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Press release: Practice of companies regarding the process of debt settlement has improved significantly

20. Feb 2013

The credit policy study for 2013 prepared by Krediidiinfo demonstrates that companies use professional services while working with debtors more often than ever before. Significantly more companies apply fines with regard to debtor customers. 

In comparison with the last year, the share of all kinds of professional services related to settlement of debts has increased. Most often businesses use services of debt collectors (33%) and legal advisors (15%). Among other widespread tools are factoring, credit supervision, evaluation of credit risks, setting the limits and – to a lesser extent – credit insurance. Application of fines is becoming an increasingly popular type of penalty (33%). 

The study shows that 73.5% of companies assess business solvency of their customers. 

Solvency of new customers is paid attention to twice as often as before. Credit applications are also demanded twice as often. 80% of respondents control tax arrears of new customers before the Tax and Customs Board, 62% of respondents control the right of signature, while 61% of respondents check existence of debts before other companies recorded in the Payment Discipline Registry. 

Background checks on the existing customers are performed twice less frequently than with regard to the new ones, although it is known that the majority of credit losses is caused by long-term partners. 40% of respondents control tax arrears of long-term customers before making credit-related decisions (31% in 2012), while 34% of respondents check the Payment Discipline Registry (27% in 2012). 

Only 12% of businesses constantly monitor solvency of their current customers. 

The average period of invoice payment in Estonia is 14.2 days. At the same time, one third of all issued invoices have payment term of 15 to 30 days. The increase is particularly explained by the shorter term (1-14 days). 

The majority of Estonian companies (89%) is generally satisfied with payment discipline of their customers. The share of invoices paid in due time has increased during the year by four percent (65%); the share of invoices paid with delay of up to 30 days has decreased by same margin (29%). 6% of the companies still delay their payment by more than 30 days. The average invoice payment delay in Estonia is 9.4 days.