COVID-19 – Update from Netherlands
Here is an update from the Netherlands where they are in a kind of intelligent lockdown giving us freedom to continue (either from home or in the office).
Collection procedures continue and outbound calls are made as well. As a matter of fact, once we send out our dunning letters by regular and/or e-mail, we receive a high response in calls and e-mail messages and payments.
There is an increase in the number of indebted/customers who ask for a payment plan or if we can put the file on hold until the end of a month.
With regard to B2B files we notice that a large number of people work remotely and in a strange way, this gives them time to sort things out. Not in all cases a payment or solution is found at once but we notice that the way of communicating by B2B debtors has been improved, at least the ones working remote seem to be more cooperative. It’s our job as the collection industry to also help these companies out by setting up a payment plan but also be flexible if a large payment can not be made at once or in full.
Our B2C credit reporters still go out and talk with customers/debtors and have them to contact our office for a payment plan.
Legal procedures however are slowing down. We do get court orders in but the execution of the court order is managed in a different way. Most of the time our bailiff will leave a closed envelope with the court order (the envelope clearly states that there is a court document inside).
A seizure or forced sale of a house will not happen also a seizure on the movables is not happening as the bailiff should than need to enter the house.
We find it our task to inform the debtor that we do have a court order and that this is the time to come up with a payment plan or we will execute if things go back to normal.
Now, the month of May is important and good for you and your client to know. The larger number of people in the Netherlands receive in May their holiday bonus which is about a double months payment.
This is not only for the people working but also for a large number of people receiving social benefit. It is well known that a large number of people pay off their debts once receiving their holiday bonus in May (start 3rd week of May).
In June and July a large number of people receive their tax return and there too we always see an increase in payment/payment plans and settlements.
We always inform our local clients to ‘look into your records’ and make sure that all unpaid claims are with us (ergo with you) in time so that action can be taken in time as ‘money is in the bank in Holland’
Finally, B2B payments are to be made within 30 days from the date of invoice. This can be extended to a maximum of 60 days if agreed and signed by both parties. All over 60 days is illegal according to Dutch law.
We notice that a number of larger companies in the Netherlands have decided (not agreed) to stretch the payments, some large companies even from 90 days (which is already illegal) to a massive 150 days!!! Well, needless to say that they made it to the media but for the wrong reasons. Our Netherlands debt collection service continues as normal.