By Mrs.Nena Malliara published in

Outside the courts, the new insolvency framework is expected to bring most of the private debt settlement cases currently pending before the courts. The issue of discharging the courts and speeding up the issuance of judgments is crucial for reducing red loans and for the overall functioning of the economy, a key issue for both the Institutions and investors.

Banks estimate that in order for the new framework to be effective, it will have to leave only 10% of the outstanding loan cases to the courts and the vast majority of them to be settled out-of-court. “The new legal framework should provide incentives for the immediate resolution of private debt disputes and ensure that the obligations arising out of a loan agreement are respected. It is cancer for the system to keep cases in place. It needs a simple, clean insolvency framework, without holes and back doors that will allow lawyers to celebrate, “the president of the Hellenic Union of Banks and President of Piraeus Bank, George Chantzinikolaou, said yesterday at a press conference.

Moving at the same wavelength, the legal and general secretary of the Hellenic Union of Banks, Haroula Apalagaki, said that the overall legal framework in Greece is modern and complete, but it is to be effectively implemented in practice. “There is admittedly a problem here, notably in the determination of judgments in the major courts of the country. For example, the times envisaged by the Katseli Law (6 – 12 months) were justified. However, this has not been implemented in practice. half of the cases are still pending and 58,000 cases are still pending, “he said, adding that 60% of the cases are being rejected by the courts.

“The EET cannot have a say in the logistical infrastructure of justice. It is the common responsibility of all lawyers and parties alike to speed up the pace of litigation significantly. We must use all means of alternative (outside court) private law settlement. That is why the main element should be the strengthening of out-of-court mechanisms, “Ms Apalagakis stressed.

Mediation becomes compulsory
The “forerunner” of developments in resolving private debt disputes (in this case, non-performing loans) is the mediation institution that was voted on by Law 4640/2019 (1/12/2019) and will be effective today. family matters (eg custody of children, property disputes of the couple for marriage benefits, etc.).

From 15 March, mediation will be mandatory for all commercial disputes above 30,000 euros. As Tata Agalidou, a lawyer and legal adviser at the Hellenic Center for Financial Intermediation, explains to, what will be mandatory for those with litigation disputes will be before they go to court. a mediator to find out about the possibilities and content of mediation. The Ombudsman will inform them, for example, of the obligation of confidentiality between the parties to the dispute, of non-compliance, that each party may not rely on other procedures (eg court) for the proposals discussed. mediation, etc.), but also to what extent there is a chance of resolving the dispute through mediation, since some cases can only be resolved in court. “The mediator is neither a judge nor an arbitrator. He is trained in dispute negotiation. Through mediation, disputes can be resolved through mutual reconciliation and with the future in sight,” Ms Agalidou said, stressing that mediation can to be used in the cases of Katseli’s law in order to avoid auctions.

As the legal adviser of the Hellenic Center for Financial Intermediation points out, Law 4640/2019 provides that in order for a case to be heard in court, the lawyer must provide a signed statement from his client that he has informed the client of . As Ms. Agalidou points out, this information is provided, as an ethical duty, by the Bar Code.

It is noted that the cost of the mediation is 50 euros (shared by the two parties who apply to the mediator) for the first briefing. Should the mediation procedure be resolved, the costs are agreed with the mediator, with the law providing for a minimum hourly fee of 80 euros. “If the negotiation reaches an agreement, in 1-2 months the case will be resolved. With court litigation, the costs in time and resources are high and cannot even be calculated in advance so that the citizen knows what is waiting for him. “says Mrs. Agalidou.