If a debtor wrongfully refuses to pay, and does not respond to a summons, judicial demand or notification of default, that debtor can owe, apart from the principal sum and the statutory interest, the extrajudicial collection costs. When does this happen and how are extrajudicial collection costs calculated in The Netherlands?
Dutch courts often hold back in granting collection costs. The Netherlands Association for the Judiciary has issued a report on how courts can best deal with claims for collection costs. This report states, among others, that extrajudicial collection costs can only be claimed “if it has been shown that work has been conducted exceeding more than a few judicial demands, submitting a settlement proposal, gathering simple information or compiling a file in the usual manner”. According to the report, these costs are already included in the order for costs in the ruling. There is no room for additional compensation.
Even if your collection attorney can show that you have incurred costs to collect one or more invoices, this is not the end of the story. The court then has to conduct a so-called double reasonableness test. It has to be found reasonable not only that the creditor sought legal assistance, but also the costs incurred have to be reasonable, in proportion to the size of the claim.
Collection costs are calculated differently in court cases, depending on whether the case is brought before the court or before the subdistrict court. In general, the higher the amount for which payment is claimed, the higher the compensation of collection costs.
Dutch law firm AMS in Amsterdam has years of experience in advising and litigation in extrajudicial collection costs. Our attorneys are strongly committed to their clients’ cases and offer very competitive fees. If you have a debtor in The Netherlands that doesn’t respond to your requests for payment, please be welcome to contact one of our Dutch debt collection lawyers. We are prepared to advise you about the possible ways to collect your debts. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our law firm in Amsterdam.