Debt Collection Belgium
Debt Collection in Belgium can be a challenge for international oriented companies. Successful Debt Recovery in Belgium requires extensive knowledge of the Belgian culture, language and regulations. Doing business and collecting in Flanders, Belgium’s Dutch language province, is somewhat like doing business and collecting in the Netherlands. On the other hand, doing business and collecting in Wallonia, Belgium’s French language province, is more comparable to the payment culture in France. After Germany, Belgium is the Netherlands’ most important commercial partner. It does happen that debtors do not pay on time. What is your best option when faced with default by a Belgian customer?
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It is quite common to send a series of reminders and demands for payment to the debtor. Most claims are collected out of court. It can be possible to work out a payment schedule or friendly settlement with the debtor.
Should your Belgian customer not pay, you can upload your claim to Collections in Europe. We will then recommend some course of action. This is often serving a summons on the debtor or preparing a case file. It will also take account of the case’s chances of success, litigation risk, and the costs and benefits for you as the creditor.
Collections in Europe has a French and a Flemish section and its own office in Antwerp. Our employees have a perfect command both of Dutch and French, as well as English, so that you can discuss your case fruitfully with them, while they can act forcefully to collect in Belgium. Moreover, they are thoroughly familiar with Belgium’s laws, regulations, and culture in both Flanders and Wallonia.
A. Extrajudicial collections
Collections in Europe always send two demand letters. If there is no response from the debtor, there will then be a follow-up telephone call to see why payment is not being made. This telephone call also serves to work out a payment schedule with the debtor. If the debtor still does not pay, Collections in Europe then sends an advisory letter. This informs the client about possible legal measures, the costs involved, litigation risk, and makes a recommendation.
B. Court-ordered collections
When your debtor does not respond to the demands for payment and does not pay, your claim can be collected by court order and your Belgian debtor is then served with a summons.
In Belgium it is possible to institute a European execution order procedure (EEB procedure). This can yield a judgment order that can be executed.
An attachment without a judgment order against the debtor is possible in Belgium, just as in the Netherlands, but this is not often carried out. That is because the costs for this procedure can mount up considerably. And one does always obtain the leave desired. Prejudgment attachment is imposed in Belgium particularly when a large claim is at stake and there is a possibility that the debtor can misappropriate the assets.
Petition for bankruptcy
Bankruptcy proceedings are possible there only after an enforceable judgment is obtained (such as a judgment or an order). Once a judgment order is rendered against the debtor in an action on the merits and all possibilities of execution have been exhausted, a petition for bankruptcy does become possible.
Would you like more information about collections or bringing legal action in Belgium? Fill out the contact form or call us: +44 (0)20 3808 5878.
Click here to upload your claim to us.