Requesting enforcement

The enforcement request is filed in writing or electronically with the enforcement authority of the district where the debtor is located. The request will, however, be admitted also if delivered to an enforcement authority that is not competent in the matter. In this event, the request will be forwarded ex officio to the competent enforcement authority. If there are several debtors and they reside in different localities, only one request to one of the enforcement authority is required.

An application for enforcement may be submitted through the judicial administration’s electronic services, if the judgment has been filed in the register of judgments. Applications for the enforcement of directly distrainable receivables may also be submitted via the electronic service after the applicant has registered as an online applicant.

Petitioners can also file enforcement requests online through the enforcement database if the National Administrative Office for Enforcement has given a permission for it.

The request must indicate:

• the creditor’s name, identity number or Business ID, address and bank account number

• the debtor’s name and address

• the particulars of the debt (amount, date from which interest accrues etc.)

• if there are several debtors liable for the same debt, directions as to against whom the enforcement is sought

• if there is someone else not mentioned in the ground for enforcement who is liable for the same debt (e.g. a guarantor against whom there is no judgment debt), the request must indicate whether the debt has expired as against the joint debtor or whether the joint debtor has in some other manner been released from liability.

In addition, it is useful to include the following information in the request:

• if known, information on the debtor’s personal identification number, telephone number, assets and income,

• the creditor’s telephone number,

• any other information that can be of use in enforcement.

The written enforcement request must be signed. The procedure in the enforcement of taxes and public charges differs in some details from the enforcement of judgment debts.

Downloadable enforcement request form (PDF, in Finnish). Request forms are available also in most enforcement districts.

Matters requiring a judgment or court order

A copy of the court decision or other ground for enforcement is to be attached to the enforcement request. When necessary the bailiff can request the applicant to deliver the ground for enforcement in the original. However, court decisions do not have to be attached to enforcement requests if they have been published online in the Electronic Register of Court Deciocions (online customer service for the judicial administration).

If enforcement has been sought on the basis of the same judgment or court order on an earlier occasion, the document need not be attached to the later enforcement request. In this event, it is enough that the document is referred to. However, if another ground for enforcement than a court judgement is used, the document shall be attached to the request.

If the debt is based on a negotiable promissory note, the note must be attached to the request in the original. Child support payments may be enforced also on the basis of a settlement verified by the municipal social welfare board. The settlement must be attached to the request in the original.

In general, enforcement measures may be undertaken already on the basis of a District Court judgment, even if this has been subjected to appeal. Normally, the measures are not completed, however, until the judgment has become final (res judicata). However, funds accrued by distraint can be released to the creditor, if the creditor offers appropriate security for the repayment of the funds if necessary. Failing this, the funds are released to the creditor only after the judgment has become final.

The distrainee may offer security and thereby avoid a distraint based on a judgment of a lower court that is not yet final. The security can be in the form of a pledge or a personal guarantee.

The creditor may, with certain exceptions, have an attorney to file the enforcement request. The attorney must attach a power of attorney, signed by the creditor, to the request. If the funds accrued in enforcement are to be released to the attorney, this must be specifically stated in the power of attorney (detailed power of attorney).

When a debt is subject to enforcement, the creditor must notify the enforcement authority of any payments towards the debt received otherwise than by enforcement.

Enforcement of public charges

Taxes and other governmental charges or fees are directly distrainable, which means they can be collected by way of enforcement without a judgment or other grounds for enforcement. Another receivable under public law or a comparable receivable can be enforced in the absence of a judgment or court order, if there is a specific statutory provision to this effect.

The enforcement of taxes and public charges differs in some particulars from the enforcement of private receivables. The main differences are:

• No attorney can be used in the filing of the request.

• Enforcement measures can normally be completed even if the tax or charge has been subjected to appeal. The appellate authority can, however, prohibit or stay the enforcement.

When a debt is subject to enforcement, the creditor must notify the enforcement officer of any payments towards the debt received otherwise than by enforcement.

Contact details for enforcement officers


Published 10.9.2019
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