General

What is Unpaid?

Unpaid is an initiative of the law firm DE GROOTE – DE MAN and was created in response to the Law on uncontested Debt Recovery. This online platform allows you to collect your outstanding, undisputed invoices from companies with a minimum of cost and effort.

What is different about the new procedure for the collection of uncontested debt?

With this procedure, you can force a debtor to pay without the involvement of a judge. This means that you can very quickly collect payment for your invoice with a minimum of cost and effort.

Benefits

Why should I use this service?

With a minimum of effort you can have your unpaid, undisputed invoices collected, without even having to make an appointment with a lawyer. What's more, the costs are so low that it would hardly make sense not to use the service.

What are the advantages for me?

  • You can submit everything online.
  • You will receive your money quickly.
  • You will receive an immediate reply indicating whether or not you are eligible to use our service for your invoices.
  • When all is said and done, it often ends up costing you nothing and you will have more than the principal repaid!

Costs

What does Unpaid cost?

In fact, all of this costs you nothing, because the costs will be recovered from your customer. However, you will be required to make an advance payment of these minimal costs.

The price of the service is broken down into two types of costs. On one hand, the costs for the lawyers’ verification of the eligibility of your case (40 euros, excl. VAT), and on the other hand, the cost of the bailiff who must make an on-site visit and draw up an official report of non-contestation. The cost for this will depend on the amount of your claim.

In total, these services will cost you:

Value of your case Cost excl. VAT

0 – 124,99 €

166,93 €

125 – 369,99 €

197,15 €

370 – 619,99 €

227,49 €

620 – 1859,99 €

242,71 €

1860 – 3719,99 €

273,05 €

3720 – 12399,99 €

303,29 €

12400 – 37199,99 €

333,73 €

37200 - …

394,41 €

Who pays the final bill?

The bailiff will attempt to recover all costs for the service (€ 40.00 excl. VAT), as well as any other bailiff’s costs, from your customer.

My lawyer often charges € 125.00 per hour (excl. VAT) for an initial consultation. Why is Unpaid so cheap?

By fully automating the process, we are able to provide this service to you for just € 40.00 (excl. VAT)!

When can I use this platform?

Where can I use this platform?

You can only use this platform in Belgium.

Can I also use this platform to recover debt from companies located abroad?

No, you cannot use this platform for companies located outside Belgium. That is why you can only enter a Belgian VAT number when you start up your case.

What kind of invoices can I have collected through this platform?

You can only collect uncontested and undisputed invoices with this platform.

What are undisputed invoices?

These are invoices that you have sent to customers and for which you have received no response.

What if my invoice has been contested?

In that case, you cannot use this platform and you will have to consult a lawyer about debt collection through the courts.

Click here to have a lawyer contact you to discuss this, at no obligation.

Can I use this platform to collect old unpaid invoices?

Yes, we will check fully automatically if you can still collect your payment.

Can I use this platform with all of my customers?

No, you can only use this efficient procedure for invoices issued to companies, but not to consumers. Do you have unpaid invoices issued to consumers?

Click here to have a lawyer contact you to discuss this, at no obligation.

What if I have not made contractual provisions for interest or damages?

We advise you to always include clear payment terms with your invoices. If your invoice does not contain payment terms, then you can invoke the Law on combating late payment in commercial transactions. If you have an unpaid and uncontested invoice, you are automatically entitled to fixed damages of €40.00 in addition to the principal.

Is this service also useful for small invoices of € 100.00 or less?

Absolutely. It would be difficult to start legal proceedings for an invoice of under € 100.00. But thanks to this procedure, you can still quickly recover your outstanding invoice at your customer’s expense.

How does it work?

What are the steps in the procedure?

  1. You enter your own details and your customer’s details.
  2. You upload the necessary documents.
  3. We verify whether all legal requirements are met.
  4. We will then forward everything to the bailiff who will collect the money for you.

What do these services include?

We will carry out the legally required checks on your behalf and we will forward your case to the bailiff. The bailiff will send your customer a reminder. He will personally knock at your customer’s door to deliver it. If your customer fails to respond, the bailiff will draw up an official report of non-contestation and make the arrangements to obtain a "judgement".

If additional measures should prove necessary later on, then the bailiff will contact you to discuss the next steps (seizure, sale, etc.) to recover your money. These additional costs are not included in the rates shown above.

What is not included?

If the bailiff incurs additional operational costs, these will not be included in the price. The bailiff will check with you before incurring these costs, to obtain your explicit approval.

I have entered my details and submitted the supporting documents, but what about the confidentiality of my data?

Everything that you send through Unpaid takes place through a secure connection. All the information that you provide is covered by our professional confidentiality obligation as lawyers, so you have an absolute guarantee of confidentiality.

Once you have my details and supporting documents, what happens next?

If the legal requirements have been fulfilled, then we will forward the case to the bailiff. The bailiff will collect payment for your invoice on your behalf and all recovered amounts will be deposited directly into your bank account.

