Over-indebtedness of households (i05)

In 2021, 0.81% of the population aged 18 and over in Belgium had a collective debt settlement. To achieve the sustainable development goal by 2030, this figure must be reduced. Between 2007 and 2020, the trend is undetermined (assessment of November 2021).

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Over-indebtedness of households - Belgium

persons with collective debt settlement in percentage of the population aged 18 years and over

 200720102015201920202020//20072020//2015
Belgium0.70.91.10.90.81.4-5.7
//: Average Growth Rates

FPB calculations based on National Bank of Belgium (2022), direct communications 18/10/2019, 26/03/2020, 01/06/2021 and 30/03/2022 (situation at the end of each year) and Eurostat (2022), Population on 1 January by age and sex (demo_pjan), https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 13/05/2022).

Over-indebtedness of households - Belgium

thousand persons with collective debt settlement

 2007201020152016202020212021//20072021//2016
Belgium57.076.297.695.674.867.11.2-6.8
//: Average Growth Rates

National Bank of Belgium (2022), direct communications 18/10/2019, 26/03/2020, 01/06/2021 and 30/03/2022 (situation at the end of each year).

Over-indebtedness of households by region - Belgium

persons with collective debt settlement in percentage of the population aged 18 years and over

 200720102015201920202020//20072020//2015
Brussels-Capital Region0.50.60.70.50.5-1.4-7.1
Flemish Region0.60.81.00.80.71.7-5.6
Walloon Region0.91.21.41.21.11.5-5.6
//: Average Growth Rates

FPB calculations based on National Bank of Belgium (2022), direct communications 18/10/2019, 26/03/2020, 01/06/2021 and 30/03/2022 (situation at the end of each year) and Eurostat (2022), Population on 1 January by age and sex (demo_pjan), https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 13/05/2022).

Over-indebtedness of households by sex - Belgium

persons with collective debt settlement in percentage of the population aged 18 years and over

 200720102015201920202020//20072020//2015
females0.60.81.00.90.81.3-5.9
males0.70.91.11.00.91.5-5.5
//: Average Growth Rates

FPB calculations based on National Bank of Belgium (2022), direct communications 18/10/2019, 26/03/2020, 01/06/2021 and 30/03/2022 (situation at the end of each year) and Eurostat (2022), Population on 1 January by age and sex (demo_pjan), https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 13/05/2022).

Over-indebtedness of households by age - Belgium

persons with collective debt settlement in percentage of the population aged 18 years and over

 200720102015201920202020//20072020//2015
18-240.20.30.20.10.1-3.5-12.9
25-340.91.21.41.10.90.3-8.8
35-441.21.51.91.61.41.6-5.5
45-541.01.31.61.51.32.1-4.2
55-640.60.81.00.90.82.7-4.2
>640.10.20.30.30.35.8-1.4
//: Average Growth Rates

FPB calculations based on National Bank of Belgium (2022), direct communications 18/10/2019, 26/03/2020, 01/06/2021 and 30/03/2022 (situation at the end of each year) and Eurostat (2022), Population on 1 January by age and sex (demo_pjan), https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 13/05/2022).

Definition: people facing over-indebtedness or serious financial difficulties can turn to the legal procedure of collective debt settlement. Under this procedure, a debt mediator will establish a repayment plan for all outstanding debts and determine the amount necessary for the debtor to meet his or her current monthly expenses. This amount must be sufficient to enable him/her to live a decent life without falling below the level of the monthly 'social integration allowance'. In Belgium, the Central individual credit register (CCP), managed by the National Bank of Belgium, centralises data on the number of outstanding collective debt settlements. It uses information from labour courts and debt mediators, via the central file of seizure, delegation, assignment, collective debt settlement and protest notices. Collective debt settlement notices are automatically deleted from the CCP after the expiry of the applicable regulatory retention period. The indicator used here is expressed in thousands of persons and relate to the situation at the end of each year. Those data and the Eurostat population data that relate to the situation at the beginning of each year are used to calculate the share of the population aged 18 and over that is in collective debt. This share relates to the situation at the middle of each year.

Goal: household over-indebtedness must be reduced.

The Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs adopted by the UN in 2015 include target 1.4: “By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance”.

The collective debt settlement procedure provides for a monthly amount necessary for the person concerned to meet regular expenses so that he or she can live a decent life without falling below the level of the 'social integration allowance'. Since the collective debt settlement procedure specifically targets people who may no longer be able to live a decent life as a result of over-indebtedness, it is considered that there is an implicit goal according to which the number of people in collective debt settlement must decrease, which is in line with the goal of the indicator Guaranteed minimum income beneficiaries.

International comparison: due to law differences, there are no harmonised data at EU level on this type of measure for over-indebted people.

UN indicator: the selected indicator does not correspond to any monitoring indicator for the SDGs but is related to target 1.4 since people are vulnerable after a debt recovery procedure and could face more difficulties to have access to some services and types of ownership.

Sources

  • SDGs, Sustainable Development Goals: United Nations (2015), Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 25 September 2015, document A/RES/70/1.

  • Indicators: United Nations (2017), Work of the Statistical Commission pertaining to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 6 July 2017, document A/RES/71/313.

  • UN Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/ (consulted on 24/09/2020).

  • Sustainable Development Goal indicators website: https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/ (consulted on 24/09/2020).

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