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Interview with Hielke van der West, insolvency team leader at Zuidweg & Partners.
The guest in this podcast is Hielke van der West, insolvency team leader at Zuidweg & Partners. Hielke explains how entrepreneurs can best communicate with their creditors if they have financial problems. Hielke tells from his own experience that entrepreneurs do not communicate enough with creditors. This may be because they are ashamed of the debt or feel that they can still pay the bills in the short term. The relationship between entrepreneur and creditor often goes in three phases. In the first phase, direct reminders and reminders are ignored by the entrepreneur. They mainly focus on their business to make sales and generate more turnover so that they can still pay the accounts of the creditors. In the second phase, the accounts pile up and you see that a problem arises. Sometimes collection agencies and bailiffs are also involved. In this phase it is important to contact the creditor directly so that he or she knows about your situation. This is often not done. Entrepreneurs who do contact their creditors and communicate their situation can reach agreements with their creditors about paying the debts through a payment arrangement. Unfortunately, we see in practice that entrepreneurs do not comply with these agreements.
It is possible that your creditor is a supplier. Because you no longer have enough income to pay your supplier, no more inventory comes in. At this moment you can no longer serve your customers and no more turnover will come in. Do you have a multi-year contract or a contract subject to retention of title? Then the supplier can make the choice to pick up the delivered stock again. And then the income will also disappear. Hielke gives the tip to keep communicating well with the creditor. Provide the creditor with insight into your situation. This way you can make agreements that benefit both parties.
Besides suppliers, the bank is one of the most common creditors. When there are many late payments, the bank can place you under special management. Special Management is a department of the bank with specialist support for companies that, from a bank perspective, have a high risk profile. The purpose of this department is on the one hand to guide companies towards recovery and, on the other hand, to monitor the bank's credit risk.