GENERAL QUESTIONS

How Can I Change My Details or Address?

Pass your changes on to the relevant secretarial team. Then they will ensure that your details will be amended. If you do not have the secretarial team’s email address at hand, then you may also pass your change of address on to your contact person. We will subsequently amend your details.

What Should I Do If I Have a Complaint?

We at Bierens highly value our clients’ satisfaction and the quality of our services. In the unlikely event that you are dissatisfied, your complaint will be handled in accordance with our complaints procedure.
DEBT RECOVERY

Do You Also Handle Debt Recoveries against Private Individuals?

No, essentially, we only handle debt recoveries against businesses. That is our speciality. Debt recovery against private individuals requires an approach that is different from debt recovery against a company.

What Is the Difference between a Debt Recovery Agency and a Debt Recovery Law Firm?

There are, generally speaking, three players active in the debt recovery branch: debt recovery agencies, the court bailiff and debt recovery lawyers. Whereas debt recovery agencies are primarily concerned with claims against private individuals, we as debt recovery lawyers target commercial claims. Furthermore, debt recovery lawyers have access to a wider range of means to recover an unpaid invoice.

I Would Like to Preserve the Commercial Relationship with My Debtor. Is That an Option?

Of course it is. Basically, our approach is firm. After all, we want to get your claim paid as soon as possible. However, if you prefer a different approach, for instance because you would like to preserve the relationship with your debtor, then we will use a softer approach. Please contact your file handler to discuss the best approach for your specific matter.

Do You also Handle Debt Recovery Matters Which Were Handled by Another Debt Recovery Party (Second Placement) Already?

That depends. In general, we do not accept debt recovery matters that were previously handled by another debt recovery party. Often, this other party has taken a particular approach which is not compatible with our approach. As a result, we are then no longer able to offer the highest quality for the debt recovery process. For further information, please contact a member of our staff.
DEBT RECOVERY PROCESS

What Should I Do Prior to Handing over My Debt Recovery Matter?

There is no set pattern for commercial claims. If your customer is not paying, it is common to send a reminder to your customer after the payment term has expired. Do you get no response? Then engage the services of our debt recovery specialists to get your invoices paid after all.

How Can I Hand over a Debt Recovery Matter?

Are you new to us? If you would like to hand over a debt recovery matter, then you may do so on our website. You may use our transfer page to hand over your case. In order to act swiftly, it is important that your details, the details of your customer and details regarding the unpaid claim are completed correctly. In addition, debt recovery matters can be transferred by using our Webportal. New customers will receive their login details for this web portal within three business days.

What Happens After a Debt Recovery Matter Has Been Handed Over?

After you have handed over your debt recovery matter, you will immediately receive an email that your information was successfully transferred. Your debt recovery matter arrives at our Intake Department. They link your case with the right specialist. Within 24 hours, you will receive an email confirmation. Simultaneously, a demand letter will be sent to your debtor with the request to pay immediately.

How Long Does the Average Debt Recovery Process Take?

Whenever possible, we always start with the extrajudicial phase, which is when we try to collect without an intervention by the Court. This process lasts relatively short, because we allow your debtor little time to pay. If legal proceedings are started, then the debt recovery process takes longer. How long this process takes, depends on the circumstances. Some proceedings take longer than others. Keep in mind that debt recovery proceedings abroad often take a lot longer than is the case in the Netherlands.

Who Is Going to Handle My Matter?

After you have handed over your debt recovery matter, your claim arrives at the Intake Department. They ensure that your matter is subsequently assigned to the right specialist. Often, this is someone who has experience with your branch or is specialised in debt recovery in your debtor’s country. This way, you can be certain that the right specialist will start work on your file.

Can a Debt Recovery Instruction Be Halted Early?

It is possible to halt debt recovery instructions early. In that event, we will (for the time being) not take action against your debtor. Are you going to negotiate with your debtor in order to come to a payment arrangement yourself? Then keep the interest due and the extrajudicial collection costs in mind. In accordance with our policy, we recover those costs from the debtor. If you do not incorporate these costs into a potential payment arrangement, we will be compelled to pass these costs on to you.

What Should I Do if My Debtor Contacts Me Directly?

If your debtor were to contact you, for instance to come to a payment arrangement, then refer him or her to your file handler. We can then continue to put maximum pressure on your debtor. This also prevents your being faced with the debt recovery costs later on if, as a result of your negotiations, we are then unable to recover those costs from your debtor.

What Should I Do if My Debtor Pays Directly to Me?

If your debtor pays the unpaid amount directly to you, then inform your file handler of this as soon as possible.

How Will I Be Kept Up to Date on the Status of Cases?

On our web portal, you will have 24/7 access to the latest developments concerning your debt recovery matter. New to Bierens? Then you will receive your login details by email within a few business days. Of course, you may also contact your account manager.
DRAFTING CONTRACTS AND ADVISORY MATTERS

Can You Draft a Contract Which Is Not on Your Website?

