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Revision of enforcement and foreclosure law

Updated: Aug 9, 2023

The Dutch Revision of Attachment and Enforcement Law Act entered into force on 1 October 2020. The purpose of the law is to prevent debtors from falling below the minimum subsistence level as a result of an attachment. The law will enter into force in three stages.

Phase 1 entered into force on 1 October 2020. As of this date, movable property could no longer be foreclosed if it was foreseeable that the costs would exceed the benefits. In such a case, the foreclosure would be of no benefit to the creditor, who would only use the foreclosure as a means of exerting pressure. In addition, in phase 1, clothing, food and other items which a person needs for personal care may no longer be attached.

Phase 2 comes into effect as from 1 January 2021. At that time, a seizure-free amount will be introduced. When a bank account is seized, a credit balance is kept free for the debtor so that the debtor can provide for his own needs. In this way, the debtor cannot fall below the minimum subsistence level.

Phase 3 comes into effect from 1 April 2021. Phase 3 makes it easier for the bailiff to seize motor vehicles. The bailiff can simply seize motor vehicles through the vehicle registration register.

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