Collection Costs Act

Since the introduction of the new statutory regulation regarding the amount of the extrajudicial collection costs to be charged, more legal certainty has been created for both the creditor and the debtor.

The new scheme is also considerably more transparent than the old scheme.

In accordance with this law, the clean collection costs can in principle no longer be rejected or reduced . The Collection Costs Act therefore offers a number of advantages, but then the new rules must be properly applied.

Which m ust know?  

  1. That the statutory regulation applies to all cases in which the debtor is in default after 1 July 2012;

  2. That the regulation applies to matters in which the debtor is a natural person (consumer) who is not acting in the exercise of a profession or business;

  3. That the debtor (consumer), after he is in default, must first be reminded before collection costs are due;

  4. That the debtor (consumer), after receipt of the reminder, is given 14 days to pay the outstanding invoice without additional costs;

  5. That the amount of collection costs must be stated in the reminder , which will be charged in the event of non-payment after expiry of the 14-day period;

  6. In the event that the creditor is not liable for VAT, the debtor must also pay the VAT on the collection costs. In that case, this VAT item must also be mentioned in the "14-day letter";

  7. That in the cases to which the Collection Costs Act applies, no other costs (such as administration and reminder costs) are charged in addition to the collection costs;

  8. That if the debtor is not a consumer and it concerns companies that do business among themselves, deviating agreements may be made (for example by means of applicable General Terms and Conditions). If no deviating agreements apply, the same (new) rules apply to companies as to consumer affairs;

What amount of collection costs can you pass on?

Uitgangspunt voor de berekening van de incassokosten is de zuivere hoofdsom, dus exclusief de eventueel verschuldigde rente. De vergoeding van de incassokosten vervolgens te worden berekend als percentage van de zuivere hoofdsom volgens de volgende wettelijke staffel:

Principal

Percentage

About the first € 2,500.00

15% (with a minimum of € 40.00)

About the next € 2,500.00

10%

About the next € 5,000.00

5%

About the next € 190,000.00

1%

About the multiple

0.5% (with a maximum of € 6,775.00)

Calculation example

You have sent an invoice for 5,500.00 in a consumer store. The payment term has since expired and the debtor is in default and has been issued a reminder. In that case, as a creditor, you may charge the following collection costs:

- up to € 2,500.00 a percentage of 15%, over the next € 2,500.00 a percentage of 10% and for the remaining € 500.00 a percentage of 5%. In this calculation example, the collection costs total: € 375.00 + € 250.00 + € 25.00 = € 650.00.

What to do if several claims are outstanding?

In the event that several claims are outstanding and no notice has yet been sent, the outstanding principal sums must be added together for the correct calculation of the collection costs and included in one reminder.

How to deal with continuing performance contracts?

You m ust d an example, think of claims relating to overdue rental payments and health insurance premiums. In such cases, the creditor can send a separate reminder letter for each due term or claim.

Terms and Conditions

It goes without saying that the Collection Costs Act has consequences for General Terms and Conditions. The regulation has a mandatory character and applies to all claims on consumers. General Terms and Conditions that are in conflict with the Collection Costs Act can be annulled by the court at the debtor's request. It is therefore advisable to test your General Terms and Conditions against the scheme.

Of course you can always contact our office for further information or advice for this assessment or for drawing up your General Terms and Conditions .