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Young family struggling with debt

Amsterdam and Rotterdam to help people out of debt

Amsterdam and Rotterdam to help people out of debt

In the Netherlands, 700,000 households struggle with problematic debts

Amsterdam and Rotterdam will help citizens manage their debts wisely. In particular, the Dutch capital’s website informed on 9 September, that the two cities will become the first local authorities to join the Creditors' Coalition.

Said coalition unites 22 companies and organisations in The Netherlands to help customers to anticipate problematic debts and resolve payment arrears.

Preventing financial problems from arising

700,000 households struggle with problematic debts in the Netherlands, reads the website of the Schuldeiserscoalitie. The average debt amounts to 42,900 euros, spread over an average of 14 different creditors. A large part of this consists of fines, collection and bailiff costs.

The Creditors' Coalition consists of a group of primary creditors - insurers, energy companies, collection agencies, telecoms - whose common goal is to proactively help private customers who are unable to pay. The coalition works together and exchanges knowledge to enable and promote healthy payment behaviour. The parties, among which BNP Paribas, KPN, T-mobile, University of Amsterdam, meet several times a year to exchange knowledge and best practices.

And now two local authorities – the cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam - will also join and adhere to the coalition’s Ethical Manifesto. In particular, the two cities also act as creditors and, as such, they can collect in a more social way.

The City of Amsterdam’s website informs that as part of the effort, they will help people who are struggling to pay municipal bills or have debts early on. They could grant a payment arrangement, or event postpone collection for a while, so that the citizens can get their affairs in order again.

Finally, as far as Amsterdam is concerned, the Taxation and Poverty Reduction departments exchange data to prevent people from getting into debt in the first place. For benefit recipients, the institutions automatically check whether they can obtain a waiver of municipal taxes.

If that is the case, they will arrange the matter without the citizen having to submit a request. As a result, since 2018, 5,530 Amsterdammers have automatically received a waiver.

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