Ever since the latest Law on Enforcement and Security entered into force on the 1st of July, 2016, an issue arose over the wording and scope of Article 48, dealing with how creditors acquiring claims can initiate enforcement. The main idea behind this new law was to make it easier for creditors to collect claims.
However, something went wrong along the way and, instead of improving the creditors' position, the law did quite the opposite. In cases of transfer of claims, the now (in)famous Article 48 required from the new creditor to evidence the transfer by a certified document, or to prove the transfer by a final court/administrative decision.
The court had conflicting and strange interpretations of this provision, to the extent that the courts would recognise transfer only when the transfer was based on law, but not when based on contract. The Serbian Parliament has previously tried to resolve this issue, but the first interpretation from late 2016 did not make much difference.
Naturally, this caused quite a stir, especially in the NPL market. Lawyers and bankers were very active in trying to resolve the matter. After a number of discussions, round tables and conferences, the Parliament finally issued a new interpretation article 48 on the 17th of December, 2017 – leaving no doubt that the transfer of claim refers both to transfer based on law and contract.
Earlier in the fall, the Serbian Supreme Court adopted a similar standpoint, reasoning that the ratio behind this article was to give broader possibilities to creditors.
All in all, good news for the NPL market at the end of the year, leading to a more exciting 2018 with no procedural hurdles in collecting acquired claims.
The information in this document does not constitute legal advice on any particular matter and is provided for general informational purposes only.