The Simplified Recovery Procedure of debts is the fastest means of debt recovery under the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA) treaty. The OHADA treaty was signed in Mauritius (Port Louis) on the 17th of October 1993 by 14 African states. Today, there are 16 OHADA member states in total. This treaty more known by it french accronym: “Organisation pour l’Harmonisation en Afrique du Droit des Affaires” has many other Uniform Acts (UA), but the one concerning the simplified recovery procedure of debts catches the entrepreneur’s attention more quickly. There is no way businesses can conduct their affairs without incurring any debts so to speak. The dilemma is in the recovery and the UA on simplified recovery procedures largely solves such a dilemma especially if accompanied by good counsel.
There exist conditions for a creditor to seek an order for payment. The debt must be certain, liquid and due. Furthermore, the debt concerned should be identifiable, tangible and movable with the applicant considering that he or she is owed an obligation to deliver or payback that debt. We at Abanga&Partners, will help the creditor make an application to the court of domicile or residence of the debtor or the court prescribed in their contract.
The aim of this UA is to make these simplified recovery proceedings as rapid as possible, and it therefore sets relatively short deadlines for subsequent steps once an order has been issued. The order has a three months deadline of service from the date of issuance else it will lapse.
The whole process from application of an order to enforcement can take only a few weeks if the debtor does not defend against the order. If consulted, we at Abanga&Partners will see to it that the debts are indeed certain, liquid and due payment before seizing the court or applying for an order.
When we talk of Enforcement measures of the Simplified Recovery procedures, we have two separate categories namely provisionary measures wherein a creditor may secure a debt pending a final judgment and enforcement measures wherein a creditor can enforce a judgment against the assets of its debtor. It is also known as measures of execution.
When it comes to the procedure proper, the UA provides that a bailiff may enter the premises where the properties are held in assistance of a police or any public authority if need be. It is not to be done between 6.pm and 8.am nor on Sundays or public holidays with cost borne by the debtor. However, immune assets may not be expropriated if the member state defines it to be immune assets.
Navigating these procedures even if termed simplified, is a little delicate because the least error in procedure or form could lead to a rejection of an application or case file. It is therefore imperative to retain good counsel and we at Abanga&Partners are ever willing to offer our best and expedient services to scale our clients’ concerns.