Attachments and assignments limits in 2020

Author: Laurence Philippe (legal expert)
Date:

The amounts (or income limits) for the calculation of the attachable or assignable portion of earnings for 2020 have been published in the Moniteur Belge.

Reminder, the creditor who is seeking to obtain payment of the amounts due to him by his debtor may apply directly to his employer. This right is exercised mainly in two ways: either in the form of an attachment, either in the form of an assignment.

The attachment or the assignment shall be applied to the worker's net earnings, i.e. after the deduction of the social security contributions, withholding tax and other deductions (if any) intended to guarantee an additional social security benefit, with the exclusion of any other amount or deduction.

Moreover, it is true that only a part of these net earnings can be assigned or attached since the legislation has established income brackets within which the amount is liable to assignment or attachment. This is called the assignable or attachable amount of the earnings. The calculation of these amounts varies according to whether it regards an occupational income or a replacement income.

Moreover, the worker is entitled to an exemption if he has (a) dependant child(ren). This exemption shall be granted in the form of a reduction of the assignable or attachable amount.

For 2020, the amounts (or income thresholds) for the calculation of the attachable or assignable portion are determined as follows:

Net monthly earnings

Attachable or assignable portion

.

occupational income

(employees or self-employed persons)

replacement income

Up to € 1,138

Nothing

Nothing

From € 1,138.01 to € 1,222

20 % of the amount between these 2 values, being € 16.80

20 % of the amount between these 2 values, being € 16.80

From €1,222.01 to €1,349

30% of the amount between these 2 values, being €38.10

40 % of the amount between these 2 values, being €50.80

From €1,349.01 to €1,475

40 % of the amount between these 2 values, being €50.40

40 % of the amount between these 2 values, being €50.40

Over € 1,475

The full amount is assignable or attachable.

The full amount is assignable or attachable.

The immunization for dependent children does not increase and still amounts to 70 €.

These new amounts of attachable or assignable earnings must be applied to all payments made as from 1 January 2020, even though they relate to earnings deemed payable before 1 January 2020. However, as for the earnings of January 2020 which were paid before January 2020, the limits of 2019 shall be applied.

Reminder: there is no limit if the attachment or the assignment is the result of a claim for payment of maintenance allowances or a claim for payment of the wages in application of article 221 of the Civil Code (assignment of earnings). The above mentioned income brackets are therefore not applicable in this case. The full amount of the worker's earnings shall be assignable or attachable. Furthermore, in that case the attachment or assignment has absolute priority over all other attachments or assignments (if any).

Source: Royal Decree of 9 December 2019 implementing article 1409, § 2 of the Judicial Code, Moniteur Belge 13/12/2019.

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