As from 1 April 2017, Bankruptcy files will be held and followed up entirely electronically in the Central Insolvency Register.
Any bankruptcy that will be declared open as from 1 April 2017, has to be registered and kept in the Central Insolvency Register instead of the Commercial Courts Registry.
The Central Insolvency Register, hereinafter referred to as "the Register", is the computerized database in which bankruptcy files are registered and retained (www.regsol.be).
As a result, all documents and records relating to the bankruptcy file have to be electronically registered, managed and stored in such database.
The creditors, who before were required to file a statement of claim at the commercial court, will have to do this electronically in the Register.
An exception is provided for individuals and legal entities established abroad who are not represented by a legal professional. They are not obliged to deposit electronic documents in the Register. In that case, the documents may be deposited with the bankruptcy receiver, who issues a receipt, converts the received documents in electronic form, declares their conformity, and loads them into the Register.
1. Purpose: The registration and retention of bankruptcy records The register contains all data and documents relating to the bankruptcy proceedings and is deemed to be the authentic source for all acts and data recorded therein.
The period of retention of the data will be 30 years from the date of the final judgment of the bankruptcy. At the end of this period, the data are deposited in the State Archives.
2. Who is the Register manager and what is his task?
The register is set up and managed jointly by the Belgian (Flemish, French and German speaking) Bar Associations, hereinafter referred to as "the Manager".
The Manager is responsible for monitoring the operation and the use of the register.
The Manager will, in accordance to the legislation relating on the personal data, inform any interested party about :
1° the data concerning him;
2° the categories of persons who have access to the registered data;
3° the retention period for the data;
4° the controller;
5° the manner in which it may obtain access to the data in the register.
The Manager will collect a fee for:
deposits of claims by creditors,
access to the bankruptcy file via the Register;
the management of bankruptcy records in the Register.
The amount of the fee varies according to the quality of the party using the Register, the deposit and the value of the assets of the bankruptcy.
The filing of a declaration of debt with a possible consultation of the bankruptcy file or the consultation of the bankruptcy file without a declaration of debt in Regsol costs 6 €.
Managing a bankruptcy file via Regsol costs 0 EUR per year for bankruptcies with assets of 0 to 1500 EUR, 25 EUR per year for bankruptcies with assets of 1500 to 5000 EUR and 295 EUR for bankruptcies with assets of more than 1501 EUR.
3. The Manager appoints a data protection officer.
The Manager is considered to be responsible for the processing of personal data and has to designate a data protection officer.
This data protection officer is more particularly charged:
1. with the provision of qualified advice on the protection of privacy, the security of personal data and information and the processing thereof;
2. to inform and advise the Manager dealing with personal data of its obligations relating to the data protection obligations and the general framework of data protection and privacy;
4. to be the point of contact for the Commission for the Protection of Privacy;
5. the performance of other privacy and security tasks determined by Royal Decrees.
In carrying out its duties, the data protection officer acts independently and reports directly to the Manager.
The rules on the basis of which the data protection officer carries out his tasks will still be determined by royal decrees.
4. Who has access to the Register?
The access to the register includes the right of consultation, the right to draft as well as all communication made through the register following the access rights.
The annexes to the Royal Decree of 27 March 2017 specify : • Who has the right of consultation and with respect to what data and materials; • Who has the right to draft in respect of which data and materials;
For each document mentioned in the bankruptcy law, it is determined, depending on the author, who can consult it and/or who has the right to draft (including the signature).
In the course of carrying out their legal duties, magistrates, clerks, public prosecutors, prosecutors' secretaries, bankruptcy receivers, judges as well as the bankrupt enterprise, the creditors, third parties who provide legal advice and assistance and the manager have access to the data in the Register, which is relevant to them.
Creditors will have access to the bankruptcy file through the bankruptcy receiver.
The Manager is not authorized to communicate registered data to other persons.
In the performance of its statutory duties, the Caisse de Dépôts et Consignations has the right of access to the Register and to access to all communications through the register.
Anyone having access to the Register is bound by professional secrecy.
Anyone who participates in any way in the collection, processing or communication of the data in the Register, or who is aware of such data, is bound to respect its confidentiality.
Access to the Register will further be determined by royal decrees.
5. How to work with the Register? All notifications made in a bankruptcy file by the clerk will be made either by court letter or by an electronic act.
All communications and deposits between bankruptcy receivers, judges, clerks, public prosecutors and prosecutors' secretaries shall be effected through the Register.
The following categories of personal data relating to the bankrupt, creditors, bankruptcy receivers and judges are processed in the Register:
1° identification data, namely the data that uniquely identify the bankrupt, creditors, bankruptcy receivers and judges;
2° the legal data, namely the data relating to the bankruptcy file, in particular: - the court where the proceedings are pending; - the amount of the claims filed; - the name and quality of the parties in the proceedings.
6. What does this mean in practical terms? In practical terms, this means, inter alia, that from now on:
All creditors (suppliers, workers, banks, social security institutions, etc.), except those listed by law, will have to file their declarations of debt via Regsol.be, in exchange of payment of a fee .
Only foreign legal entities or citizens who are not represented by a lawyer or trade union can still submit their declarations of debt by sending a registered letter to the curator. They can however use the platform if they want to.
Bankruptcy receivers and clerks will manage the bankruptcy files via a secure access to www.regsol.be.
Courts (magistrates and clerks) will have secure access to www.regsol.be, enabling them to automatically sign and register judgments in the Central Solvency Register.
Now that the bankruptcy file will be fully managed and held electronically, bankruptcy proceedings can probably be handled more efficient and quicker.
This will lead to a saving of time and expenses for all parties, and a reduction in the workload of Courts.