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Simplified judicial redress: post-crisis processing procedure

Verified 05 November 2021 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

The post-crisis processing procedure is a simplified procedure for judicial redress. It is open to small companies in defaulting on payments operating under satisfactory conditions prior to the health crisis. They must be able to submit a draft business continuity plan. This procedure has been applicable since 18 October 2021. The opening of this procedure may be requested until 2 June 2023.

  • Companies engaged in commercial, craft or agricultural activities
  • Businesses and associations
  • Self-employed persons and liberal professions

All of the following conditions must be met:

  • To be in a situation of cessation of payments
  • Have the funds necessary to pay your wage claims
  • Justify being able to develop a draft continuation plan within 3 months
  • Have less than EUR 3 million of liabilities reported without equity
  • Have less than 20 employees

Please note

the number of employees to be taken into account is the number of employees at the date of the request to initiate the procedure. The balance sheet criterion shall be assessed at the closing date of the last accounting year.

The manager, manager or sole trader must submit to the commercial court if it is a business, and to the court in other cases, the following documents:

  • Annual accounts for the last financial year
  • Statement of current liabilities and available assets and a declaration of cessation of payments
  • Extract of registration in registers and registers or the unique identification number
  • Cash flow situation
  • Projected profit and loss account
  • Number of employees employed at the date of the request and the balance sheet total and the amount of turnover
  • Justification for the payment of wage claims
  • Quantified statement of claims and liabilities
  • Statement of assets and liabilities of collateral and off-balance-sheet liabilities
  • Summary inventory of the debtor's assets
  • Name and address of the representatives of the staff delegation of the Social and Economic Committee
  • Certificate on the honor certifying the absence of an ad hoc mandate or conciliation procedure relating to the assets in question in the 18 months preceding the date of the application

Please note

this facility is intended for companies that are able to present a draft business continuity plan in a short period of time and have very up-to-date accounting.

Once the conditions are met, the court initiates proceedings and appoints a representative to both monitor the company and represent the creditors.

Appointment of the representative and duration of the procedure

The Commercial Court (for commercial and craft activities) or the Judicial Court (for agricultural and liberal activities) appoints an agent to oversee the company and represent creditors. It can be a court administrator or a judicial representative.

The judgment initiating the post-crisis treatment procedure opens a period of observation. This period lasts 3 months maximum.

After two months, the court orders the proceedings to continue if it appears that the company has sufficient financing capacity.

Preparation of the list of creditors

Within 10 days of the opening judgment, the director or contractor shall file at the court registry the list of creditors which he establishes alone. So there is no debt declaration as there is in judicial redress.

The Registrar of the Commercial Court shall give a copy of the list to the agent. The official checks the conformity of the list with the company's accounting documents.

Creditors have 1 month to update their claims. This period runs from the publication of the procedure in the Official Gazette of Civil and Commercial Advertisements (Bodacc) or from the date of communication of the claims by the agent (the date chosen being the latest).

Where a claim is not included in the list of claims and is brought to the notice of the agent, the agent shall inform the creditor by single letter the opening of proceedings. The trustee shall ask the creditor for details of the claim.

The appointed representative shall inform the coobligated persons or having consented to a safety personal or having pledged an asset as security (i.e. pledge or a pledge(c) the opening of the crisis resolution procedure, by registered letter with notice of receipt.

This list of creditors is used to build the continuation plan.

At the end of the 3 months, the court validates the continuation plan or opens a judicial reorganization or liquidation procedure.

Content of the continuation plan adopted by the court

The court shall adopt the plan under the conditions laid down for backup procedure.

The continuation plan provides for the payment of the liability to be staggered over a maximum period of 10 years and may not provide for the transfer of a company or for lay-offs, for example.

The amount of the annual installments provided for in the plan from 3e annuity may not be less than 8% the liability established by the debtor.

The plan only concerns the claims mentioned in the list of creditors prior to the initiation of the procedure.

The plan does not cover the following claims:

  • Claims related to a contract of employment (wages, holiday pay)
  • Maintenance claims (maintenance)
  • Claims arising out of tort (sums due in connection with a conviction)
  • Claims of less than €500

Continuation plan failed

If the company is unable to present a viable continuation plan within the 3-month period of the opening judgment, a redress procedure or winding-up proceedings can be opened if the conditions are met.