When should I do business with a collection agency?


If you don’t pay a bill or don’t pay it on time, the organization or person you owe (the creditor) can demand that you pay the bill. The creditor can also hire a collection agency for this purpose. A collection agency will send you 1 or more reminders (requests). You must pay this within 14 days.

You still do not pay after reminders from the collection agency? The judge can then order you to pay your debt plus any fees.

The creditor uses a collection agency

If you don’t pay the bills or don’t pay them on time, the creditor can hire a collection agency. You will have to deal with the following:

The creditor must send at least 1 payment reminder (request) before they can charge you collection costs.

  • You have 14 days to pay the invoice.
  • If you don’t, you will also have to pay a collection fee in addition to the invoice. The payment reminder must indicate the amount of the collection costs if you do not pay (on time).
  • Not paying yet? The judge can then order you to pay your debt plus any fees.
  • With the judgment of the judge, the creditor can hire a bailiff. This way he can force you to pay. The bailiff can seize part of your income or benefits. He can also seize your bank account, your household effects and possibly even your house.

A collection agency often feels more approachable

Many people have the idea that handing over an unpaid invoice to a collection agency is more accessible, it will be instinctively so too. On the other hand, seasoned debtors are usually unimpressed with a letter or phone call from a collection agency. A collection agency does not have the legal power to force debtors to pay. They can and should only ask. This is why various collection agencies call debtors several times a day or week to ask when payment will be made. For example, the debtor is often (unduly) pressured to pay.

One of the differences between bailiffs and debt collection agencies is that bailiffs have a different way of working and are therefore more decisive than debt collection agencies. Bailiffs usually write two letters and call the debtor once. If this does not result in payment, they take legal action on behalf of the creditor. Then the debtor has the opportunity to tell his story to the judge, after which the judge orders the verdict. The bailiff can then collect the judgment. Only the bailiff can do this. Collection agencies do not have this power.

A good agency can help you in many legal battles

Good collection agencies often have one or more attorneys on staff ready to take on your legal battles. While a “simple” collection of money can be done by most employees, most agencies also offer other services. Do you own buildings or apartments and are struggling with bad tenants?

Then you can usually ask them to help you solve a rental contract (Dutch: ontbinding huurovereenkomst huurcontract) and draft the necessary contracts for this purpose.

What are you waiting for? Be sure to find a good collection agency in your area and save their number in your phone – you never know when you’ll need it!

Collection agency cannot seize any property

By law, a collection agency is less authorized than a bailiff. A debt collection agency cannot seize your assets, such as your property or wages. A debt collection agency is also not allowed to issue official documents, such as a subpoena.


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