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Debt collection agencies and bailiffs

This information is provided by:Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVONetherlands Enterprise Agency, RVONederlandse versie

Does a customer not pay, even after you have tried to obtain payment in various ways? You may need to use debt collection agencies and bailiffs. Creditors can also make use of debt collecting solicitors.

Debt collecting agencies

Debt collection agencies 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.


If a debtor does not respond to the debt collecting agency, you may hire a bailiff. A (court) bailiff has a legal status and is permitted to use coercive measures. For this, they usually require a court order. They will first try to get the debtor to pay you or to agree on a payment plan.

Court order

You may need to start a legal procedure if your debtor does not pay or does not respond to the bailiff. The bailiff will then summon the debtor to court. They will make sure the debtor receives the judge's ruling.


If the debtor does not respond to the judge's ruling, a bailiff may try to seize (part of) their income or goods. Seizure will only take place if nothing else works.

Attachments register

Court bailiffs must register every attachment of earnings order (government authority order to a third party, for example an employer or a bank, to pay debt from earnings), garnishee order (court order to third party, for example an employer or a bank, to pay debt from earnings) 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 register

If you want to find out whether a bailiff is legitimate or not, please consult KBvG's public Bailiff Register.

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