Croatian Financial Agency- Verification of debtor’s creditworthiness in Germany and Croatia

FINA is the abbreviation for the Financial Agency, which is the State Financial Agency in Croatia. FINA is a government body that can obtain information from the company register, information on company accounts, business results and liens in the form of a liquidity report, if you pay a fee. The financial agency keeps a register containing information on all accounts held by economic operators and natural persons, where the amounts held in the accounts are not known to the agency, but only the existence of those accounts. The financial agency also keeps a register of the basis for payment, in chronological order of the date and time of payment.

The enforcement claim for monetary claims is carried out through FINA, the Croatian National Bank, and other banks. Any authority to enforce funds shall be directed to FINA. FINA also calculates the interest due on the amount of the claim and hands an enforcement order over to the bank where the debtor has assets. The debtor’s bank accounts, except for the protected assets, would then be seized.

A personal identification number (OIB), held by every citizen, which also must be assigned when you´re opening a bank account, plays a key role in finding the debtor’s funds. In this way, the Financial Agency has knowledge on all accounts held by the debtor and may accordingly submit the enforcement orders to the banks.

The personal identification number (OIB) is the identification code of every citizen and legal person established in Croatia. The OIB- tax number gives an overview of the ownership relationships and liquidity of natural or legal persons. This brings transparency to the Croatian economy, focusing on the prevention of corruption.

In Croatia, the OIB- tax number is a presumption for opening a giro bank account or for acquiring land.

If the creditor has an enforcement order against the debtor, he can enforce his monetary claims through FINA. Enforcement of funds is carried out through the Croatian Financial Agency (FINA). After obtaining the relevant enforcement orders, FINA orders enforcement to banks where the debtor has assets. The bank concerned is determined in each individual case based on a register which FINA keeps, which contains a list of all existing accounts based on a personal identification number (OIB).

There is no State institution in Germany that is similar to FINA.

FINA is a unique government institution in Europe that can successfully seize bank accounts through the debtor’s OIB-tax identification number in enforcement proceedings.

In Germany, a bailiff, as an enforcement authority, does not have the possibility of obtaining access to the debtor’s assets based on a similar tax number. Instead, a German bailiff must ask the debtor for a declaration of assets. By means of a declaration of assets, the debtor provides the creditor with comprehensive information on, if and what may be seized. If the bailiff asks the debtor to make such a declaration of assets, he is obliged to make it. If he fails to do so or gives false or incomplete information (whether it does so in the slightest or negligent manner) he is subject to criminal prosecution.

In Germany, there is however a Wiesbadener credit agency Schufa, a private agency established in the form of a joint stock company. It serves only private companies or banks that need to verify the creditworthiness of their clients. Schufa’s shareholders are credit institutions, companies, and other service companies. As an agency, Schufa ensures that companies and banks in Germany have creditworthiness data for their clients and business partners. It has data on payment history and credit obligations for about 68 million citizens and 5 million companies.

The concern is a contractual partner of many banks, savings banks, and leasing companies. In addition, there are also contracts with large postal order companies and telecommunications companies. Through the legal and confidential transmission of certain data, Schufa has information where the person has a giro account, whether he has a phone contract or where he has a loan. For that reason, the commercial companies contact Schufa to find out the information in question. In doing so, business processes should be accelerated, and the solvency of the contractual partners guaranteed.

Data at Schufa are anonymised. Banks and companies requesting data do not receive a specific list of individual subscription contracts, credit cards, etc. Instead, data are aggregated in Schufa scoring.

Scoring expresses the probability that the loan will be duly repaid.