Belgium Extends Bankruptcy Moratorium for Indebted Companies

Belgian tax authorities and National Social Security Office, ONSS, have agreed, for the moment, not to declare businesses that are too heavily indebted bankrupt, Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne told the Chamber’s Economic Affairs Commission this week, the Brussels Times reported. A moratorium on bankruptcies ended on Monday and Parliament is yet to approve a new bill on the judicial reorganisation procedure. Amendments to a text prepared by the Government were submitted only on Friday. Some parliamentarians asked for the moratorium to be extended at least until a new law that eases the judicial reorganisation of businesses and makes it cheaper to do. However, the Government felt that too long a moratorium could endanger business that are in good shape and have debt claims to pursue, and keep afloat dying businesses that then go on to pile up debts. “Today’s creditors risk becoming tomorrow’s debtors,” the minister warned on Wednesday. Responding to parliamentarians’ queries, he however, gave the assurance that the Finance Department and the ONSS, which receive social contributions, would not move to have businesses that default on payments declared bankrupt. Read more.