1 Covid-19 impact on civil proceedings
1.1 Time limits in civil proceedings
No changes have been introduced to statutory deadlines for court proceedings despite the ongoing crisis.
1.2 Judicial organization and Judiciary
Courts remain independent. However, the National Court Administration (NCA) gives guidelines and advice to courts on their management.
NCA has provided guidelines recommending courts to continue handling cases, with precautionary measures, for instance physical presence should be limited to urgent case. The NCA advises courts to hold hearings by videoconference, or by other available and suitable technological means. The National Courts Administration has also published advice for all courts on using remote connections at a trial. The advice has been drawn up only for the current exceptional situation, and it is not intended to change existing policies, instructions or recommendations. The goal of using remote connections more effectively is to minimise health risks by avoiding gatherings of several people. These, as well as future guidance can be found from here.
By 10 May 2020 the Finnish District Courts have suspended the hearing of 1 431 civil cases. Updated information can be found here.
Contacts to the courts is encouraged to be made primarily by phone and email.
1.3 EU Judicial Cooperation
International legal assistance is still provided, but Courts prioritise cases according to the resources available.
Most of the caseworkers in the Finnish Central Authority (Regulations 2201/2003, 4/2009, 1393/2007 and 1206/2001) are currently teleworking. There is limited presence in the office for urgent cases. Communication by email is recommended when possible: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org (maintenance matters only).
2 Insolvency related measures adopted or planned for adoption in member states after the outbreak of the pandemic
2.1 Substantive insolvency measures and related contracts affecting measure
2.1.1 Insolvency suspension
184.108.40.206 Suspension of duty to file for insolvency (debtors)
220.127.116.11 Protection of debtors about insolvency filing from creditors
Possibility to declare the debtor bankrupt based on the creditor´s petition is limited on 1.5.2020–31.1.2021. Preparation of a proposal to allow debtors more time to pay as from 1.2.2021.
2.1.2 Claim enforcement suspension and contract termination suspension
18.104.22.168 General / specific moratoria on claims enforcement / certain types of claims enforcement
The Enforcement act is amended in order to facilitate the position of the debtor on 1.5.2020–30.4.2021.
The payment period and the criteria for granting months free of foreclosure will be amended. More time will be reserved for the enforcement of evictions.
22.214.171.124 Suspension of contract termination (general / specific contracts)
2.2 Civil, including insolvency courts suspension and procedural suspensions
2.3 Other insolvency measures (those relating to avoidance actions, reorganization plans, informal agreements, and others if appropriate)
Call for overall responsibility from the side of the creditors.
Finland is also focusing its efforts towards avoiding over-indebtedness of private persons and households.
2.4 Related non-insolvency measures (payment deferrals, bank loans, social security, health insurance, business subsidies)
A temporary 10 percent interest rate cap for consumer credits, as well as temporary banning of their direct marketing are in force on 1.7.–31.12.2020. Preparation of a proposal to prolong these temporary measures.
Proposed to temporarily regulate debt collection costs for other receivables than consumer receivables and restrict the use of a draft against certain debtors.
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