General

What is Unpaid?

Unpaid is an initiative of the law firm DE GROOTE – DE MAN. Unpaid was created in 2016 in response to the law on the recovery of uncontested monetary debts. The big advantage of this new law is that, as a company, you can now collect your unpaid undisputed invoices from companies in a way that's easy, cheap and transparent, with a minimum of costs and effort.

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

With this new procedure, as a company, you can enforce payment of undisputed, unpaid invoices without first going to court. This means that you can very quickly collect payment for your invoice with a minimum of cost and effort. Plus, all your costs are recovered through the debtor. In principle, you therefore always receive the full invoice amount plus the advance that you paid to Unpaid and the bailiff.

Benefits

Why should I use this service?

Unpaid invoices have a major impact on your company's liquidity. You have provided a service or carried out a job which therefore entitles you to correct payment of your invoices. Via Unpaid.be you can have your unpaid, undisputed invoices collected with minimal effort, without having to make an appointment with a lawyer or wait for a court ruling. 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. If you work with Teamleader, Yuki, Billit or Exact online, you do not have to enter anything yourself. With the click of a button, you can send the data to the Unpaid platform.
  • 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 will often end up costing you nothing at all and you will be reimbursed the principal plus all advanced costs.

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.

The advance payments will amount to a total of:

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 €

 

In addition to the principal sum and the costs, for which you will receive full repayment, Unpaid may also be able to collect interest and damages from your customer. Depending on the terms of your invoice, these may be up to a maximum of 10% of the total invoice amount and are intended to finance the operating costs of Unpaid.

Who pays the final bill?

The bailiff will attempt to recover all costs for the service (€ 40.00 excl. VAT), as well as the 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 working fully automatically we have been able to keep the cost of our services very low. In addition to the € 40 (excluding VAT), Unpaid also withholds any interest and damages that can be recovered from the debtor. This can amount to a maximum of 10% of the invoice amount.

When can I use Unpaid?

Where can I use Unpaid?

Unpaid can only be used to collect debts from Belgian companies. In other words, it can be used by Belgian companies that have unpaid invoices in Belgium, but also by foreign companies that want to have debts collected from Belgian companies. This is currently possible for companies from the Netherlands, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Austria.

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

No, you cannot use Unpaid for companies located outside Belgium.

What kind of invoices can I have collected through Unpaid?

You can only collect unpaid and undisputed invoices from companies through Unpaid. Invoices issued to the government or private individuals cannot be collected via this route.

What are undisputed invoices?

These are invoices that you have sent, which your customer has not contested in writing. If there has been a protest and the protest has been accepted and rectified through, for example, a credit note, the non-protested part can still be considered an undisputed invoice.

What if my invoice has been contested?

If the invoice in its entirety has been contested, you cannot use this platform and you will need to consult a lawyer to seek recovery through the courts. A judge must then decide whether or not the protest is justified.

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

If your customer has protested against a part of the invoice and you have accepted and rectified this by means of a credit note, the non-protested part can be considered as an undisputed invoice. Suppose you have sent an invoice in the amount of 1,500 euros. Following the customer's objections, you agree to reduce the amount to € 1,000 and you send a credit note for € 500. If the customer still does not pay the outstanding balance of € 1,000, you can collect this through Unpaid.be

Can I use Unpaid to collect old Unpaid invoices?

Yes, we will check fully automatically if you can still collect your payment. All you have to do is enter the data and our system will let you know immediately whether or not the statute of limitations has expired on the invoice.

Can I use Unpaid with all of my customers?

No, you can only use this efficient procedure for invoices issued to companies, but not to consumers or the government. If you have unpaid invoices issued to consumers or the government, it is best to go through a lawyer.

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 perform a credit check and, if the results are positive, issue a reminder to your customer. The bailiff will personally deliver this reminder to your customer. 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 prices shown above but will also be recovered from the debtor to the extent possible. The aim remains for you to be able to recover the principal and all costs at the end of the process.

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. These costs will also be recovered from the debtor to the extent possible. The aim remains for you to be able to recover the principal and all costs at the end of the process.

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 your invoice for you and transfer the recovered principal plus the advanced costs directly to you.

What does the bailiff do?

Upon receipt of the case, the bailiff will initially perform a credit check. If this shows that your customer is unlikely to be able to pay, the bailiff will contact you. If, as in most cases, there is no problem, within 5 working days, the bailiff will deliver a demand for payment to your customer's home. This is followed by a statutory period of one month and 8 days during which the debtor is given the opportunity to pay.

In 89% of the cases, payment will be made within the month. The bailiff will then transfer the principal sum plus the recovered costs to you.

However, if no payment is forthcoming during that period, 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. At this point, you will be contacted to discuss it before any further steps are taken.

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?

Hooray, you have recovered all your money plus costs. The bailiff will pay all recovered amounts directly to your bank account. It sometimes happens that, after the bailiff's visit, the customer pays the sum directly to you. If this happens, contact Unpaid or the bailiff as soon as possible. After all, your customer is supposed to pay back the advanced costs as well.

 

 

What happens if you decide to stop the process via Unpaid

Once you have submitted your claim, we will get started immediately. Your claim is processed and the bailiff starts a solvency investigation and begins preparing the formal notice. This means that we immediately incur a number of costs. If, for a good reason (for example, your customer appears to have paid), you wish to cancel the claim, we will refund the full advance if this occurs within 12 hours of submitting the claim.

If you decide to stop the case within 72 hours of submitting the claim, you will receive your advance back, with deduction of € 40 (excl. VAT) for the administrative costs and € 45 for the solvency investigation.

If you are notified by the bailiff that the solvency is questionable and you therefore decide to stop the claim, we will also refund the advance after deducting € 40 for the administrative costs and € 45 for the solvency investigation. At that point, you can also opt to receive an additional tax certificate for € 30.45. You can use this to recover the VAT from your invoice.

It's different, once the formal notice has been served. The idea is always for the debtor to pay the full debt, including all costs, to the bailiff. In exceptional cases, the debtor may pay the outstanding debt directly to you. In that case, the costs incurred will still have to be paid. For these, the bailiff will send a balance letter to the debtor, free of charge, and the execution can still be continued. If you wish to close the case, the costs will consist of the costs you have advanced and the compensation clause that amounts to a maximum of 10% of the principal sum. The decision whether or not to waive these costs is entirely up to you. But waiving them would mean that you will not get back any advanced costs and that you will have to pay the compensation clause. If you have submitted a claim with a promo code, you will also have to pay the costs in that case.

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 1 January 2019 or later. It goes without saying that we will recover this 50% from your customer and that, once the customer pays, you will receive it back together with the principal sum.

Moreover, LAR has negotiated a nice extra for its customers with a valid LAR Business Full or Flex contract. If you submit your claim with a LAR code, upon payment by the debtor you will receive a maximum of 5% of the principal on top of the principal and the advances. The amount that you receive depends on what can be collected based on your invoice conditions. From the claim for damages, 5% of the principal sum plus VAT is always deducted for the operating costs of Unpaid. The remaining balance is for you. "

 

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, 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 and Unpaid. However, that additional amount will be capped at the amount that you already paid for your advance.