Legal prerequisites for bankruptcy tourism and residual debt discharge

To file for insolvency, the debtor must be represented either through the Centre for Legal Aid or an attorney.

Two types of insolvency proceedings are available to natural persons in Slovakia. One is classic insolvency, and the other a payment schedule.

A residual debt discharge is only possible if the last proceedings took place at least ten years ago. This includes insolvency proceedings in other EU member states.

Another prerequisite is the debtor’s inability to pay. Natural persons are unable to pay when they cannot discharge their obligations within 180 days. In addition, at least one enforcement claim has to be pending against the debtor.

To file for insolvency, the debtor must be represented either through the Centre for Legal Aid or an attorney. The Centre for Legal Aid will advance the trustee’s flat-rate compensation of EUR 500.00. The debtor must repay the advance within three years. The debtor has to attach a curriculum vitae as well as various declarations to the application for insolvency.

When foreigners want to file for personal bankruptcy in Slovakia, their centre of main interests (COMI) is vital. For entrepreneurs, the assumed COMI is their headquarters. However, this only applies if the debtor’s COMI has been located in a country longer than three months before the insolvency filing. For other natural persons, the period is six months. In the insolvency proceedings, the court will also evaluate its competency with regard to the COMI, which can also be checked subsequently. A creditor affected by the insolvency may apply for cancellation of the discharge of residual debt towards the affected debtor within six years from commencement of the insolvency. The court will then evaluate the debtor’s integrity. This topic is closely related to so-called forum shopping, which means that a debtor changes the COMI to another country to the disadvantage of creditors in order to be eligible for more favourable insolvency proceedings. To what extent insolvency proceedings come into consideration for foreigners has to be assessed on a case-to-case basis.

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