Discharge procedures to become accessible for a wider range of debtors


On December 19, 2018, the Senate rejected a draft amendment to the Insolvency Act and returned it to the Chamber of Deputies for further discussion; the amendment is primarily intended to deal with the situation of indebted natural persons locked into debt-traps. The draft amendment aims to make the discharge procedure available to a wider range of debtors, for example by removing the condition to repay a minimum of 30% of the claims of unsecured creditors over a period of 5 years.

Furthermore, the proposal introduces a definition of a debtor’s dishonest intent; the debtor’s (dis)honest intent then has an impact on whether the discharge procedure is approved. A debtor’s intent will be seen as dishonest, if (i) he or she fails to mention a substantial part of his or her assets in the list of assets; (ii) he or she provides false information in the insolvency proceedings; (iii) he or she has conceals one or more of his or her incomes or fails to attempt to carry out a regular gainful activity or (iv) his or her conduct before applying for the discharge procedure is deemed to have been prejudicial to his or her creditors.

If this amendment is adopted, it is expected to become effective in the middle of this year.