Top-Rated Debt Collection Agency in Belgium
Fast and reliable debt collection in Belgium - no upfront costs, only pay for success. Request a FREE Consultation or upload your claim today.
Recovering your debt in Belgium is most easily done through this method.
Debitura specializes in debt recovery in Belgium, offering a wide range of services such as accounts receivables management, debt collection notices, pre-legal and legal debt collection, and enforcement court proceedings. Our experienced professionals are well-versed with Belgium debt collection laws and regulations, delivering prompt and effective solutions to help businesses regain their outstanding debts.
From the beginning until the end, we provide unwavering assistance.
Tailored collection approach.
We have a team of over 500 professionals who specialize in global debt collection.
Achieving a low cost, we have a success rate of 87%.
Leader in debt collection in Belgium, our strength is to adapt to the requirements of our clients concerning the procedure and fees. The service we offer is almost 100% borne by the debtor.
The ultimate guide about debt collection in Belgium
If you have money that you are owed from a business or customer in Belgium, we can help you. We have helped many other businesses get their money back, and we can help you too.
Collecting a debt in Belgium can be difficult because of language and cultural differences, foreign laws and customs, and the distance between you and the person you owe money to.
If you use a collection agency that knows the laws and customs of the country where the person you owe money to lives, it will be easier to get your money back.
At Debitura, we always try to help you get your money back while still having a good relationship with the person you lent money to. Our efforts are always fair, but we will be firm in order to make sure that your reputation is not hurt. If you want to learn more about how to collect debt yourself, continue reading this guide. If you would rather work with a local law firm that specializes in debt recovery in Belgium, we can help you find one.
At Debitura, we make it easy to collect your debt in Belgium and 192 other countries. Get started today by uploading your claim. We will assess your case within 24 hours and provide you with 3 free quotes from local debt collection lawyers in Belgium. We combine a people-oriented approach with the latest tech-driven solutions to drive results and provide better contact management. This comprehensive method gets the results you need while preserving customer relationships. In addition, our network of debt collectors, attorneys, suppliers and vendors are cherished relationships that allows us to get the job done. We value each of these relationships, no matter how small or large.
Begin the process of debt collection in Belgium without any cost by signing up for a free profile and submitting your case in just 2 minutes.
During the first 3 months, we will use our effective pre-legal recovery process to attempt to collect your claim. Our no-cure-no-pay policy ensures that you pay nothing unless we are successful.
If your pre-legal claim has not been paid, we offer you 3 quotes from our nearby debt collection lawyers.
You get access to our online portal where you can track your case in real-time
Introduction to collecting debt in Belgium
Do you have a hard time collecting money that people owe you in Belgium? Do not worry; we make it easy for you to get paid by your Belgian customers.
The person who owes money is called the debtor. The person who gave the money is called the creditor. If the creditor collects the debt, it is called first-party collection. If someone else collects the debt for the creditor, it is called third-party collections.
- In Belgium, people usually pay for things 35 days after they get them. This could be improved, and the transposition of EU rules on late payment in domestic law is not as demanding as in other EU countries.
- The law court is a good way to get your money back, but it takes a long time. Collection specialists are people who help you get your money back before going to court. They are the best way to get your money back quickly.
- The law tries to help companies that owe money to other people, so that the company can pay back what it owes. But there are no rules about how much of the debt a company can write off in these negotiations. Usually, people who are owed money by an insolvent debtor cannot get their money back.
Days Sales Outstanding (DSO)
In Belgium, people usually pay for things within 55 days. This means that people have 35 days to pay for something on average. For companies that are listed, the DSO is slightly higher at 72 days. This number has not changed much in the past few years.
Since February of 2022, the payment terms for all transactions have been set at 60 days maximum. This means that people have to pay for what they bought within 60 days. Before this change, only businesses were affected by this rule.
Common payment types in Belgium
The most common payment methods are:
Swift bank transfers are a popular way to pay for things because they are fast and secure. Bills of exchange are also used in Belgium and can help you pressure people who owe you money into paying you back. Checks are not considered as debt recognition titles anymore, so they would not give access to fast-track payment order proceedings. Down payments are frequently relied upon and recommended.
