Last year, 14.9 thousand court orders for debt repayments were pronounced, approximately as many as in 2006. This put a stop to the annual increase.
The number of people admitted to a debt restructuring scheme by the court in 2007 was approximately the same as in 2006. Among persons running one-man businesses, the number of court orders pronounced declined by 10 percent. This category has been stable since 2006. A marginal increase by 1 percent was recorded in 2007 among people not engaged in business activities.
Debt repayment schemes by legal form
Substantial decrease in major cities
In the six major cities with a population exceeding 200 thousand, the number of debt restructuring arrangements dropped by 15 percent to slightly over 2,600. The number of debt repayment arrangements pronounced in court only increased in The Hague (20 percent). With 128 court orders per 100 thousand residents, the highest rate was found in Amsterdam. The lowest rate (79 per 100 thousand residents was recorded in The Hague. In municipalities with a population below 200 thousand, the number of debt restructuring schemes increased by an average of 3 percent in 2007.
Court-ordered debt repayment schemes in six major cities
More older people involved
The age of people engaged in debt restructuring schemes is increasing; 27 percent were over-45s in 2003 as against nearly 40 percent in 2007.
Debt repayment schemes by age category
Preliminary stage increasingly successful
According to the Dutch Association for Lending to Private Individuals (NVVK) the number of requests for out-of-court arrangements rose by 3 percent in 2007 to 47.5 thousand. The proportion of successfully concluded arrangements has risen for years. This might be the reason for the number of restructured debts settled in court to remain stable.
Wim Vissers and Rudolf Timmermans