Our office is justifiably a super specialist in the field of the WSNP (Debt Rescheduling Act). The purpose of this law is to get people with problematic debts debt-free after three years.
Costs are not too bad
People with debt problems often noticed that it is not easy to get into debt restructuring. They often do not have the money to be accompanied by a lawyer. However, the costs are very reasonable. Since then, our office has developed into a debt rescheduling specialist with national appeal. Debt counselors and protection administrators refer their clients to us for help if they fail to enter the debt restructuring scheme.
We will appeal if someone is not admitted by the court. There is often still something that can be done so that the court still gives the green light. For example, someone may have CJIB (traffic fines) debts, but if a family member pays it, the problem is solved. Sometimes someone has tax debts that there is still something to do. Sometimes something else needs to be done, such as lowering a maintenance obligation through the courts. We then combine that and we request a postponement from the court until the obstacle has been removed.
An appeal to the hardship clause can also help in appeal. At the court, the client often has not yet engaged a lawyer, and he does not know what background information he must provide to the judge in order to assess the appeal to the hardship clause. The judge then states in the ruling that the hardship clause has not been invoked, while the person concerned would of course like to be included in the WSNP. This example shows that a lawyer is indispensable, because he knows how a judge comes to his decision. A judge loses his neutrality if he helps someone with debt restructuring; for the right strategy you need a lawyer.
Once you are in debt restructuring, strict requirements apply. You must keep the administrator informed of all financial developments. You must apply (or apply for an exemption yourself, even if you already have an exemption under another law such as the Wajong Act or the Social Assistance Act). If the administrator finds that you do not comply with the conditions, he will request early termination. Then you can hire a lawyer. Of course, this also applies to the appeal, if the court pronounces the premature termination. That is the last chance, because you can only join the WSNP once every 10 years. There are (almost) no exceptions to this strict rule.
Things can still go wrong towards the end of the WSNP if the administrator or the court does not want to clean the slate . This happens sometimes and it can have various causes. An example is the situation where it turns out at the last minute that there is still a debt that was not on the creditors’ overview. Challenging ‘no clean slate’ decisions is also a specialty of our office.
Alternative: Compulsory Agreement
Appointing an administrator and going through the strict regime of the WSNP is not always necessary. If most creditors agree, and only a few creditors are thwarted, the judge can impose a “forced debt settlement”. This is also known as a compulsion agreement. This is generally more attractive for the debtor and also for the creditor, because the costs of the administrator are saved.
We are happy to share our knowledge about debt restructuring.
Our publications are intended for debt counselors, administrators and, of course, people with debts.