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The debtor & the law
The debtor, the law, the private enforcement agent
Formation

On 1st September 2005 a new Law on Private Enforcement Agents entered into force in Bulgaria. Conforming to European commitments this law brought a fundamental change to the system of enforcement of court judgments in Bulgaria. In the past, the old system consisted of state employed law enforcement officers, who worked in the Bulgarian regional courts. The expert work and the public discussion attendant the adopting of the law were supported within the frame of Commercial Law Reform Programme Project, funded by USAID. As a result of the introduction of the LPEA, the Bulgarian Chamber of Private Enforcement Agents was established as the professional organization for the private enforcement agents at the end of 2005. Ninety state judicial officers took part in the first constituent assembly. They were appointed by the Minister of Justice. The BCPEA as such is the main driving power for putting into force and for functioning of the private judicial enforcement in Bulgaria.

The operating private enforcement agents cover almost all regions in Bulgaria, excepting of two regions. Within these two regions, the enforcement is carried out only by the state enforcement agents. At the present moment the number of the Chamber's members is 163, as 82 of them are men and 81 - women.

The bodies of the Chamber are four: General Assembly, Chamber Council, Disciplinary Council and Control Council. The General Assembly is the supreme body. It consists of all members of the Chamber. General Assembly adopts and amends the by-law and budget of the Chamber, elects the members of the managing bodies, specifies the amount of the obligatory affiliation fees and annual membership dues, takes decisions for additional monetary contributions which the members have to make in Chamber's favor. The Chamber Council is the body, which manages the activity of the Chamber and administers its immovable property, takes decisions for forming of disciplinary proceedings, appoints to a post of the Administrative Director of the Chamber. The Chairperson of the Chamber Council represents the Chamber in the relations with the third parties. The Disciplinary Committee consists of equal number of representatives from the Ministry of Justice and The Chamber. This is key body - only in its priority is to appoint disciplinary sanctions for violation of the law and the by-law. The disciplinary proceeding could be opened at the request of the Minister of Justice or at a decision of the Chamber Council. In case of a signal for violation or a complaint on the part of citizens and companies, the Chamber Council considers the case and decides whether there are reasons enough for the Disciplinary Committee to be approached. The Control Council controls the financial and economic activity of the Chamber and renders an account before the General Assembly. Building up a strong, effective and powerful Chamber has a crucial importance for the reform success. The professional organization is responsible for carrying out the control and supervision over the private enforcement agent’s activities. The functions of self-control are great challenge for the Chamber.

The basic aims and tasks of the Chamber are:

To represent the interests of the members (through contacts with public organizations and institutions, which activity is connected and reflects on the work of private enforcement agents; intercession for improving the regulatory framework of the enforcement process, etc.);

To work for unified exact and correct execution of the law from the private enforcement agents (training courses and seminars for PEA and their assistants, to standardize the practices of judicial execution, to develop and adopt professional standards, to exert control and to effect supervision over the activity of the private enforcement agents);

To help and assist the members in their efforts to build independent practices;

To impose highest standards of professionalism and ethical behavior among the members;

To create a positive image of the new profession in the society.

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