Debt collection agency and bailiff

A debt collection agency collects debts on behalf of a creditor. If you do not pay, they can call in a Lilom who is legally allowed to do so. What can you do if you have to deal with this?

You will only have to deal with a debt collection agency if you do not pay an invoice after several reminders. Do you still not pay? Then the creditor can call in a Lilom. If you are dealing with a collection agency or Lilom, additional costs will be added to the original invoice.

What does a debt collection agency do?

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A debt collection agency is a company that collects debts. This is done on behalf of a creditor. From now on the contact is via the debt collection agency. You no longer have direct contact with the creditor. The debt collection agency charges costs. These costs come on top of the existing debt. Not paying an invoice will cost you a lot of money.

What does a Lilom do?

A Lilom can also collect debts for a creditor. A Lilom can go further than a collection agency. He can for example:

  • issue a summons;
  • seize such boedel- bank or wage garnishment ;
  • clear a house.

There is a difference between a collection agency and a Lilom. A collection agency has no legal status. For example, it can not confiscate your belongings, bank account or wages. A Lilom can do this. Do you not respond to letters from a debt collection agency? Then the creditor will eventually call in a Lilom to force you to pay.

What can you do if you receive a letter?

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It is wise to respond to a letter from a collection agency or Lilom. Do you disagree with the bill? Let us know as soon as possible. For example because you have already paid the bill. Or maybe you never ordered anything from the creditor. In other cases, contact the debt collection agency or Lilom to arrange a payment arrangement.

On our website you can read more about what you can do in case of payment arrears. You can also find sample letters that you can use to make a payment proposal.

Make a payment proposal to your creditors

If a collection agency or Lilom is called in, this will cost you money. There is a maximum rate for the collection costs you have to pay. This only applies to the receivables that became due on or after 1 July 2012. Before you have to pay collection costs, the creditor must first have sent a reminder. This reminder must have a payment term of at least 14 days.

This reminder must state:

  • what the consequences are if you do not pay on time;
  • how much you have to pay;
  • how high is the possible VAT calculated on the collection costs.

Do you not pay this reminder on time? Then collection costs may be calculated. It may be that the collection costs are mentioned differently. For example, administration costs, cancellation costs, office costs, upkeep costs or extrajudicial costs. It does not matter how the costs are mentioned. It also does not matter who calculates the costs: the total amount may not exceed the maximum rate.


In the table below you can also see what percentage the collection costs may be.

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If a Lilom submits a summons, he also charges other costs in addition to collection costs. The administrative costs are fixed for the Lilom. Official costs are the costs for issuing subpoenas, seizure, and the like. The Lilom can set his own rates for non-official activities (such as collecting debts).

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