In Israel, the governmental organ in charge of debt collection including child support is called in Hebrew: Otsaa La Foal.
Receiving a “green notice” (called: “Azaara” in Hebrew) from the “Otsaa La Foal” office:
This piece of paper could have a tremendous impact in your life and not for the better.
This notice (“Azaara”) is a formal legal notice and it means you owe money to someone that has opened a case against you.
Take care of this matter as soon as possible and no more than a few days. Procrastinating could cost you dearly in the future.
It is not possible to be served the “green paper” if you do not owe money to someone, or you are not behind in your payments to some company (such as cable TV, cell phones, etc.) or your check has not bounced or you didn’t pay the municipality, etc. Something must be wrong and you must have some kind of debt even if you are not fully aware of it.
Look at these rules and try to work out a solution based on them:
Rule number 1:
Do not blame anyone else. It is your debt, like it or not, and don’t expect miracles.
Debts will not fade away! They may “hide” for a while but they will always come back and find you. It could take weeks, months or even years, but they will be there waiting to be taken care of, with no time limitations. The amount will always be growing and it will never shrink.
Rule number 2:
It does not matter at all if you were served or not! It does not help if you are never home, and it will not help if you refuse to sign the notice. 30 days after you receive the “Azaara”, the owner of the debt can impose all sorts of limitations on you – including a ban on leaving Israel (Departure from Israel Prohibition Order) and many other unpleasant limitations.
Rule number 3:
You will not have an automatic “right to defend yourself in court”. All you can do is ask permission from the court to defend yourself and it will not be automatically granted to you just because you asked for it.
You must show the Judge you have a “reasonable chance” to defend yourself and win or your request will be denied. The problem is that generally you do not really have a good defense; therefore, even if the defense is granted to you but you end up losing the case – it will cost you much more now!
Rule number 4:
The amount on the green paper is not final! This is the “opening amount”, the “starting sum”. The final amount will include: Lawyer’s fees, more interest and other expenses. The interest is one of the highest in the country and it is legal.
Rule number 5:
If you know you have an outstanding debt, do not wait – avoid the Otsaa La Foal at any cost. Instead of waiting to be served (sued) try to compromise before or sue the other side right way
Rule number 6:
Never cancel a “hora’at keva” or a check (a check can and should be canceled if it was stolen from you or the signature forged or if after consulting with a lawyer you are advised to do so).
Cancelling a check, will complicate matters and cost you much more.
Rule number 7:
Do not try to fight the entire country or the legal system and of course do not try to enforce the consumer’s rights by not paying your debts. This will not succeed and you will achieve absolutely nothing.
Rule number 8:
Do not be tempted by “friend’s help and advice”. Ask an expert before you make a decision.
Our law firm specializes in all procedures regarding Otsaa La Foal – either when a client is an owner of the debt or a debtor.
Please contact us for more information.
This post is also available in: Português (Portuguese (Brazil))