New International Debt Collections Handbook Advises US Businesses on Debt Recovery in Foreign Countries

Aug 31, 2010, 08:25 ET from Atradius N.V.

ITASCA, Illinois, August 31, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Atradius Collections, the global expert in domestic and international debt collections, releases the latest edition of the International Debt Collections Handbook. The International Debt Collections Handbook is an essential tool for export-oriented US businesses making decisions regarding debt recovery in foreign countries. In total the handbook covers procedures in 26 countries as to the different stages of amicable settlement, financial regulations around collections, legal proceedings and insolvency procedures.

Many businesses in the US engage in export. Therefore, businesses need to be aware of essential differences in amicable settlement, financial regulations around collections, legal proceedings and insolvency procedures in these countries. "Having access to country-specific information can significantly change decisions. Mexican businesses may be used to cases taking several years until a debt can be collected, whereas the process is swift in Canada. In Mexico the approach may be to push for an amicable solution whereas a trial may be the wiser choice in Canada," says Rudi de Greve, Executive Manager Operations from Atradius Collections. "As Mexico and Canada are the two main export countries for the US, you can see these two countries alone have very unique rules and processes that every business should be fully aware."

The USA's largest export partner nation is Canada. When debt collections are pursued in court, these are normally handled by the provincial courts. Only exceptions are for bankruptcy and insolvency, which are governed under federal law. The location of the debtor can also determine the legal process, which may slightly differ in some provinces. this is also true for the filing language which is usually English but can be French in some cases. In Canada all assets can be seized except for personal assets. In a bankruptcy the assets of a company are liquidated and the proceeds are given to creditors who are owed money. Here again some exceptions apply. Depending on the province some assets are exempt from liquidation. In Canada the costs are awarded to the winner of the trial.

Looking at the second most important trade partner, Mexico, significant differences can also be found in how debt collections are handled. A debtor in Mexico must be informed about pending legal actions. This is usually done by making amicable efforts. It is very common in Mexico that a debtor disputes a debt that can lead to a legal procedure. When trying to collect in Mexico it is important to consider that there is no pre-trial discovery phase or proceeding. Once commencing a lawsuit all supporting documents and proof needs to be ready and available upon filing the claim. A non-complex commercial case will take approximately one to two years to resolve, an appeal can add up to a total of three years. When dealing with a complex commercial dispute or a collection case involving a large amount of money this time can double. The legal costs after a trial can also become subject to a dispute, as payments must be negotiated.

The full collection details for Canada and Mexico, as well as other major export partner nations, can be found in the International Debt Collections Handbook, issued by Atradius Collections. It can be immediately downloaded at http://www.atradiuscollections.com.

About Atradius Collections:

Atradius Collections, a business unit of Atradius Group, provides efficient, quick and flexible solutions to recover domestic and international trade debts. With a global network of collections specialists, lawyers and insolvency practitioners worldwide, Atradius Collections serves over 14,000 customers handling on average 100,000 cases a year. Over 80 years of worldwide credit management industry experience uniquely position Atradius Collections as a global leader in business-to-business debt collections.

SOURCE Atradius N.V.