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Plurality of Creditors required for Bankruptcy

Under Dutch Caribbean law, bankruptcy can be applied for either by the debtor himself or, as is more often the case, by one or more creditors. The petition for bankruptcy must include facts and circumstances which constitute prima facie evidence that the debtor has ceased to pay his debts.

In legal literature, there has been discussion regarding the question of whether the requirement of plurality still applies, i.e. that in order for a debtor to be declared bankrupt there must be at least two creditors. For instance, in many cases it is difficult to find a second claim (and to prove it), because creditors have no or little access to information about their debtors. As a result, the creditor cannot successfully apply for the bankruptcy of his debtor even though the latter has ceased to pay its debts. Another argument, against the plurality requirement, is that the requirement encourages abuse, because it creates an incentive for a debtor to pay all other claims except for the claim of the creditor applying for the bankruptcy.

However, the Supreme Court has confirmed in a recent case the longstanding requirement that for a debtor to be declared bankrupt, there need to be at least two creditors. Thus, a debtor with only one creditor cannot be declared bankrupt.