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.
Claiming after bankruptcy: the Consignatiekas
If you were a creditor in a bankruptcy, but the curator was unable to locate you to refund your claim at the time of the bankruptcy, there may still be an amount kept in reserve for you in the so-called Consignatiekas. This deposit facility stores any leftover funds from past bankruptcies for 20 years. To claim the money, you have to approach the Ministry of Finance and prove your claim. You can do so (only in Dutch) on the Rijksoverheid website.
Exception: ‘separatisten’ (priority administrative claims)
In the Netherlands, two types of creditors rank above all other creditors. They are called ‘separatisten’. Separatisten are:
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.
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.