Rules for collection services as of 1 April

From 1 April 2024, collection service providers will have to meet quality requirements and will be required to register. With these requirements and the registration obligation from the Collection Services Quality Act, the industry will be regulated in the Netherlands for the first time. This will better protect people in debt and creditors will be better informed about what collection service providers can do for them. The Act should also lead to fewer unprofessional practices and limit the accumulation of collection costs. On the proposal of Minister Weerwind for Legal Protection, the cabinet approved underlying regulations so that the Act can enter into force.

Minister Weerwind: "Collection services are called services for a reason: abuses and improper treatment do not belong there. With these requirements, both a creditor and a debtor can count on quality and clarity when dealing with debts and claims, meaning that everyone can trust the work of collection service providers.”

Quality requirements

The quality requirements apply to all parties professionally engaged in extrajudicial collection on behalf of third parties from consumers residing in the Netherlands. These quality requirements also apply if the claim is resold to another party. Service providers are required to register in a register that can be viewed by anyone. Their work is subject to quality requirements in terms of professional competence, dealing with creditors and debtors, information provision and complaint handling. The Act also contains a provision to limit the accumulation of collection costs for recurring claims. The collection costs may not exceed 140 euros if the monthly claim or the instalment amount is lower than 266.67 euros. The limitation of collection costs will be in force from 1 October 2024.

Supervision and registration

Existing collection service providers must register within a year of 1 April 2024. Collection service providers starting their services after 1 April must register immediately. Screening authority Justis will manage the register for collection service providers and screen extrajudicial collection agencies. The Inspectorate of Justice and Security will monitor the quality requirements and registration obligation and can enforce if collection service providers do not comply with the rules.