Debt collection in The Netherlands

How to collect a debt in The Netherlands? Pressure by a Dutch lawyer will help to force the debtor to pay. Dutch Law firm AMS in Amsterdam is experienced in collecting debts for international companies and is willing to assist you to enforce payment. Dutch lawyer Thomas van Vugt, specialized in debt collection, explains.

Debt recovery by Amsterdam based law firm

If a debtor in The Netherlands refuses to pay outstanding invoices or other kind of debts, it is useful to use a local law firm to exert pressure on the debtor. A Dutch attorney usually begins with a quick scan about the debtor’s company and its assets The assets of a Dutch company reflect the value of all that the company possesses
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. The next step will be written summons and payment requests through phone calls. If this doesn’t push the debtor enough to pay its debt or to establish a settlement, legal steps have to be considered.

Provisional measures: attachment on assets

In The Netherlands it is relatively easy to obtain permission from the court to levy a prejudgment attachment. This permission can be obtained by an attorney by filing a petition with the court. The judge will usually not order a hearing and will give a decision without having heard the debtor’s possible objections. The petition will usually be decided on within a few days. After the permission has been granted, the creditor’s attorney will ask the bailiff to levy the attachment. The attachment will prevent that the debtor will frustrate recovery. Moreover it will put pressure on the debtor. The court will grant the permission for a pre-judgment attachment only under the condition that the main proceedings will be instituted within a certain period of time. In 2011 it has become slightly more difficult to obtain permission for a pre-judgment attachment, but it is still a useful and common way to put pressure on the debtor.

Interlocutory proceedings or main proceedings?

A creditor can choose between different kinds of proceedings to collect a claim. Main proceedings can be started at a District Court. Usually the court of the debtor’s district will have to be chosen. A Dutch attorney may initiate legal proceedings at all District Courts in The Netherlands; he doesn’t have to be associated with the local bar association of the court he initiates legal proceedings with. If a debtor appears in the proceedings and files for defense, the main proceedings will usually take at least a year. Therefore our attorneys sometimes advice to start interlocutory proceedings instead. Interlocutory proceedings (also called preliminary relief proceedings) are usually finished within two months. Especially undisputed claims are usually advised to collect through such quick proceedings.

Dutch law firm specialized in debt collection

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 professional debt collection lawyers.