Do you need the debtor’s address to enforce a debt in Japan?

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Before attempting to enforce a debt in Japan, it is important to confirm the basic information about the debtor.  This includes confirming any address or contact information that may be outdated or incorrect.

Addresses can often be obtained off of documents received from the debtor, such as invoices, receipts or letters.  If the debtor is a company, it may also be possible to find the debtor’s address on the company website.  Contacting the debtor and directly asking for their address can also be used as a last resort.

Once an accurate address for the debtor has been confirmed, the next step is often to send a demand letter.  In many cases, debtors will attempt to run away from their liabilities in the hope that creditors will just give up.  However, upon receipt of a strongly worded letter from an attorney, with the threat of litigation if negotiation breaks down, many debtors will engage with the collection process and respond cooperatively.

In situations where the debtor is unwilling to negotiate, or negotiations do not produce a favorable result, the debtor’s address will be important in determining which court to file litigation in.  Under normal circumstances, the debt collection litigation should be filed in the court closest to the debtor or the debtor’s property.  Therefore, without an accurate address for the debtor it can be difficult to file the lawsuit in the correct court.

If you have any questions about enforcing a debt in Japan, please contact our office to set up a legal consultation.