I think I can almost hear your thoughts, as I can know your story… you have some italian customers, many of them are good customers, they appreciate your work and they pay you regularly.
But, upon the other hand, you have some customer that are not paying you now.
There can be many causes for this: they have some claims against your product or service, they are facing a difficult financial situation, they are simply disappeared and not paying…
The fact is: you are not being paid.
The rules for credit management in Italy are quite complicated, there are many laws you must follow and some steps you must take, but also many actions you cannot do and some that you must carefully evaluate.
In this article, and in the following ones, I am going to write about this theme, and I hope I will be able to give you some help, using my long experience in the matter and my provable streak of good results.
Maybe some thoughts will seem to be obvious and unnecessary, but I learned that many times we don’t apply those things we consider as natural. So… what are the things yu surely don’t have to do if you want to collect a debt in Italy?
- To give up immediately and write it off. Italian debtors can be terrible, but many times you just have to try harder. There are regions in Italy were it looks natural to delay the payments. You should have choosen better your customers, ok, but now you have to manage the problem, not just give up and complain about Italy.
- To run to the lawyer. This is a step in italian credit collection, but it cannot be the first step. It is expensive, and it risks to be a long way to follow for your collection. How can you give your money to the lawyer, if before you did not try a organized process of out of court collection? Out of court collection can have a really good performance in Italy, really!
- To delegate a debt collection agency you don’t know well or which is not fit for you. In Italy there are a lot of debt collection agencies. Most of them are good agencies, but also a good agency could not be the best choiche for you. You have to evaluate it very deeply!
- To try randomly actions. You may think that your credit collection policy, which is perfect in your country, should be alright also for Italy. Maybe. But maybe it is not. Maybe that a legal activity in your country (i.e.: you send a letter in a envelope where there is written: Past Due) is not legal in Italy (yes: you cannot write past due in your envelopes…). And this will create a big problem in the following steps of collection!
These are the first four things you don’t have to do while debt collecting in Italy. Maybe you’ll think that the best thing is to have an italian credit specialist. Maybe. While you find it – and maybe you want to write me about it to firstname.lastname@example.org 😉 – I’ll try to give you some good advices! In next articles I’ll write about some things you sure have to do.
If you speak (or at least, read) italian, you can immediately read my book. Here it is the link to Manuale pratico di gestione del credito commerciale (Pratical handbook of commercial credit management)!