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Debt Collection in Belgium

Debt Collection in Belgium

Updated on Friday 11th September 2015

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In the context of the economic crisis that affected companies all over the world, Belgium has also experienced difficulties. There weren’t few Belgian companies that have reached critical situations in which they could not pay their debts and ended up in bankruptcy. But before commencing liquidation procedures, companies can reach an agreement with their creditors and start a debt recovery procedure.

The out-of-court debt recovery procedure in Belgium

The first debt recovery attempt will usually be done outside the court of justice in Belgium. There are no special provisions for this stage of the debt collection process, only the fact that reminder letters will be sent to the debtor. In cases of companies, bailiffs can check a debtor’s general situation with the Belgian Companies Register. For financial situations though a fee must be paid.

Debt collection can be conducted by collecting agencies or Belgian attorneys in the early stages. They will contact the debtor by sending dunning letters or by phone actions in order to reach an “amicable” agreement by deciding on a payment plan.

 

Court actions for debt collection in Belgium

There are several court actions that can be fulfilled in a debt recovery process. In Belgium the following debt collection procedures are available:

  • -        claims that do not exceed 1,860 EUR can be subject to conciliation proceedings, summary proceedings and an expedited and simplified procedure;
  • -        debts exceeding the value of 1,860 EUR will be tried by the Commercial Court in Belgium, or according to the European legislation, specifically Reg. 2006/1986 for cross-border claims, an European execution for payment proceeding can be enabled. Another method for debt recovery in Belgium is enabling an European Small Claims proceeding according to the European Reg. 861/2007.
  • -        the action on merits court procedure allows the tribunal to set a schedule for filing the necessary documentation and then the debtor and the creditor can communicate in writing.
  • -        Another, but less common debt collection court action in Belgium is the attachment procedure. This procedure is rarely employed due to its considerably high costs.

The prescription time span for a court action is 10 years.

If you need assistance in litigation cases or details about the debt collection procedure you can contact our lawyers in Belgium.

 

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