Filing for bankruptcy from a defaulter? Everything you need to know!

Written by Kees Post

8 April 2023

Are you struggling to collect debts as a business? Filing for bankruptcy may be the best option to force even the most stubborn non-paying customers to pay up.

At our collection agency, we have seen on a daily basis that filing for bankruptcy can force a debtor to pay and give creditors extra peace of mind.

"Filing for bankruptcy is an underestimated debt collection tool "



We explain the following parts of filing for bankruptcy

  1. How to collect outstanding invoices by filing for the debtor's bankruptcy;
  2. Why it is sometimes better to file for bankruptcy than wait for payment;
  3. How to calculate the cost of a bankruptcy filing;
  4. What the conditions are for filing for bankruptcy;
  5. How we can help you file for bankruptcy so you can focus on other things.
Collection specialist Kees Post

Collection specialist, Founder of Breyta

Thinking errors in bankruptcy filing

Many creditors confuse filing for bankruptcy as a collection tool with the consequences of actually declaring bankruptcy.

You might recognise yourself in the following thoughts we often hear from creditors:

    • "Once the trustee has filled his pockets, there will certainly be nothing left"
    • "While the VAT can be reclaimed, the own claim is never paid again anyway."
    • "The Tax Office and the bank take precedence anyway"

It is true that the situation for you as a creditor is not very rosy once bankruptcy is declared.

But, note: this only comes into play if your client is actually declared bankrupt. 

However, it usually does not get that far, because your non-paying customer logically does not want them to be declared personally bankrupt.

Your debtor can avoid bankruptcy by still paying. If your debtor cannot pay your claim in one go, payment can be made in instalments and can the bankruptcy petition be stayed during the payment arrangement.

This will keep enough pressure on it. Once your claim is paid in full, the bankruptcy petition can be withdrawn. So you pull the strings until your invoice is paid.

Costs of filing for bankruptcy

When filing for bankruptcy, there are four types of costs to consider. These are the costs for the lawyer, the court, the bailiff and information costs.

Collection specialist costs

Charges for preparing bankruptcy petition and other work such as correspondence with the debtor, the court and the bailiff. 

Court costs

Charges court fees for handling the bankruptcy petition, these are the court fee bankruptcy petition 

Bailiff fees

Charges for writ of summons summoning debtor to oral hearing of bankruptcy petition. 

Information costs 

Includes the cost of extracts from your debtor, such as a Chamber of Commerce extract or a BRP extract.

It is important to identify these costs well in advance, so you know what your can expect and not face unexpected costs. 

"Upon filing for bankruptcy, these costs will be reimbursed from the bankruptcy estate, Provided it is worth enough."

It is therefore wise to make an assessment of your debtor's financial situation beforehand to determine whether it is worth pursuing the bankruptcy petition.

Fixed costs of bankruptcy filing in 2023

Bankruptcy petitionRateVAT 21%
Price lawyer from€999excl.
Investigate aid claims€250excl.
Call notice€83,42excl.
Court fee natural persons€314exempt
Court fees for legal entities€676exempt
Information costsvariesvaries

Calculate costs of bankruptcy filing

You can easily calculate for yourself what filing for bankruptcy in your case will cost by adding up the various cost items. Here are some calculation examples:

Bankruptcy filing by sole proprietorBankruptcy filing by B.V.Bankruptcy filing by private individual
Legal fees from € 999Legal fees from € 999Legal fees from € 999
Court fee € 314Court fee € 676Court fee € 314
Call notice € 83.42Call notice € 83.42Call notice € 83.42
Information fee € 25Information fee € 25Information fee € 25
Total cost €1,254.42Total cost € 1783.42Total cost €1,254.42

How does a bankruptcy filing procedure?

"Did you know that in the year 2022, 2144 companies were declared bankrupt?" 

Filing for bankruptcy follows an established procedure the step-by-step plan below explains how to file for bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy filing procedure

Step #1
Step #1

Filing bankruptcy petition

To file for bankruptcy, you can file the petition alone or together with other creditors. Your lawyer will file the petition with the court on your behalf. If there are several applications, the court will deal with the oldest application that meets the requirements.

Step #2
Step #2

Call to session

Within a few weeks, your lawyer will receive a summons from the court with information about the place, date and time of the hearing. Your debtor will also receive a summons.

If the debtor disagrees with the bankruptcy petition, he can orally defence conduct at the hearing or file a defence without a lawyer.

This statement of defence contains his response to your petition and any evidence supporting his position. The court will send you a copy of the statement of defence and its annexes.

Step #3
Step #3

The Session

As a creditor/applicant you must be present at the hearing together with your lawyer. If you are absent without notice, the court may reject the request.

For the debtor/defendant, attendance is not mandatory. But if he is absent and has not filed a written defence, the court can declare him bankrupt in a default judgment.

