A Reliable Solution for Debt Collection in Brazil
At HMH Legal, our lawyers collect your outstanding debt in Brazil quickly, without incurring court and legal fees.
20+ years’ experience, collect approach by Brazilian lawyers
No Win, No Fee
Brazil debt collection
S.M.A.R.T. collection process
for collecting debt in Brazil
Does debt collection in Brazil seem like a waste of time?
At HMH Legal, we know you want to confidently collect your commercial debt in Brazil, but at the end of the day, it feels like debtors can simply walk away without paying, while you are powerless to stop them from abroad.
- Brazil’s debt collection environment is hard, due to Brazil’s unique culture.
- The Brazilian legal system is complex and courts in Brazil are slow and inefficient.
- Foreign lawyers don’t fully understand Brazilian culture and Brazil’s unique legal system.
- In the end, it feels like debtors can simply walk away without paying and honoring their debt.
If you have an outstanding debt for collection in Brazil, you shouldn’t feel powerless. Our partner lawyers in Brazil can help collect your debt fast, without spending thousands of dollars in court and legal fees.
We know how important successful
debt collection is for your business.
That’s why our law firm’s singular focus is giving international businesses a reliable means of collecting debt in Brazil.
HMH Legal partners with savvy pre-legal collectors as well as experienced litigation lawyers in Brazil to assist creditors in collecting debt.
"I selected HMH Legal over other firms because I had prior knowledge of them through industry conferences in the USA over the years, and I felt comfortable reaching out to them. What surprised me the most was how quickly they got a response from the debtor. I was really surprised because our debtor (former client) was blowing me off, refusing to respond to any of our emails or phone calls."
“HMH Legal always made us feel confident that we would get our money back, despite the inefficiencies and complexities of Mexican courts, in addition to an elusive debtor with his team of lawyers trying desperately to avoid paying their debt. HMH Legal delivered at the end, with a full recovery exceeding $800,000 USD.”
“Dear Romelio. Finally, we have received the last payment from x-Debtor. It has been a real good effort from you in helping us retrieve this amount from them. We do appreciate it so much. Your work has been extremely good, you have been patient, watchful and careful, gentle but firm and your strategy was excellent, giving out whenever needed and holding on when situation warranted. You could bring the pressure and sustain it over the years on x-Debtor and did a crucial job during the final stages to take it to a good conclusion, which helped both parties. You have been true to your word and faithful and sincere to your job, which we can vouch for anyone. Thank you so much Romelio for your excellent work. The Board congratulates and sends its appreciation.”
Why HMH Legal for debt collection in Brazil?
Our partner lawyers are located in Brazil. They will immediately visit the debtor to demand payment and start negotiations.
When amicable collection efforts are unsuccessful, we bring your claim to court through our experienced team of litigation lawyers.
Our approach to debt collection in Brazil is more efficient and effective than aggressive methods, preserving business relationships for the future.
Debt Collection Lawyers
Our lawyers have been doing debt collection in Brazil for 25+ years, with focus on international claims.
Focus on Creditors
We focus exclusively on protecting creditors, by securing trade credit and collecting debt.
Contingency Fee Model
Collect unpaid money with no hidden costs or undue risk. You don't pay any fees if we don't collect.
No Collection — No Fee
HMH Legal’s “SMART”
Debt Collection Process
Submit claim for collection with forwarding letter
Mitigate risk by review of documents, legal remedies available, limitation period, etc.
Assess claim and investigate debtor to determine reservation point from BATNA, and plan of action
Reach out to debtor through amicable and prompt collection efforts
Target claims that merit legal action and advice clients accordingly
HMH Legal is a law firm that partners with lawyers that focus exclusively on protecting creditors
At HMH Legal, we know you want to feel confident about doing business in Brazil. This requires a reliable solution for protecting you as a creditor.
Most international businesses have two challenges with selling on credit to Brazilian companies:
- Proceeding with business in Brazil without a proven plan or a plan at all, risking everything at the hands of a dishonest or incapable customer.
