Customer bankrupt? Do not forget to call the director to account


Customer bankrupt? Do not forget to call the director to account

Pieter Helsen

When a customer goes bankrupt, you as an entrepreneur threaten to be left with unpaid invoices. In certain cases, it can be worthwhile to call the director to account. Read more here.


For many entrepreneurs, this is a frequently recurring evil. A customer is declared bankrupt and the outstanding invoices remain unpaid.


However, in certain cases after a company has gone bankrupt, the law offers the possibility of calling one or more directors of the bankrupt company personally to account for the payment of the outstanding invoices.


This is among other things possible with deliveries of goods or services to a company which at that time has already been virtually bankrupt for some time.


Every company is obliged to file for bankruptcy within a month after it has stopped payments in a sustainable way and after its credit is refused, which means that the company has lost the trust of creditors, trading partners and bankers.


Many directors fail to fulfil this obligation in good time. Consequently, a company's death throes often linger on for several months. This is at the cost of suppliers who often unsuspectingly still deliver goods or services during the period considered.


The director of the virtually bankrupt company who fails to file for bankruptcy in time, not only makes a management error, but also commits a crime. After all, the criminal law provides for criminal sanctions when filing late for bankruptcy in order to postpone the declaration of bankruptcy.


Moreover, the director can also personally be called to account for the damage arising from the late filing for bankruptcy.


In such cases, a supplier with unpaid invoices can lodge a criminal complaint for failure to proceed with filing for bankruptcy in good time. If the ensuing investigation confirms this neglect, the amount of the unpaid invoices can be claimed from one or more directors who made an error in this matter.


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