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Seizure of Assets in Greece

Seizure of Assets in Greece

The seizure of assets in Greece takes place as per the enforcement procedure during which the creditor is entitled to receive the due amount but he must also observe the rights of the debtor. As such, his rights of personality and this general legitimate interests are to be protected even though he is summoned by the court to pay a certain amount.
Several types of assets can be subject to enforcement and there are also limitations on the types of assets that can be seized. Special attention is provided for the basic needs of the debtor and his family as well as the personal items. The Code of Civil Procedure is the main legal resource for this process and one of our agents who specialize in debt collection in Greece can help creditors seize the assets that would satisfy their claims. 
The answers below provide information for some of the most commonly asked questions regarding this procedure: what can and what cannot be subject to seizure when a creditor is trying to collect its due debts.

What are the assets that can be seized in Greece?

The removal of goods by force is possible in Greece when an enforceable title is issued in favor of the creditor. According to the particularities of the case, eviction by force is also an option, showing that both movable and immovable property can be subject to seizure. Nevertheless, the law does not allow for an unlimited seizure of goods and assets belonging to a debtor.
The list below includes the types of assets that can be seized in Greece:

  1. Movable property: this can belong to the debtor himself or it can be in the hands of a third party who will hand them over
  2. Money: the seizure of cash and bank accounts is included here, according to the money available to the debtor.
  3. Immovable property: real estate belonging to the debtor or the debtor’s property rights in rem.
  4. Intellectual property rights: included in this category are patents, film rights and other intellectual property rights owned by the debtor.
  5. Others: this category includes ships, aircraft and other such as pecuniary claims against third parties held by the debtor.

One of our debt collection lawyers in Greece can give individuals more information about the types of assets that can be seized. It is important to know that there are some limitations on the action of seizing the debtor’s assets, as described in the answer to the following question.

What assets cannot be seized in Greece?

The enforcement action is not unlimited. The following are assets that cannot be seized:

  • personal effects belonging to the debtor or his family;
  • food and fuel required by the debtor and his family;
  • family records, memorabilia, manuscripts, medals or correspondence;
  • tools, machinery, books, and others, as needed for working or living;
  • salaries, pensions, insurance benefits, partnership shares;
  • perishable items;
  • statutory maintenance benefits.

Properties that have suffered direct damage, as well as claims for the contributions of the spouses to the family, cannot be seized.

Compliance with the seizure measure in Greece

When the seizure of assets becomes enforceable through an enforcement title issued as the result of a definitive legal judgment issued in favor of the creditor, the debtor is required to comply with this measure. This compliance requirement also extends to all third parties that may be involved with the debtor or who are holding assets belonging to the debtor (they will need to hand them over).

Should the debtor refuse to hand over the assets that can be seized, and if he becomes uncooperative, then the bailiff may use forcible measures and, when needed, call the enforcement authorities. Another possibility is for the bailiff to work together with another bailiff on the case or to recruit two adult witnesses. 

When the debtor is non-compliant, the creditor may demand compensation for losses resulted as a direct result of this non-compliance. Special consideration is needed when seizing bank accounts for the bank is under no obligation to disclose the exact details of the said accounts to the petitioner. The bank is, however, required to comply with a document issued for the purpose of seizing monetary claims. In this situation, the bank representatives are required to provide adequate information of the amounts that exist in the bank account in question within a period of eight days from the date on which the deed of seizure was served.

In some cases, the debtor has the right to appeal against the enforcement procedure.

The seizure of assets is performed with the help of a bailiff. However, the services offered by our team of agents who specialize in debt collection in Greece can be useful in many situations. Contact us for details about the services we provide.