Group of Specialists on Seeking Legal Solutions to Debt Problems (CJ-S-DEBT)

At their 26th Conference (Helsinki, 7-8 April 2005), the Ministers of Justice of the Council of Europe adopted a Resolution on Seeking Legal Solutions to Debt Problems in a Credit Society, in which they expressed their concern about the problems arising in today’s credit society due to, inter alia, the easy access to credit that can, in some cases, result in the over-indebtedness of households, creating social exclusion of individuals and families. They further stressed that over-indebtedness has become an increasingly widespread problem in their respective countries.

Subsequently the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe entrusted the European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ) with the tasks, inter alia, of analysing the existing legislation and good practices, identifying the difficulties met in finding solutions to debt problems and preparing an appropriate instrument defining legislative and administrative measures as well as considering remedies to prevent over-indebtedness and solve debt problems.

The CDCJ commissioned an expert to prepare a report on Seeking Legal Solutions to Debt Problems in Credit Societies. This Report contains a list of recommendations to member states concerning possible measures that could have been carried out in order to deal with the current situation of over-indebtedness in their countries and take effective control of it in the future.

A Group of Specialists on Seeking Legal Solutions to Debt Problems (CJ-S-DEBT) was also created, under the authority of CDCJ, and given the main task of preparing a draft recommendation on this issue.

The CJ-S-DEBT held three meetings in 2006 (17-19 May, 12-14 September and 13-15 November) to complete the preparation of the draft recommendation on legal solutions to debt problems, which was subsequently approved by CDCJ before being submitted to the Committee of Ministers for adoption. The recommendation (CM/Rec(2007)8) was adopted on 20 June 2007.