What does the bailiff do?

The bailiff will first send your customer a reminder, which the bailiff will personally hand-deliver in order to collect payment.

What if my customer does not respond to the reminder?

If your customer does not respond, then, after a period of one month and eight days, the bailiff can obtain an enforceable right to force the debtor to pay. This will be done by taking measures such as seizure of property. The bailiff will contact you directly to obtain your approval and to discuss the costs for this action.

What if my customer requests payment facilities?

  • If your customer complies with these facilities, then the procedure will be over once the debt is paid in full.
  • If your customer does not comply with the facilities, the bailiff will have to obtain an enforceable right and will force your customer to pay. This will be done by taking measures such as seizure of property. The bailiff will contact you directly to obtain your approval and to discuss the costs for this action.

What if my customer contests the reminder on specific grounds?

Then the procedure stops there. The bailiff will contact you to discuss the possible next steps.

How much time does my customer have to dispute the invoice?

Your customer can dispute it at any time, which will lead to the end of this procedure.

What if my customer pays me?

Congratulations, you have recovered all of your money plus the extra costs incurred and possibly also a maximum of 10% in damages. The bailiff will pay all recovered amounts directly to your bank account.

Who is the bailiff who will be working on my behalf?

Unpaid works for you together with the bailiff's office GDW-GENT. This experienced office will handle your entire case and has an exceptionally good reputation in the sector.

 

Collaboration Unpaid and LAR

What does the co-operation between Unpaid and LAR mean for you?

If you're insured by LAR, you can request a unique code from them for Unpaid. If you have a valid LAR code, you will only have to pay 50% of the advance payment when you file a claim for outstanding invoices dated 01.01.2019 or later.

Click here to request a code

How long is the code from LAR valid?

Once you've used a code from LAR for the first time, it will remain valid for one month. In the course of that month, you will only have to pay 50% of the advance payment when you file a claim for outstanding invoices dated 01.01.2019 or later.

After one month, you will receive notification that your code has expired and you can apply for a new code from LAR.

Do I need to request a new code for every claim?

No. The code you receive is valid for an entire month and will automatically remain activated for every claim that you submit from your account. However, this only applies for invoices dated from 01.01.2019 onwards. In other words, with a single code, you can submit as many claims as you like for an entire month.

Does the LAR discount apply for the entire procedure?

Your discount only applies for the initial advance payment. That means, until the bailiff receives an enforceable title (judgement). Concretely, that means that the bailiff will then already have paid a visit to your debtor with an official demand for payment. This is followed by a statutory period of one month and 8 days during which the debtor is given the opportunity to pay.

However, if no payment is forthcoming during that period and no formal protest is filed, then the bailiff can take the claim to the next level and proceed with a seizure or sale of your debtor's property. Once the procedure reaches this phase, there may be additional costs. The 50% discount from LAR does not apply for these additional costs. Of course, we will also make every effort to recover these costs from your debtor.

But no worries, none of this will happen without your consent. If no payment is made following the reminder, our bailiff will first contact you to find out if you want to go further with the procedure.

What if my debtor protests the invoice?

If your debtor protests the invoice within the statutory period of one month and 8 days following the reminder, then the procedure via Unpaid will stop at that point. You will be billed for the costs effectively incurred by the bailiff. However, you can still attempt to recover these costs, along with the rest, if you decide to pursue the claim further in court.

You can always take further steps to attempt to recover your money, but simply no longer via Unpaid. A judge will have to assess whether your debtor's protest is valid. In other words, if you decide to continue, you will need the services of a lawyer. The law firm De Groote – De Man, with which Unpaid collaborates, has experience and expertise in this area.

Have a lawyer contact you at no obligation

What if my debtor is insolvent?

The first step that the bailiff will take is to conduct a solvency investigation. If this investigation determines that your debtor has a risk of insolvency, you will be contacted by the bailiff. The choice is then up to you whether to terminate or continue the procedure.

If you decide to terminate the procedure at that point, you will be refunded your advance payment, after deduction of the costs incurred for the solvency investigation (€ 50.00 excl. VAT).

If you decide to continue, LAR cannot be held liable for any additional costs incurred.

What if my debtor is declared bankrupt during the procedure?

If your debtor is declared bankrupt during the procedure, the procedure via Unpaid will automatically stop. Unfortunately, this means that you will lose your advance payment, but the costs effectively incurred by the bailiff up until the point of the enforceable title, will still be covered. Concretely, this means all the actual costs that the bailiff incurred from the start of the procedure until the end of the statutory payment term of 1 month and 8 days.

What if I want to terminate the procedure?

You can always terminate the procedure, even if you have submitted a claim using a discount code from LAR. However, when you decide to terminate the procedure before the statutory payment term of one month and 8 days has expired, the discount will be forfeited. In that case, you will be billed for the costs effectively incurred by the bailiff. However, that additional amount will be capped at the amount that you already paid for your advance.