Poland: Taking on the bailiff monopoly

Author: Krzysztof Józefowicz
Publication: SmartLessons 2007

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Many developed countries, and countries on their way toward development, have simple, inexpensive and fast property registration processes. Low property registration fees encourage every property holder to receive a formal title. The poor especially benefit, because they can use their property as collateral, start doing business and work to achieve their dreams. This paper discusses the property registration reform in Egypt that focused on two areas: the cost and quality of procedures.

Main Findings

  • In the whole of Poland between 2000 and 2003, the number of cases in court increased from about 10 million to 12 million (an increase of 20 percent), while the number of bailiffs barely budged, from 578 in 2001 to 586 in 2003 (an increase of 1.4 percent).
  • Once a new law goes into effect in Poland, a creditor will be able to choose any bailiff in the country to execute his judgment (except with regard to real estate), thereby increasing competition and leading to a better enforcement of judgments.
  • More work remains ahead:  Entry into the bailiff profession, while significantly eased, still depends on the discretion of the Justice Minister. In addition, only the variable fees of the bailiff, such as transport or hotel expenses, will be freely negotiable—not the price of the service itself.