The butler worried hands touch forehead which has many expenses such as electricity bills, internet bills, mobile phone bills and credit card bills on hand, no money to pay. debts concept - freepik

City of Brno Plans Second “Summer of Grace” To Help Residents Threatened By Debt Collection

From 1 September, applications will open for the city’s initiative to encourage Brno residents to pay off their debts. Photo credit: Freepik

Brno, 18 Aug (BD) – In June, MPs approved a renewal of the “Summer of Grace”. The Act on Special Grounds for Stopping Enforcement will again allow some debtors to repay their outstanding debts to public bodies without interest or penalties. The City of Brno is planning an information campaign to let residents know about the scheme.

The Summer of Grace was conceived by Marek Výborný, a KDU-ČSL MP, and was passed in the last parliamentary term. The opportunity for citizens to use the Summer of Grace to get rid of their debts ended on 28 January. However, MPs have approved a continuation of the initiative, which will apply from 1 September.

“The Summer of Grace applies to debt collection procedures started before 28 October 2021, for debts owed to the government, municipalities, public and municipal companies, health insurance companies, public hospitals, Czech Television or Czech Radio and other public institutions,” explained Výborný. “A debt can be forgiven to a natural person who is not subject to insolvency proceedings and whose enforcement is conducted by a bailiff. Citizens may proceed by sending a registered letter or notifying the judicial officer by email that they wish to benefit from Summer of Grace II. Alternatively, they can inquire about the current amount of the debt. If, from 1 September to 30 November 2022, citizens pay their original debt increased by CZK 1,815 into the bailiff’s account, their debt collection procedures will be stopped.”

The City of Brno is about to launch an extensive information campaign to spread the word about the grace period and to help all interested Brno residents. “With the Summer of Grace II we will give people the chance to finally get out of the debt trap. Thanks to the last event, bailiffs suspended around 42,000 collection procedures nationwide,” said Deputy Mayor Petr Hladík. Last time not all debtors were aware of the opportunity to take advantage of the Summer of Grace, and there was discontent among some citizens, so this year the city intends to intensify the information campaign.

“From the municipality, we registered about 8,800 debts, only a part of which have been paid off,” Hladík added. “We have therefore developed a specific communication plan. We intend to inform all interested debtors in the Municipality of Brno and will also invite municipal companies, municipal tax organisations and municipal districts to do the same.” The information campaign will be conducted through outdoor advertising such as billboards in busy places like shopping centres and hospitals and on web platforms, as well as newspaper advertisements and advertising space on buses. The city also wants food chains, hospitals and health facilities to join the campaign.

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