I have received a letter from the lawyer of a collections agency in Italy, demanding I pay a huge sum of money for a traffic violation from about 3-4 years ago.

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I have researched this and it seems many are affected, but most sources say not to pay it, as it is not legal for official fines to go directly to private collectors, especially since there is a process in the EU of dealing with these things.

How can I handle this best?

It seems traffic violations expire in 5 years in Italy, can I take advantage of that?

The letter links to nlawyer and is by Studio Legale Avv. Guilia Brizzi.

There is no proof attached, no mention what I did wrong and where, only a claim that this is their second letter and demand to pay about 500€.

Should I respond to them? Aren't there laws in the EU preventing exorbitant fees for collections?

Should I demand proof they send me the first letter at all?

The letter doesn't mention a case number or the police at all. How do I know there is even a police case about it?

I am in Bulgaria.

  • 4
    Where you even in Italy when the traffic violation took place?
    – Willeke
    Commented May 22 at 12:02
  • The email address is suspicious, and hiding information with "this is the second mail" is also suspicious, and I'm not sure they use lawyer for such things. How should you pay? (just to verify about scams). In any case, it is known that some cities and municipalities (not the largest one) try with unconventional methods: if you pay, they get the money, else they do not pursuit things). Commented May 22 at 12:20
  • 1
    A quick googling revealed that N-Lawyers is a part of Nivi (nivi.it) which does seem legit and yes it's a debt collecting agency. But the request you received might have been from a scammer impersonating that agency. In any case, I wouldn't pay anything without seeing a formal description of what I did wrong (among other things). Commented May 22 at 12:29
  • The email address seems legit (but they have two email address, and updating both on website is too complex for a lawyer employee), and from studiolegalegiuliabrizzi.com/crediti.html it seems they works for municipalities. PS: the 5 years should be valid just until there is a final decision. Money claim after that is possible (and there are further time: you can protest the payment options or you already did, but not more the reason. OTOH if you didn't get the mail it doesn't matter, and you should have a mail with receipt else.. Commented May 22 at 12:29
  • Seems to be based in Florence. (Studio Legale Avv. Guilia Brizzi) Accourding to this german site, only private fines may demanded by a collections agency. Official traffic fines must go through official channels. A.D.A.C: Bußgeldverfahren in Italien: Das gilt bei Strafzetteln und Bußgeldern (in German) Commented May 22 at 12:49

1 Answer 1


It is impossible to give you a good advise without knowing what exactly the claim is for. I would at least assume that this is not a scam and contact the agency to get an itemization of the claim.

Studio Legale is among other things also enforcing claims from Aspi, the Italian motorway operator for outstanding toll. I have no experience with Bulgaria, but Italian claims for regular traffic violations are in other EU countries sent directly from the Italian authorities. I would therefore at first assume that we are talking about an outstanding toll payment here. What many foreigners do not know is that if the toll booths are not staffed (barrier open), malfunctioning or card payments fail, the toll is still due and the driver must pay by other means later. If you don't pay within 15 days, additional fees start to pile up and could reach significant amounts when your case has escalated to Studio Legale. If it is a toll claim, it is a civil claim, which can be legally enforced in all EU countries.

  • It says it is a traffic violation. I think I will take my chances, usually Bulgaria is not the easiest place to collect money from. Commented May 23 at 15:08
  • @user1721135 That is one option, but you must also consider that if you are going back to Italy in the next roundabout 10 years, the claim may still be enforceable there if it is a civil claim. Commented May 23 at 15:47
  • I think it expires in 5 years or does expiration stop when they send you a letter? Commented May 23 at 21:13
  • @user1721135 The statute of limitation for a civil claim in Italy is 10 years. I am not sure if communication with the offender interrupts the period, but it is not impossible. Commented May 24 at 9:28

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