Debt Collection in
- Effortlessly start your case within 2 minutes
- Dutch, German and French-speaking debt collection lawyers
- Assistance in the pre-legal phase or Bodemprocedure and more in the judicial phase
- Debt collection in Brussels, Antwerp or Ghent? 95% success rate throughout Belgium
- No Cure No Pay debt collection
When dealing with debt collection in Belgium, you can count on Bierens to act swiftly and efficiently against your debtor. With more resources than a regular debt collection agency in Belgium, our experts can help overcome the language, cultural and legal differences that arise when dealing with Belgian debtors. With various measures such as access to the CBB, or the ability to request a prejudgement seizure, our specialists start in the extrajudicial phase on a No Cure No Pay basis. Should legal action be necessary, then our debt collection lawyers can assist you in the judicial phase with the Bodemprocedure, known as civil proceedings. For successful debt collection in Belgium, find out what our experts can do for you and recover your debt.
Debt collection in Belgium explained in 8 steps without court intervention
- Step 1: You can easily upload your claim here. All you have to do is enter your details, your debtor’s details and information regarding your debt collection in Belgium. You can do so here.
- Step 2: Your caseworker will send your Belgian debtor a demand letter. This will be written in either Dutch, German or French depending on the language your debtor speaks and customised according to your case.
- Step 3: We start our investigation by checking international credit reports and local databases such as the CBB (Central register of seizure, delegation, assignment, collective debt settlement, and protest). Conducting solvency research is always recommended before proceeding to a prejudgment seizure. This also allows us to understand why the invoice was not paid and helps us define our strategy to solve your debt collection case in Belgium more efficiently.
- Step 4: Your caseworker will reach out to you to discuss the approach you wish to have. We adjust our strategy accordingly and you can track the status of the case 24/7 through our online portal.
- Step 5: If your Belgian debtor fails to respond to the demand letter, then our efforts do not stop there. We will contact your debtor by phone and in writing. By directly contacting your Belgian debtor, we ensure to avoid any miscommunication.
- Step 6: As an intermediate step for legal proceedings, we also offer the option of organising a site visit. The bailiff will visit your customer to assess the situation, make an inventory and deliver the payment reminder. This provides us with up-to-date information on the financial position of the debtor. Based on this investigation, we can provide specific advice regarding any further action that must be taken.
- Step 7: In some cases, we can request a prejudgment seizure. Going to court is not always required for this. It is also possible to seize assets based on a notary deed for an undisputed invoice owed by a third party. Certain conditions must be met. For instance, if your debtor is not notified of this seizure in advance, they can appeal.
- Step 8: 95% of our cases are solved in the extrajudicial phase without court intervention. With the expertise of our native in-house specialists and the various resources that we have in store for your Belgian debtor, we can collect your claim. If your debtor refuses to pay or disputes the case, we can continue in the legal phase in consultation with you. Before doing so, we extensively discuss your options and possible costs.
Belgian lawyer for your debt collection: meet your experts
With our native in-house specialists, we overcome language and cultural barriers. Our Belgian specialists contact your debtor in their native language and are familiar with Belgian business practices. This way, your debtor is more inclined to pay and is fully aware of the consequence of non-payment.
Free advice from the best debt collection specialists
Debt collection costs: No Cure No Pay debt collection in Belgium
When solving your debt recovery in Belgium, our starting point is to recover your debt without court intervention. We start on a No Cure No Pay basis, whereby we charge €165,- for administrative costs. This allows us to investigate your debtor and act according to the best strategy. Our aim is to collect the interest and costs from your debtor; however, this depends on the amount and complexity of the case. With No Cure No Pay debt collection in Belgium, you can expect the following:
- Personal contact with your caseworker
- Personal contact with your Belgian debtor by phone and in writing
- Customised strategy according to your case
- Access to the largest national and international B2B debt collection databases
- Real knowledge of local business cultures and payment behaviours
- Knowledge of national and international judicial procedures
- Honest advice if legal action is necessary
If legal action is required, then we move to an hourly or fixed fee. Before doing so, our Belgian lawyers will discuss the costs with you in advance. You can view a complete overview of our fees here.
Debt collection laws in Belgium
Debt collection laws in Belgium may differ compared to the regulations in your country. Often following local procedures is much more effective and faster. With a Belgian lawyer by your side, they can initiate the following procedures on your behalf:
Bodemprocedure: Ordinary civil proceedings
Ordinary civil proceedings are a popular means to collect your claim, whether it is disputed or not. If the case cannot be settled during a preliminary hearing, the court will propose a schedule for submitting statements. The parties will then respond to one another’s point of view based on the documents that are submitted.
In general, there are 3 time periods within which both parties must respond. Two of these are for the debtor and one for the creditor. In some cases, there can also be 5 time periods (3 for the debtor and 2 for the creditor). Each party is given at least one month to respond. After the periods have expired, a date for the hearing is determined where the verdict will be announced.
Debt collection enforcement in Belgium
Once our lawyers have received a judgement against your Belgian debtor, the judgement will still have to be enforced. Under EU law, judgements obtained in an EU Member State are recognized in other EU countries as well. For the execution of a judgment from your country in Belgium, your court will issue a certificate. This is then sent to the bailiff in Belgium together with the judgment.
The bailiff in Belgium will then sign a document stating that the judgment falls under the authorisation of the bailiff. The debtor will then receive a court order stating that the claim must be paid. If the Belgian debtor refuses to pay even after the judgment has been announced, the bailiff can proceed with the seizure of goods and sales of goods. A date is scheduled on which the goods will be publicly sold. The duration of this procedure is determined by two factors:
- The number of actions the bailiff must undertake to enforce the judgement
- Whether or not the debtor raises a defence
Only a Belgian bailiff is authorised to enforce a judgment. Our Belgian lawyers work closely with bailiffs in Belgium. This allows us to act quickly once we have received a judgment against your Belgian debtor.
The limitation period in Belgium
An outstanding invoice cannot be collected forever. Once an invoice becomes time-barred, you cannot recover the unpaid amount through court intervention. That’s why it is important to know that payment claims in Belgium have a limitation period of 10 years. This commences as soon as the claim is due and payable.
It is possible to prevent your invoice from expiring by interrupting the limitation period. The interruption stops and resets the limitation period. In Belgium, there are 3 ways to stop a prescription period:
- A recognition of debt, such as a letter from the debtor confirming that there is an outstanding invoice
- A subpoena
- A notice of default with acknowledgement of receipt, sent by your lawyer. In addition, this notice of default must meet specific requirements
While a limitation period of 10 years applies to payment claims, claims under transport law have a limitation period of 1 year.
Why hire Bierens rather than a regular debt collection agency in Belgium?
- Highest collection rate throughout Belgium
- Extensive measures to recover your debt in the extrajudicial and judicial phase
- No Cure No Pay debt collection in Belgium
- Immediate action after uploading your claim
- 24/7 tracking of your case in our online portal
“Did you know that when litigating in Belgium, there are specific periods within which a debtor and creditor must reply?”
International debt collection laws in Belgium
Regardless of where you or your debtor are located, our experts can help creditors with debt collection in Belgium or anywhere in the world. If both countries are members of the European Union, then there are also two international procedures that can be followed for international debt collection. These are known as the European Small Claims and European Order of Payment, which are two legal possibilities that we can be initiated on your behalf. Specific conditions apply, which is why it is best to contact our lawyers.
Start your debt collection in Belgium today
Start your debt collection case in Belgium today! While our Belgian Desk gets started on your case, you can resume your regular business operations. Upload your case for immediate action or contact our experts today.