The seizure free basis: Dutch regulations explained

When a bailiff comes to seize your income or of someone in your surroundings, worries might arise that no money remains to provide for basic necessities. This fear is usually unjustified: In The Netherlands you are entitled to a minimum amount with which you can pay for your fixed expenses and basic necessities. This is legally determined with a measure that is called ‘the seizure free basis’. Aeslupa explains what this means. 

The bailiff

When you are in debt, a bailiff can seize your income. He or she will then seize (part of) your wages, benefits or allowances. The money that the bailiff collects is divided over the parties to whom you are indebted to: the creditors. The person that is in debt is legally called the debtor. The bailiff is a party that operates between the creditor and debtor. Although he is in service of the creditor, they are tasked with both the interest of the creditor as well as ensuring that the rights of the debtor are upheld. When dealing with a bailiff, you can assume or demand that they do not collect more income for the creditor than you can afford. To make sure that the amount you keep is sufficient to provide for your basic necessities, the bailiff will uphold the aforementioned seizure free basis. 

Determining the amount of the seizure free basis

The seizure free basis has been created as a tool to determine the amount that a debtor needs to provide for themselves. The exact amount depends on the situation of the debtor and is determined by the bailiff. Since January 1st 2021, the amount of the seizure free basis is based on the information that the bailiff gains at various institutions. (like the Basic Registration Persons, the UWV and the Tax Authorities).


Information about the living situation, income and expenses is then processed by the bailiff in a computing module to calculate the seizure free basis. After this the calculation is handed over to the debtor. The debtor can see exactly what the seizure free basis is and what this is based on. Do you, as a debtor disagree with this? Then you have four weeks to object. In the document that you received with the calculation from the bailiff, you can read how to do that. Two weeks after the bailiff has received the objection, he must let the debtor know whether the calculation is altered or not. 

Period determination seizure free basis

The amount of the seizure free basis applies -in principle- for one year. After that year, there will always be a recalculation, so the basic income is still attuned to the necessary expenses and basic needs. When a change takes place before that time in the circumstances of the debtor (for example because of the birth of a child or a divorce), then a recalculation takes place sooner. This can be arranged with the bailiff. 

Increase the seizure free basis

Due to a hardship clause in the legislation concerning the seizure free basis, it is possible in some cases to increase the seizure free basis. As the debtor, you can be entitled to a higher seizure free basis of your income for, for example, education or healthcare expenses. When you think you are entitled to such an increase, you can submit a request with the district judge*. 


We hope the above explains what you need to know about the seizure free basis. But if you have any remaining questions, do not hesitate to address them. Especially when it comes to financial worries, being well informed can relief a lot of stress. Do not delay and contact Aeslupa to ask your questions and explain to us what you are worrying about. 

Would you like to know more?

When you are faced with the collection of debts as an aid provider or civilian and would like to know more about the (legislation concerning) the seizure free basis, you can learn more on the new civilian portal of the government:*. You can make use of the calculation tool*, with which you can check if the amount of the seizure free basis is correct. When your assets are seized and you have questions about the collections, the free basis or the model form, then the bailiff is your first contact point. By logging into* with your DigiD, you as a debtor can see how you are doing in regard to your debts and your seizure free basis. When you want to know more about the seizure free basis from before January 1st 2021 and the alterations that took place after that, you can read more about that in this article** we wrote. 

With budget management, advice and legal administration, Aeslupa helps people with their finances and financial affairs. Aeslupa takes away financial worries in a human way where necessary and supports independence where possible.

*Need help navigating the Dutch websites? Do not hesitate to contact us

** Article currently only in Dutch.