Local regulations present a challenge – The Netherlands, Belgium, and France as examples
It is simply a given that legislation is unique to each individual country.
This is even the case in the European Union, where many aspects have already been harmonized. Beneath the highest level of legislation, the countries actually vary significantly – even in overlapping language regions such as the Netherlands, France, and Belgium. This results in special challenges for international debt collection.
Here are some examples of differences in regulations affecting receivables management:
- In the Netherlands, debt collection fees can be charged, albeit within a strictly regulated framework.
- In Belgium, dunning fees may be charged as long as they are reasonable, justified, and contractually regulated by general terms of business.
- By contrast, charging collection fees is not permitted in France. Here, collection agencies receive a certain percentage of the principal claim after it has been collected.
The list of special regulations and laws in these countries and others in Europe and beyond goes on and on. It all comes down to the details. It therefore appears to make sense to use one “cook” or debt collection agency per country that understands the local circumstances and local “tastes”, including in terms of how to contact defaulting payers.