Having drawn from the expertise of the Atradius Collections' local offices, the International Debt Collections Handbook explains the different stages, regulations and procedures for Belgium.
Atradius Collections Belgium maintains a professional collection process, focusing on the relationship between client and debtor at all times. Our team of collection specialists carry out the collection process in-house, contacting both verbally and in writing, whilst adhering to federal and state laws. When there is a dispute, we aim to reach an amicable solution between creditor and debtor. We do this by analysing all contractual documents (e.g. signed contracts, orders, confirmations, invoices and delivery notes, as well as standard terms previously agreed upon). All investigations are completed with the assistance and agreement of our legal team.
In the amicable phase, Atradius Collections Belgium always charges interest to the debtor. The applied default rate is 12%, because we found that the majority of customers apply this rate in their terms and conditions or contracts. If the client’s rate is different, we will apply this rate on the client’s or the debtor’s request. From a cultural point of view, the recovery of late payment interest in Belgium is quite difficult due to the interest payment being considered a matter of negotiation between the debtor and the collector. We always try to recover from the debtor amicably at least the interest at the legal minimum rate we would obtain if we would go to court.
In the amicable phase, we charge two types of collection costs:
- Collection costs according to section 6 of the statute of 2 August 2002 on late payment: a fixed amount of EUR 40 (regardless of the amount of the debt).
- A penalty clause of 15% of the principal amount of the claim submitted to Atradius Collections Belgium. The applied default rate is 15% because we found that the majority of customers apply this rate in their terms and conditions or contracts. If the client’s rate is different or the debtor requests another rate, we will apply this rate on the client’s or the debtor’s request.
From a cultural point of view, Belgian debtors are not used to paying debt collection costs and dispute them, though often the actual amount of these costs can be considered a matter of negotiation between the debtor and the creditor.
The Debt Collections Handbook presents a snapshot of Belgium's local economic situation and covers the following topic:
- Accepted and most common payment methods
- Types of companies
- Retention of title
- Legal procedures & legal system
- Enforcement in debt, movable and immovable goods
- Insolvency proceedings
To read more about steps and procedures undertaken in the field of debt collection: