Glossary of the ICR

Het ABC van het CKP

Collective debt settlement

Collective debt settlement is a judicial procedure for structural debt problems. The debtor must petition the competent labour court to open collective debt settlement proceedings.

Following approval of the debt settlement plan, the court will appoint a debt negotiator. As from the time a debtor is subject to a collective debt settlement plan, this person may no longer receive income. The debt negotiator is responsible, insofar as possible, for repaying the debts. The negotiator will pay the debtor an allowance to cover daily expenses, such as food, rent, incidentals and so on. This is referred to as the living allowance. Larger expenses must be approved by the debt negotiator (or even the court).

The purpose of a collective debt settlement is to allow the debtor to repay outstanding debts, insofar as possible, and to live more or less decently during the repayment period. At the end of this procedure, the debtor should be debt free.  

Credit insurance company

A credit insurance company or credit insurer is one that specialises in insuring loans or credit. Credit insurers protect their policyholders against the risk of clients (borrowers) being unable to reimburse their loans due to bankruptcy or cash-flow problems.

Debt collection agency

A debt collection agency is a company entrusted with the collection of unpaid debts on behalf of (primarily) other businesses. 

Debt negotiator

A debt negotiator is an individual appointed by the labour court in the context of collective debt settlement proceedings. The debt negotiator’s role is to reach an agreement with the various creditors on repayment of the debtor’s debts.  

Debt negotiators are often lawyers or from public social welfare centres (CPAS/OCMW). 


Fulfilment of the criteria set out below will give rise to the notification of a payment default:

  • for instalment sales, instalment loansfinance leases and mortgage loans:
    • when three instalments are not made on time or not paid in full, or
    • when a past-due instalment is not paid or not paid in full within three months, or
    • when future instalments become immediately due and payable.
  • for credit lines and mortgage loans:
    • when some or all of the principal amount falls due in accordance with the terms of the credit agreement and is not repaid, or repaid in full, within a period of three months, or
    • when the principal amount becomes due in full and is not repaid or repaid in full, or
    • when the total amount to be repaid is not repaid within one month following expiry of the debt clearance period.
      Debt clearance means that, by a given date, your account must be cleared or repaid in full.


The following categories of institutions participate in the Individual Credit Register (ICR):

  • credit institutions
  • social lenders
  • instalment sellers
  • other financial institutions granting consumer loans
  • insurance companies and other entities granting mortgage loans
  • credit insurance companies
  • debt collection agencies

Lenders must be licensed by the Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) to be able to participate in the ICR.