Debt Restructuring Act for Natural Persons / Administrator

The WSNP stands for Debt Restructuring Act Natural Persons (Wettelijke Schuldsanering Natuurlijke Personen). If the municipal debt counselling has failed because your creditors do not agree to the partial forgiveness, you can submit a request to the court to be admitted to the WSNP.

The court does not grant all requests. If the judge rejects your request, you have 8 days to appeal. A lawyer is required to file an appeal. Take immediate action if your application for admission to the WSNP has been rejected.

If the court grants the request, the court will also appoint a WSNP administrator. This administrator is there for the creditors, but he (or she) will also take your interests into account. The administrator determines (together with the judge of instruction) what amount you can keep monthly. We call this the Free Allowance Amount (Vrij Te Laten Bedrag). Anything you receive in excess of that must be paid into the estate account. Sometimes assets also have to be sold, such as a house or an expensive car. The proceeds are for the estate account.

During the WSNP you must adhere to all kinds of rules and conditions. The most important are the following:

·      Work obligation: In principle you must work 36 hours per week

·      Obligation to apply: If you work less than 36 hours per week, you must in principle apply for other work or additional work

·      Payment obligation: You must deposit all your income in excess of the Free Allowance Amount (Vrij Te Laten Bedrag) to the administrator

·      Information obligation: You must inform your administrator about your income, your expenses, your personal situation and sometimes also your medical situation.

Every six months the administrator writes a report on the progress of the WSNP. After three years, the administrator also gives advice to the judge about the clean slate. If the administrator believes that you have done everything right, the administrator will give a positive advice about the clean slate. There is then a very good chance that the court will grant you a clean slate and you will be rid of your debts.

If the court finds that you do not comply with all the rules and obligations of the WSNP, the court may decide that your WSNP will be terminated prematurely or that you will not be given a clean slate. Before the court does this, you will be invited to a hearing at the court. If this only concerns an interrogation, you cannot get lawyer help for this (at least, no government subsidy is given for this), but if the hearing concerns an interim termination or termination without a clean slate, Advocatenkantoor Elbertse can help you with this. If you have not yet had legal assistance at this stage, you still have an additional chance. Because the court’s decision to terminate the WSNP prematurely or to terminate it regularly without a clean slate is subject to an appeal period of 8 days. So take action immediately if you receive such a decision.

In some cases you do adhere to the rules and conditions, but it is the WSNP administrator who makes mistakes or does not do his (or her) job properly. In such cases, first discuss this with the WSNP administrator. Maybe a solution is possible together. If the complaint is not resolved, you can contact the judge of instruction of the court who supervises the administrator. You can ask the judge of instruction to oblige the administrator to resolve his errors or you can ask for a different administrator. You don’t need a lawyer for this. You can only engage a lawyer through the government subsidy if there is significant financial damage.

What is the difference between all those different administrators?

The term administrator often refers to different officials. Here is a list of the most common administrators:

Protective Administrator / Financial Administrator (Book 1 of the Dutch Civil Code): This administrator handles the income and expenses of the person under financial guardianship. The administrator also makes payment arrangements with creditors. This administrator represents the person under administration, for example in legal proceedings.

Dept Restructuring Administrator (Debt Restrucring Act for Natural Persons): The administrator collects all income from the person under administration in excess of the ‘Free Allowance Amount’ and can also sell some of the assets. The administrator saves this amount for the creditors. This administrator checks whether you comply with all obligations. If you meet all the requirements, this administrator will advise the judge to give you a clean slate. If the judge grants a clean slate, all old debts will be forgiven.

Suspension of Payments Administrator (Dutch Bankruptcy Act): If a company is about to go bankrupt, a suspension of payments can be requested from the court. During a suspension of payments (‘deferral of payment’), the suspension of payments administrator examines whether the company can still be saved financially and takes the necessary measures. Most suspensions are converted into bankruptcy.

Testamentary Administrator (Book 4 of the Dutch Civil Code): If someone with a lot of assets dies, that person may have stipulated in their will that their inheritance will be managed by a testamentary administrator. The heirs will then not be able to access the money and assets themselves. If an heir wants to receive part of the money, he or she can submit a request to the administrator. The administrator then decides whether and, if so, how much money will be paid out to the heir.