When you are faced with the liquidation of a debtor, it usually bodes no good. It means there is no guarantee your claim will ever be paid. So what can you do to reduce the damage?
Below we have listed 10 tips that may be useful to you, the creditor.
1. Ask for your goods back
The liquidation only relates to the goods of the insolvent company, not to the goods that belong to you. If you have sold and delivered goods, you may be able to invoke the right of reclamation or a stipulated retention of title. Please note that you need to be able to prove which goods it concerns.
2. Reclaim the VAT
If you invoiced VAT, you can reclaim it as soon as it is clear that you can write off all or part of your claim.
3. Enforce securities
Sometimes, a contracting party furnishes securities for the fulfilment of his obligations. Examples include personal securities (declaration of joint and several liability, a contract of suretyship) and collateral security (pledge, mortgage).
4. Notify the receiver of assets, irregularities and relaunch candidates
A receiver is appointed without knowing the business inside-out. He makes quick enquiries, but you may be able to help him by informing him about assets, about any irregularities you have noticed and relaunch candidates. The more information the receiver is given, the more assets he will be able to realise, which means the chances of you being paid are increased.
5. Suspend your contractual obligations
If you still have a performance to fulfil, you can suspend your obligations to deliver goods or provide services, etc. You have to be prudent, though, and you have to notify the receiver immediately, also giving him a reasonable amount of time to say whether or not he will honour the agreement or agreements.
When it concerns vital services, the receiver may even be forced to also pay outstanding invoices that pre-date the liquidation order. You are now what is referred to as an essential supplier. In general, the receiver will want to negotiate with you about the continuation of the contract. If you make any agreements about this with the receiver, he also has to vouch for those agreements being honoured. This has to be made absolutely transparent!
6. Set off your claim against a debt
If you still owe the debtor, you may be able to set off that debt against the claim you have against the debtor. You have to notify the receiver of this.
7. Present your claim for validation
Your claim will not be processed if you have failed to present it for validation. Ask for confirmation of receipt.
8. Watch out for a relaunch
There is a reason why the debtor chose to do business with you. There is a good chance a restarter also wants to do business with you again. In some cases, a restarter will take into account the fact that the old invoice also still needs to be paid. You may benefit from that.
9. Make sure if payment can be made.
If sufficient assets have been generated for a payment to you, you will be automatically notified. When you receive this notification, it may be useful to investigate bigger pecuniary claims and to contest them when you are in doubt. After all, the lower the debt burden, the higher the payment to you will be.
And finally, what may be the best tip:
10. Keep the faith!
Every businessman has setbacks every now and then. It is part and parcel of the general entrepreneurial risk. You can deduct your loss from the taxable profits and “save” yourself up to 25% of corporation tax. Together with the VAT refund that comes down to a net capital reduction of approximately 62%. Accept your losses and don’t look back too often.