Debt collection law firm in The Netherlands
Dutch law firm AMS attorneys in Amsterdam offers the complete range of debt collection and credit management services in The Netherlands. Depending on the amount and the nature of the claim and the debtor, our Dutch debt collection lawyers advise to either start debt collection proceedings, or to file for bankruptcy against your debtor. Furthermore, we can affect a prejudgment seizure on any claim, tangible asset or real estate of your debtor in The Netherlands. We offer our clients the highest professional standards at low costs.
Collecting a debt in The Netherlands
In order to be able to efficiently manage the debt collection process, it is essential to have the file complete. The file should at least contain:
- the agreement (contract) between the creditor and the debtor containing the terms and pricing of the services rendered or the goods delivered;
- copies of the invoices for the services rendered or the delivered goods;
- any communication between the creditor and the debtor regarding the unpaid debt (f.i. reminders sent from the administration of the creditor);
- an extract from the trade register (the Dutch equivalent of the Companies House) of the debtor, in order to avoid that the debt is claimed with the wrong party. It goes without saying that we can provide you with such extract.
The debt collection process usually starts with a demand letter, in which not only the principal sum due, but also all interests and costs (including the extrajudicial collection costs) are claimed, granting the debtor a short but reasonable term to have this amount paid. Should the debtor not have paid its debt timely, we contact the debtor by telephone, indicating that debt collection proceedings will follow immediately. We have learned that in most cases, the debtor pays its dues at this stage.
Litigation in The Netherlands
Depending on the nature of the claim and the debtor, we may advise to start debt collection proceedings. The Dutch legal system offers a range of possibilities for creditors to collect their debts by ways of litigation, such as:
- legal proceedings in order to obtain a judgment (title to enforcement), either through ordinary proceedings (on the merits) or summary proceedings
- legal proceedings can be combined with one or more prejudgment seizures (in some legal systems called conservatory arrest)
- filing a petition for bankruptcy;
- proceedings on the recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment (obtaining an exequatur) in The Netherlands, in order to have that foreign judgment enforced within the Dutch jurisdiction.
Collecting a debt by ways of filing for bankruptcy
We frequently use a petition for bankruptcy as an effective instrument of debt collection. Any creditor – whether he has a judgment or another title to enforcement or not – may file a petition for bankruptcy. De District Court declares the debtor bankrupt/insolvent, if (1) the applying creditor has provisionally shown the existence and the validity of its claim, and (2) it is shown that the debtor has left at least two debtors unpaid.
Filing for bankruptcy offers the debtor a clear choice: either pay what’s due to the applicant, or be declared bankrupt. The idea is that if a debtor can pay, he will pay. Therefore, filing for bankruptcy is a very efficient method of debt collection. The proceedings are quick and efficient, and the creditor avoids time and cost-consuming proceedings.
Specialists in debt collection in The Netherlands
The Dutch lawyers with AMS are considered specialists in debt collection. They offer a sharp and transparent fee structure, and aim to provide high-end professional services. Should you have further questions on debt collection, please contact Hidde Reitsma or Thomas van Vugt.