Number of debt management plans rising again

02/03/2010 15:00

The number of debt management plans imposed by Dutch courts was 19 percent higher in the fourth quarter of last year than twelve months previously. The number had also risen in the third quarter of 2009, for the first time since 2007.

Debt management plans

Debt management plans

Debt problems for one-man businesses in particular

Dutch courts imposed nearly 9 thousand debt management plans (DMPs) in 2009, 250 fewer than in 2008. In the first half of 2009 the number of DMPs had still dropped sharply compared with twelve months previously. In the third quarter, 8 percent more DMPs were imposed by judges and in the last quarter this rose to 9 percent more.

The increase was caused mainly by a substantial rise in the number of DMPs for people with a one-man business. For this group the number of DMPs started to rise in the second quarter of 2009.

Sharp fall in Zeeland, substantial rise in Friesland

The developments differed strongly from province to province. In Zeeland, for example, the number of DMPs imposed last year fell by 70 percent. Only 104 were imposed in 2009, compared with 346 in 2008. One reason for this decrease was that the change in the legislation on debt management that came into effect on 1 January 2008 was only strictly enforced from the second half of 2008.

There was a notable rise of 54 percent in the province of Friesland: from 281 in 2008 to 433 in 2009. This is the largest number of DMPs ever imposed in this province. In Groningen and North Holland, too, the number of imposed DMPs rose substantially. 

Debt management plans imposed by courts, by province

Debt management plans imposed by courts, by province

More people debt free following debt management plan

One of the aims of debt management is that after the period of structured repayment, the debtor is free of debt. In 2009 the share of debt management plans ending in a clean slate rose just as in the preceding years. Overall, 13 thousand DMPs were concluded in 2009, of which more than three-quarters with a clean slate. Slightly more defaulters with debts as a result of a one-man business received a clean slate often than other debtors.

Concluded debt management plans by type of conclusion

Concluded debt management plans by type of conclusion

Wim Vissers and Vinodh Lalta