Finland - Attachment of Assets
Petri Taivalkoski, Roschier, Attorneys Ltd.
Originally from Attachment of Assets
1. What is the general nature and effect of judicial measures available for plaintiffs to obtain provisional relief affecting property of debtors to obtain security for judgments to be obtained (“attachments”)? Freezing property in place? Placing it in the custody of a third party, such as a court official, sheriff or marshall?
The term “attachment” is used here to mean judicial measures available for plaintiffs to obtain provisional relief affecting the property of a debtor and security for judgments to be obtained in civil proceedings for damages or other monetary claims. The term “plaintiff” refers to the party with a claim who applies for an attachment order. “Debtor” is used for the person or company against whom the plaintiff has the claim and whose property the plaintiff seeks to attach. The term “garnishee” means the person holding the debtor’s property that is the subject of the attachment order.
The legal framework for obtaining and enforcing attachments in Finland consists mainly of Chapter 7 of the Finnish Code of Judicial Procedure (4/1734, as amended; the “Code of Judicial Procedure”) and the Finnish Enforcement Code (705/2007, as amended; the “Enforcement Code”). Attachments are usually granted by general courts of law, the first instance of which are the local district courts, and enforced by competent government executive officials (in Finnish ulosottomies). In exceptional circumstances executive officials also have the power to grant attachments.
The nature of attachments available for plaintiffs in Finland varies from placing the attached property in the custody of the competent government executive official to freezing it in place. Attachments of the latter nature are used for immovable property in cases where the threat that the debtor will hide, destroy or dispose of his property does not require that the property be placed in the custody of executive officials. Executive officials may also stipulate the measures that the debtor can take concerning the property while it is still in the debtor’s possession.