Since the beginning of the 1990s, we witness dynamic development of the free-market economy in Poland. We observe the effects of improper adaptation of the legal system, dating back to the times of controlled economy, to the new reality.
Implemented without experience, capital and almost zero possibility of obtaining a bank credit, the still-young capitalism was bound to create payment settlement difficulties. Payment jams have become a serious problem for a majority of Polish enterprises.
The most traditional way of coping with debtors was to employ lawyers or to forward claim settlement to a legal office and have them file a lawsuit at a common court. Unfortunately, business departments at Polish courts of the 1990s were unprepared to deal with such rapid growth in the number of cases. High costs of legal services the complainant was usually charged with required freezing additional capital for several months (or even years), without any guarantee for future recovery. In such state of affairs, the perfect solution seemed to be debt recovery companies which took over the negotiations for a fee depending on their success, which in many cases led to the debt being collected. The second half of the 1990s was the time of a spectacular development of this type of companies. However, letters threatening with “instant execution” and the unclear meaning of "debt collection" wore out and had no longer any effect on the debtors.
Today, we can observe many positive changes: payment orders are issued quicker, competition among lawyers and legal advisors will grow due to the liberalization of regulations governing bar-acceptance; similar changes are planned for the bailiffs’ sector. Business information offices start to appear on the Polish market, their objective being to record all unreliable entrepreneurs and consumers in their registers.
The observation of the valuable changes on legal service market and the analysis of experiences from countries with well-developed market-economy enabled the synthesis of most useful debt management strategies. In 1999 the IAC was established.
Our activity focuses mainly on the following areas:
- supporting entrepreneurs in creating procedures to reduce difficult debt risk – audit, contractor verification, legal and business information;
- setting out new standards for mediation proceedings;
- propagating arbitration;
- effective proceedings at common courts when contracts miss arbitration clauses;
- cooperation with bailiffs at the stages of execution and debtor asset location