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Bank attachment
In case of a bank attachment, a bailiff levies attachment – on behalf of a creditor – on all funds currently present at a bank used by the debtor.


Attachment on intangible assets
The attachment on intangible assets is a so-called desk attachment. The bailiff levies this attachment at his or her offices and subsequently registers it with the Land Registry. The attachment will be served to the debtor with 3 days of the registration, on pain of forfeiture or the nullity of the attachment. The mortgagee will also be informed once attachment has been levied (within 4 days of the registration, on pain of forfeiture of nullity). The mortgagee will subsequently be given a certain period (of 14 days, as determined by law) during which it can take over the forced sale. If the forced sale actually takes place, the costs of the bailiff and the civil-law notary will be paid first, followed by the mortgagee, and, if anything remains, the creditor.


Attachment on tangible assets
An attachment on tangible assets concerns an attachment levied on all tangible assets owned by the judgement debtor or defendant. Some tangible assets are excluded from the attachment. Protected earnings (PE). Not the entire salary or all benefits are eligible for attachment. There will also be an exempt amount, as determined by law. This amount will accrue to the debtor for his or her primary subsistence expenses.


A person appointed by the court who reports to the court and maintains contact with the creditors. This person also ensures that the debtor makes sufficient efforts to repay his debts. The receiver also has the power to sell some properties of the debtor. He can also inspect the mail of the debtor. All receivers must complete the Wsnp-bewindvoerder programme and be registered in the Register of Receivers.


Preservation order

If there is still a process ongoing, as long as no court ruling has been rendered, the claimant can file a petition with the court for permission to levy attachment on the assets of the debtor, on objects, or funds of the defendant.


A liquidator is someone who has been appointed by the court to manage the assets of another person or a legal entity.


A summons is an official, written notice to appear before the court.


A debtor.


In case of a garnishment, attachment is levied at a debtor of the judgement debtor or defendant. This can be a bank used by the judgement debtor, for example.


Enforcement order
An enforcement order is a written order issued on behalf of the government addressed at a person or legal entity. This ‘order’ gives the government body in question the option to collect a monetary amount from the person involved.


This is generally the organisation/person where the original claim arose.


Execution phase
If a counterparty fails to comply with the ruling, the claimant can have this order enforced by a bailiff. This phase is called the execution phase.


Executory attachment
When the court renders a ruling, the bailiff will serve the ruling and order the debtor to comply with the contents of the ruling within a certain period (usually 2 days) in the name of the King. If the sentenced party fails to do so, the claimant can engage a bailiff to levy attachment.


The writ is the deed drawn up by a bailiff in which he or she reports on the service, which is the official delivery of a judicial document such as a summons or ruling. The writ serves as proof that someone has actually received this judicial document, based on which the argument that the recipient is not familiar with the document can be refuted. Because a copy of the writ must be handed over during the service, a writ is often prepared in advance, except for the details of the service.



A bankruptcy is a procedure arranged by law for a person or company which is not (or no longer) able to fulfil his/her/its financial obligations. The bankruptcy is rendered by a judicial body. The bankruptcy ruling transfers the power of disposal and control over the assets of the debtor to a liquidator appointed by the court. The bankruptcy can be considered a form of attachment on all assets of the bankrupt person or company, after which the proceeds are distributed among the creditors.


Final discharge
A proposal (often by an organisation providing debt assistance) in which a certain percentage of the claim is paid and the remainder is waived.


A bailiff is a civil servant and an independent entrepreneur who, inter alia, summons people before the court and enforces judicial rulings. As a civil servant, the bailiff performs the duties assigned to him or her by law.




Sub-District Judge
A judge working at the Sub-District Division of a Court. These judges handle disputes related to rental cases, small financial claims (up to €5,000), employment-related matters, and a number of family law cases.


Attachment of earnings
In case of an attachment of earnings, a bailiff levies attachment on the salary or benefits of the debtor on behalf of a creditor.


Amicable phase
Collecting claims before an order has been obtained. Amicable collection activities are all activities that take place without the involvement of a judge, such as sending reminders, preparing payment plans, and reminding debtors by phone.


The person or company who or which instructs the bailiff's firm to handle a case.


When a bailiff levies attachment, the debtor must be informed of this by means of an official document. This delivery of an official document is called a service.


Priority attachment
A number of organisations (including the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration and the Municipal Social Service) have priority over the bailiff at the moment of attachment. This means that the claim of this organisation will be paid first before the bailiff will receive funds from the attachment.


Official report
An official report is the deed used by a government official to report on what he or she has done in the context of the performance of his or her duties. The report lists the performed actions, but also a written representation of the conversations or declarations that took place in his or her presence. This is a truthful testimony which also states the circumstances in which the reported facts occurred.


A court is an official body which decides on cases in which citizens dispute what they are entitled to.




Debt assistance
Organisations that help people gain insight into and repay their debts.


A court order or ruling.


Recovery options
All options available to a bailiff to collect a claim.


Departed – destination unknown
The debtor has not registered with the Municipal Civil Registry of the place where he is residing. The person in question is officially “lost”.


If someone disagrees with a ruling in absentia, a court order, or a court measure performed by a bailiff, he or she can object. Simply put, this is a procedure used to indicate that you disagree with a decision.


A ruling is a decision by a judge.


The amount being claimed.


Dutch Natural Persons Debt Restructuring Act (Wsnp)
The Dutch Natural Persons Debt Restructuring Act (Wsnp) is a Dutch Act drawn up in 1998 which offers citizens an additional option for a debt-free future. The debt restructuring scheme is meant for persons who have ended up in a problematic debt situation due to causes not attributable to them (“in good faith”). As a rule, the scheme lasts three years. If the court rules that the debtor has met his or her obligations arising from the scheme after a period of three years, he or she will be granted a so-called clean slate. This clean slate means that the debts that existed at the moment the debt restructuring scheme came into effect will no longer be enforceable. If the clean slate is not granted, the debts will remain.