This is provided for by the Directive on preventive restructuring frameworks and second chance from 2019, which EU member states have to introduce into their legislation by mid-2021, that is in a month.
The Croatian Ministry of Justice has also announced that it will initiate amendments to the Bankruptcy Act and the Consumer Bankruptcy Act to adapt them to the Directive, but a bill of amendments has not been presented yet so it remains unclear whether Croatia will additionally regulate discharge of business debts.
In Croatia, there are currently about 16,000 entrepreneurs with blocked accounts, and about 8,000 of them are companies, while the second half are craftsmen and other entrepreneurs who keep business books. The total debt of all entrepreneurs amounts to about HRK 6 billion.
The situation is much more difficult for nearly 240,000 citizens with blocked accounts, whose debt principal totals about HRK 17 billion.
So far, the state has twice written off debts of citizens with blocked accounts as part of special campaigns, but that has not significantly affected the overall situation.
Debt write-offs for entrepreneurs were the most common in pre-bankruptcy settlements established by former finance minister Slavko Linić during Zoran Milanović’s term as prime minister. Later, the law changed and debt write-offs are now less frequent.
The EU Directive does not address citizens’ debts directly, but it proposes that states apply the principle for debt forgiveness for entrepreneurs to over-indebted citizens.
Under the Directive, everyone should have the opportunity to have their debt written off in a procedure that should last no longer than three years, Večernji List said.
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