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20/05/2014 PROFILE > Tout public

European ordinance for garnishment of accounts

The Council has adopted a regulation creating a European recommendation procedure for garnishment of bank accounts. It is intended to facilitate cross-border recovery of credits in civil and commercial matters insofar as it implements a European procedure leading to the issue of an ordinance.

This procedure, open to citizens and businesses, will constitute an alternative to national procedures, without however constituting a replacement. Its application will solely concern cross-border matters. The conservatory garnishment ordinance will block funds held by the debtor in a bank account in a Member State in order to facilitate recovery of the credit.

 Two scenarios to obtain a garnishment order:

  • To have obtained a ruling (namely before having initiated proceedings in substance as well as during proceedings);
  • Having obtained a ruling in substance.

It will also be possible for the creditor to know if the debtor holds one or more accounts in any given member state, under certain conditions.

Moreover, the garnishment order shall be handed down in non definitive proceedings (without the prior authorisation of the debtor), in order to guarantee the surprise. Payment may however lead to several means of redress for the debtor so as to object to the ordinance once informed of the blocked accounts. Payment shall additionally lead to other safeguarding measures aimed at preventing any abusive redress against this new ordinance.

Consult the European regulations creating this cross-border garnishment ordinance.