- When there’s outstanding debt that needs to be collected, many partner with unproven firms who have no legal expertise, risking good claims and incurring losses.
That’s why, HMH Legal is a law firm that focuses exclusively on the protection of creditors.
Following our success in protecting creditors in Mexico, for the past 10+ years we have focused on creating solid partnerships in Latin America to assist our clients in the region. In Brazil, we have partnered with the firm of Aronis Advogados, who fully shares our mindset, work ethic, and philosophy of full creditor protection. This has allowed HMH Legal to assist international companies confidently do business in Brazil by collecting outstanding debts amicably and through the courts.
If you are doing business in Brazil or trying to sell to the Brazilian market, or have outstanding debt to collect in Brazil, you shouldn’t feel powerless. We can assist and give you ease of mind by securing your transactions and collecting your debt.
Romelio Hernández, Lawyer, President of HMH Legal
Our office in Brazil.
Rua Afonso Braz, 579, 12º andar – conj. 125
Vila Nova Conceição São Paulo-SP-Brasil
+55 (11) 3053-3036
+1 (619) 567-9750
Debt Collection in Brazil
The Rule of Law Index 2021 from the World Justice Project has ranked Brazil #75 out of 139 countries and jurisdictions in the world, as it pertains to civil justice. Within the region, it ranks #17 out of 32 countries, which is just above average. According to the Guide on Doing Business 2020 from the World Bank, Brazil ranks #58 out of 190 countries surveyed, regarding its indicator on enforcement of contracts. This indicator measures the time and cost for resolving a commercial dispute through a local first-instance court, and the quality of judicial processes index, evaluating whether each country has adopted a series of good practices that promote quality and efficiency in the court system. (Thus, the indicator does not account for an appeal process or petition for review through the “mandado de segurança”, as well as execution, which would add significant time for a creditor to achieve its goal of enforcing its contract.) According to this indicator, in Brazil it takes 801 days to enforce a contract (through first-instance), and litigation costs around 22% of the claim value. The time it takes to enforce a contract in Brazil should be compared to the average time it takes in the region (Latin America and Caribbean), which is 774.2 days. As such, the performance of Brazilian courts is just below average.
This data should be compared with the most recent data from the Subnational Guide on Doing Business in Brazil 2021, which presents a comparative analysis of the regulatory environment for doing business in 27 locations across Brazil, including the indicator of enforcing contracts. In this study, the World Bank concluded that resolving a commercial dispute in Brazil’s civil courts takes on average 32 months (more than 960 days) and costs 27.2% of the claim value. This Guide provides information on the performance of courts in specific jurisdictions, which shows best performances (in terms of shorter timeframes) in places such as Sergipe, Federal District (Brasilia), and São Paulo, ranked #1, #2, and #3 in the country, respectively, and worst places like Espírito Santo, Santa Catarina, and Pernambuco, ranked at the bottom at #27, #26, and #25, respectively.
Any strategy for litigation in Brazil for collecting debt or enforcing contracts should be analyzed and decided jointly with your local lawyer or law firm, who can better inform about current practices of local courts in different places across Brazil, as well as efficiency and effectiveness. Creditors should consider effectiveness and efficiency of such local courts in their debt collection efforts and especially, while negotiating and settling such claims.
For debt collection claims in Brazil you simply proceed to submit your claim through our online form. For all other matters (or to discuss debt collection as well) you can speak with one of our lawyers about your case, through a free consultation. The meeting will be attended by one of our experienced litigation lawyers in Brazil who will respond to all of your questions. After our consultation, we will provide a quote, along with services or placement letter to move forward.
