What is a curator?
If a business goes bankrupt, the court will appoint the curator (also referred to as the receiver, liquidator, trustee or administrator). This is usually an attorney or lawyer. The curator must see to it that the bankruptcy is handled in the right way. And that creditors are repaid what they are owed as much as possible.
What does a curator do?
If your business goes bankrupt, the curator takes over its daily management and authorities. You can no longer make decisions that affect your business, and its assets are impounded. The curator:
- manages your assets;
- makes a list of your possessions and debts;
- protects your property (estate), so that nothing disappears;
- sells your possessions to pay off your creditors (liquidation);
- investigates fraud or malconduct;
- manages your administration, cash and supplies;
- receives and opens all your mail, including emails;
- terminates contracts if necessary, such as rental contracts or employment contracts;
- takes care of payments to creditors;
- is able to undo actions that you took prior to the bankruptcy, if it means more creditors can be paid off. For instance, if you rushed through a large payment to one creditor, the curator can reclaim the money;
- reports everything he does to the examining magistrate.
The Consignatiekas: if the curator cannot find a creditor
If the curator was unable to locate a creditor to refund their claim at the time of the bankruptcy, they give the amount in reserve in the so-called Consignatiekas. This deposit facility stores any leftover funds from past bankruptcies for 20 years. To claim the money, a creditor has to approach the Ministry of Finance and prove their claim. They can do so (only in Dutch) on the Rijksoverheid website.
Private assets and bankruptcy
Depending on your legal business structure, your private possessions are also impounded, for instance your house, furniture or car. If you are personally liable for your company debts, the curator will determine a monthly allowance for you to provide in your basic needs.
Who pays for the curator’s services?
Payment for the curator’s services comes from the money he is able to collect from the bankruptcy, be it from selling supplies and estate, collecting payments from pending invoices (debtors), or other activities. The court determines the curator’s wages.
Who appoints and supervises the curator?
A magistrate appoints the curator. He also appoints the examining magistrate. The examining magistrate supervises the curator. If you are dissatisfied about the curator’s work, you can file a complaint with the examining magistrate.