The enforcement procedure is initiated by the creditor's motion or ex officio on the basis of an enforceable or authentic document.

Enforcement is the process of enforcing claims based on an enforceable or authentic document conducted by courts and public notaries.

The enforcement procedure is initiated by the creditor's motion or ex officio (when specified by law) on the basis of:

  • enforcement documents (filed with the court)
  • authentic documents (submitted to a public notary).

The authorizing officer may also file a submission of foreclosure to the Financial Agency (FINA) when it comes to direct collection on the basis of a document of distraint only when it is a case of distraint on the debtor's monetary claim. 

To whom the enforcement creditor will file a motion for enforcement or a request for direct payment (to a court, public notary or FINA) depends on the type of document on the basis of which the enforcement is initiated and the subject of the enforcement.

Enforcement documents are:

  • enforcement judgment (eg judgment) and enforcement settlement
  • enforcement settlement referred to Article 186a of the Code of Civil Procedure (settlement concluded with the State Attorney's Office of the Republic of Croatia regarding a request for a peaceful settlement of a dispute against the Republic of Croatia)
  • the enforcement decision of the arbitral tribunal
  • the enforcement decision rendered in administrative procedure and enforcement settlement concluded in administrative procedure if they vote on the fulfillment of a monetary obligation, unless otherwise provided by law
  • the enforcement notarial decision and enforcement notarial document
  • the settlement concluded in proceedings before the courts of honor at chambers in the Republic of Croatia and settlement concluded in conciliation proceedings in accordance with the provisions of the law governing conciliation proceedings
  • another document designated by law as an enforcement document.

Authentic documents are:

  • account (the account also includes the calculation of interest)
  • the promissory note and check with protest and return bills when required to set up a claim
  • public document
  • an excerpt from the books of account
  • private document certified by law and an document that is considered to be a public document under special regulations.

The subject of foreclosure may be the things and rights that may be enforced by law to enforce a claim:

  • assets of the debtor (money, immovable properties, movable properties, securities, shares in a company, etc.)
  • some enforcement of the non-property right (transfer and delivery of movable property, etc.).

The choice of enforcement subject is up to the enforcement creditor.

Cases exempted from enforcement

The agricultural land and farm buildings of the farmer and the property for which it is stipulated by a special law cannot be enforced, to the extent prescribed by law, as well as other things for which this is determined by the Enforcement Act or a special law, cannot be subject to enforcement. 

In proceedings initiated after August 3, 2017, the subject of enforcement may not be immovable property unless the principal sum exceeds the amount of 2.654,46 EUR / 20.000,00 HRK, except in exceptional cases. If the principal exceeds the amount of 2.654,46 EUR / 20.000,00 HRK, the court may reject the motion for foreclosure on the real estate if it finds that the sale of the real estate would distort the fair balance of the interests of creditor and debtor.

For liabilities arising from a legal transaction concluded after August 3, 2017, only immovable property cannot be seized unless the consent has been given by the debtor and when the fairness requires it.

If the conditions prescribed by law are fulfilled, the debtor may claim the right to financial compensation for the costs of housing from the state budget funds, for a period not exceeding 18 months.

If the debtor receives a salary that is less than the average netto salary in the Republic of Croatia, the amount of three-fourths of the salary of the debtor, but not more than two-thirds of the average netto salary in the Republic of Croatia, is exempted from the foreclosure, compensation for damage caused by health impairment or impairment, ie loss of working capacity and compensation for lost maintenance due to the death of the support provider, the amount of one half of debtor's netto salary except in the case of foreclosure for the forced payment of financial support for the child, in which case an amount equivalent to one quarter of debtor's netto salary is seized.

Legal Remedy

The debtor is entitled to a legal remedy:

  • appeal against the enforcement order based on the enforcement document. A timely and admissible appeal does not delay execution of enforcement
  • objection against a notarial decision on the basis of an authentic document. A timely, reasoned and admissible objection against a notarial decision on the basis of an authentic document delays the execution of enforcement, and the proceedings continue before the court. If the complaint is not substantiated, the court will dismiss it as incomplete without inviting the debtor to supplement or correct it.

Enforcement costs

The costs related to the determination and execution of enforcement are previously borne by creditor.

The debtor is obliged to reimburse the costs to creditor that were necessary for the enforcement.

The creditor is obliged to reimburse the costs to a debtor that were unjustifiably caused to him.

The enforcement procedure is considered completed by the finality of the decision or rejection of the enforcement proposal, the implementation of the enforcement action by which the enforcement is completed or the suspension of the enforcement.

The foreseeable costs of enforcement are, for example, the costs of issuing a certificate of validity and enforceability (3,98 EUR / 30 HRK excluding VAT) or the costs of obtaining a certificate of validity and enforceability per attorney at law (33,18 EUR / 250 HRK excluding VAT). If the debtor has not acted in accordance with the payment order contained in the decision on enforcement, he is obliged to reimburse the foreseeable costs to the creditor when the decision on enforcement on the basis of a authentic document becomes final and enforceable.

Enforcement of a Member State of the European Union

After 1 July 2013, it is possible, without special procedures, to initiate and carry out enforcement proceedings in one of the Member States of the European Union without the need for special enforcement procedures, as well as to initiate and enforce such proceedings before domestic courts based on enforcement documents issued in one of the Member States of the European Union.