Commercial claims are very different than consumer claims, and merit different treatment. A commercial claim arises out of business-to-business (B2B) contracts or transactions. These are few and worth thousands of dollars. Debtors are usually other companies. Consumer claims usually involve a multitude of small amount claims against individual consumers. As such, the approach by the collection agency or firm is key for success as treatment of a commercial claim is complex, technical, and difficult. If you are hiring a debt collection firm to pursue collection of your debt in Brazil, you must make sure that the firm has the following qualities:
- Physical presence. Your collection firm must have a physical presence in Brazil. They should immediately visit the debtor and let him know that you are there. This is recommended also for verifying your debtor’s actual presence and to confirm his legal and financial situation. This will also signal to the debtor that legal action is imminent. A collection firm making phone calls from far away (from an actual “call-center”) will simply not convey a real threat to a debtor in Brazil, who will not take things seriously.
Law Firm. Your claim should not be handled by unqualified individuals or firms who do not understand the culture and legal environment in Brazil, including creditor liabilities out of debt collection efforts. Lawyers will always provide the necessary leverage in tough negotiations, during debt collection in Brazil.
- Debt Collection Lawyers. Your lawyer should be familiar and comfortable with debt collection in Brazil. Debt collection requires the art and skills of persuasion, negotiation, and sales, and your lawyer should command and enjoy these traits, being willing to talk amicably to the debtor on your behalf. You do not want a corporate lawyer hiding behind a desk and charging you by the hour. You want someone who will handle your collection claim enthusiastically and knock on your debtors’ doors right away.
- Litigation. You should retain a law firm with experience and success in litigation. Only a litigation lawyer can realistically assess your collection claim for litigation and advise you properly about the strengths and weaknesses of your case, all important in determining your “reservation point” based on your BATNA (“Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement”), which is key for negotiation. A litigation lawyer will also be ready to bring your case to court immediately, should that action be required.
- Contingency Fees. Your collection firm should offer to work exclusively on contingency fees (no win, no fee), which requires them to share the risk and cost of pursuing your debt collection claim. You need a true partner and not a lofty law firm that will charge you by the hour with the potential of spending thousands of dollars with no recovery in sight.
- Ethical Conduct. Your collection firm must be mindful of the ethical and legal regulations in Brazil pertaining to debt collection and should provide services under a strict compliance policy. This will include all legal regulations, including general liability principles of lenders and creditors for wrongful conduct, as well as criminal responsibility for acts that are potentially threatening to the debtor.
Yes, there is a very comprehensive treatment and regulation of debt collection practices in Brazil, although these are scattered through bodies of law, including the Civil Code, the Criminal Code, and Consumer Protection Code. In general, what these provisions and regulations prevent is excessive and illegal debt collection practices. For instance, debt collection calls are allowed but cannot be made at any time (such as at night or during the weekends), or multiple times a day. In essence, debt collection calls during the week from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM (local time) would be ok, with limited hours on Saturday in some jurisdictions (like São Paulo, until 2:00 PM). What these regulations try to prevent is breaking the peace of the debtor or embarrassing him. Some important conducts that are specifically addressed and prohibited by the Consumer Protection Code in Brazil (articles 42, 42-A, and 71), are the following:
- Debtors (“defaulting consumers”) cannot be exposed to ridicule, nor subject to any type of embarrassment or threat.
- Debtors who are charged with an undue amount are entitled to repayment of double the amount paid in excess, plus monetary correction (inflation assessment) and legal interest, unless there is a justifiable mistake, that is, that there is no bad faith or guilt in the creditor’s conduct.
- Debtors should be presented with documents or information that include the name, address, and Brazil’s tax identification number, namely, their registration number in the Individual Taxpayer Registry – CPF or in the National Legal Entity Registry – CNPJ of the creditor. For foreign creditors, this would mean their tax identification number from his own country.
- While trying to collect a debt it is considered a crime to use threats, coercion, physical or moral pressure, the use of false, incorrect or misleading statements, or conducting any other action that unjustifiably exposes the debtor to ridicule or interferes with his work, rest or leisure. Such conduct carries a penalty of jail from three months to one year, in addition to a fine.
Making sales on credit in Mexico feels like too big of a risk. Our law firm gives you a reliable solution for debt collection and helps you prevent further issues so you can engage the market with confidence.