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Debts. The record holder has PLN 84 million to give away

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The highest debt, reaching almost PLN 84 million, belongs to a 66-year-old inhabitant of the Lublin region, according to data from the BIG InfoMonitor Register of Debtors. Overdue debt of nearly 2.7 million Poles exceeded PLN 80 billion.

According to the data collected in the BIG InfoMonitor Register of Debtors and the BIK credit information database, the overdue debt of nearly 2.7 million Poles at the end of April this year exceeded PLN 80 billion, which means that it increased by PLN 4.2 billion in a year.

On the other hand, the debts of the 10 most indebted people in the country increased to over PLN 0.5 billion. The list is opened by a resident of the Lublin region – the 66-year-old has almost PLN 84 million in arrears. This amount continues to grow due to the accrued interest.

Debts may expire

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BIG InfoMonitor experts pointed out that debts may expire, but they will leave a trace.

As BIG InfoMonitor legal adviser Grzegorz Pietraszkiewicz pointed out, the rules of limitation of liabilities are described in the Civil Code. He pointed out that these provisions give the debtor the opportunity to evade repayment of debts by raising the plea of ​​limitation. However, in the case of debtors who are consumers, the court should take into account the issue of limitation ex officio, without the need to raise an appropriate objection, he added, commenting on consumer debt data for PAP.

The expert explained that the basic limitation period in Polish law is six years, and for claims for periodic benefits (e.g. payment of rent or interest and claims related to running a business) – three years. However, it should be remembered that the statutes contain provisions that may separately regulate the limitation period for individual claims. Each time, they are counted from the due date of the claim, which comes with the end of the day set as the date of performance (i.e., if the payment deadline is set for June 1, the claim will become due on June 2), Pietraszkiewicz noted.

However, he added that there are cases where this date may change. Most often, these are matters related to the termination of the loan agreement by the lender himself. In such a situation, the debtor is obliged to repay the entire debt by the last day of the ongoing notice period. After its expiration, the claim for repayment of the loan becomes payable, he pointed out. – Importantly, if the limitation period is at least two years, the end of the limitation period falls on the last day of the calendar year, i.e. December 31 – he noted.

He gave an example where the limitation period for a claim is three years. The claim became due on March 1, 2020. The limitation period will end on December 31, 2023. The plea of ​​limitation may be raised from January 1, 2024.

Pietraszkiewicz emphasized that the debt may become barred only if the creditor does not demand the return of the money. – If he does not intervene, then usually from the moment the debt arises, the time after which the debt expires begins to count. Depending on the type of debt, the limitation period is set accordingly, he pointed out. The expert explained that currently the basic period that must pass is six years. However, if the creditor takes action to recover the money, the limitation period starts again. – In practice, therefore, it is unlikely that this period will expire. Debts often arise in banks and offices that take various steps to recover the amount due. They also order enforcement to bailiffs or sell the debt to debt collection companies who want to recover the money owed – he added.

Types of claims

BIG InfoMonitor experts indicated selected types of claims and limitation periods. For example, claims for driving without a valid transport ticket expire after one year. In turn, the two-year statute of limitations applies to a claim for an overdraft on a bank account. After this period, certain claims arising from the mandate relationship and from unnamed contracts for the provision of services also become statute-barred.

The statute of limitations after three years applies to claims for credit, loans, credit cards, telecommunications services and rent arrears. – Three years is the period needed for the obligations under the employment relationship to expire, as a rule. After three years, maintenance obligations expire, and this is also the deadline for delivering the decision specifying the amount of real estate tax – added Diana Borowiecka from BIG InfoMonitor.

After five years, claims for tax liabilities (e.g. income tax, VATarrears in ZUS), as well as the claim of the entitled person for the reserved portion. Pietraszkiewicz pointed out that in the case of claims for tax liabilities, the limitation period is counted from the end of the calendar year in which the payment period expired – this is an exception to the general rule in which the period is counted from the due date of the claim.

On the other hand, the six-year statute of limitations applies to, for example, claims that have been approved by a court or other institution that has the appropriate powers. You also have to wait six years for the statute of limitations for claims for loans from non-entrepreneurs.

The trace of the commitment does not disappear

Grzegorz Pietraszkiewicz pointed out that the limitation period for a debt can be interrupted, for example, by signing an agreement or a jointly agreed settlement; voluntary payment by the debtor towards repayment of the outstanding liability; or filing a lawsuit by the creditor with the court.

– There are several options that the creditor can choose to recover the money. If the amicable methods are unsuccessful, he may refer the case to the court or to another body that deals with the enforcement of receivables. This can be e.g. submitting an application for bailiff enforcement. Concluding a settlement also suspends the limitation period. Both parties can, for example, agree on a new date for repayment of debts – said Pietraszkiewicz.

Diana Borowiecka stressed that overdue debt does not disappear, but transforms into the so-called “natural obligation”, which is not subject to state coercion, i.e. it cannot be claimed in court or enforced before a bailiff. However, it may be included in the registers kept by economic information bureaus. – Creditors may provide information on overdue liabilities, provided that no more than six years have passed since the arrears became due – she concluded.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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