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Debt Collection

Collecting invoices in Chile

In Chile, there is a special procedure to collect unpaid invoices if there have not been paid at the due date and if there is no due date, within 30 days of the receipt. This process, however, is only applicable to invoices issued in Chile, because the Chilean invoices have digital signatures monitored by the Chilean IRS.

Collecting invoices in Chile

Under law 19.983, the invoices shall be notified judicially. After the notification, the defendant can only argue that he returned the invoice within the time permitted by law (8 days), that the invoice has been forged or that the services were never rendered. If the defendant argues those circumstances fraudulently, he will be sentenced to pay the double amount due plus interest.

If he does not argue those circumstances, then the executory process starts by filing at the same judge a subsequent claim for seizure. In that case, after the defendant has been notified, he has only 4 days to present a defense based on payment or the statute of limitations has expired. While those allegations are proven to be wrong or right, goods or money can be seized.

If the defendant does not present any defense or if he does not prove the defense alleged. then the money or goods will be seized. If money has been seized, then it will be transferred to the plaintiff’s account or if goods have been seized, then they will be auctioned, and the money obtained will be transferred to the plaintiff.

In the case of foreign invoices, then the standard civil procedure is applicable and therefore the plaintiff has the burden of proof.

The procedure is initiated through a claim of the plaintiff. This has to provide details of the facts and the applicable law. Then the claim is served to the debtor. The answer to the claim and the counterclaim, if there is one, must be filed with the court by the person on whom the summons was served. A copy of the Answer must also be served on the lawyer of the opposing party as provided for by the applicable laws or rules of procedure. Then the second round of claim and answer starts. After this period, the Court calls for mediation by the same Court. If no settlement is reached then the evidence has to be presented to the Court, including the witness statement. After this step, the judge decides the sentence. This procedure takes in the best-case scenario for 6 months. After the judge’s decision is announced, both parties can appeal. And after the case is reviewed by the Appeal Court, both parties can go to the Supreme Court.

Last modified: 09/03/2020

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