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Concepts and definitions

Applicant for enforcement

Applicant refers to a person who has applied for enforcement in order to recover a receivable. A receivable refers to the capital established in the grounds for enforcement, the interest to be calculated on the capital and the costs with interest judged in the grounds for enforcement. The applicant for enforcement can be a natural or legal person.

Debtor in enforcement

Debtor in enforcement refers to the respondent in the enforcement of a payment obligation. The debtor in enforcement can be a natural or legal person.

Pendency of an enforcement matter

An enforcement matter becomes pending when the enforcement application arrives at the local enforcement authority or in the Enforcement Information System. When the enforcement has arrived at the enforcement authority the authority must notify the debtor of the pendency without delay.

The pendency of an enforcement matter relating to a payment liability ends when the bailiff remits the collected funds (closing remittance). If full payment has not been collected for the receivable (impediment for lack of means) or if the whereabouts of the debtor are unknown (impediment of lack of means and unknown whereabouts), a certificate to this effect must be issued to the applicant. The pendency of the enforcement matter ends on the date of issue of the impediment certificate. When bankruptcy proceedings are initiated, an enforcement matter relating to a payment liability that cannot be enforced because of the bankruptcy remains pending at most for six months following the initiation of the bankruptcy proceedings.

Private receivables in enforcement matters

Private receivables are receivables based on agreements, commitments or other liabilities under private law. Examples of these include bank loans, other credits, purchase money claims, fees or payments for services and work performances, insurance premiums, guarantee liabilities and indemnity liabilities.

Public receivables in enforcement matters

Public receivables are receivables of municipalities and other public corporations. Examples of these include charges for health care, children's day care and fees for the performances of municipal authorities, such as permits, registrations, inspections and control.

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Enforcement matters [e-publication].
Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 1.3.2024].
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