The House will probably approve the proposed restriction on the creation and recovery of children’s debts. The government’s amendment to the Civil Code was supported by the Constitutional and Legal Committee, but with amendments to the transitional provisions. According to the draft, the recovery of children’s monetary debts would be possible only up to the amount of the minor’s property on the day when he acquired full autonomy. Similarly, the amendment would limit the enforcement of contractual penalties. The aim of the amendments is to prevent children from entering adulthood with debts.
The government’s proposal in the transitional provisions assumed that the new rules would apply retroactively to all children under the age of 18 on the effective date of the draft. “With an amendment, I postponed the period by three years,” said rapporteur Kateřina Valachová (CSSD) on Wednesday. With the effect of the law, people under the age of 21 will have the right to ban child debts, she added.
The amendment seeks to defend the rights of creditors by at the same time introducing the liability of a legal representative for debts that exceed the minor’s assets. This will apply in cases where the debts arise as a result of a legal action to which the legal representative has given consent or which he has made in the child. The restriction of the possibility of recovering the minor’s monetary debts also includes debts from the rent of an apartment, which passed to the child after the death of the tenant with whom he lived in the same household.
According to the amendment, the damage caused by a child under the age of 13 is to be paid by the person who neglected proper supervision over it. The proposal introduces two exceptions to this rule. The child will be liable if he causes the damage by an act of an intentional criminal offense or if his financial situation allows it. This is the case, for example, when a child inherits a large fortune.
The amendment also seeks to prevent courts from issuing a payment order against a minor, a default judgment and, in certain cases, a recognition judgment. At the same time, it instructs them to send summons to minors over the age of 15, ie not only to their legal representatives.
In general, the draft changes the order of payment of consumer debts in arrears. First, the costs associated with debt collection would be repaid, followed by the principal, then interest and finally interest on arrears. As interest now takes precedence over principal, the risk of further indebtedness of the debtor increases, according to the rationale.
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