During the hearing as a creditor, you will have the chance to explain your application orally, while the debtor can present oral or written defences.

Step #4
Step #4

The ruling

If you file a petition for bankruptcy, the judge usually issues a ruling in the form of a judgment at the hearing.

If this is not possible, the ruling follows as soon as possible, usually within 1 or 2 weeks. After the judgment has been issued, you, your lawyer and the debtor will receive the judgment by post.

Step #5
Step #5

Opposition and appeal

Resistance can be filed within 14 days of a bankruptcy petition in default judgment.

Upon rejection of a bankruptcy petition, in appeal be gone, within eight days of the ruling.

What if the debtor defends against the bankruptcy petition?

When you file for a debtor's bankruptcy, they may defend themselves. This may be for various reasons, such as because they disagree with the claim or because they think the bankruptcy is unjustified. It is important to be prepared for this and know what to expect.

Conducting defence 

First, it is important to know that the debtor can file a defence in the court where the bankruptcy petition is filed. They will get 14 days time. In this defence, they can give arguments why the bankruptcy petition is not justified.

Responding to the defence

As a creditor, you must then respond to the debtor's defence. It is important to properly substantiate Why the bankruptcy petition is justified. This could include, for example, submitting contracts, invoices and other supporting documents.

The court's decision

The court will then make a decision. If the debtor's defence is rejected, bankruptcy will be declared. If the court does uphold the debtor's defence, the bankruptcy petition will be rejected.

Getting legal help

It is important to seek legal help in the event of a debtor's defence. We can help you respond to your debtor's defence and the substantiating the bankruptcy petitionk. This will increase your chances of success and allow you to still collect your outstanding invoices.

What happens if your debtor is declared bankrupt?

When your debtor is declared bankrupt, it does not just happen. Bankruptcy is only pronounced if you push through the bankruptcy petition.

However, it is possible to file for bankruptcy at the last minute withdraw to avoid bankruptcy.

Despite this risk, we advise you to go ahead with the bankruptcy petition in the event of not pay the claim. Indeed, our experience shows that otherwise there will also be would not have been paid even under maximum pressure of a bankruptcy petition.

"If no payment is made under this maximum pressure, then no payment will ever be made."

In this situation, it is better to have clarity quickly. That way, you know that you have done everything possible to get paid and have ensured that your non-paying customer does not dupe any more parties.

Moreover, you have saved yourself unnecessary costs for other legal action. Unlike the cost of other legal action, the cost of filing for bankruptcy is reimbursed from the bankruptcy estate. 

Process costs of a bankruptcy filing are a high priority and even come before tax debts.


It is important that there is something in the estate to cover these costs, otherwise there will be no compensation.

Benefits of bankruptcy filing debtor

    • You put maximum pressure on your non-paying customer
    • You have the best chance of getting paid
    • Your case will be handled by specialised debt collection specialists
    • You have quick clarity due to a short procedure of 4-6 weeks
    • Legal fees from € 999.
    • The costs will be reimbursed by your debtor if there are sufficient assets to be attached.

Why your debtor pays your claim to avoid bankruptcy

When your debtor goes bankrupt, it can have huge consequences for him.

  • Indeed, it means that the debtor's business will be wound up
  • That creditors such as banks will cash out collateral and guarantees. 
  • The trustee can investigate director liability and the director can be held personally liable.

It is therefore understandable that your debtor will do everything possible to avoid bankruptcy.

Therefore, filing for bankruptcy can be an effective means of getting your debtor to pay your invoice. Because chances are your invoice will be on top of the pile once a bankruptcy is filed by you. Eventually, your debtor will be inclined to pay your invoice to avoid his bankruptcy.

Within one working day you will receive an advice and cost estimate. Completely free of obligation. We only start working after your approval.


Questions about filing for bankruptcy?

Ask our debt collection professional Kees Post

Email or call 033 - 785 8470

Request bankruptcy petition advice


Consequences of a bankruptcy declaration for you as a creditor


    • You can no longer seize the debtor yourself.
    • You submit your claim with supporting documents to the trustee.
    • At the verification meeting, the final list of recognised claims will be determined.
    • If the trustee can proceed to pay creditors, you as a creditor will get paid according to the trustee's distribution list.
    • You can try to collect a remaining debt after bankruptcy.

Consequences of a declaration of bankruptcy for the debtor


    • Attachment can be made on all the debtor's property except basic necessities.
    • The debtor loses management and disposal of the assets.
    • All mail goes directly to the trustee.

Within one working day you will receive an advice and cost estimate. Completely free of obligation. We only start working after your approval.

Sparring about your debt collection case?

Feel free to call us at 033-785 8470. 

Then we will discuss the best approach together.

  Connected in 1 minute with a collection professional

 Free advice On the best debt collection approach

✅ On weekdays from 08:00 - 20:00 hour

  Special for entrepreneurs

Frequently asked questions about filing for bankruptcy


Who is allowed to file for bankruptcy?

