Question and answer
Debt collection at IncassoPartners
A debt collection agency recovers unpaid invoices. The debt collection agency does this by contacting the customer and asking them to pay the invoice. This request can be made by letter, telephone call, email, text message or voice mail; the customer can also be visited at home.
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You may engage a debt collection agency if an invoice is not paid within the period allowed for payment. Many clients are not so strict. They will first attempt to obtain payment with friendly reminders. If that doesn’t work, a debt collection agency can help.
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A debt collection agency is engaged if invoices have still not been paid in spite of reminders and overdue notices by a client. In that case, the client can take immediate legal action, but that can be very expensive. Moreover, it is not always certain that this will help.
A debt collection agency can resolve a case quickly and easily. In other words, without legal action. If that proves necessary after all, the debt collection agency will often have a clear picture of the case and the customer. That makes it easier to predict the outcome of the case.
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If the debt is not paid, the debt collection agency can take legal action. The case will then be decided in a court of law, and the customer may be ordered to pay the amount anyway, plus all kinds of legal costs. After that, payment can be enforced, such as by attachment placed on the customer’s bank account. We do our utmost to resolve debt collection problems and avoid legal action.
A debt collection agency aims at resolving a debt collection case outside of court. This means without the involvement of a judge or bailiff. Which is why this is also known as reaching an ‘amicable settlement’. If a case cannot be resolved amicably, it is taken to court. The costs for the customer can add up, just like the cost risk for the client.
A court bailiff is a civil servant, appointed by the government. A bailiff performs official duties, also known as ‘official acts’, such as placing attachment on property, ‘serving notice of a judgment’ (delivering the payment order in person) and issuing summonses. Besides these official duties, many bailiffs are also involved in resolving debt collection cases out of court.
Een gerechtsdeurwaarder is een openbaar ambtenaar, benoemd door de regering. De deurwaarder doet ambtelijke werkzaamheden, ook wel ambtshandelingen genoemd. Hij legt bijvoorbeeld beslag op spullen, ‘betekent vonnis’ (persoonlijk overhandigen van de betalingsopdracht) en brengt dagvaardingen uit. Naast de ambtelijke werkzaamheden werken veel deurwaarders ook in het minnelijke traject om incassozaken op te lossen.
Debt collection out of court takes place on a no win, no fee basis. This means that if the debt is not recovered, the client pays nothing. And for the customer, the one who has to pay the debt, the costs are limited to the collection costs.
A debt collection agency often charges commission only. This is calculated on the amount to be collected after the debt collection agency starts on the case. This keeps the client’s cost risk low.
A debt collection agency must obey the law, just like everybody. No licence is needed to start a debt collection agency. However, there is a sector organisation, the Dutch Association of Certified Debt Collection Agencies (Nederlandse Vereniging van Gecertificeerde Incasso-Ondernemingen, NVI). Its members have to comply with their own set of strict rules. These rules are set out in the Debt Collection Seal of Approval (Incasso Keurmerk). Member compliance is monitored proactively.
There are government institutions that can help you. And there are lots of things that you can do on your own to limit debts or pay them off more quickly. If you need any help, the National Institute for Family Finance Information (Nibud) provides some handy tips on its Dutch website: https://www.zelfjeschuldenregelen.nl.
Once you open an account, collection cases can be submitted online. Get in touch with our customer service department on 0031715247070 to open an account. Your account details will be sent to you after you have signed the registration form.
Debt collection cases can be submitted when a client’s customer management process has come to an end. This usually takes 40 to 60 days. The longer a client waits to take action, the more difficult it becomes to obtain payment.
To start a debt collection case, we always need customer and invoice details. It is important to treat this information carefully. We are certified to ISO 27001 and NEN 7510, which guarantees the privacy of this information.
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It takes about three months, on average, to collect a debt. Many debt collection cases are resolved faster than that, of course. Many customers make speedy payment when they are contacted by a debt collection agency. Customers can also make a payment arrangement if they are unable to pay the amount all at once. The debt still gets paid, but it takes somewhat longer.
If, in spite of all correspondence, we are unable to obtain payment or resolve the case with the customer, we take the debt collection case to court. The customer might also indicate that he will not pay because he does not agree with the contents of the debt. This defence can then be assessed by the court.
IncassoPartners can handle thousands of debts at a time. Our IT systems and workflows are completely designed for this purpose. In addition, IncassoPartners’ customer contact centre is available to help customers over the phone to find a good solution, such as making payment arrangements, waiving the collection costs for people with serious financial problems or providing advice on direct payment.
