Attachment and enforcement against property
What information the Bailiff may access/collect?
The Bailiff can access all publicly available registers to collect information on debtor’s address and his/her estate such as:
- Immovable Property Register at icadastre.bg
- The Cadastre at kais.cadastre.bg
- Business Register at brra.bg
- VAT Register at https://inetdec.nra.bg/pls/pub/home.html#/goto:rep.Vatquery.home
- Health contributions status Register at https://inetdec.nra.bg/pls/pub/home.html#/goto:rep.HealthStatus.home
In addition to access to all public registers, the law grants the Bailiff access to a number of registers with a limited access, such as:
- the Registry of Bulgarian Central Bank – holds information on all bank account registered by a person or company – accessible on-line;
- the National Population Register – information on addresses, family and marital status, and personal identification numbers of all Bulgarian citizens and residents – accessible on-line;
- the Database of National Social Security Institute – information on labour contracts – accessible on-line;
- the Database of the National Revenue Agency – information on declared property by all taxpayers, e.g. immovable property and motor vehicles
- the Database of Municipalities for registered movable and immovable property – accessible only on paper;
- the Database of Traffic Police – information on registered vehicles – accessible only on paper.
All of the above listed registries and databases charge fees for access to and provision of information.
What assets the Bailiff can enforce against?
The Bailiff can enforce against a number of tangible and intangible assets of the debtor. The law points out a number of exceptions – assets against which enforcement procedure cannot be initiated.
The main categories of assets available to enforcement are, as follows:
- Movable property – all movable property of the debtor can be enforced against, with the exception of property which guarantees the minimum standard of living /e.g. clothes, bed and bedding, stove, refrigerator, etc./;
- Immovable property – all immovable property of the debtor can be enforced against, with the exception of the sole housing of the debtor and his family;
- Debtor’s receivables, e.g.: cash on bank accounts, wages, pensions, rents, lease or whatsoever other remunerations, securities, company shares or stocks, etc.
- receivables from alimony, child support and all social security allocations are exempted from enforcement;
- receivables from wages or pension, amounting up to the Minimum Wage amount (determined by the Government), are exempted from enforcement;
-Debtor’s industrial property – trademark, patent, utility model, industrial design, integrated circuit topology and certificate of plant variety and animal breed can be enforced against.
What enforcement procedures/means I can request from a Bailiff to carry out?
By request of the creditor the Bailiff can seize, make inventory and hold in custody assets, as well as sell them in order to pay the creditor.
- Seizure of assets – an act of the Bailiff restricting the debtor from transferring the ownership of seized assets. Receivables are seized by sending a distrain order to the receivable debtor. Immovable property is seized by registering a distrain letter with the Immovable Property Register. Identified movable property of the debtor is seized by sending a distrain notice to the debtor listing such identified movables;
- Inventory of assets – an act of the Bailiff seizing (for movable assets) and preparing public auctioning of inventoried movable or immovable assets.
- Hold in custody of inventoried assets (for Private Bailiffs only)
- Public Auction of inventoried assets – legally defined foreclosure procedure for turning debtor’s assets into cash.
(Note: This procedure is applicable for all immovable assets, motor vehicles and for all other movable assets of a value higher than 5000 BGN. For less valuable movable assets a simplified procedure is applied.)
The value of the asset is determined by an Appraisal Expert and is subject to court review if any of the parties objects. Once stabilized, the value of the asset serves as a basis for determination of the initial auction prize which forms 80% of asset’s value.
The Public Auction consists of two phases: closed and open. The Bailiff announces the Public Auction by hanging over the Auction Notice that lays down information on foreclosed property, minimum (initial) auction price, starting and closing date for submission of close bids, the amount of the deposit for validation of every bid. Interested bidders can submit close bids within 1-month period counting from the auction starting date. All close bids are submitted to the registration desk of the Regional Court. All bidders (except the judgment creditor) should deposit 10% of the initial auction prize on the fiduciary bank account of the Bailiff. The working day that follows the auction closing date, the Bailiff collects from the court’s registration desk all submitted close bids, opens and announces them before the bidders presented at the Regional Court hearing hall. The highest closed bid serves as a starting point for all bidders presented at the opening who can make open bids with a step of one deposit.
The Bailiff awards the foreclosed property to the bidder who has offered the highest price. The winning bidder has 2-weeks period to pay his/her suggested prize on the fiduciary bank account of the Bailiff. If he/she fails to do that, the deposit is withhold and goes for satisfying creditors’ claims. If the price is paid on time, the Bailiff awards the buyer with property ownership title which is then notified to the debtor who can challenge it in court. The court review is formal, limited to obvious procedural breaches and one instance only, i.e. no appeal. Once stabilized, the ownership title issued by the Bailiff can be further registered with respective property registers as needed.