Primary Organizational Structures
The amount of money that a person is responsible for if a business fails is determined by legal structures. These structures are described in more detail below.
- Many small businesses are sole proprietorships. This means that one person owns the business and is responsible for everything that happens with the business, including any debts.
- General Partnerships allow partners to do business together but each partner has different liability. Unless a Limited Partnership is set up, the partners’ liability is join and unlimited, even if one partner generates business debts without the other partners’ knowledge or consent. Partners agree on what each person is responsible for and what rights they have in a document called a partnership agreement. With an SCRI Cooperative Company, there are multiple partners who might contribute different amounts, but they all have unlimited responsibility.
- A Limited Company is the best type of company. There are not a lot of rules, so the company can be formed however the founder wants it. For example, the company does not have to be very limited if the founder does not want it to be. Only one person is needed to start a Limited Company.
- Public Limited Companies (also known as sociétés anonymes SA / naamloze vennootschap NV) can be started by one person. This person usually controls the company. When incorporating the company, 61,500 Euros must be invested.
The debt collection process in Belgium
The debt collection process in Belgium is usually done in a few steps. The picture below shows the standard way to collect debt in Belgium:
1 Upload your claim:
If you want someone to help you get your money back, you need to find a debt collection partner. You can upload your claim to their website. Debitura will help you by providing 3 quotes from local partners in the European country where your case is happening. This service is free - you don't need to pay anything.
2 Amicable collection:
The collection process usually starts with sending reminders to the person who owes you money. These reminders can be sent through email, SMS, or letter. The goal is to get the debtor to pay the debt or at least start a payment plan. Debitura offers a solution where you only have to pay a success fee if we are able to collect the debt. Therefore, there is no risk in using Debitura for amicable collections!
If you have not received payment from the debtor after the amicable phase, it is time to evaluate the next steps. We will look at the size of your claim, the payment probability and other factors to guide you in take the best decision on what to do next. There are three typicall next steps:
If your debt is less than 2,000-5,000 euros, it is not worth it to take any more legal action. In this case, we can try "debt surveillance." This means that we will keep trying to contact the person who owes you money and try to reach an agreement.
B: Legal collections:
It is a good idea to begin a legal process if you have a big claim. The steps you need to take will vary depending on what you are claiming and how much it is worth. Usually, the entire process will take around 1 to 1 and a half years to complete.
In simple words, If you have a big legal claim, it would be a good idea to start a legal process but the steps you need to take will vary depending on what you are claiming and how much it is worth. And usually, it takes around 12-18 months to complete the process.
C: Debt enforcement:
If the person you are claiming money from has said that they owe you money, or if there is a court order, you can go to the bailiff's court to get the money.
At Debitura, we can help you with all three steps in Belgium.
Amicable collection in Belgium
At Debitura, we offer a 100% risk-free and efficient process for Amicable collections. Submit your claim, and we will get started within 24 hours.
We will try to contact your debtor through different ways in Belgium. This might include email, text messages, letters, phone calls, and social media.
The goal of this process is to either:
A) Get the debtor to pay the whole amount that they owe, or
B) Get the debtor to agree that they owe the money and start a plan to pay it back
If the person you are trying to collect money from has disputed your claim, you cannot try to resolve the issue peacefully. You must start with legal collections right away.
Late Payment Interest
According to the law from 2002, if someone does not pay their bill on time, the company can charge them extra money. This starts 30 days after the company gave them the bill. In practice, late payment interest is mostly ruled by general terms and conditions. This means that the interest rate for late payments is 12% to 15%. But the interest rate may be different if the parties have not concluded any agreement. In this case, the interest rate is the European Central Bank’s refinancing rate increased by a minimum of 8 percentage points.
In July 2013, the government proposed a law that would put the new Recast Directive 2011/7/EU on Late Payments into effect. Under new rules in the European Union, if someone does not pay for something within 60 days, they might have to pay extra interest. The law might say that they don't have to pay extra interest if they pay within 30 days, but this is not decided yet. Also, the bank's interest rate will go up by at least 8 percentage points.
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amicable debt collection
Upload your claim and get started with our 100% no-cure-no-pay collection solution.
