How do I claim outstanding payment from an Austrian store when they are about to declare bankruptcy?


We worked with a store in Vienna on SOR basis. They have been invoiced over a month ago for the sold goods but ignored all communication. We received an email last week saying they are declaring bankruptcy. Nevertheless, we are determined to get the payment for the stock the sold 2 months ago. Please advise.


Hi Elena, sorry to hear about your experience. As with most international debt recovery much is likely to depend on the value of the debt and how realistic it will be to get repayment. As a first step it may be worth seeing a local commercial lawyer, they will normally do an initial consultation free, but obviously if you then engage their services it may get expensive. We have had bad experience of debt collection agencies ourselves, they will often promise much, but do very little. Pursuing through the Italian courts could get expensive, and if you have a contract in place which refers to English jurisdiction, the risk is you may obtain a court order but be unable to enforce it. If the customer will talk to you (sounds like they aren’t talking), it may be worth trying to get some voluntary agreement of part payment. Keeping up the process of chasing payment can be very tiring, but it is always possible they may relent if you keep on at them. Hope this gives a few ideas in a tricky situation. Kindest regards, Mike


Good afternooon,

As a bankruptcy administrator in Spain I can only give you an uneducated guess of sorts. Your best bet would be to seek advice through some law firm settled in the domicile of the store.

If you are able to find the Court that´s administering the proccess you can reach them so they lead you to the person who governs the proccess. That person could give you advice on how to express your credit and a hint about the credit being accepted or not in the list of creditors. The bankruptcy proccess varies greatly from country to country so your best bet is still in the last paragraph: get a lawyer there, but be aware of the fact that sometimes is not cost effective to stand in the proccess, the administrator could do it on its own motion. This type of contract could be tricky, tough.

If you have a lawyer you are comfortable with he can ask the austrian attorney for a quotation with every scenary and an scheme of the main principles of their proccess.


Jose Garriga

Export Action Plan