This firm employs many specialists in the field of contract law. They have knowledge of and experience with drafting and checking various types of contracts. If you would like to have a contract drafted which is not stated on our website, please feel free to contact our Customer Service department.
COMMERCIAL DISPUTES

Are You Able to Resolve Conflicts without Intervention by the Court?

Obviously, we will always try to resolve conflicts without an intervention by the Court. After all, legal proceedings often cost a lot of time and money. Moreover, as lawyers, the Bar compels us to first try to resolve a conflict amicably. Only if legal proceedings are unavoidable, will we advise you accordingly. Of course, we only start legal proceedings after your express permission.
LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

When Will You Start Proceedings, How is That Determined?

We will always try to resolve a conflict without intervention by the Court. Only if legal proceedings are unavoidable will we advise you to do so. We also always consider the likelihood of your being successful in legal proceedings, as well as the associated costs. Of course, we will only proceed after your permission.

Can I Start with the Judicial Phase Straight Away?

Yes, that is an option. We usually advise starting with the extrajudicial phase first, however.

Can I Put forward a Defence by Myself or Do I Need a Lawyer?

That depends. For matters in the Subdistrict Court, you may put forward your own defence if you wish to do so. We advise you, however, to engage the services of a specialised lawyer to assist you. For matters being heard by the District Court, you may not put forward your own defence and you will have to engage the services of a lawyer. Claims larger than €25,000 are handled by the District Court. Anything smaller goes to the Subdistrict Court. The Subdistrict Court also handles rent matters and labour matters, regardless of the size of the claim.

How Long Do Legal Proceedings Last?

That depends. The duration of legal proceedings depends on a number of factors:

  • What type of proceedings are being started? A winding up petition is usually handled by the Court within four weeks, while straightforward summons proceedings often take an average of six months to one year;
  • In which country are the proceedings started? In the Netherlands, legal proceedings tend to move relatively fast compared to many other European countries. Legal proceedings may take a lot longer there;
  • The Court’s diary. To plan a hearing takes time. Judges and staff also need to be available to work on the matter;
  • The complexity of the case. If the case is complex, legal proceedings may take half a year or a year longer than for a simple matter;
  • Is the option to appeal used? After legal proceedings, both parties have the option to appeal. This causes a matter to take even longer;

What Are the Costs of Legal Proceedings?

The costs you incur for legal proceedings are also called legal costs. These include the following costs:

  • Court Fees. These costs are paid at the start of proceedings;
  • Legal fees of the lawyer. We work against an hourly fee which is agreed with you in advance, or against a fixed price for the entire proceedings.

If the Court decides in your favour, part of your legal costs may be reimbursed.

If You Win Legal Proceedings, Are Your Costs Reimbursed?

If the Court decides (for the most part) in your favour, then you can recover part of your legal costs from the opposing party. We will draft a claim for an order for costs on your behalf. Subsequently, an amount will be established that will be reimbursed to you, based on awarded points. In practice, this is usually less than the actual costs incurred.
BIERENS WEB PORTAL

Which Information Can I Find on the Web Portal?

On the web portal, you will find information concerning al your current and closed files. You may view details of each individual file. You may also view and upload documents for each file. Whenever your lawyer uploads a new document, you will automatically be notified of this.

Where Can I Login to the Portal?

You may login here for the web portal.

When Will I Receive Login Details for the Portal?

Are you a new client? Then you will receive login details to login to the web portal within three business days.

I Lost My Login Details. And Now?

If you forgot your password, you may request a new password here. Did you also forget your username? Then please send an email to qualityservices@bierensgroup.com. We will make sure that you will be able to login to the web portal again as soon as possible.
YOUR INVOICE

What Is a Clients’ Account?

A clients’ account is an account for money belonging to a third party. In our case, it is a bank account where debtors pay the amount of the unpaid claim. This amount is paid to our clients from this account. A clients’ account is used by businesses which receive money on behalf of others. Other lawyers and civil-law notary firms also use a clients’ account.
QUESTIONS FROM DEBTORS

Can I Make a Payment Arrangement?

Essentially, we do not enter into payment arrangements with debtors. The fact is that a payment arrangement is not an obligation, but a favour that may be granted. In some cases, a payment arrangement is an option, however, it is our client who decides on that. So therefore, contact your file handler, who will subsequently consult with our client to see what is possible.

I Do Not Agree with This Claim, What Should I Do?

If you do not agree with the claim, we ask that you do not declare this by telephone but express this in writing to the file handler. The file handler will subsequently speak with our client. You will then receive a response to your defence shortly.

I Received a Demand Letter from Bierens but I Have already Paid. What Should I Do?

In that event, send written proof of your payment to the file handler. You may do so by sending an email with your proof of payment attached. If you have paid the full amount outstanding, the file will be closed. If you made a partial payment, then you will receive a written response from the file handler.

Which Bank Account Number May I Use to Pay the Outstanding Amount?

If you have received a demand letter, then you need to pay the amount outstanding to bank account number NL18ABNA0483703346, made payable to “Stichting Derdengelden Bierens Advocaten.”