Collection companies purchased Euro 387.5 mln worth of debts

Publish date: 21-08-2009
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Debt collection companies acquired debts worth a total €387.5 million in the first seven months of this year, according to data centralized by Coface Romania, up 333 percent, compared to €89.5 mln worth of receivables sold in the first seven months of 2008.

However, the individual files that were taken over have not registered the same spectacular increase. If debt collectors in Romania had 185,120 debtors in their portfolios at the end of July 2008, this number rose to only 209,398 on 31 July 2009.

The largest collection companies in Romania are Coface, EOS KSI, KRUK International, Credit Express, and Top Factoring. But the receivables of banks are also subject to competition among investment funds or other foreign financial institutions. The data centralized by Coface indicates that lenders were the champions of receivable sales in the first seven months, with a value of debts taken over by collection agencies of €357.8 mln. Telecom operators assigned outstanding debts worth €20.8 mln in the January-July period, while insurers sold receivables of €5.8 mln.

The spectacular increase in non-performing loans cut the appetite of insurance companies for policies covering the risk of default. At the end of 2008, subscriptions on the loan and collateral insurance segment had lost 55 percent of the premiums posted in 2007. The first quarter of 2009 marked a new decline, of 38.3 percent, with the volume of gross subscribed premiums sliding to €40.5 mln.

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