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Brazil´s Bill on Abuse of Authority and the Online Bank Account Attachments

Flávia Erika Shibata

A local Court of Justice in the countryside of Paraná State, Brazil, has recently passed an act

communicating that, from January 2020 onward, it will no longer issue any order requesting

online bank accounts attachments. The decision was based, amongst other considerations, on

the Federal Law no. 13.869/2019 (Bill on Abuse of Authority), issued on September 5 th , 2019,

that will enter into force in January 2020.

According to the article 36 th of the Bill on Abuse of Authority, it constitutes a criminal offence

the order of unavailability of financial assets in amounts that substantially exceed the

estimated amount for the satisfaction of the creditor´s debt and despite the party

demonstrates the excessiveness of the measure, the authority does not issue a motion to quash

the excess.

The online bank attachment is requested by the creditor in the litigation procedure. Usually,

the creditor pleas the judge for an issuance of an online bank attachment of a certain amount.

The judge, in his turn, sends the Central Bank an order to seize the bank accounts under the

titularity of the debtor. Once the order is received, the Central Bank sends a print with the

information of the bank account numbers under the titularity of the debtor, the information

on the cash balance (whether positive or negative) and, if there is any, the amount attached. 

In cases the debtor has the titularity of several bank accounts with positive balance, the same

amount requested by the creditor is seized in all those bank accounts.

Only after all those procedures take place that the judge learns about the bank accounts

attached and will be able to confer if there is any with sufficient balance to cover the amount

litigated, moving a motion to quash the other accounts afterwards. Needless to say, it is a

slowly procedure for those who have their bank accounts seized.

Therefore, depending on the interpretation and applicability of the aforesaid bill by the judges,

it might be possible to mitigate the risks involved in the decisions, responding to the judicial

order of online bank attachments with much more care without impairing the satisfaction of

the creditor to have the credit duly paid.

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