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Wage attachments because of debt on the increase
More than 11,600 Belgians with outstanding debts had their wages withheld last year – an increase of 40% compared to the beginning of the economic crisis in 2008, Het Belang van Limburg and De Gazet van Antwerpen report today. “It is mostly landlords, hospitals and telephone operators who claim their money back this way,” says Dirk van Bastelaere, spokesman for HR firm SD Worx. A creditor can, via a court judgement, force someone to pay their debt, at which point a bailiff will be instructed to report the judgment to the employer. The attachment of earnings is only possible for people earning more than €1,059 per month. If an attachment is implemented, it can apply to up to 20% of the salary. The 40% increase may be explained by companies and banks reacting more quickly when payments are systematically late or delayed.