Choose the right approach to collect disputed claims

| Berthe Maes

Since 2 July 2016, you have two options for collecting invoices from your professional clientele: the classic procedure via the Commercial Court and the simplified recovery for undisputed debts. Please note, this only applies if your invoice has not been disputed. If the customer disputed your invoice, you will always have to follow the classic procedure through the court. Below we give some practical tips for a flawless collection process. With or without dispute.

Collect disputed claims

Avoid dispute from the start

A disputed invoice is not the same as an unpaid invoice: a dispute shows that something went wrong in the communication between you and your customer: other services charged, a higher amount than expected or a shorter payment term. Proper collection of your invoice starts from the first contact. For reasons of evidence it is best to provide:

  • a written assignment.
  • the express acceptance of your billing conditions by the customer. (In absence of invoice terms and conditions, the law regulating late payments for commercial transactions applies, which provides a legal increase of 40 euros and 8% interest on the invoice amount.)
  • a clear payment term that is not too long, with a maximum of 30 days.

Fast collection for undisputed claims

If the customer accepts your invoice but refuses to pay it, you no longer need to collect the invoice through a time-consuming court process. The judicial officer ensures fast, clear and cheaper collection through the new administrative procedure. If your customer does dispute the invoice, only a classic summons procedure in court is possible. A dispute during the administrative procedure also implies a follow-up via the classic procedure.

What if your customers dispute the claim?

If a customer disputes your claim, you go to court. You will start with a summons via a judicial officer. During the legal proceedings, your supplier or customer can submit his dispute, after which the judge gives his verdict. In order to actually collect your invoice, this judgment needs to be served by the judicial officer.

The judicial officer and your disputed invoices

You can contact our partners at every stage of your billing process: lawyer and judicial officer. They ensure crystal-clear communication, accurate follow-up and correct collection of all your invoices. This way you can be sure that both disputed and undisputed claims are in good hands.

Do you want to be able to fully focus on your core activities and do you need a smooth collection of your invoices? Contact us today for a detailed proposal for you company.