The Croatian Finance Agency -Credit Assessment of Debtors in Germany and Croatia

FINA is the abbreviation for Financijska agencija and is a state financial agency in Croatia. FINA is a government agency where commercial register information, business accounts, business results, and liens in the form of credit reports can be requested for a fee. The Finance Agency keeps a register of all accounts of business entities and individuals, but the balances on the accounts are not known to the Agency, only the existence of accounts. The Finance Agency also maintains a register of payment bases, arranged chronologically by date as well as the exact time of receipt.

In the event of enforcement of a monetary claim, FINA, the Croatian National Bank and the banks will carry out the enforcement. Any authorization to foreclose on funds will be served on FINA. FINA calculates the interest due on the debt and issues a foreclosure order to the bank where the debtor has a credit balance. The debtor’s bank accounts are then frozen by FINA, with the exception of a protected real estate asset.

A central role in locating a debtor’s funds is played by the so-called personal identification number (OIB), which every citizen has and which is issued when opening a bank account. In this way, the Finance Agency knows all the debtor’s accounts and can issue foreclosure orders to the relevant banks.

The personal identification number (OIB) is an identification mark for every Croatian citizen and legal entity with its registered office in Croatia. The OIB tax number provides insight into the ownership and liquidity of the individual or legal entity. This creates transparency in the Croatian economy, which prevents corruption.

The OIB tax number is a prerequisite in Croatia to open a current account with a bank or to purchase real estate in Croatia.

If the creditor has an enforcement order against the debtor, he can enforce his monetary claim through FINA. Enforcement in funds is carried out by the Croatian Financial Agency(FINA). After it has been served with a corresponding writ of execution, it may order the banks with which the debtor has a credit balance to execute the writ of execution. The Finance Agency can determine which bank it is in each case on the basis of a register it maintains, because the register includes all existing accounts via the personal identification number (OIB).

In Germany, there is no comparable state institution like FINA.

FINA is a unique state institution in Europe, which in the foreclosure proceedings through the OIB tax number of a debtor, can effectively carry out the blocking of bank accounts.

In Germany, the bailiff as an enforcement body has no possibility to inspect the debtor’s assets via a comparable tax number. Instead, the German bailiff must request a statement of assets from the debtor. With the statement of assets, the debtor must provide the creditor with comprehensive information on whether and where something can be seized from you. If the bailiff requests a statement of assets from the debtor, he is obliged to submit it. If he fails to do so or makes false or incomplete statements (whether intentionally or negligently), he is liable to prosecution.

Germany does have the Wiesbaden-based credit reporting agency Schufa, which is a private-sector credit reporting agency with the legal form of a stock corporation. However, it is useful only for private sector companies or banks that need to check information about the creditworthiness of customers. Schufa’s shareholders include credit institutions, commercial enterprises and other service providers. As a credit agency, Schufa provides retailers and banks in Germany with data on the creditworthiness of their customers and business partners. It has data on the payment behavior and credit obligations of around 68 million citizens and 5 million companies.

The Group is a contractual partner of a large number of banks, savings banks and leasing companies. There are also contracts with large companies, such as mail order companies and telecommunications companies. Through the legal and confidential disclosure of certain data, Schufa then knows, for example, which person and where has current accounts, cell phone contracts or loans. That is why commercial enterprises then also turn to Schufa to find out this data. This is intended to speed up business processes and guarantee the solvency of contractual partners.

The data at Schufa is anonymized. The banks and companies that ask for the data do not receive a specific list of individual contracts for cell phones, credit cards or the like. Instead, the data is aggregated into a Schufa score.

Scoring shows the likelihood of whether a loan can be properly repaid.