Government prevents piling of fines for people with debts as of April 2020

The Hague

People who want to pay their fines but are unable to do so due to problematic debts will now have more breathing space. Minister Dekker (Legal Protection) will be introducing a so-called emergency stop procedure at the Central Judicial Collection Agency (CJIB) from 1 April 2020. This must prevent these people from getting into further problems.

Minister Dekker: “The collection of fines should be done in a responsible and decent manner. Anyone who violates the traffic rules and gets a fine must of course be on the blisters. And if you don't pay, you risk an increase. But people who want to pay, but are unable to pay because of problematic debts, we should not unnecessarily get into deeper problems. With this new procedure, the knife cuts both ways. The punitive nature of fines remains intact. But we also offer people an opportunity to get their lives back on track with debt counseling. ”

Emergency stop procedure

The emergency stop will apply to traffic fines and criminal financial sanctions, such as fines imposed by the judge or the Public Prosecution Service and will look like this:

  • People who cannot pay their fines due to debts, and who have no prospect of payment, can receive an emergency stop of up to 4 months.
  • The CJIB then suspends the collection and no new increases are imposed.
  • The person who receives the emergency stop must report to the municipality for debt assistance. If this assistance is started, the emergency stop can be extended by 8 months.
  • The fine will be paid (in installments) after the emergency stop.
  • The emergency stop can be terminated if agreements are not fulfilled.

Introduction as of April 1, 2020

Over the past year, the emergency shutdown procedure was developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, the CJIB, the Association of Dutch Municipalities (VNG), Divosa, the NVVK (branch association for debt assistance and social banking) and the municipalities of Amsterdam, The Hague, Eindhoven, Haarlem, Tilburg and Deventer developed. The procedure will be introduced nationally on April 1, 2020. In this way, Minister Dekker gives substance to the ambition in the coalition agreement to maximize the accumulation of fines for late payment, and thus also to the government's broad approach to debt.

Arnout Cavadino

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