The enforcement of a court decision in Belgium is completed based on the jurisdiction of the case. Thus, in the situation of debt collection in Belgium that refers to domestic cases, the main rule of law is the Belgian Code of Civil Procedure.
In the situation in which court decisions have to be enforced according to the ruling of European courts and European bodies, the main rule of law is the Regulation (EU) 1215/2012; the latter applies in Belgium as this country is a member state of the European Union (EU), but other rules of law can be applied in this case, and our team of debt collection lawyers in Belgium can provide more information.
What are the laws for international enforcement cases in Belgium?
The above mentioned law, the Regulation (EU) 1215/2012, is applicable for the enforcement of a court decision that was issued at the level of the EU and it can be enforced in Belgium, but only in the case of judgments related to civil and commercial matters. More importantly, parties involved in the procedure of debt collection in Belgium must know that the provisions stipulated by this law are only applied to cases where the court settlements were issued after the date of 10th of January 2015.
In the case of civil or commercial matters where the enforcement of a court decision is necessary, the main rule of law (for cross-border cases at the level of the EU) is the Regulation (EC) 44/2001. Parties involved in a debt collection procedure ruled at a cross-border level must also know that the following will apply as well:
Regulation (EC) 805/2004 – the legal framework available at the level of the EU for enforcement orders for uncontested claims;
the Code of Private International Law – applicable to foreign judgments ruled outside the EU;
the Code of Private International Law covers civil and commercial matters;
the stipulations of the Code of Private International Law are used in the case where there aren’t any treaties signed between Belgium and other jurisdictions;
a foreign decision that requests the enforcement of court decision in Belgium can take the form of decrees, orders, decisions or writs of executions.
What is the procedure for the enforcement of court decision in Belgium?
The procedure for the enforcement of a court decision in Belgium is determined based on the jurisdiction of the case. Thus, in a case of debt collection in Belgium the only instrument needed to execute a decision is the court order, issued through a judgment of a Belgian court.
However, in the case of a foreign decision, the manner in which the procedure will be concluded is determined based on the stipulations of the rules of law presented above (the Code of Private International Law and the Regulation (EU) 1215/2012 or the Regulation (EC) 44/2001 – depending on the date in which the court settlement was concluded). Our debt collection agency in Belgium can offer further information regarding the provisions of these rules of law.
The procedure regarding the enforcement of a court decision in Belgium is also determined based on the nature of the assets that are subjected to this decision. Thus, in the case of movable goods, a payment order must be issued, but the debtor has the legal right of opposing the decision. In the situation of cases regarding immovable property, the court must also issue a payment order, which has to be served to the debtor in a period of maximum six months since the decision was taken; otherwise, the order will not be considered legal.
What types of assets can be subjected to enforcement in Belgium?
The legislation on debt collection in Belgium stipulates that both the movable and the immovable assets of a debtor can make the subject of an enforcement case. However, the claimant can generally request to recover his or her debts from the current assets of the debtor. Future assets can’t make the case of an enforcement of a court decision. The income of a debtor can also be considered an asset during debt collection in Belgium, in specific cases.
The debtor’s goods can also be subjected to a court decision, but this depends on the purpose of the goods in relation with the debtor. For example, a court decision can’t request the seizure of personal goods that are used for having reasonable living conditions. Such goods are prescribed under the Article 1408 of the Judicial Code.
Goods that do not have a financial value also enter this category, together with the goods that have a personal value for the debtor. Our debt collection lawyers in Belgium can provide more information on the types of assets that can’t be legally taken away from a person who has debts in this country or in other European countries. Parties involved in this procedure can request legal representation from our debt collection agency in Belgium, specialized in assisting both natural persons and legal entities.