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Ways to end a bankruptcy

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

A bankruptcy can end in several ways. You may reach an agreement with your creditors; or you may have paid off your debts. Read for each situation how the bankruptcy will end and what this means for you.

When does your bankruptcy end?

Your bankruptcy can end in several ways:

  • You have too few possessions (insufficient means)
  • You have reached an agreement with your creditors
  • You have not reached an agreement with your creditors (insolvency)
  • You can participate in legal debt restructuring

You have too few possessions (insufficient means)

If you do not have enough possessions to pay the bankruptcy costs, for instance the curator’s salary, the bankruptcy ends due to insufficient means (gebrek aan baten).The curator (trustee, liquidator) requests this from the court. All debts remain. In the future, creditors can try to collect a debt again. Some debts may expire.

You have reached an agreement with your creditors

The bankruptcy ends if your creditors agree to the curator's proposal. For example, you agree to pay part of the debt, in exchange for a full remission. In other words, you will not have to pay the rest of your debts. The court has to approve the agreement; this is called homologation.

Ranking of creditors

In case of a bankruptcy ending in an agreement with the creditors, the curator will draw up the ranking of creditors and a distribution list. Creditors can appeal against this distribution list for 10 days. If they do not, the distribution list is settled and the bankruptcy ends.

You have not reached an agreement with your creditors (insolvency)

You fail to reach an agreement with your creditors. The court will rule insolvency. The curator will sell your assets, and divide the revenue amongst the creditors. Whether or not your personal belongings are also sold depends on the business structure of your company.

Certain creditors have priority, such as the tax authorities. These creditors are the first to be paid in full. If there is any capital left after that, it will be divided among the other (competitive) creditors. You will then be dissolved as a legal person declared bankrupt: you will cease to exist. If you are a natural person (legal entity without legal personality), also your personal items will be sold to pay off your creditors.

Registration in the insolvency register

After the bankruptcy, you will be included in the Central Insolvency Register. This register contains all details of bankruptcies, suspensions of payment and debt restructuring. This register is publicly available online.

If you are admitted to the Debt Restructuring for natural persons Act (Wet schuldsanering natuurlijke personen, Wsnp), your bankruptcy ends. This act only applies to natural persons (business structures without legal personality), who are personally liable for their company debts.

Note: If you want to be eligible for the Wsnp, in most cases you have to discontinue your company. You are only allowed to continue your business in special cases. For example, if it yields more and there are few risks.

Do you disagree with the declaration of bankruptcy?

Do you disagree with a pronounced declaration of bankruptcy? For example, because you think it is still possible to continue with your company. You can object by means of opposition or appeal:

  • If you were not present at the bankruptcy hearing, you can lodge an objection with the court within 14 days.
  • If you were present at the bankruptcy hearing, you can appeal to the Court of Appeal (het gerechtshof) within 8 days.
  • If the court or court of appeal agrees with you, the bankruptcy order will be annulled. The bankruptcy ends.
  • If you do not agree with the decision of the Court of Appeal, you can appeal to the Supreme Court within 8 days.

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