Frequently Asked Questions
1. What kind of organization is the Chamber of the Private Enforcement Agents?
The Chamber of the Private Enforcement Agents (CPEA) was established on 11.26.2005 by virtue of the Law on the Private Enforcement Agents. It is a professional organization and all private enforcement agents are mandatory members in it.
2. What does the reform in enforcement stand for?
With the passing of the Law on the Private Enforcement Agents (LPEA) on May 10, 2005 a legal opportunity was implemented that enforcement in Bulgaria carried out by independent professionals as well. The creditors will be able to choose, whether to assign the collection of their claim to a private or to state enforcement agent (bailiff).
3. How far has the reform gone?
After the Law on the PEA, all sublegislative normative acts related with its implementation have also been adopted. The Chamber was formed. The first 85 private enforcement agents took office and started operating.
4. What will change for the citizens and companies?
The citizens and companies can check up the active private enforcement agents on the territory of the respective District Court in the Register of the Private Enforcement Agents in the website of the Chamber and chose the one to turn to. A PEA can also be assigned, together with the opening of an enforcement case, to make all necessary enquiries on the debtor, determine the method of enforcement, i.e. select the most appropriate means of enforcement and undertake the respective actions. It is of great importance that the summons in enforcement litigations are served by the private enforcement agents themselves, which highly expedites the proceedings. The citizens and companies can expect increased efficiency and speed of the process.
5. What are the main functions of the Chamber?
The CPEA exerts controls and effects supervision over the activity of the PEA.
It monitors for compliance with the professional ethics and preserves the prestige of the profession.
6. Who is a member of the Chamber?
All private enforcement agents have the right to be members of the Chamber.
7. What is PEA?
The private enforcement agent is a person assigned by the state the enforcement of private and public claims. The PEA is independent and in carrying out his functions he complies only with the law. The PEA:
- collects debts of natural persons and legal entities, and when assigned by the state –public claims as well;
- performs: putting real estate into the possession of natural persons and legal entities, transferring of movables, enforcement actions against debtors obliged to perform a certain action;
- imposes preventive measures;
- when assigned by the pledgee having initiated enforcement, he transfers the pledged property pursuant to art.35 of the Law on Registered Pledges in connection with art. 414 of the Civil Procedure Code;
- when assigned by the pledgee having initiated enforcement, he conducts a sale of the pledged property pursuant to the Law on Registered Pledges or the Civil Procedure Code;
- seals premises, equipment, transportation vehicles pursuant to art.651 of the Commercial Act.
8. Who manages the Chamber?
Supreme body of the Chamber is the General Assembly consisting of all members. The Council of the Chamber manages its activity. It consists of 9 persons and 2 reserve members. The Chamber is represented by the Chairperson of the Council.
9. Who controls the private enforcement agents?
The Council of the Chamber and the Minister of Justice through inspectors exercise control over the activity of the private enforcement agents.
A Disciplinary Committee consisting of 8 members sanctions the private enforcement agents for culpable non-fulfillment of their responsibilities under the law or the by-law of the Chamber. Half of the members of the Disciplinary Committee are appointed by the Minister of Justice, and the other half are elected by the General Assembly of the Chamber.
10. Who funds the Chamber?
The activity of the Chamber is funded by the dues the PEA pay and by the affiliation fees of the members.
11. What can the citizens and companies do in case of enforcement of a court judgment?
When they have the writ of execution or another act subject to enforcement, the citizens and companies can turn to a private enforcement agent. Every private enforcement agent has a jurisdiction, which is the territory where they can carry out enforcement. The jurisdiction coincides with the region of the respective district court, and in Sofia – the Sofia City Court.
The private enforcement agent can be assigned to check up the property status of the debtor, to select the means (way) of enforcement, to make enquiries, to gather documents, papers etc., to transfer and sell pledged property under the LRP, to be a keeper of inventoried property etc.
12. How can I find and select a PEA?
The Register of the PEA is published in the website of the CPEA at: www.bcpea.org. It contains full, precise and current information on all PEA, their jurisdiction and office address.
13. What rights do the citizens and companies have?
The citizens and companies have a right of access to enforcement. PEA is obliged to proceed with enforcement at a request of interested parties, and cannot refuse to do so, except in the provisioned by the law cases.
PEA is also obliged to keep professional secrecy. He cannot disclose, nor use in his own or someone else’s favor information that has become known to him during the implementation of his professional duties.
14. How can they complain against a PEA?
The citizens and companies can complain against the actions of a PEA by filing a complaint or writing a letter to the Minister of Justice or to the Council of the Chamber.
PEA carries disciplinary responsibility for culpable non-fulfillment, and the law provisions a number of sanctions of different severity from reprimand to depriving of legal capacity for a term of 5 years.
The PEA is also liable with his assets. If, in carrying out his activity he has culpably caused damages resulting from illegal behavior, then he is liable with his own assets. For the purpose the PEA concludes compulsory insurance for professional responsibility.
15. What measures can be undertaken by the Chamber when there are signals against a PEA?
In case of a signal for violation or a complaint on the part of citizens and companies, the Council of the Chamber considers the case and decides whether there are grounds for initiation of disciplinary proceedings. If there are such grounds, the Chair of the Disciplinary Committee is informed and he/ she appoints the disciplinary panel to consider the disciplinary case. A motivated decision is ordained within a one month term.
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