The number of court-ordered debt restructuring schemes pronounced in accordance with the Act on Debt Management Natural Persons was 20 percent higher in the first half of 2010 than in the first half of 2009. In the latter half of 2009, the number was already 14 percent up on one year previously. These are the highest rates of increase since the end of 2004, but the number of court orders is still far below the level in the period prior to the amendment of the law introduced on 1 January 2008.
Court-ordered debt management schemes
Relatively large increase among (former) entrepreneurs
In general, about one in five debt management plans concern (former) entrepreneurs. Proportionally, the increase in this group over the first six months of 2010 was much larger than in the category private persons. The number of court decisions involving (former) entrepreneurs was 32 percent higher than one year previously, whereas the increase among private persons was 18 percent.
Substantial increase in Zeeland and Groningen
Figures differed widely across the various Dutch provinces.
Proportionally, the largest number of debt management schemes in the first half of 2010 occurred in Flevoland and Groningen. In the province of Groningen, the amount grew by 55 percent.
By far the most substantial increase was recorded in Zeeland: the number of court decisions regarding debt restructuring schemes more than doubled in the first six months of 2010 relative to one year previously, when the number of petitions for debt relief schemes was relatively low. The current rate is 31 in every 100 thousand residents, the same as the nationwide figure.
With 48 percent, the increase in the province of Utrecht was also considerable, but Utrecht remains the province with the lowest rate per 100 thousand residents.
Court decisions regarding debt management plans by province
Also distinct increase in The Hague and Rotterdam
The amount of debt management plans in The Hague and Rotterdam has risen sharply with 41 percent over the first half of 2010 compared to the preceding year. Amsterdam showed a small increase, whereas the number dropped marginally in the municipality of Utrecht.
In relative terms, the amount of court decisions in the period January–June 2010 was highest in Amsterdam (44 per 100 thousand residents). The corresponding rates for The Hague and Rotterdam were 36 and 20 respectively per 100 thousand residents. With 11 per 100 thousand residents, Utrecht had the lowest rate.
Court orders for debt management plans in the four major cities
Wim Vissers and Vinodh Lalta