SEIZING ASSETS IN THE DUTCH CARIBBEAN

Court approval required, but freezing assets is rather easy

Under the laws of Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, St. Maarten, St. Eustatius and Saba any party with a prima facie claim may file a petition for a court order granting an attachment, which petitions are generally granted, solely based on the allegations in the petition. Seizing assets of a another party may already be possible at a time when the claim (e.g. under an agreement or a guarantee) is not yet due, but where there is good reason to believe that, when it will become due, the other party will not honor its obligations.

How assets may be seized, will depend upon the jurisdiction in which these assets are located at the time of the envisaged seizure. In the Dutch Caribbean this is normally done by the actions of a bailiff at the request of the creditor. This requires court approval but, as stated above, this approval is normally easily obtained.

The bailiff places an attachment on the assets. There are different seizure requirements for movables, real estate and shares in companies. Once the attachments have been placed on the assets, the creditor will have to start legal proceedings against the debtor in order to have the court acknowledge his claim and the validity of the placed attachment. These proceedings normally must be initiated within a period of 2 to 8 weeks following the actual attachments.

Karel Frielink
Attorney (Lawyer) / Partner

(9 August 2013)

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