Law on uncontested debts (money claims)
Is applicable to
- The law is restricted to B2B transactions (i.e. where both the creditor and the debtor are commercial entities, hence listed as such on the “Company Intersection Bank”. It is not applicable to claims involving a Public Authority. It is not applicable when a company is in receivership.
- The law applies to monetary claims.
- The creditor instructs an Attorney at Law who instructs a Bailiff who serves a request for payment to the debtor.
- The debtor has 1 month to either: pay, dispute or require payment facilities. The procedure stops upon payment and is interrupted in case of a request for payment facilities.
- If the debtor disputes the debt, the process is stopped. In such situation, the creditor is free to start a traditional legal procedure.
- After one month and eight days (and absence of payment or dispute or facilities) the bailiff establishes an “Act of Non-Dispute” (free translation, “AND”).
- This “AND” is made executory soon thereafter. At that stage, only a court can suspend the execution of this “AND”.
- Thereby, the National Chamber of Bailiffs maintains a central listing for uncontested debts.
It is currently not quite clear how much the process will cost. There will be Attorney fees and Bailiff fees. Bailiffs alone will probably amount from 300 EUR (smallish claims) upwards, as fees are geared to the claim size. There are additional administrative costs.
When will it be in force
The law is in force and this procedure has been applicable since June 2016.
This new law and procedure promises a prompt and efficient cure as compared to a traditional legal suit. However, it is useful to bear in mind that TCM solves 25% the claims we get within one month (includes all claims, even the ‘desperate’ ones).
This new procedure seems rather expensive, especially if the debtor disputes the debt.
This procedure replaces a former one, which was less complex. The former one was however not very popular because of the possibility for the debtor to dispute the debt and make the collection attempt useless).
Future will tell if the new procedure is efficient.
Definitions provided under this section refer to the Belgian situation; unless specified otherwise. The texts are meant to summarize concepts in daily language and should not be considered as comprehensive or definite. We welcome suggestions for modifications or additions at email@example.com.