Debt Recovery Services via API: what you need to know
Tracing report, CEM and asset investigation: API services for debt recovery
- Author: Francesca Columbu
- Date: 06/12/2022
- Reading time: 4 min
Debt recovery coincides with the set of practices and activities that enable a debt holder to obtain payment of what is owed by the debtor.
As a first step, it is necessary to obtain some basic information on the debtor's account, ranging from personal and contact data to assets. Preliminary investigations of the debtor's assets, in particular, are often useful in defining the type and extent of assets to be seized, and thus the debt recovery strategy.
Thanks to the integration of APIs - Application Programming Interfaces - into one's own systems, it is now possible to automate many of the procedures necessary for debt recovery - from the sending of massive communications to the real-time verification of administrative data - with obvious advantages in terms of time and cost.
Debt recovery: how it works
Debt recovery is the set of operations carried out by a creditor in order to obtain payment of a debt, and applies to private deeds as much as to commercial relationships. In order to be able to proceed with debt collection actions, the debt must be:
- certain, i.e. its veracity can be proven by contract, invoice, down payment, etc;
- liquid, i.e. its amount is unambiguously defined;
- exigible, i.e. it must be proven that the payment terms have expired and the debtor has failed to pay despite reminders.
The first thing to do when there is a certain, liquid and collectable debt is to send reminder notices to the defaulter. According to extrajudicial recovery practice, the first amicable communications can be sent by email or telephone. Therefore, the first operation in a debt collection action is almost always the Personal data Tracing report, which allows one to know the debtor's up-to-date personal data and the telephone number to attempt an initial contact.
If unofficial communications are unsuccessful, it is necessary to proceed with tools that allow the certainty of delivery of the message, and send reminders by registered mail with return receipt or CEM (Certified Electronic Mail), a process that can be automated by integrating APIs for Postal Services and those for sending mass CEMs into one's systems.
Preventive asset investigations
If the out-of-court route does not have the desired effect, the judicial process can be pursued. This requires, first of all, a preliminary asset investigation to ascertain the existence of assets and capital that can be pledged or reclaimed.
Preliminary asset investigations are of paramount importance when proceeding with a debt collection activity: before claiming the debt, it is necessary to know the type and extent of the assets to be attached, also to verify that the conditions for proceeding exist. According to Italian law, in fact, anyone who is unable to pay his debts cannot be subject to enforcement.
It is therefore a good idea, before anything else, to check the possibility of obtaining payment, i.e. to find out whether or not the debtor has real estate in his name, current accounts or other assets - both movable and immovable - against which to enforce.
API services for asset investigations
How to find out the assets of a debtor person or company? There are various types of enquiries that allow one to find out about a debtor's account in advance, ranging from tracing personal and contact details to searches, which allow one to find out in detail about the patrimonial situation of the counterparty.
In particular, the API services developed by Openapi for asset investigations make it possible to obtain, from official and first-level sources:
- personal data, updated according to public records, through the services of Tracing and Search Company, which also provides VAT number, status and legal form of the company;
- the contact details to which the payment reminder and other communications should be sent, through the Person Tracing tools;
- the presence of negativity, i.e. of protests, prejudicial acts or warnings in the land registry, information that can be obtained, as required, by means of tracing or through Certificate of Protests and Prejudicial;
- detailed information on any Italian company (turnover, number of employees, CEM) listed in the official Chamber of Commerce registers, via Chamber of Commerce Company Registration.
It is also possible to exploit API services for tracing movable and immovable assets in the person's name, verifying in real time the correctness of administrative and postal data for cities, provinces and regions.
The tracing of immovable property
When it comes to collecting a debt, the strongest guarantee is the presence of real estate in the debtor's name that is not already encumbered by mortgages or other registrations. This information can be found in the cadastral survey by subject, the document that lists the real estate owned by the counterparty, even by share.
The integration of the Visengine API Service makes it possible to obtain cadastral surveys in real time, and to manage from a single dashboard the flow of activities linked to the investigation of the consistency of the assets to be attacked and their legal and patrimonial status.
The tracing of movable property
In the absence of immovable assets, the creditor can obtain payment of the debt by seizing movable assets in the debtor's name. The attachment ordered by the judge may in this case involve valuables and vehicles, but also cash and part of the pension or salary.
The preliminary investigation tools for movable assets include
- the PRA Visura, which provides a list of vehicles registered in the name of the debtor person or company, complete with asset and legal information on them;
- the Chamber of Commerce Company Registration, which shows the presence of shares, participations or corporate offices, as well as the asset and financial situation of the legal entity, including any bankruptcy proceedings;
- the investigation of bank or postal current accounts in the name of the natural or legal person.
If the debtor is a legal person, the elective tool for preliminary investigations is the Chamber of Commerce Company Registration, which makes it possible to find out all the personal, patrimonial and legal information of the subject, from corporate offices to the deposited balance sheet, and to check whether there are any prejudicial or other negative aspects against the debtor in the document.
Debt recovery via API: the advantages
The web services developed by Openapi for debt recovery operations can simplify the procedure at every stage, from preliminary investigations to sending official communications via CEM.
The integration of APIs for debt recovery provides high quality data from official sources (Chamber of Commerce, Poste Italiane-Italian Post Office, etc.) and allows the workflow to be managed conveniently from a single dashboard.
Furthermore, Openapi provides an unlimited and free testing environment, and the documentation - available for all programming languages - includes practical code examples so that you can start designing, creating and iterating APIs in a simple and intuitive way.