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In Belgium, new rules for the recovery of consumer (B2C) debts have been in place since Sept. 1, 2023.

Companies should amend their damages clauses in general conditions and contracts according to Book XIX rules. This law requires consumers to be clearly informed about default interest and collection costs for late payment; without this information, the damage clause is unenforceable, with potential penalties. The Law of May 4, 2023 introduces Book XIX “Consumer Debts” to replace the older law of December 20, 2002 on consumer debt recovery.

The new rules focus on amicable recovery of consumer debts in B2C relationships to protect consumers in arrears. They apply to invoices starting Sept. 1, 2023, and have a transition period until Dec. 1, 2023 for existing contracts in arrears.

Starting Sept. 1, 2023, companies must first send a free payment reminder after the initial deadline, followed by a 14-day waiting period at no additional cost. Only after this period can they enforce the damages clause according to the terms or contracts accepted by the consumer.
You can set this up through the reminder options of our Finance solution (Finad).

The cost of additional payment reminders should not exceed EUR 7.50 plus postage at that time. The damages clause has limits: default interest cannot exceed the statutory 12%, and liquidated damages are capped at EUR 20 (up to EUR 150 debt), EUR 30 + 10% (between EUR 150.01 and 500), and EUR 65 + 5% (above EUR 500, maximum EUR 2,000).

Companies may be required to refund amounts wrongfully received to consumers under Book XIX.

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