Debt Collection Netherlands
Debt Collection in the Netherlands. The Netherlands: a small country that plays a major role in the world economy. Its largest trading partner is neighboring Germany. It also does a great deal of business with Belgium, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, and the United States. South America, Africa, and Asia are its key regions for the import and export of goods.
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It is usual in the Netherlands to first send several demands for payment and to collect out of court.
When your Dutch customer does not meet its payment obligations, and still will not pay even after several demands, you can transfer the matter to Collections in Europe.
Dealing with collections in the Netherlands
A. Extrajudicial collections
Paying late or not at all: it is a frequent occurrence in the Netherlands. Payment frequently is made only after multiple reminders or demands have been sent. Extrajudicial collections are often the first resort when there are unpaid claims. Collections cases are handled by collections lawyers, process servers and court bailiffs, and by collections agencies. The most obvious partner for business-to-business claims are the collections lawyers because they can litigate beyond the €25,000.00 limit. They can also petition a debtor’s bankruptcy. Petitioning for bankruptcy is a collections tool much used in the Netherlands.
B. Court-ordered collections
Interim relief proceedings
When the creditor itself falls into several financial problems, it can initiate interim relief proceedings in a collections case. The court’s interim relief proceedings judge is asked to provide injunctive relief. When both parties comply with the court’s judgment, which generally is the case, there need be no action on the merits.
Action on the merits
In addition to a bankruptcy petition, the debtor can also be served a summons. The debtor gets six weeks to respond to the summons. This term can be extended by another six weeks. Oral arguments will then be held three to four months later – although in practice this is often six, seven, or even eight months later. A summons is generally allowed only for disputed claims. When both parties cannot reach agreement during oral arguments litigation will proceed further. Witness may be called and heard. These proceedings can take between twelve and eighteen months.
Advice about Debt Collection in the Netherlands
Would you like more information about collections or bringing legal action in the Netherlands? Fill out the contact form or call us: +44 (0)20 3808 5878.
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See also: Debt Collection Netherlands on the website of Bierens Debt Recovery Lawyers.
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