From indebtedness to a fresh start

From indebtedness to a fresh start

An evaluation of the Dutch Debt Adjustment Act for Natural Persons


The Dutch Debt Adjustment Act for Natural Persons (Wet Schuldsanering natuurlijke personen) came into effect on 1 December 1998. The Act gives citizens and small entrepreneurs with problematic debts the opportunity to have a debt-free future, and a 'clean start'. People with debts can invoke the Act if a voluntary – a so-called amicable payment scheme with creditors – has failed. The court will assess whether or not a debtor qualifies for Debt Adjustment. Under the supervision of an examining judge and a receiver, debtors must generally pay back as much of their debts as they can in a period of generally three years. If they observe the legal obligations, their remaining debts will be acquitted after three years. This report illustrates both the amicable debt support and the Debt Adjustment Act. It presents an image of the debtors, the creditors and the implementation of debt settlements. In addition, it addresses the question of the extent to which the Act’s targets are being met.

Publication data

Jungmann, N., Niemeijer, E., Voert, M.J. ter
Place of publication:
The Hague
Year of publication:
Onderzoek en beleid 190