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 Foreign Exchange Risk

Foreign exchange is a risk that is often overlooked by creditors who wish to enter, grow and succeed in the global market place.

Depending on whether the sale is denominated in the buyer's or seller's currency (or even a third country’s currency), the buyer or seller may incur additional costs if the value of the two currencies change between the time the goods are sold and the time the goods are paid. For this reason, a decision to accept payment in a foreign currency can harm the seller's profit margin.

When international creditors (exporters and multinational companies) cannot collect their account amicably and are forced to proceed with litigation against their overseas customer, they should give careful consideration to the rate of exchange to ensure that the amount to be obtained from the debtor is equivalent to the amount of the debt in the currency of the credit grantor’s country insofar as possible.

If, for example, a judgment is obtained in an action filed in U.S. dollars, state law can be used to determine the exchange rate of the amount actually payable by the judgment debtor. However, the exchange rate may be determined as of the date of the contract, the filing date of the action, the judgment date or the payment date of the judgment. A few states in the U.S. have enacted the Uniform Foreign Claims Act to deal with the conversion from U.S. dollars to local currency but this may not always be a good way to hedge against the risk of a foreign exchange currency loss.

Depending upon the size of the judgment and the ultimate ability of the debtor to pay, creditors interested in hedging against a possible foreign exchange currency loss should be aware that this is a complex situation which requires a degree of expertise and sound advice from an expert, possibly someone working in the international department of the creditor's bank.

For more information about collection of international debt in the U.S., please review our International Guide.

Thomas W. Hamilton


 Industry News


Migrating from ISO 27001:2005 to 2013
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Year-over-year bankruptcy filings continue to decline
ACA International
Total U.S bankruptcy filings decreased 12 percent in October 2014 from October of last year. However, the month-to-month bankruptcy filings from September to October did increase, according to data provided to the American Bankruptcy Institute by Epiq Systems Inc. Bankruptcy filings totaled 78,957 in October 2014, down from the October 2013 total of 89,948.
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CFPB supervision report highlights risky practices in student loan servicing
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently issued a report highlighting illegal actions uncovered by the Bureau’s supervision of the student loan servicing market.
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How does the FLSA affect how employees are paid?
Inside Counsel
The payment of overtime wages may be the area of greatest concern to most employers.
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NCO group parent closes on sale of US 3rd-party collection unit
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Expert Global Solutions (EGS), parent company of ARM giant NCO Group, announced the closing of a deal that sold Transworld Systems and other debt collection units to a private equity firm.
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Enforceability of electronic signatures: E-Sign Act
Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co., LPA
In 2000, in order to address concern whether electronic contracts can be enforceable and to provide procedures for keeping and retaining electronic records, disclosures and signatures, Congress enacted the Federal Electronic Signature in Global and National Commerce Act (E-Sign).
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