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IS IT POSSIBLE TO DEMAND DEBTOR TO PAY INTERESTS AND COMPENSATION FOR DEBT COLLECTION COSTS?

 The first stage in any hard collection process is to issue a final notice to the debtor whereby the debtor is requested to pay the principal amount together with any statutory or agreed (a supplier and purchaser can make their own arrangements) penalty interest or compensation for collection costs. The final notice can be oral, but it is better to put it in writing as it makes it easier to prove that notice has been sent. Under Portuguese law, the creditor has the right to claim interest and compensation for debt collection costs.

Statutory right to interest
According to Decree-Law no. 62/2013, of 10 May (under the European Directive 2011/7/UE combating late payments in commercial transactions), creditors have the statutory right to claim interest for late payment at the European Central Bank base rate plus 7%. Interest is normally payable from the end of the agreed credit period. If no credit period was agreed, interest is payable 30 days from the later of:
- The date of supply, or;
- The date the buyer was told the amount due;
- The conclusion of any procedure for checking that the goods conform to the contract (and the procedure itself cannot take more than 30 days).
If concerns to a public authority, interest will be payable after 30 days, even if a longer payment date was agreed (except for health care providers, concerning these entities the period may be 60 days).

Compensation for debt collection costs
The creditor is also entitled to compensation for recovery costs for a minimum sum of  €40 without the need for a formal request. Notwithstanding, the creditor has the possibility of providing evidence that he incurred in a reasonable amount of higher costs (in particular lawyers’ and paralegals’ fees), and claiming for a higher compensation.

In brief, when is the case of a commercial supply of goods and services, for invoices that are not paid on time, the creditor can claim interests and debt collection costs.

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PORTUGAL, A PEACEFUL COUNTRY

In the recent Global Peace Index 2016, Portugal is ranked as the fifth most peaceful country in the world, in a table that organises 163 countries.

The index is based on 23 quantitative and qualitative indicators that measure the level of peace in each country. The indicators can be grouped into three general themes: level of security and protection of society; the number of international conflicts and; the degree of militarization.

Among these factors, Portugal scored in militarization (1.4 points out of 5), society and security (1.6 out of 5) and internal conflicts (1.1 out of 5). Portugal also scored in other factors such as the perception of crime, the level of violent demonstrations and crimes, the impact of terrorism or the number of displaced persons.

PORTUGAL MAKES TOP TEN OF RETIREMENT DESTINATIONS

The Annual Global Retirement Index places Portugal as the seventh best destination in the world to retire. The top three destinations listed by International Living are Costa Rica, Mexico and Panama. Spain has listed two positions below Portugal in ninth and is the only other European nation on the list.

According to International Living’s report, “the third-safest country in the world in the 2017 Global Peace Index, Portugal is not only secure but beautiful.” It adds that “if Portugal’s attributes have convinced you to give it a try, here’s a tip: Begin your test drive in the capital. Lisbon is easy to reach, with direct flights from major cities around the world.”

DEBTS TO BE RECOVERED IN THE COURTS REACH THE EUR 7.2 BILION

The enforcement proceeding (debt recovery through the courts) has been considered one of the major problems in Portuguese justice and also one of the barriers to the development of the Portuguese economy. In 2013 the cases for legal collection amounted EUR 5.6 billion, regarding 201,000 enforcement proceedings lodged in the courts. Between January and April 9 this year, 38,924 cases were filed, valued at EUR. 1.6 billion. Portuguese courts have pending something like EUR 7.2 billion to collect, which corresponds to 4.3% of GDP.

I AM AN E.U. CITIZEN, HOW CAN I REGISTRATE IN PORTUGAL?

To make your registration in Portugal, you only have to apply for a Certificate of Registration of Citizen.

The Certificate of Registration of Citizen of the European Union must be requested by any citizen of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Andorra and Switzerland, wishing to remain in Portugal for a period exceeding three months.

The request can be made to the City Hall, in person by completing a statement and delivering the necessary documents.

The application can also be made by a lawyer, as long as he has the necessary powers to act on your behalf.

I FOUND THAT THE PROPERTY I PURCHASED HAS DEFECTS, WHAT CAN I DO NOW?

Every consumer purchase is covered by a mandatory legal guarantee. As long as you are a consumer, no seller can claim otherwise.

Legally, the property must not suffer from any defect which has a negative impact on its value or which renders its regular use impossible. If these warranties are breached, the consumer can choose between repair, replacement, refund or a price reduction. However, the buyer must notify the seller of defects within one year of their discovery.

If the property is newly built, the purchaser will also benefit from a five-year warranty period. According to Art. 1225 of the Civil Code, the seller is liable for damages in respect of certain defects during five years, if he has also constructed, repaired or modified the building.