Recovering due payments
Businesses or individuals that struggle financially may have problems with honoring their payments. In the current economic situation, that has put some companies in difficulty, an investor in the Netherlands could deal with situations in which clients or collaborators fail to pay their invoices.
Our Dutch lawyers
specialized in debt collection in the Netherlands
can help you recover any outstanding debts from your collaborators.
The debt collection procedure in the Netherlands
There are two ways to initiate debt recovery: either by drawing up a bankruptcy application for the debtor or by collecting the debts with the help of a court order. The debt collection procedure starts with the amicable phase: the debt collector will try to negotiate with the debtor and find a convenient solution for both parties.
The debt collection starts by analyzing all the existing information about the debtor. The debt collecting agent will need full disclosure on information like the debtor’s identification details, its collaboration with the client as proven by any documents that prove the relationship between the two parties (invoices, agreements and any other documents).
The amicable phase starts with a demand letter (summons) sent to the debtor. He or she will have an agreed amount of time to give a response and if the debtor cannon agree with the agent after two summons have been issued, then it may be necessary to commence court proceedings.
Collecting debts by court order in the Netherlands
If the amicable phase has failed, the other legal measures need to be taken into consideration. According to Dutch law, there are certain ways in which creditors can legally collect their debts:
- by obtaining a title of enforcement (through ordinary proceedings, summary proceedings or an exequatur);
- by making a conservatory arrest or by using other legal methods of enforcement.
Summary proceedings are usually considered in those cases in which the debtor cannot give any justifiable reasons not to pay his debts. The court hearings take place at the Dutch District Court. The debtor is summoned by a bailiff and the entire procedure will usually take about two weeks.
Ordinary proceedings can last more than summary proceedings but are also held at the Dutch District Court. The plaintiff can file for a petition for bankruptcy, but insolvency can only be declared by court. At least two creditors must make claims against the same debtor so that this type of petition can be taken into consideration.