Are you temporarily unable to pay your debts? You can ask the court to grant you deferral (suspension) of payment (surseance van betaling). Suspensions are granted for 18 months. Suspension of payment enables you to avoid bankruptcy. It could be that debt restructuring is more appropriate to your situation.
How to file for a suspension of payment?
You file for a suspension of payment with the court (in Dutch) for your own company. You need an attorney (in Dutch) for this. The attorney will prepare the petition for you. Make sure your financial documents and a list of creditors are included with your application.
Is your petition complete and does it meet the requirements? Then the court will grant you provisional suspension of payment. There will be no court session for this. The judge will appoint an administrator. You will then be informed whether or not you are granted a definitive suspension of payment.
A hearing for you and your creditors will be held within 2 to 4 months of the provisional ruling. During the hearing you and your creditors (the persons or companies you still have to pay) can explain the situation. Your creditors will also be allowed to vote on the matter. If too few creditors vote in favour of a suspension, the court will not grant you one. Otherwise it is the court that decides on whether or not to grant a definitive suspension of payment. The creditors are free to appeal against the court’s decision.
Suspension of payment is granted
Are you granted a suspension of payment? Duyring this period your creditors cannot claim their debts. The court will appoint an administrator. He or she will:
- advise you
- help you in the negotiations with creditors
- administer your assets with you
- approve all your decisions, for example when you want to spend money
No suspension of payment
If the court refuses a definitive suspension, you can make use of a debt restructuring procedure. The court can also declare you bankrupt. You can appeal against the refusal to grant the definitive suspension and any declaration of bankruptcy.
Register of suspensions of payment
The Central Insolvency Register (Centraal Insolventieregister, in Dutch) lists all the bankruptcies, suspensions of payment and debt restructurings of natural persons. The court also notifies definitive suspensions of payment to the Business Register (Handelsregister).
Ending suspension of payment
Suspension of payment will end if:
- the administrator or 1 of the creditors requests the withdrawal of the suspension of payment (usually bankruptcy will follow)
- you request the withdrawal of the suspension of payment because you are solvent again
- you have reached a definitive arrangement with the creditors