Debt Collection in Thailand

Updated on Monday 20th September 2021

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Businesses in Thailand are established under a contract, that in some cases may not be respected by a party with which a company has signed a deal. As such, the company will have to proceed to collect its debts through various methods, in accordance with the local legislation, but also based on how the debtor will respond to the claims. Foreign investors or local businessmen who are involved in a debt collection situation can address their case to our team of Thai lawyers, who can offer assistance on the methods which can be applied in this situation. 

We offer assistance to clients seeking to recover debts amicably or in the court of law. With a vast experience in corporate law, our law firm in Thailand can represent clients before the court.
 

The Thai legislation on debt collection


There are two ways of collecting a debt in Thailand – the amicable procedure and the court procedure. However, under the Civil Law, court debt recovery can happen under one of the following circumstances:
 
  1.           for a loan of maximum 2,000 baths, the claimant must bring a witness who will attest to the fact that a contract was made for that amount;
  2.           for amounts of money above the 2,000 baht threshold, the contract must have been concluded in writing and it must be presented in court;
  3.           the debt collection procedure, no matter its form, must not imply any compound interest accruing from the interested acknowledged by the judge;
  4.           there is also the possibility to recover a debt in a foreign currency at the current exchange rate;
  5.           a pecuniary debt can also be repaid in goods or real estate property, as long as the creditor agrees.


It should also be noted that natural persons and companies can request for a debt to be recovered in court.

Our Thai lawyers can offer more information on the provisions of the Civil Code with respect to the procedure of recovering a debt. We can also assist during the amicable and court debt recovery procedures, as requested by clients. Besides these, clients can rely on our team for advice on immigration to Thailand
 

Payments in Thailand 


According to the local legislation, the payments incurred by a debtor in Thailand are to be paid within a period of 30 days since the contract became effective. The commercial law states that a payment can be delayed up to 20 days, but the debtor will have to pay interest on late payments, which can account for up to 15% of the value of the contract. In the situation in which the contract does not stipulate a fixed interest rate, the contract will be charged with a rate of 7.5% of the transaction value.

 

Recover a debt in Thailand 


Thai commercial law stipulates that debt has to be collected in a period of maximum 2 years. In order to do so, the company interested in recovering a debt should provide the full documentation on the case, to attest the fact that debtor hasn’t paid his or her debts. Our lawyers in Thailand will require the written and e-mail correspondence kept between the parties, but also financial documents, such as purchase orders or invoices. 

We invite you to watch a comprehensive video about the debt collection procedure in Thailand

 


Phases of debt collection in Thailand


The process of recovering a debt is comprised of the following phases: 

•    pre-trial debt collection;
•    debt collection involving a Thai court.

The first phase refers to the procedure followed by the company which has to collect a debt; the procedure refers to the direct communication between the two parties. A representative of the company will send a demand letter to the debtor, requiring him to pay the value of the contract. 

If this method fails, the case will be addressed to a Thai court, which is usually held in the Court of Justice. The creditor will file a claim, which will be sent to the debtor. Our team of lawyers can also represent clients involved in various litigation cases
 

The amicable debt collection procedure in Thailand


Both natural persons or companies can be subject to a debt collection procedure, however, most of the times Thai companies engaged in commercial contracts with other local or foreign companies.
In the case of natural persons, the amicable procedure is often employed because it takes less time to complete and is cheaper. The amicable debt recovery process is also the first step in any type of such procedure, and it implies:
 
  •           appointing a law firm specialized in debt collection cases to contact the debtor and bring to their attention the debt can be appointed;
  •           the contact will first be made by phone, followed by one or more dunning letters in the next 7 to 15 days;
  •           if the debtor agrees to pay the debt, a new agreement in this sense will be made – at this stage, the debt can be repaid in installments without interest;
  •           if the debtor fails to pay or does not respond to the demand letters, the creditor can ask for the debt collection procedure to be moved to court;
  •           at this stage, the debtor will be required to appoint a lawyer to represent him or her in the Thai court.

Our attorneys in Thailand can offer assistance in the amicable procedure stage of a debt collection case.
 

Court procedure in debt recovery in Thailand


Once the debt collection procedure turns into a court procedure, the debtor will be summoned to appear in front of the judge to defend his or her case.

The claimant will be required to submit all the evidence related to the case, which often implies witnesses (or at least one witness as mentioned above), the contract which is the subject of the dispute and if the amicable recovery was first employed, the dunning letters sent to the defendant.

It is best to request the specialized services of debt collection attorneys in Thailand during the court debt recovery procedure in order to ensure the success of your claim.
 

Foreign companies recovering debts in Thailand


There are cases in which local and foreign companies need to recover debts from other associates or clients. Foreign companies operating through branches or subsidiaries in Thailand can also request for a debt to be recovered from a Thai company in this country. However, it must be noted that the Thai legislation will be enforced in this case.

Thai companies can also request the collection of debts arising from commercial relations with foreign companies in the respective company’s home country, however, the law in the respective country will need to be respected.

If you need assistance in commercial debt recovery procedures, our Thai law firm is at your disposal.
 

Assistance in recovering a debt offered by our Thai lawyers


With a vast knowledge in the corporate and civil matters, our Thai lawyers can assist if you are facing a debt recovery procedure. We can offer assistance to those interested in the amicable or the court debt recovery procedure.

We advise clients on trying to recover any amount of money amicably, this way avoiding a lengthier and more expensive procedure in court. Then, if the case requires, the procedure can be moved to court. This usually happens if the debtor fails to respond within one month from the first request of payment.

If you need further information on debt collection in Thailand, please contact our team of lawyers, who can provide you with assistance or legal representation in front of a Thai court