Dutch gov't to be lenient towards debts during coronavirus crisis

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The Dutch government will show some lenience when it comes to collecting debts during the coronavirus crisis. Those financially affected by the crisis can apply for deferred payments. And the state's debt collection service CJIB sent a letter to bailiffs asking them to show restraint and to avoid seizing bank assets, salaries, properties, and homes as much as possible, AD reports.

A spokesperson for CJIB confirmed these measures to AD. During the crisis, bailiffs were asked to "generously and with courtesy" apply debt collection. Those who cannot pay due to the coronavirus, can apply for deferral, or for existing payment plans to be temporarily reduced or stopped. "The starting point remains that fines must be paid. However, taking into account change circumstances as a result of the crisis, a fine can be paid later."

Netherlands residents also don't have to worry about their student debts for the time being. Education organization DUO will not submit any collection requests to the CJIB during the crisis. 

The government wants to prevent people who are struggling financially as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak from getting into further trouble. "All parties involved, including (government) creditors, bailiffs and other debt collection service providers, have a responsibility to prevent people from getting into financial difficulties more than necessary," State Secretary Tamara van Ark of Social Affairs and Employment said last week.

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