Seizure is the most efficient tool when dealing with persistent defaulters.
Most bailiffs are only too familiar with the well-seasoned debtors in their region, who in a manner of speaking only pay when the moving van drives in to pick up their goods.
In Belgium seizure is the monopoly of bailiffs, who are officials named by Royal decree. The bailiff is functionally independent in the exercise of his enforcement task.
There are 2 types of seizure: precautionary attachments or seizures (conservatory measures) and executory seizures, for instance the seizure on goods in order to have them sold on a public auction.
Conservatory seizure or protective seizure is a provisional measure of "freezing" of certain assets of the debtor to avoid that they disappear awaiting the decision of the court on the grounds of the case.
Movable goods or real estate can be attached by ways of a precautionary measure with consent of the ‘executions judge’, who can grant permission to seize certain goods, provided that there is urgency and that the creditor proves his claim ‘primo facie’, such as a claim founded on undisputed invoices.
Attachment of earnings, bank accounts or claims held by the debtor can immediately be performed by the bailiff without prior authorisation from the court.
As a general rule a judgement on the merits of a case or a default judgment pronounced by a Belgian court can be executed against the debtor, even if he appeals against the decision.
However, the debtor can avoid the auction of his goods when he pays the full amount of the conviction to the bailiff and requests to transfer the money into a trust account held by the bailiff, awaiting the final decision of the Court of Appeal.
European orders for payment and court decisions from other EU countries can also be executed in Belgium by a Belgian bailiff ans have the same legal force as Belgian judgments.
The costs of seizure depend on the type of attachment or seizure (seizure of movable property, on real estate or attachment in the hands of a third party, such as a bank).
All attachment costs must always be reimbursed by the debtor.
As a client, you are always given a clear price indication beforehand, before any attachment or seizure is performed.