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Ranking of creditors

This information is provided by:Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVKNetherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVKNederlandse versie

After bankruptcy, the curator will sell as many assets and collect as much money as possible to pay the creditors. The curator then determines the order in which the creditors will be paid: the ranking of creditors. The place in the ranking depends on the type of debt which the creditor claims. The higher your position in the ranking of creditors, the greater the chance that you will get paid.

1st rank: estate claims

Estate claims are paid first. Claims against the estate concern debts that arise during the period of the bankruptcy (also called estate debts). For example:

  • salary of the curator
  • rent starting from the day of the bankruptcy

2nd rank: preferential claims

After the estate debts have been paid, creditors with a preferential or priority claim will have their turn. Preferred creditors are, for example:

  • The Dutch Tax Administration (payroll tax and turnover tax)
  • The Employee Insurance Agency UWV (wage claim)
  • Employees whom you owe unpaid wages

3rd rank: non-preferential claims

Finally, unsecured claims will be paid. These are, for example, outstanding invoices from suppliers. How much a unsecured creditor receives depends on the amount of the claim.

Exception: ‘separatisten’ (priority administrative claims)

In the Netherlands, two types of creditors rank above all other creditors. They are called ‘separatisten’. Separatisten are:

Mortgage claimants

Your business premises or house serves as collateral for your mortgage. The mortgage lender is entitled to claim the collateral in the event of non-payment.

Lien claimants

A lien is a charge that a creditor (usually a bank) can put upon a specific property of their debtor, for instance their house or company inventory or stock, to secure payment of a debt.

The claim of a separatist stands apart from the bankruptcy. The claimant can demand immediate payment from the debtor, without consulting the curator. If the debtor is unable to pay, the claimant can foreclose on the lien: in other words, if you cannot pay the bank, the bank can claim your house or other assets. The curator can ask the ‘separatist’ to delay their claim for a reasonable period.

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