump sum compensation

For obligations under contracts that are commercial transactions that were concluded when the above-mentioned Act, you can apply its Art. 10, providing for a flat-rate compensation for recovery costs. It follows from this provision that the creditor is entitled to reimbursement of costs in the amount of EUR 40, if he has fulfilled his service and has not received payment for it within the period specified in the contract or in a written request of the debtor for payment, in particular in the invoice or bill delivered to the buyer, confirming the delivery or performance of a service.

It is important that in such a case the entrepreneur immediately acquires the right to a lump-sum compensation of EUR 40 for the costs of debt recovery, including, for example, court and enforcement fees, activities of debt collection companies at the pre-trial stage, or sending correspondence. A provision on the reimbursement of costs does not have to be included in the contract with a given counterparty, as this right is vested in the creditor under the aforementioned act.

In order to calculate the exact value of the compensation, EUR 40 should be converted into PLN at the average EUR exchange rate announced by the National Bank of Poland on the last business day of the month preceding the month in which the cash benefit became due.

Costs in excess of 40 euros

What if the recovery costs incurred due to late payment in a commercial transaction exceed the mentioned 40 euro? In such a case, the creditor is entitled to reimbursement of these costs, including the costs of court proceedings, less this amount. However, in this case the general rules apply, which means that there is no provision requiring the debtor to compensate the creditor for any amount exceeding EUR 40.

In this case, entrepreneurs often use appropriate provisions in contracts concluded with contractors. They indicate that in the event of delay in payment of receivables, the supplier of goods or services may commission an external company at the expense of the buyer or reserve certain fees for possible debt collection activities that may be charged to debtors.

Compensation not for every transaction

At this point, it should be noted that the lump-sum compensation in question is available only in the case of contracts the subject of which is the supply of goods for consideration or the provision of services for consideration, if the parties conclude it in connection with their activity. This means that the provisions of the above-mentioned the Act does not apply to, for example, a contract between an entrepreneur and a consumer, or, for example, an entrepreneur and a housing association.