The money loan agreement in the Netherlands is an agreement with specific provisions in Dutch law that differ from provisions on the lending of goods. It is an agreement whereby one party undertakes to lend a sum of money to the other party, who undertakes to repay this money. It is advisable to draw up a clear agreement regarding the lending and repayment of the loan, the provision of security (for example by establishing a right of lien or pledge) and the interest rate. If no clear agreement has been made in this regard, the statutory regulations set out below will apply.
A money loan agreement between business parties is binding regardless of the existence of a written agreement. However, if the lender is a natural person not acting under their profession or as a business, the money loan agreement is only legally binding once it has been entered into in writing or when the amount has been paid by the lender. Without a written agreement, the natural person cannot be forced to provide the agreed loan amount.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF DEBT
Even if the lender is a natural person not acting under their profession or as a business, a proper written agreement is desirable. An acknowledgement of debt is often recommended to be prepared to avoid later problems with requests for evidence. A handwritten acknowledgement of debt or signed document on which the loan amount is written down in full in letters is considered compelling evidence. If a written agreement of some kind exists, this means that the judge must base a judgment on the correctness of the contents of the document.
OBLIGATION TO PAY INTEREST
The obligation to pay interest follows, in principle, from the (written) money loan agreement between the parties. If both parties are natural persons and do not act under a profession or as a business, no interest is owed if an interest amount is not explicitly apparent from a written agreement. In all other cases however, interest is due, unless it is explicitly stipulated that no interest is due.
STATUTORY INTEREST UNDER DUTCH LAW
If interest is due, but the parties have not agreed on the amount, the statutory interest is due. This interest rate is fixed every six months and can therefore change during the term. In addition, it is conceivable that a money loan agreement between business parties falls under the higher commercial statutory interest rate. To avoid this uncertainty alone, a written contractual agreement is recommended.
Finally, the law has a provision on when the borrower must repay the amount. Of course, the conditions of repayment should follow first and foremost the agreement from the contract. If no agreement is outlined, the money can be claimed by the lender at any time and the borrower has six weeks to repay. If it has been agreed that the money will be repaid as soon as the borrower is able to do so, the court will determine the time of repayment on the basis of all the circumstances.
Dispute about a loan agreement in the Netherlands
If you have a dispute about a loan agreement in the Netherlands, it is important that you act quickly. If you have money to claim and you are not sure whether your counterparty still has it, it is important to act quickly. Our Dutch lawyers can give you excellent advice on this. If the importance of the case requires it, we can immediately levy a prejudgment attachment in the Netherlands or institute preliminary relief proceedings.
DUTCH LAWYER SPECIALIZED IN LOAN AGREEMENTS
Do you have any questions regarding a loan agreement or do you need specific legal advice regarding contract law in Holland? Our experienced English-speaking specialist lawyers in Holland will be happy to help you.