The following people or companies may file for bankruptcy:

  • Creditors
  • The prosecution, or state
  • The court
  • Shareholders

Can anyone just file for bankruptcy?

No, you cannot just file bankruptcy for yourself or anyone else.

After all, you have to at least 2 creditors have to file for bankruptcy.


Can 1 creditor file for bankruptcy?

No, there must be at least two creditors.


Can anyone else file for bankruptcy?

Yes, if you have 2 or more creditors then the creditors can file for your bankruptcy


Can a bailiff file for bankruptcy?

No, a bailiff cannot file bankruptcy, it can only a lawyer.


Who has priority in bankruptcy?

If bankruptcy is declared then the following creditors will be paid first.

  1. The UWV
  2. Tax authorities
  3. employees with back pay.

How long do bankruptcy proceedings take?

The procedure to have bankruptcy declared by the court is 4 - 6 weeks, an additional 2 weeks may be added here if the debtor offers resistance.


Why file bankruptcy for a non-paying customer?

The pressure on a non-paying customer is increased by filing for bankruptcy.

The debtor wants to never be declared bankrupt and is thus forced to pay your bill.

Customer experience with debt collection agency Breyta

Dani Dunsbergen
Dani Dunsbergen
8. Maart, 2024.
Ahmet Demirel
Ahmet Demirel
5. Maart, 2024.
We hadden een klant die niet wilde betalen. We hebben Breyta benaderd. Kees was heel duidelijk in zijn communicatie. We werden op de hoogte gehouden tijdens de gehele procedure. De klant heeft uiteindelijk betaald. We zijn superblij met dit bedrijf en zullen het zeker aanraden!
Geert Menting
Geert Menting
4. Maart, 2024.
Ik werd geconfronteerd met een verstekveroodeling, aangezien ik de dagvaarding niet had ontvangen. Hierdoor was ik genoodzaakt in verzet te gaan. In deze situatie heb ik contact opgenomen met Breyta, waar ik snel, deskundig en op een persoonlijke wijze werd bijgestaan door Kees. Na een analyse van de zaak kwam Kees met een helder plan van aanpak. Dit plan hebben we vervolgens samen succesvol uitgevoerd. Naast de kundigheid heb ik de persoonlijke aanpak en snelheid van communicatie als zeer prettig ervaren.
Jan-Willem Logtmeijer
Jan-Willem Logtmeijer
8. Februari, 2024.
Ellie Borgers
Ellie Borgers
9. Januari, 2024.
Alles is keurig geregeld.
Stan SB Woodshop
Stan SB Woodshop
4. Januari, 2024.
Ik wist niet dat het zo makkelijk, duidelijk, vriendelijk en bovendien snel geregeld kon worden. Als ik dit eerder had geweten had het mij een hoop tijd en moeite in het verleden kunnen schelen. Mocht het weer nodig zijn dan maak ik zeker weer gebruik van de diensten van Breyta!
Joëll J
Joëll J
23. November, 2023.
Super fijne ervaring met Breyta en Kees Post Na verschillende slechte recensies van andere partijen te hebben gelezen bij Breyta uitgekomen, die wel veel positieve recensies had. Ik begrijp nu waarom. Na het eerste contact advies gekregen om een pre-incassobrief te sturen. Nadat dit op niks was uitgelopen werd ik netjes gebeld met de vraag of ik het incassotraject wilde starten. Nadat ik hier bevestigend op geantwoord had werd het incassotraject gestart. Tijdens het incassotraject ben ik telkens netjes op de hoogte gehouden door Kees. Als ik laat in de avond belde was er altijd een medewerker aanwezig om mij te woord te staan en een terugbelverzoek achter te laten bij Kees. De volgende dag werd ik dan netjes gebeld door Kees. Uiteindelijk kwam er weinig tot geen (re)actie vanuit mijn debiteur. Toen we op het punt stonden om een gerechtelijke procedure te starten kregen we bericht dat mijn debiteur faillissement gaat aanvragen. Helaas. Ondanks deze domper wil ik Kees en zijn team toch enorm bedanken voor het meedenken en de fijne service tijdens het traject.
Sandra van Heel
Sandra van Heel
22. November, 2023.
Super tevreden over Breyta! Ik zal het iedereen aanraden als je op zoek bent naar een incassobureau die absoluut zijn afspraken nakomt. Ze reageren snel en ze doen er alles aan om je te helpen en houden je goed op de hoogte van de vorderingen.
Sofia Valero
Sofia Valero
25. Oktober, 2023.
Prima dienstverlening
Meubelmakerij Roos en Termaat
Meubelmakerij Roos en Termaat
25. September, 2023.
Fijn bedrijf duidelijk en handelen snel.

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