40 Euro late payment compensation - who is entitled?



When is the creditor entitled to charge EUR 40 in late payment compensation?

Enforcing repayments from debtors has always been quite a challenge on the side of creditors. Often, apart from many attempts and effort put in by the entrepreneur, they did not bring the intended effect, and moreover, it was associated with high debt collection costs for the entrepreneur. The factor that motivates dishonest contractors is the lump-sum compensation introduced by the legislator in the amount of EUR 40, charged in the event of delay.

The amount of 40 euros is a fixed compensation, but in most cases the statutory amount is not able to cover the entire collection costs. Pursuant to the provisions of the Act, if the costs of recovering receivables incurred due to delays in payment in a commercial transaction exceed the amount of EUR 40, the creditor is entitled to reimbursement of these costs, including the costs of court proceedings, less this amount.

Converting EUR 40 of the compensation into the Polish currency

Under Art. 10 of the Act on Payment Terms in Commercial Transactions, in force from April 28, 2013, the amount of EUR 40 is converted into PLN at the average EUR exchange rate announced by the National Bank of Poland on the last business day of the month preceding the month in which the cash payment became due. It is worth bearing in mind that this act applies only to obligations under contracts that are commercial transactions that were concluded after the provisions of the new act entered into force. It is important that the act does not apply to a contract between an entrepreneur and a consumer.

Who is entitled to EUR 40 in compensation?

The reimbursement of costs in the amount of EUR 40 is due to a creditor who has fulfilled the contract in such a way that he has fulfilled his performance and has not received payment for it within a predetermined period specified in the contract, bill, invoice confirming the delivery or performance of a given service. An important issue is that such an entrepreneur immediately acquires the right to a lump-sum compensation of EUR 40 for recovery costs, i.e. that the contract does not have to include any additional provision for reimbursement, because the law gives such a privilege to the creditor from above. Importantly, after analyzing the provisions, it can be concluded that charging the debtor with the cost of debt collection is possible from the first day of expiry of the payment deadline and this right may be exercised by the creditor without prior notice. The EUR 40 compensation appears to be a favorable replacement for the recovery of fees for the sending of payment notices, which constitute debt collection activities.