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Trustee and bankruptcy

A bankruptcy trustee, always a lawyer specialized in bankruptcy law, is appointed by the court after a company or organization has been declared bankrupt. It is the duty of a bankruptcy trustee to ensure that the bankruptcy is dealt with smoothly and that the interests of the debtors are looked after as well as possible.

What does a bankruptcy trustee do?

During bankruptcy proceedings, it is up to the bankruptcy trustee to set priorities. The first priority for a bankruptcy trustee lies with the employees (if any). The objective is usually to lay off staff who have often not been paid over a longer period of time as quickly as possible. In that case, the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) will take over the obligation to pay wages and notice periods for a fixed period. For this step, a bankruptcy trustee needs permission from the examining magistrate. What does a bankruptcy trustee do? After a bankruptcy, a bankruptcy trustee takes over the entire business operations, including all powers of the bankrupt organization. The bankruptcy trustee:

  • cancels current agreements (including rental and employment contracts)
  • manages the assets, administrative records, cash in hand and stocks
  • creates an overview of assets and liabilities
  • sells assets and possessions
  • receives all mail, including e-mail messages
  • takes care of paying the creditors
  • investigates (possible) fraudulent acts and mismanagement
  • reports to the examining magistrate

When does a bankruptcy trustee begin his duties?

In the Netherlands, bankruptcies are usually pronounced on Tuesdays. A bankruptcy trustee is appointed by the court that same day. An inventory of the bankruptcy estate is carried out by the bankruptcy trustee often straight away. A plan of action is drawn up next. This sets out the rights of the creditors, such as pledge, right of retention and retention of title. To ensure the process progresses smoothly, the debtor needs to hand over the administrative records (in full and complete). Next, the bankruptcy trustee writes to the creditors with the request to file a claim or to notify existing rights.

What can a bankruptcy trustee do and what not?

The bankruptcy trustee is under the supervision of the examining magistrate. The bankruptcy trustee must report to the supervisory authority at specified times. The first report must be issued by the bankruptcy trustee within four weeks of the appointment. The bankruptcy trustee has extensive decision-making powers, but must obtain the permission of the examining magistrate for far-reaching decisions. In addition to the dismissal of personnel, a bankruptcy trustee must be authorized to terminate the lease and the sale of assets. A creditor who does not agree with the decisions of the bankruptcy trustee can lodge an objection with the examining magistrate.

How much does a bankruptcy trustee cost?

How much does a bankruptcy trustee cost? The salary of the bankruptcy trustee is determined by the court. During bankruptcy proceedings, the bankruptcy trustee is paid from current and future amounts in the estate. This includes the sale of stocks, inventory and equipment or other assets and the collection of outstanding claims. The salary of the bankruptcy trustee is a so-called estate debt. This debt takes priority in the ranking of creditors. In the event of bankruptcy, a bankruptcy trustee is therefore always paid as the first creditor.

Sale, restart and liability

The main objective of the bankruptcy trustee is to collect as much money as possible. In addition to the sale of assets and the collection of outstanding invoices, a bankruptcy trustee also investigates whether the company can be sold. The possibility of a restart is also examined. After the bankruptcy trustee has formed a reliable picture of both the company and the how and why of the situation that has arisen, the final task of the bankruptcy trustee starts. This concerns the so-called regularity audit and an investigation into directors’ and officers’ liability.

Trustee and bankruptcy: personal advice

The lawyers of Fruytier Lawyers in Business are frequently appointed to act as bankruptcy trustees. Would you like to receive more information about a bankruptcy petition, the course of bankruptcy proceedings or your rights as a creditor when filing a petition for bankruptcy against a debtor? Feel free to contact our specialists in bankruptcy law and insolvency law. You are not committed to anything. We will be happy to give you specific, thorough and above all personal advice.

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