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Securities: ensuring your invoice will be paid

Ensuring you will be paid for your products or services: that's what everyone wants, isn't it? There are various forms of securities that you can agree on. For example, by agreeing on a pledge or retention of title. If your customer, tenant or borrower does not meet the payment obligations, you can then fall back on this. This gives you a better guarantee that you will receive your money. 

Types of securities 

There are various types of securities that you can agree upon with your business partner in order to obtain greater certainty that you will be paid for your products or services. What suits both parties is different for each situation, and dependent on the country of your debtor.  

  • Retention of title 
  • Pledge 
  • Mortgage law 
  • Joint and several liability 
  • Guarantees

Note: Not all securities are applicable and can be used in all European countries. It is important to check this before agreeing on the inclusion of a security within your contract. You should always consult a lawyer to ensure the correct security is applied to your contract, depending on your country and the country of your debtor. 

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When goods are delivered, the general terms and conditions often stipulate that they will be delivered under retention of title. This means that, from a legal point of view, the goods remain your property until your customer has paid the invoices. Only when the full purchase price has been paid, does your customer become the owner of these goods. 

As long as you are the legal owner of the goods, you can take them back. Has there been no payment? Then you can retrieve your delivered goods. The retention of title is therefore a powerful remedy if the invoice is not paid. 

Retention of Title in the case of a bankrupt customer 

The retention of Title also applies in the event of bankruptcy. So, if your customer is declared bankrupt, you may be able to invoke the retention of title and retrieve your goods. In this case, you will have to make arrangements with the trustee who is settling the bankruptcy. 

Retention of Title in your general terms and conditions 

A Retention of Title is usually outlined in your general terms and conditions. Would you like tinvoke the retention of title? Then it is important that the retention of title is correctly recorded. In addition, your general terms and conditions must also be used correctly. If this is not the case, you cannot invoke your general terms and conditions and therefore also not the retention of title. 

Our lawyers will help you draw up legally strong general terms and conditions. If desired, they can also check and amend the retention of title clause. Please contact our specialists for more information. 

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The right of pledge 

The right of pledge can be used when you lend money as an entrepreneur. If you lend money, a pledge is requested from the borrower.  For example, a pledge can be established on inventory, stock, shares, receivables, cars, etc. This can only be used in some countries however e.g. The Netherlands.  

Is your borrower not meeting their obligations to repay the loan? If so, you, as pledgee, may sell the goods on which the pledge has been established. You do not have to go to court first. 

Pledge in the event of bankruptcy 

With a pledge you have a priority position if your customer is declared bankrupt. You may then immediately act as if there is no bankruptcy, so you can sell the goods. Moreover, you do not have to share the proceeds with the other creditors in the bankruptcy. 

Your advantages:

  • Lawyers specialising in security law 
  • More certainty that your invoices will be paid 
  • Always an honest and clear advice in your case 
  • For SMEs and Multinationals 
  • High customer satisfaction 

Mortgage law 

In some countries, you may be able to use a right of mortgage can also be created when money is lent out. The difference, however, is that a right of pledge is established on movable property and a right of mortgage on immovable property, such as land, a building or a ship. 

Mortgage rights give you more certainty that the loan will be repaid. If the borrower does not comply with their payment obligation, you can sell the object on which the mortgage right rests. The proceeds of the sale are then entirely for the mortgagee, there is no need to share the proceeds with other creditors. 

Mortgage rights in the event of bankruptcy 

Is your borrower declaring bankruptcyWith a mortgage pledge, you may act as if there wasn’t a bankruptcy. You may therefore proceed directly to the sale of the immovable property on which a mortgage right has been established. In addition, you do not have to share the proceeds with the other creditors in the bankruptcy. 

Joint and several liability 

Have you loaned money to several people? In case of joint and several liability, all debtors are liable for the entire debt. But that happens if one of the debtors doesn’t pay their share? Then you can recover this from the other debtors. For example, if there are several directors in a company, it can be established that all of them are 100% jointly and severally liable. 


Under guarantees, a third party is obliged to pay the debts of the principal debtor if the principal debtor does not pay these debts themselves. This third party therefore guarantees the payment of the principal debtor. This gives the bank (or the person who lends money) more certainty that the loan will be repaid. 

“Bierens are specialists in the field of business-to-business debt recovery. Their approach stands for quality, decisiveness, and results, which is exactly what KLM is looking for.”

Ben Blad / KLM

Our specialists and lawyers 

Bierens has a large team of debt collection specialists who can help you draw up legal documents. Together we ensure that the legal risks for your organisation are limited and that the number of collections are reduced. 

Contact with a lawyer 

Would you like to include a security within your contract? Please contact us. Our lawyers specialise in drafting, checking and advising on various securities. They will ensure that this is fully tailored to your situation. This gives you more certainty that you will be paid. 

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