Legal collection in Belgium
If we have not been able to pay you during the first phase or the person you owe money to says they do not owe you money, we will give you 3 free quotes from local debt collection attorneys. In the second phase, our local attorney will talk to the person you owe money to and try to negotiate a payment. Our partners can also go to court and get an order that says the person owes you money. This order can then be used to make the person pay you via enforcement court.
There are different things you can do when you know someone owes you money and they do not dispute it. One option is to go to the National Bank and get a formal recognition that the person owes you money. This is called prôtet. You can also register the debt in a registry called le Journal des Protêts. Another option is to get a Payment Order from the Justice of the Peace. This is for claims that are less than EUR 1,860. However, this option is not used often because it seems too constraining.
If the company that owes money has assets in other EU countries, there is a way to get the money they owe us. This is called the European Payment Order. We can ask the court to issue an order and then it can be enforced in all EU countries except Denmark.
If the first part fails or if the person you owe money to questions the claim, you can start legal proceedings. Formal legal proceedings may commence following a voluntary action of the parties (comparution volontaire/vrijwillige verschijning), or once a Writ of Summons is served to the defendant and the claim has been registered with the court. A full lawsuit before the Commerce Tribunal is a legal action. These lawsuits are usually short and not very expensive. If the person being sued does not challenge the claim, the courts usually make a default judgment within one month. This means that the person who filed the lawsuit gets what they asked for in the Writ (Article 770 of the Judicial Code). If someone challenges the court's decision, the people involved may have to provide more information. The court will then issue a judgment which is final once all appeal venues have been exhausted.
Courts usually award damages, specific performance, or declaratory relief to the person who wins the case. But they cannot award punitive damages. This means that the person who wins the case does not get any money from the other person as punishment. As a general rule, in civil proceedings people must prove their own claim. They cannot ask the court to help them find evidence. Proceedings are conducted only in French in Wallonia and only in Dutch in Flanders. But both languages can be used in Brussels, depending on the case. And German can be used instead of French in the small German-speaking region. It is important to remember that, as a general rule, the court that has power over the case is chosen according to what is written in the contract rather than based on the debtor's language.
Procedures in Belgium are regulated by the Judicial Code of October 1967 (as amended). This means that the courts are not bound by a case law system, but precedents nonetheless constitute a significant source of authority. The first instance tribunal and the Court of Commerce are present in 27 different districts. Justices of the Peace deal with small claims that are less than EUR 2,000. The decisions that are made in the first instance may be brought before five Courts of Appeals. This is for cases that deal with civil, commercial, and criminal cases.
The Supreme Court is the highest level court. The Administrative Court and the Arbitration Court are also high level courts. The Arbitration Court is only for constitutional matters.
The amount of money you will need to pay for a lawyer depends on how big and complicated your case is. To get the best deal, ask for quotes from more than one lawyer. You can do this quickly and easily by using Debitura.
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legal debt collection
Upload your claim and get 3 FREE quotes from our local collection partners.
Debt enforcement in Belgium
If you have written proof that the person you are asking for money owes you money, or if a judge has said they owe you money, you can go to the bailiff's court in Belgium to get your.
A judgment is when someone says you owe them money. This happens after a court case. If the person does not want to pay, there are ways to make them pay. The court can ask someone to take their stuff, or they can go bankrupt. The direct action procedure allows creditors to get money that is owed to them from someone else who owes the debtor money. Enforcement proceedings can take a long time, and be expensive, but if a judgment is made, it can be enforced within ten years.
The way to do this and how much it will cost depends on your particular situation. You can upload your case onto Debitura. They will give you 3 different quotes for what you want within 24 hours.
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Upload your claim and get 3 FREE quotes from our local collection partners.
Insolvency proceedings in Belgium
If the person you owe money to cannot pay you back, you can start a process called insolvency. This means that their assets will be sold and the money will be given to the people they owe in order of importance.
There is something called a "judicial reorganization through collective agreement" which allows a company to keep operating even though it is having financial difficulties. This can happen if the company is in danger of going bankrupt and if there is an agreement between the company and its creditors.
- If a company is at risk of continuity, a judicial reorganization procedure can be opened.
- There are two types of judicial reorganization: by way of amicable agreement, and by way of collective agreement.
