General

What is Unpaid?

Unpaid is an innovative digital platform, developed by lawyers, bailiffs and IT experts. Are you facing an unpaid invoice? Enter your details on our website, we will take care of recovering the amount of money owed to you.

Unpaid was designed by and for entrepreneurs. We combine cutting-edge legal expertise and talent for digital innovation. In this way, we ensure that the needs of our customers are always met with a competitive edge.

Our initiative has not gone unnoticed. When the platform was launched in 2017, Unpaid won the "Most Innovative Lawyers" trophy awarded by the Financial Times. Our success does not end there. In 2019, we received an award for “Innovation in credit management”.

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.

Partnerships

Unpaid has based its operation on the IOS procedure. This is a legal procedure that involves a number of tightly defined steps. In our standard offer we limit ourselves to these steps.

In addition to this standard offer, we are also asked about partnerships. In such cases we can possibly look at specific flows or procedures to add to our operating methods. Obviously we always have to ensure that this has no impact on the legal proceedings. Would you like to discuss a customized approach where, for example, before we actually start the procedure, we first send out another letter or a friendly reminder? Contact us and we will gladly look at the options with you.

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.

What is included in these services?

We do the mandatory legal checks for you and forward your file to the bailiff. The bailiff will then conduct a creditworthiness check and, if positive, send a reminder to your client. He will deliver this reminder to your client in person. In the absence of a response from your client, the bailiff will draw up a verbal report of no contest and take the necessary steps to obtain a 'judgment.'

If your client has not paid by this point, the stronger follow-up steps of seizure, public sale, etc. will be pursued to force your client to pay. These additional costs are not included in the above rates. They will also be recovered from the debtor as much as possible. If there is a risk of additional costs to you as our customer, we will always contact you in advance to discuss this. You will never risk additional costs without having been informed about them. Moreover, if there is a risk of additional costs, you can decide to stop the case.

What is not included?

If the judicial officer has to incur additional execution costs, these costs are not included. These costs will only be incurred after consultation and explicit agreement with you. These costs will also be recovered from the debtor as much as possible. The primary intention is to recover the principal sum and all costs at the end of the process. There can never be any additional costs without you being informed about this risk.

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.

Do the Corona measures have an impact on my claims?

UPDATE: 12th of November 2020

In the fight against Covid-19, the federal government once again proclaimed more stringent measures on 30/10/2020. Just like during the first lockdown, these measures have an impact on the operation of bailiffs.

Fortunately, this time the measures imposed are much less stringent than they were in March 2020. As long as the lockdown is not extended, there will not even be an impact on cases submitted after 30 October. In fact, it is still possible for our bailiffs to deliver a demand for payment to your client. If there is no response, the bailiff can also still hand over the judgment obtained to enforce payment.

What is no longer possible?

Due to the measures imposed, it is currently no longer possible to use far-reaching, coercive means to enforce payment from your customer. One of these means of coercion is a visit by the court bailiff, who enters the debtor's premises to seize their assets. In addition, the current situation does not allow the organization of a public sale of assets that have been attached. Fortunately, such far-reaching measures are only necessary for exceptional circumstances.

A few exceptions to the ban on attachment

Nonetheless, there are a few exceptions to the ban on the seizure of a debtor. There is, in fact, a prohibition on such a seizure. If there are goods outside the debtor's premises, an attachment can still be carried out. Think, for example, of the seizure of a vehicle. The condition for this is, of course, that the vehicle must be present at the time of seizure.

In addition, it is sometimes still possible to seize a debtor who has several creditors. This situation arises, for example, when another creditor was already seized before the lockdown. The judicial officer then uses the attachment that has already been levied as a means of coercion for a new creditor. Since there is no need for a new attachment, the judicial officer can continue with the process during the lockdown. This procedure is nothing new. Bailiffs always use an attachment that has already been placed because it saves costs.

In the meantime, do you have any questions or would you like more information? Do not hesitate to contact us via info@unpaid.be or via +32 9 396 34 00.

Can I put a claim "On Hold" at any time?

Once you have submitted a claim to us, you give us a mandate to carry out the IOS procedure. This means that you give us the mandate to find a solution for your unpaid invoice within the scope of the IOS procedure. You normally do this after all the payment terms you have offered your client have expired.

As soon as you have submitted a claim, we take a number of steps that are closely aligned with each other. Putting a claim on hold before the payment reminder is served can only be done in the case where you have received a direct payment. However, a promise of payment is not sufficient. We assume that, once you use Unpaid, the "promises" phase is over.

Does Unpaid operate a no fix/no pay system?

No, we don't believe in no cure, no pay. In our opinion, good service cannot be free of charge.

