Bankruptcy Petition in the Netherlands
The Dutch bankruptcy petition is one of the most effective means of debt collection in the Netherlands. For the use of the bankruptcy petition as a means of debt collection, the aim is not to declare your debtor bankrupt. Instead, it is an effective method to pressurise your debtor to pay. If your debtor has several unpaid claims from multiple creditors, then our Dutch lawyers can apply for this procedure on your behalf.
The Dutch bankruptcy petition as a means of debt collection
It is important to note that in the Dutch legal system, there is a difference between applying to the bankruptcy petition and actually proceeding with the process. When the bankruptcy petition is used as a means of debt collection, the creditor only applies for the procedure. This will then pressurise your debtor to pay.
Unlike the Netherlands, many international legal systems do not recognise this as a valid debt collection procedure. For example, if the procedure were to be requested in Germany, France, Poland or another European country, the court will reject it.
In the Netherlands, it is considered as the most effective debt collection method against your Dutch debtor for the following reasons:
- Fast/swift procedure: results can be achieved within weeks
- Highly effective: most debtors will pay
- Cost-effective: the procedure is much cheaper compared to other civil procedures.
Our debt collection procedure always starts in the pre-legal debt recovery phase. This means that we contact your debtor by post and phone. If this has no effect, then we can apply for the bankruptcy petition on your behalf as follows:
- A Dutch lawyer will draft a petition and submit it to the Dutch court. This petition states that your debtor has not paid your invoice and that there are multiple creditors awaiting payment. Therefore, your debtor should be declared bankrupt.
- The court will decide within 4 weeks if a hearing will be needed.
- If so, then the debtor will be requested to appear in court, while your lawyer represents you in court on your behalf. The oral hearing usually lasts no longer than 5 minutes.
- If your debtor negotiates the payment of the invoice, then the case can be postponed up to a maximum of 8 weeks.
- Until the debtor has officially been declared bankrupt, your debtor still has the opportunity to pay the outstanding invoice. If your debtor pays the invoice, then the bankruptcy petition will be withdrawn.
Bankruptcy petition as an international creditor
As an international creditor with a debt collection case in the Netherlands, you may also apply for this procedure if Dutch law is applicable. Our Dutch debt collection specialists and lawyers can apply for the bankruptcy petition on your behalf. They have the knowledge and experience and have been using the bankruptcy petition for years to retrieve outstanding claims in the Netherlands. Moreover, they speak the language fluently, are aware of the business customs, and are fully aware of the rules and regulations of the Dutch legal system.
- Your debtor has not paid your invoice
- Your debtor has at least two other creditors
- Your company is one of the creditors filing for bankruptcy.
On average, the bankruptcy petition in the Netherlands is processed with 4 weeks. After a hearing in a Dutch court, a verdict is made within 4 weeks. If your debtor pays the invoice in installments, then the duration may last a maximum of 8 weeks.
Do I need a lawyer to apply for the bankruptcy petition?
If your Dutch debtor refuses to pay, then you can choose to proceed with the bankruptcy. In order to file for bankruptcy as a creditor, you will need a lawyer. The request for a declaration of bankruptcy must be signed by a lawyer. In addition, the lawyer must be present in court during the hearing. It is therefore not possible to file for the bankruptcy of a debtor yourself. A regular debt collection agency or bailiff cannot do this for you either, as you will need a lawyer.
Advantages of debt collection in the Netherlands
- Dutch debt collection lawyers in your country
- Native Dutch speaking lawyers
- Highest success rates of 95%
- Collection throughout the Netherlands
- Always a single point of contact
- 24/7 online access to our portal
- No Cure No Pay debt collection
How many creditors must apply for the bankruptcy petition?
As long as there are two creditors waiting for their payments, only one creditor applies for the bankruptcy petition. This is also known as an aid claim, but it does not mean that both creditors have to actively participate in the bankruptcy petition. Our specialists always know how to reach out to aid claims for a successful bankruptcy petition.
7 Myths of the Dutch bankruptcy petition as a means of debt collection
Applying for the bankruptcy petition is used as an effective means to collect a debt from your Dutch debtor. As this variation of the bankruptcy petition differs from regular petitions and other debt collection procedures, there are several misconceptions. Our Dutch lawyer Folkert Terpstra explains these in the article 7 Myths of the Dutch bankruptcy petition.
The costs for applying for the bankruptcy petition depends on the amount of the claim. These costs include:
- Drafting the bankruptcy petition
- The court fees
- Travel costs (costs of attending a hearing)
- Costs for hiring a lawyer
Bierens has a large team consisting of debt collection specialists and lawyers. If you have a debtor in the Netherlands who refuses to pay, then the bankruptcy petition may be the most suitable procedure for you. Our Dutch lawyers can assist you further and explain how this procedure is applicable in retrieving your invoice from your Dutch debtor.