The cost of a debt collection case often depends on its outcome. Under the law, the person who does not pay on time is also responsible for paying the collection costs. If the customer pays only part, a percentage of the commission is often charged. If the customer pays nothing at all, there is no charge.
The debts can also be sold, in a debt purchase or debt sale arrangement. In this case, the debt collection agency purchases the customer’s debts, for a percentage of the principal. An amount is immediately paid out to the client for its invoice, and the debt collection agency becomes the owner of the debt.
We take a positive, friendly and easy approach. IncassoPartners aims to pleasantly surprise customers with a friendly tone, a user-friendly portal and tailored solutions. Forgetting or being unable to pay an invoice is no reason to be approached in an unfriendly manner. And if you are really experiencing serious financial problems, we waive the collection costs to avoid making the problems even worse. We call that ‘People First’.
That’s for you to decide. We will keep you posted via your personal portal, an API or monthly reports – whatever you prefer. You will receive complete information about the status of the portfolios, and our debt collection staff will contact you if there is anything urgent. Our account manager will visit you regularly to see whether you are happy with our services and if there is anything that can be improved.
IncassoPartners is ISO 9001:2015 certified. This quality standard helps us to improve the quality of our services continuously, with the aim of boosting customer satisfaction.
IncassoPartners invests continuously in security and quality. The ISO 9001 certificate confirms that our systems work in accordance with legal provisions and enable us to meet all client requirements. ISO 27001 and NEN 7510 provide for information safety. That is especially important in the healthcare sector, where the protection of patient information is the top priority.
Read more about the lines of business that we serve.
IncassoPartners is an expert in international debt collection. Thanks to our dedicated network of debt collection partners in more than 150 countries, we are able to recover debts quickly and reliably. We have been doing this for years now for many clients. IncassoPartners is your main point of contact. We liaise with local debt collection agencies and can provide you with advice on the prospects and risks of taking legal action in Italy, for instance.
IncassoPartners does its utmost to communicate in an open and friendly manner. If someone has a complaint, our customer care staff are there to help. They do all they can to resolve the complaint. Unfortunately, that does not always work. Sometimes someone is still unsatisfied and posts a negative review.
Questions about complaints
IncassoPartners is keen to discuss things personally. We therefore do our best to reach our customers in a way that suits them. Since nearly everyone has a smart phone and email address, it is more convenient to approach our customers in this way. That is also advantageous to our customers, giving them a quick and easy way to pay.
In addition, this way of approaching customers is allowed by Dutch law, the Debt Collection Seal of Approval (Incasso Keurmerk) and the Dutch Association of Certified Debt Collection Agencies (NVI).
This is provided for in the Debt Collection Costs Act (Wet incassokosten, WIK). This states that a customer who has not paid is given at least one free reminder, which is sent as a letter. After receipt of this letter, the customer has 14 days to make payment, without incurring extra collection costs.
Debt collection costs may be charged if an invoice remains unpaid after the reminder. These costs are laid down in the Debt Collection Costs Act (Wet incassokosten, WIK). The following debt collection rates apply: 15% of the principle amount for the first €2,500, with a minimum of €40;
- 10% of the principal amount for the following €2,500;
- 5% of the principal amount for the following €5,000;
- 1% of the principal amount for the following €190,000;
- 5% for the principal amount above that, with a maximum of €6,775.
To compute the costs yourself, use the calculation tool at consuwijzer.nl.
The time limit for an outstanding invoice payable by a private individual expires after two years, but only if no action is taken to obtain payment of the invoice. That action can consist of sending an overdue notice, warning or notice of default, clearing stating that the amount must still be paid. If this is done, that interrupts the limitation period, and the period of two years starts all over again.
If our customers request to read the file on their case, this is always provided.
The invoice was sent by a business where there is an account to be settled. If you do not agree with the invoice, it’s best to contact that business. You can only submit a complaint to KIGID against a debt collection agency that is a member of the Dutch Association of Certified Debt Collection Agencies (NVI).
If you cannot resolve your complaint with the business, the case will eventually be heard by a court of law. In that case, you could possibly contact the Dutch Consumers’ Association, a neighbourhood law centre or a lawyer.
The client is the business where you purchased something or that provided a service to you. It sent you an invoice for that good or service, which has not been paid. That business then engages a debt collection agency. For the debt collection agency, that business is therefore their client.
The debtor is the person who has not paid an invoice for a good or service that was provided. At IncassoPartners, we prefer calling the debtor our ‘customer’ – because we provide customer service and our customer support staff are always there to help them.