With us, you pay an advance that we recover from your client. When paid by your customer, you get 100% of the claimed amount, 100% of the advance, and on top of that, the VAT on the claim of maximum 10%. This way, if everything goes well at the end of the trip, you get 102.10% of the principal sum, and all costs back!

However, in a very limited number of cases, you may not be able to recover part or all of the advance. This happens if your debtor goes bankrupt or goes into WCO (the former judicial reorganisation) during the course of the procedure. In those cases, the procedure is automatically terminated, and we reimburse the unused part of the advance. You can try to recover the part that you have lost as a company as a creditor in the bankruptcy court or the WCO. We conduct a double solvency investigation at the start of the procedure to do all we can to avoid the above. In this way, we prevent companies that are in very bad shape from ending up in the process. This also ensures that our clients do not incur unnecessary costs.

The advance that you pay to Unpaid covers all costs up to, and including, obtaining the title (judgment).

Costs for the seizure and a possible public sale are not included. Again, we will always recover these costs from the debtor. We monitor the solvency of the debtors at all times. If we think that there is a high risk of additional and non-recoverable costs, we will contact you. You then decide for yourself whether or not you want to go further. If you decide to go further, you will still recover all costs in the event of a successful collection. If the collection does not succeed (i.e. debtor goes bankrupt or in WCO) it is possible that we can recover these additional costs from you. However, this is only possible if we have clearly agreed this with you beforehand. The starting point is that you can never incur additional costs without us having explicitly informed you of this. At that moment, you can always decide to stop the procedure. Thanks to our extensive solvency checks at the start of each case, this situation is, fortunately, rare.

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 (excl. VAT) 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 (excl. VAT). 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. 

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 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 pays me?

Hooray, you have recovered all your money plus costs. 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 does the bailiff do?

Upon receipt of the file, the judicial officer will first carry out a creditworthiness check. If it turns out that there is a good chance that your customer will not be able to pay, he will contact you. If, as in most cases, there is no problem, the bailiff will go to your customer's home within five working days to deliver a payment reminder. This is followed by a statutory period of one month and eight days within which your debtor has the opportunity to pay.

In 89% of cases, a payment is made within 38 days. The bailiff will then refund the principal amount plus the recovered costs to you.

However, if no payment is made during that period, the bailiff can continue the collection and proceed to an attachment and sale of your debtor's goods. As soon as the procedure reaches that stage, there is a risk of additional costs. After all, the advance paid covers all costs until the title has been obtained. These additional costs are always recovered from the debtor. Only if the debtor goes into bankruptcy or WCO is there a chance that we will have to recover these costs from you. We permanently monitor the debtor's solvency. If we think that the chance of these additional costs is real, we will always contact you. At that moment, you can stop the procedure without additional costs. Our starting point is that you will never risk additional costs without us explicitly informing you of this. Since we carry out an extensive solvency check at the start of each procedure, this situation is, fortunately, rare.

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.

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

Unpaid works with a network of highly qualified and experienced bailiffs. The choice of bailiff is made on the basis of your debtor's postcode. This way, we are sure that your file will be processed quickly. These calm and competent officers follow up all your cases for you and always have a particularly good reputation within the sector.

 

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.

What if my customer does not respond to the reminder?

If the other party does not respond, the judicial officer can obtain an enforceable title after one month and eight days and force the debtor to pay. He does this by taking measures, such as seizure and, in extreme cases, a public sale.

If the procedure reaches that stage, there is a risk of additional costs. After all, the advance paid covers all costs up to the moment the title is obtained. These additional costs are always recovered from the debtor. Only when the debtor goes into bankruptcy or WCO, is there a chance that we will have to recover these costs from you. However, we continuously monitor the debtor's solvency. If we think that the chance of these additional costs is real, we will always contact you. At that moment, you have the chance to stop the procedure without additional costs. Our point of departure is that you never risk additional costs without us explicitly informing you. Since we do an extensive solvency check at the start of each procedure, this situation is, fortunately, rare.

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.

Collaboration Unpaid, Legal Village and AXA Belgium

What does the co-operation between Unpaid,Legal Village and AXA Belgium mean for you?

If you have taken out a Business Full or Flex contract with Legal Village, the legal aid brand of AXA Belgium, or if you have taken out Talensia insurance as a starter with AXA Belgium, you only have to pay 50% of the advance when submitting a file. Please note that the invoices must not be dated from before 2019. How do you get this discount? If you are a client of Legal Village, you can indicate this in a checkbox. We will then confirm whether you have a current contract with Legal Village. 
If you are a starter and have Talensia insurance with AXA Belgium, the discount on your deposit will automatically be granted on the basis of your VAT number. It goes without saying that we will recover this 50% from your client and that you will receive it back in full together with the principal amount. For more information about the cooperation with AXA Belgium and the conditions that have to be met: www.axa.be/starters-voordelen.

