The IOS procedure: recovering undisputed debts quickly and cheaply
The IOS procedure, or procedure for the recovery of undisputed company debt, was created by the Belgian legislator in July 2016. It is known as a faster, more efficient, and cheaper way to recover unpaid invoices from companies. What are the advantages of this legislation for you? We list them below for you.
The IOS procedure: why?
The IOS procedure, in full the procedure for the collection of undisputed debts, allows a company to collect unpaid invoices from another company. And this without the court intervening.
You can apply this IOS legislation if:
- the creditor is a company from Belgium, or from certain other countries
- the debtor has a Belgian VAT number or company number
You cannot use the IOS procedure to collect unpaid invoices from a consumer or a government.
What are the advantages of the IOS procedure?
Thanks to the procedure for the recovery of undisputed company debts, as a creditor you get the money you are entitled to in a more efficient, cheaper, and faster way than through other routes.
1. More efficient
Collecting an unpaid invoice often takes a long time and costs you a lot of money. Using a lawyer and going through the courts will tie you up for at least a year. Moreover, you have no idea of the costs in advance. Also, debt collection has low legal impact. Consequently, results take a long time to materialise, especially in a B2B environment.
The IOS procedure offers the best of both worlds. It is both fast and 100% legally sound. As a result, your client will quickly proceed to payment in most cases.
Before the start of the IOS procedure, we check whether your file meets all necessary legal requirements. If so, this procedure will cost you far less than the traditional route for collecting unpaid invoices:
- you do not have to go to court for an enforceable title to payment
- the bailiff and lawyer only briefly interact
- you do not pay for any registration fees in the IOS procedure
- we recover all costs from your client.
In short, at the end of the process, a regular file will cost you nothing.
As soon as you submit an unpaid invoice to us that meets the requirements, we initiate the IOS procedure. A bailiff will visit your client within five working days. From that moment on, they have 38 days to pay or dispute your invoice. If they do neither, we automatically take the serious steps of seizure and public sale. In practice, this does not often happen.
What are the drawbacks of the IOS procedure?
No matter how innovative the IOS legislation is, like any procedure it has some limitations. We cannot use the IOS procedure or we have to stop it in the following cases:
- The client submits a petition to the commercial court.
This will suspend the IOS procedure. If, as a creditor, you still want to proceed, you must do so via the traditional route. A judge will rule on the validity of the dispute. Fortunately, this seldom happens. Your client risks much higher costs if the court orders him to pay.
- Your client is bankrupt or goes bankrupt while the IOS proceedings are in progress.
You cannot bring this procedure against a bankrupt company. If your client is suddenly declared bankrupt during the procedure, it will end automatically. In that case, we advise you to submit a file on REGSOL.
- Your client is in a judicial reorganisation (formerly known as WCO) that protects them against creditors.
In this case, unfortunately, it is not possible to start the IOS procedure. You can read about what you can do in this article.
Get the money you deserve more efficiently, quickly, and cheaply
Collecting unpaid invoices is easier than you thought. You can initiate the IOS procedure in just ten minutes via the Unpaid online platform. We do the rest.