- In the amicable agreement procedure, the company enters into an agreement with all or some of its creditors, with supervision from a delegate judge and judicial mandate. The court then accepts and publishes the agreement in the Belgian Official Gazette.
- Under collective agreements, the company presents a reorganisation plan to its creditors who vote on it. The plan must contain provisions for possible solutions such as instalment periods, debt reduction etc. It can also provide for transferral of business ownership or suspension enforcement rights for privileged creditors for 24 months (extendable by 12). If half the suspended creditors representing half total indebtedness agree to plan - it is approved; if not - court may refuse approval or allow an adjusted plan to be presented to creditors again. Once complied with -the company is released from claims of suspended creditor.
European Late Payment Directive in Belgium
Belgium is in the European Union (EU). That means the Directive 2011/7/EU on combating late payments across Europe in commercial transactions applies to us.
The main ideas of the directive are as follows:
- Public authorities, like the government, cannot require that people pay for something in more than 30 days.
- Private companies cannot require payment terms of more than 60 days.
- If the person you lent money to has a business, you can charge them an extra €40 fee for paying late.
- The interest rate charged for late payments must be at least 8% above the European Central Banks reference rate.
The Danish government cannot make local rules that would be worse for creditors than the EEU-wide rules.
Credit risk and payment behaviour in Belgium
- Economic growth in Belgium is expected to slowdown to 1.2% this year and in 2020, with domestic demand forecast to be the main driver of economic growth.
- However, net exports are expected to continue to be adversely impacted by the current slowdown in world trade, as well as by weaker economic growth in the main trading partners of Belgium.
- Against this backdrop, insolvencies are expected to increase significantly in 2020.
- Based on survey results, 50% of the total value of respondents’ B2B sales was transacted on credit (up from 32.1% last year). This increased use of trade credit matches the perceived need to remain competitive on export markets amid a slowdownin global trade and weakening economy among Belgium's main trading partners..
- In additionto offering more customer credit than one year ago, Belgian respondents set looser payment terms for their B2B customers—most requested payment an average 31 days from invoicing (longer than 26 days last year).
- While a balanced mix of credit management techniques are used by Belgian businesses protect their receivables from default risk, dunning appears most frequently used (29%of respondents), followed by assessment prospective buyers'credit ability (23%).
Our analysis has shown that the risk of running a business in Belgium is low. Based on this low score, You can feel reasonably confident that you will be able to get paid when trading with customers in Belgium. Nonetheless, we always recommend doing a specific credit analysis on an individual customer basis before offering any credit. The low risk score is based on the following factors:
The economic risk in Belgium
Our conclusion based on the economic risk factors, is that the economic risk in Belgium is very low (1 out of 6). An economic risk of 1 out of 6 is low in Europe.
GDP and economic growth are critical drivers for economic risk.
The GDP of Belgium is 599,88 bn. USD (2021), growing by 6,24% per year.
In terms of the size of its economy, Belgium ranks #24 out of 183 countries and has a large economy.
In terms of growth rate, it is ranked #57 out of 183 countries and is therefore considered a fast-growing economy.
GDP per capita is 51768 USD, ranking Belgium number #17 out of 183 countries. This means the purchasing power of citizens in Belgium is high compared to the rest of the world.
You get a more detailed idea of GDP and economic growth in Belgium in the table below:
Another huge impact for the economic risk score is the inflation rate and the interest rates. You get a more detailed idea of monetary KPIs in Belgium in the table below:
The inflation in Belgium was 2,4% in 2021 which is considered a low inflation rate.
The business environment risk in Belgium
Our analysis shows that the business environment risk in Belgium is very low (1 out of 6), which is a relatively low risk score in Europe.
Economic freedom and rights determine the business environment risk in a country. You can see the critical facts for Belgium in the table below:
In the above table, you can see, the property rights index is 84 in Belgium, which is considered quite good in Europe.
The business freedom index is based on 10 indicators, using data from the World Bank’s Doing Business study. The Index is 80 in Belgium, a quite good score for a country in Europe.
Belgium's overall economic freedom index is 70 out of 100 and is based on factors such as the rule of law, regulatory efficiency, and market openness.
