The new Bankruptcy Act came into force on September 1st 2015 September 1st 2015

The implementation of the new Bankruptcy Act (Official Gazette number 71/15) started on September 1st 2015 introducing significant changes into the institution of bankruptcy and one of the largest novelty is that the mentioned Bankruptcy Act also regulates pre-bankruptcy settlement procedures. Unlike the previous regulation according to which pre-bankruptcy settlement procedures were conducted before the Financial Agency, with the new Bankruptcy Act, pre-bankruptcy settlement procedures are transferred to Commercial Courts while the Financial Agency retains more of a technical role.

Also, the new Bankruptcy Act introduced the distinction between bankruptcy and pre-bankruptcy reasons, deadlines for application of claims have been shortened and subsequent applications disabled, and the whole procedure is formalized with mandatory use of prescribed forms. It should be noted that the delivery of writs and other court documents in pre-bankruptcy proceedings is now handled through a court’s e-Bulletin Board and this also applies to ongoing bankruptcy proceedings that were initiated before the entry of the new Bankruptcy Act into force.

A significant novelty is that the Financial Agency has to initiate bankruptcy proceedings by default against all companies whose bank accounts have been blocked for more than 120 days, so we can expect a wave of bankruptcies in the following months. The first companies to be liquidated will be the ones with no employees and then after six months they will be followed by companies that have at least one employee.