Undisputed debts collection : New legislation

On the 19th of October 2015, the so-called “Pot-Pourri I” law was adopted. One of the measures is related to the collection of debts which, under certain conditions, will be possible without going before a judge.

In Belgium, a summary procedure of order for payment already exists.It aims at facilitating the collection of debt without following the ordinary jurisdictional procedure. However, despite several improvements, this procedure has not often been used. Based on this observation, the legislator considered a new procedure should be set up, which would be prompt, inexpensive, completely administrative and entrusted to bailiffs.

The new procedure only addresses undisputed debts. If the debtor is challenging the debt collection, then it should be regarded as a legal dispute, whose resolution is entrusted to a Court.

Its application scope is limited to debts concerning professionals, in a large sense.

The debt can concern any sum of money, as long as it is certain and due at the time of the summons.  Interests and penalty clauses cannot exceed 10% of the principal amount.

The collection is entrusted to a bailiff, on request of the creditor’s lawyer. Only a lawyer can entrust the collection to a bailiff, by analogy with what was foreseen in the summary procedure of order for payment.

This procedure will enter into force on a date to be determined by royal decree, and on the 1st of September 2017 at the latest.

For more information about this topic, do not hesitate to contact M. Guillaume RUE (guillaume.rue@cairnlegal.be).

Best regards,

The Cairn Legal team

Partners Frédéric de Patoul | Frank Weinand | Didier Chaval | Bernard Vandenkerckhove | Carl Vander Espt | Arnaud Massart | Guillaume Rue | Jonas Deryckere

Associates Dorothée Cardon de Lichtbuer | Virginie Schoonheyt | Bojana Salovic | Stoffel Werbrouck