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In the Netherlands, if your customer does not pay or if you do not pay your customers, you may have to deal with debt collection agencies and bailiffs. Creditors can also make use of debt collecting solicitors.
What is the difference?
Both debt collection agencies and (court) bailiffs collect debts on behalf of a creditor. In doing so, debt collection agencies are not permitted to use any coercive measures, like the seizure and sale of goods. Debt collection agencies are only allowed to send letters with a request for payment. A (court) bailiff, however, has a legal status and is permitted to use coercive measures. For this, they usually require a court order.
Court bailiffs must register every attachment of earnings, garnishee order or seizure they deliver in the central Digital Register of Attachments for Bailiffs. The purpose of this registration is to prevent unnecessary debt collection fees and to safeguard the protected earnings or seizure-free rate. The register is the responsibility of the Dutch Royal Professional Organisation of Judicial Officers (KBvG).
Court bailiff or fake bailiff?
If you want to find out whether a bailiff is legitimate or not, please consult KBvG's public Bailiff Register (Dutch).