News regarding the recovery of uncontested claims

Since the 2nd of July 2016, an administrative procedure for the recovery of undisputed commercial debts has entered into force. We have already explained the practical details in our newsletter of August 29th, 2016 (see here).

It should be remembered that the purpose of this administrative procedure is to relieve the courts; but that it is not compulsory, since the creditor may in principle continue to choose the judicial procedure.

Today we are back on the subject because of new developments.

On one hand, the measure was more than favorably received by the courts. For example, a judgment of the Commercial Court of Ghent, Kortrijk Division, of 22 December 2016, found that it was a fault within the meaning of Articles 1382 and 1383 of the Civil Code to initiate the standard judicial procedure if the claim could have been recovered through the new administrative procedure.

On the other hand, the legislator subsequently reinforced this trend by supplementing Article 1017 of the Judicial Code, which was introduced by the new “pot-pourri VI” law, which came into force on 1 January 2017. From now on, it stipulates that unnecessary procedural costs are, even ex officio, to be borne by the party who caused them.

In conclusion, although the administrative procedure for recovering undisputed debts remains formulated as a possibility by law, both the legislator and the case law are encouraging the procedure’s use a maximum.

We advise you to use this administrative procedure for reasons of pragmatism and efficiency, which are key values ​​of CAIRN LEGAL. We thus are at your disposal to implement it against your recalcitrant debtors.

If you wish to have more information on this topic, please contact M Didier CHAVAL (

Best regards,

The Cairn Legal team.

Partners Frédéric de Patoul | Pierre Philippe Harmel | Frank Weinand | Didier Chaval | Bernard Vandenkerckhove | Carl Vander Espt | Arnaud Massart | Guillaume Rue

Associates Dorothée Cardon de Lichtbuer | Julie Docquier | Virginie Schoonheyt | Lauriane Vasquez | Bojana Salovic | Tina Hendriks