Having to pay to recover the machine you own?
Sometimes our lawyers not only negotiate with debtors but liquidators can be included too. This happened to one of our Dutch clients with a bankrupt customer, whose liquidator demanded €500,- for our customer to recover their machinery.
Our Dutch client loaned an excavator to a Dutch construction company. After the customer did not pay the rental instalments, our client terminated the rental agreement.
Once the agreement was terminated, our client requested the construction company to return the excavator. But when the debtor failed to respond to any communication, they decided it was time to hire our lawyer to ensure the excavator was returned. It turned out that the construction company had failed to pay several invoices and had been declared bankrupt. The court had already appointed a liquidator who was to settle the bankruptcy. Our lawyer contacted the liquidator to indicate that there was still an excavator owned by our client. Although the liquidator acknowledged that our client was the rightful owner of the excavator, the machine itself was missing.
The liquidator eventually located the excavator in a warehouse. But when informing our client, the liquidator also indicated it would cost our client €500, – to recover the machine. This amount was based on the work of tracing the excavator, the storage costs and the value of the excavator. With such an excessive amount, our client was advised not to pay. While it's every liquidator's task to investigate a bankruptcy and make an inventory of all the assets, our client should only have been charged for the delivery of the excavator, and nothing else. But when our lawyer contacted the liquidator to negotiate a fee of €25,- instead, the liquidator refused to accept the amount.
With a liquidator refusing to accept our proposal, our lawyer contacted the judge appointed to this case. The judge then contacted the liquidator who explained the situation. The judge disagreed with this reasoning and stated the work carried out was the duty of a liquidator. Therefore, our client was not obligated to pay any compensation. The supervisory judge ordered the liquidator to inform our client of the location of the excavator, who picked up their machinery free of charge.
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Not only do we deal with unpaying debtors, we frequently deal with bankruptcies too. If you need someone to negotiate on your behalf to recover your payment or goods, you can count on our lawyers. Do you also have to deal with a bankrupt customer and would you like advice on possibilities? Then feel free to contact us. Our specialised lawyers will be happy to advise you according to your specific situation.