Over-indebtedness. Too many debts? Even the debtors have rights.



In this article “Over-indebtedness”:

  • a procedure that protects and safeguards the dignity of the over-indebted debtor,
  • a provision that confers the right to settle debts in relation to their economic possibilities.


Did you know that in German debt and guilt translate with the exact same word? Lexical details that make the idea of ​​an overall culture. It is however evident (at all latitudes) that a debt is something that makes a hellish life: it is not hyperbolic to say that those who found themselves with their backs to the wall because of hungry creditors, exorbitant interest rates and implacable bureaucracy feel as if wrapped in a metaphorical and suffocating straitjacket.

Over-indebtedness: Protection of the dignity of the citizen

But beware: perhaps there is a way out of over-indebtedness. The Italian law recognizes the right of citizens to settle debts in relation to their economic possibilities: this principle, known among professionals with the term of debit, was introduced thanks to the so-called Law on “Bankruptcy of the Debtor of 2012” ( Law n.3 / 2012 ).

Over-indebtedness and the possibilities for the private debtor

There were not many people who knew this legislation on over-indebtedness at dawn this year; just in those months the possibility of debt rose to the headlines thanks to a historical ruling by the Court of Brad Artizo (in the province of Varese), which had decreed the reduction of about 90% on the financial exposure of a elderly woman. But what establishes the legal text in support of the person in debt? Let’s find out together. To be able to request access to the debit procedure for over-indebtedness are people / debtors not subject to bankruptcy (from individuals to small and medium-sized entrepreneurs, including artisans). In this sense, the creditors’ liquidation operations are implemented by means of a percentage criterion, by expert figures devolved to this activity: accountants or lawyers, but also notaries, or other subjects, on the condition that they possess the requisites of training and experience indicated. Another important element in this regard is the possibility, clarified by the court, to renegotiate the debt even in the presence of a single creditor (which in this case was represented by Equitalia, the Italian company in charge of the collection of taxes throughout Italy).

The procedure to use them

In fact, this legislative provision finally regulates the case of individual bankruptcy: the deserving debtor, who has lit a mortgage or a loan in line with his current income, will no longer be condemned to civil death, will no longer be attached to the life. In short, dignity will not be lost by the person in difficulty. The provision also provides for the institution of the “composition”: The person in difficulty is in fact entitled to contact “Crisis composition bodies” that will work as free consultants. Through their assistance, the debtor will be able to develop a “restructuring plan” of his shortfall, within which he will explain how much he can realistically repay and by what means. In order to meet the demands of its creditors, the debtor will have the right to offer assets of which he is the owner or who he imagines he has in the future (for example through a liquidation, or an inheritance). This plan will then be submitted to the judge, who will be able to declare its feasibility and good faith. Only then can the judge “approve” the plan and impose it on the overall audience of creditors.

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