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In Finland enforcement is most often a matter of collecting judgment debts. It is thus closely linked to court proceedings. In the proceedings, the validity of the creditor’s claim is investigated and a payment liability ordered on the debtor. If the judgment is not heeded voluntarily, it is carried out compulsorily, by way of enforcement. Some receivables, such as taxes and certain insurance premiums, can be enforced even in the absence of a judgment.

Also criminal sanctions of a monetary nature, such as fines and summary penal fees, are collected by way of enforcement. In addition, the enforcement authorities are charged with the carrying out of evictions, court-ordered asset seizures and court orders on child custody and right of access.

The enforcement authorities are to protect the interests of both creditors and debtors. The collection methods used in enforcement include the sending of collection letters, the garnishment of wages and salaries, and the distraint of assets.

The enforcement authorities aim for a voluntary payment after the sending of a collection letter. If no payment is forthcoming, wages, salaries, pensions or business income is garnished or assets distrained. Distrained assets may be sold by compulsory sale.