The political risk in Belgium
The political risk in Belgium is very low, with a score of 1/6. This is a low political risk score in Europe.
The governance and political stability indicators are critical drivers for political risk. An overview of Belgium can be seen in the graphs below:
The rule of law index analyses to which extent agents have confidence in and abide by the rules of society, in particular the quality of contract enforcement, property rights, the quality of the courts, and the police's ability to enforce court orders.
When doing business in a country, the rule of law index is critical as it describes your ability to enforce commercial contracts.
In Belgium, the rule of law index is at 1,33 points, with the score going from -2.5 (weak) to 2.5 (strong). Belgium has, therefore, a very high rule of law index, which means you have a very good chance of enforcing your contracts. If your individual customers have good creditworthiness, you should therefore feel relatively safe when providing credit.
Other drivers for the very low political risks are the strong control of corruption, the average political stability index, and the normal shadow economy that is 17,8% of Belgium's GDP.
The commercial risk in Belgium
In Belgium, the commercial risk score is 3/4, which in our model is a medium score. This medium commercial risk score is pretty average compared to the average in Europe.
The commercial risk is influenced by a country's international trade relationships. You can see some of the key facts for Belgium in the table below:
Belgium has a foreign exchange reserve of 41.87 bn. USD.
Belgium has a positive trade balance of 1,34% of GDP. This means that Belgium imports fewer goods and services than the country exports.
The annual growth of exports of goods and services has been growing 9,65% annually - now 85,35% of GDP. Import of goods and services represents 84,01% of the GDP in Belgium.
The financing risk in Belgium
We have calculated the financing risk to be 1/4, which equals a very low risk. A very low financing risk score is relatively low for countries in Europe.
The country's banking system, efficiency, and stability influence the financing risk. Additional facts and info can be found for Belgium in the table below:
In Belgium, the credit information sharing index is 5 on a scale from 0 (low) to 8 (high). This means the accessibility and quality of credit information available in Belgium is medium.
This makes it not that easy for you to understand the credit risk of your counterpart in Belgium. Unless you have found a good source for credit ratings or know your specific customers well, we suggest charging payment upfront or using credit insurance.
Your rights as a creditor are 8 out of 12 and, therefore, medium.
Debt Collection in Belgium: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
In Belgium, there are two types of debt collections: first-party collections (creditor collecting the debt) and third-party collections (someone else collecting the debt). People usually pay for things within 35 days on average. To get your money back quickly, collection specialists may be the best option. Legal action can also be taken, but it's time-consuming. The debt collection process usually starts with reminders, followed by evaluation and then a plan of action depending on the situation. Debitura can help you with all three steps in Belgium.
The debt collection process in Belgium involves pre-legal collection, legal debt collection, and debt enforcement. It starts with sending reminders to the debtor and hoping for repayment or a payment plan. If unsuccessful, the process moves to evaluation, where the best next step is determined based on factors such as claim size and payment probability. Next steps may include debt surveillance, legal collection, or debt enforcement. At Debitura, we can help you with all three steps in Belgium.
Legal collection options in Belgium include obtaining a formal recognition through the National Bank or a Payment Order from the Justice of the Peace for undisputed debts. If the debt is disputed, civil legal action is required, which includes mandatory involvement of a local lawyer. Legal proceedings may also involve debt enforcement and insolvency proceedings. The cost of legal services depends on the complexity and size of the case. Insolvency proceedings involve selling the debtor's assets and paying off the creditors in order of importance. A judicial reorganization through collective agreement can also be used to keep a company operating despite financial difficulties.
"The cost of debt collection in Belgium varies depending on the type of collection and the actions needed for your specific case. At Debitura, we offer a no-cure-no-pay model for pre-legal collection with a success fee between 10-20%. For legal actions, the price can vary. Debitura can provide you with 3 quotes from the best debt collection lawyers in Belgium."
The length of time it takes to collect a debt in Belgium depends on the debtor and the specific case. If the case can be resolved outside of legal measures, the process usually takes 3-6 months. However, if legal action is necessary, it can take 12-18 months to collect the debt. The timeframe for debt collection may vary depending on the circumstances, but we will work diligently to resolve your case as quickly as possible.