Number of new restructured debts further down

Last year, 12.3 thousand persons were admitted by the court to debt restructuring schemes, a decrease by 10 percent from 2012. They were mainly private individuals. After several years of growth, the number of debt restructuring arrangements has been in decline since 2012. Three-quarters of people engaged in debt restructuring schemes are debt-free after more than 3 years.

Fewer private individuals

Last year, 9.9 thousand private individuals and 2.5 thousand self-employed were admitted to court-ordered debt repayment schemes. The overall number of 12.3 thousand is 10 percent below the level recorded in 2012. The number of admissions of private individuals and self-employed fell by 12 and 3 percent respectively. By the end of 2013, more than 40 thousand persons were engaged in debt restructuring arrangements, a rise by 31 percent relative to the same period in 2010. Loss of income is the main reason why people end up in debt restructuring procedures.

Court orders for debt repayment schemes

Court orders for debt repayment schemes

Reduction for second consecutive year

Despite today’s poor economic situation, the number of people admitted to debt restructuring procedures has decreased for the second year in a row. In 2012, the number of debt restructuring schemes was 7 percent down from 2011, because - apart from economic factors - new legislation also plays a part. 

Since 2012, people first have to appeal to the authorities in their municipality of residence, the so-called out-of-court procedure, prior to being admitted to a court-ordered debt restructuring procedure. Municipal authorities set the admission requirements. In general, the criteria for admission to debt restructuring schemes have become stricter in recent years.  As a result, fewer people will end up in court-ordered debt restructuring schemes.
There are various alternatives, like putting people with problematic debts under tight control at an early stage. Because in such cases, the debt is not settled, admission to a regular debt restructuring procedure is in fact not possible. 

Three-quarters debt-free after more than 3 years

Last year, 10.9 thousand debt restructuring schemes were concluded; 75 percent ended with a so-called clean slate, i.e. the court decides that the remaining part of the debt is no longer claimable. A small part is concluded because debtor and creditor come to an agreement or because the debtor is declared bankrupt. In nearly 20 percent of cases, the debt settlement fails or is concluded for other reasons, for example if the debtor receives a legacy.

Debt restructuring schemes by way of termination

Debt restructuring schemes by way of termination

Mark Vlemmings