Collecting debt from Belgium
Thread poster: Pawel Gromek
Pawel Gromek  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:10
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
Dec 8, 2010

Hello,

I worked for a translation company in Belgium which seems to be run by a crook (they have been banned from Proz which I unfortunataely overlooked). The invoice is a few thousand EUR. I was wondering if anyone has an experience with collecting debt from Belgium.

If you could recommend any collection agency or ways of recovering my funds I would really appreciate it.


Thank you in advance.

Kind regards,
Pawel


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:10
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Sorry to hear that, Pawel Dec 8, 2010

One important thing is to act quickly - if this is a real shark the company could be gone tomorrow.

Of course, the first thing is to make sure the company is still solvent - nothing and no-one can get money out of a bankrupt company (as some owners know only too well). In France and England you can get that info. on the web and I daresay you can in Belgium too, though you may have to pay.

Supposing they're solvent, you have two main possibilities - direct application to a court, or passing the debt on to a recovery firm.

I don't know anything about recovery firms, so I can't help you with that.

Could you perhaps seek redress from the EU small claims court? There's a claim limit but I'm not sure what it is. Perhaps they could help you. It would probably be quite cheap as they take the fees from the debtor, who is in contempt of court if he doesn't pay and that means BIG trouble. Here's a link to a PDF in English: http://www.fit-europe.org/vault/badpayers/EU-Regulation-en.html

Good luck.

Sheila


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:10
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Another link Dec 8, 2010

You might want to study this:

http://ec.europa.eu/justice_home/judicialatlascivil/html/sc_form1_pl.jsp?txtPageBack=sc_filling_fr_fr.htm&countrySession=2&

Hope it helps.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 21:10
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Where is the agency located in Belgium? Dec 8, 2010

Brussels ? Wallonia ? Flanders ?

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Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member because it was not in line with site rule

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 21:10
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
You could try this procedure... Dec 8, 2010

http://economie.fgov.be/fr/litiges/plaintes/Ou_comment_introduire_plainte/plainte_en_ligne/index.jsp

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Pawel Gromek  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:10
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
question.. Dec 8, 2010

Thanks Teresa. If I submit my claim in English is it going to be understood the action will be proceeded?

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Nathalie van Rijsbergen  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 22:10
English to Dutch
+ ...
experience with agency Dec 8, 2010

Hi Pawel,

I live in Belgium and I have worked for this agency once (a little job). I have been paid after a certain delay. Some of my colleagues weren't paid. The reason why I was paid was because I didn't leave the boss alone. I sent him emails, reminders and called every now and then.

Good luck collecting your debt.

Best regards,

Nathalie


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:10
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Exactly! Dec 8, 2010

Nathalie van Rijsbergen wrote:
I live in Belgium and I have worked for this agency once (a little job). I have been paid after a certain delay. Some of my colleagues weren't paid. The reason why I was paid was because I didn't leave the boss alone. I sent him emails, reminders and called every now and then.

I would simply call them every day twice or thrice, warning them that you will keep calling. I would on top of that issue a Small Claims procedure against them immediately.

I also read about someone who sent a non-payer a fax every day, warning that for every day he was not paid, he would add another page. So he did. So in the end the fax number machine was always occupied by the collection faxes. By being thoroughly annoying, you might get to something.

And.... be merciless! If you warn them with legal action, go for it. If you warn them with permanent calls, go for it, etc. etc. Otherwise they will not take you seriously.

[Edited at 2010-12-08 16:34 GMT]


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 21:10
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
You should also consider this directive... Dec 8, 2010

... and apply interests to your invoices from the day following the stipulated payment deadline.

http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/internal_market/single_market_services/financial_services_banking/l24197_en.htm


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 21:10
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
The same directive... Dec 8, 2010

... in Polish

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:32000L0035:PL:HTML


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:10
Flemish to English
+ ...
A Brussels streetcar. Dec 9, 2010

Either you have an entire Brussels streetcar painted in your colours and logo (a couple of years ago) and you pay your translators late or you pay your translators and don't have a streetcar painted in your colours/logo, but then you will not generate customers. Catch 22

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