 

Does the discount apply for the entire procedure?

As a Legal Village client and/or Starter who has subscribed to Talensia insurance with AXA, your total cost will never exceed the advance paid. The only thing that can happen is that the bailiff, after analysing the file, finds that the solvency is very poor and indicates that the chances of irrecoverable costs are very high. If you, as a client, then instruct us to continue with the case, the additional costs will be at your expense if we are unable to collect successfully.

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 (€ 45.00 excl. VAT).

If you decide to continue anyway, and your debtor goes bankrupt or goes into judicial reorganisation, the risk of additional costs is at your expense.

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?

After submitting your claim, we will start working immediately. Your claim is processed, and the bailiff starts a solvency investigation prepares the reminder. Thus, we immediately incur a number of costs. If you want to cancel the claim for a good reason (e.g. your client appears to have paid after all), we will refund the full advance if this is done within 12 hours after the claim has been submitted.

If you decide to stop the claim within 72 hours after the claim has been submitted, you will get your deposit back minus €40 (excl. VAT) for the file costs and €45 (excl. VAT) for the solvency investigation.

If you receive a message from the bailiff that the solvency is in doubt which makes you decide to stop the claim, we will also refund the advance, after deduction of €40 for the filing costs and €45 for the solvency investigation. At that time, you can also opt to receive a tax certificate for an additional €30.45 (excl. VAT). This is to recover the VAT on your invoice.

Once the reminder has been served, things will be different. It is always the intention that the debtor pays the entire debt to the bailiff, including all costs incurred. In exceptional cases, the debtor will pay the outstanding debt directly to you. In that case, however, the outstanding costs will still have to be paid. For this purpose, the bailiff sends the debtor a letter of balance free of charge and execution is continued. If you, nevertheless, wish to terminate the proceedings, the costs consist of several elements. On the one hand, the amounts advanced by you and already paid; on the other hand, the indemnity clause that amounts to a maximum of 10% of the principal sum. If you decide to stop the file yourself, any costs that were higher than the advanced 50% will also be recovered from you. It goes without saying that this can never exceed the original 100% of the advance payment. Of course, all of this only applies if you yourself choose to stop the current claim after the reminder.

Foreign companies

What is the IOS/RCI procedure?

The IOS/RCI procedure (Invordering Onbetwiste Geldschulden/Recouvrement de Créances Incontestées) is a new Belgian procedure for the collection of undisputed debts, designed to more rapidly resolve outstanding payments. It offers a way for you to collect unpaid, undisputed B2B invoices without having to go to court. After 38 days, an enforceable title can be obtained through a bailiff, with which you can claim your money.

How does the IOS/RCI procedure work?

We get started as soon as you submit your claim. We immediately perform an initial basic solvency check, so that you can find out right away what to expect.

The file is then transferred to the bailiff who will investigate the solvency in greater detail. This is in order to avoid needlessly incurring costs.
Within 5 working days, the bailiff will also formally deliver a reminder to your customer and send you a copy.

After the reminder is issued, there is a legally required waiting period of 38 days. This will give your customer the opportunity to pay or possibly contest the invoice.

If, after the waiting period of 38 days, your customer has not yet paid or has not correctly protested, the bailiff can draw up an official report.

On the basis of this official report, the bailiff can obtain an enforceable title, which authorises further steps such as seizing your customer's property.

Are there any requirements that I have to meet as a foreign company?

If you want to use the IOS/RCI procedure as a foreign company, you must first of all have an enterprise number registered in the companies database of one of the following countries:

  • Netherlands
  • France
  • Germany
  • Luxembourg
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Austria

It will also be important for your customer to be a Belgian professional, with an enterprise number registered in the Belgian CBE database. The invoice in question may not have been contested by your customer.

As a foreign company, can I use the IOS/RCI procedure against a Belgian customer?

You certainly can. Recently, the databases of companies registered in the Netherlands, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Italy, Spain and Austria were made equivalent with the Belgian Crossroads Bank for Enterprises database. If you are a company from one of these countries, you can now also use the Belgian IOS/RCI procedure if your customer is based in Belgium.

What if my customer still contests the invoice?

If your customer nevertheless contests the invoice within these 38 days, this procedure will have to be closed. This procedure can only be used for undisputed invoices.

But that's not necessarily the end of the story. You can still pursue payment by means of the traditional procedure through the courts. The costs that have already been incurred for this procedure can also be included in your claim.

What does it cost?

Just like with a Belgian company, this actually costs you nothing. Since we always recover all costs from your customer, you only have to advance the costs involved.

The price of this 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 (excl. VAT), and on the other hand, the costs 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:

 

Valeur du dossier Prix hors TVA

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.