Covid 19 | Second temporary statutory moratorium on creditors’ rights
On 20 December 2020, Belgian Parliament adopted a new law setting out various temporary measures and structural provisions to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 crisis (the Law). The Law includes a statutory moratorium applicable from 24 December 2020 until 31 January 2021 (included) for enterprises that are or were forced to close in application of the Ministerial Decree of 1 November 2020 setting out emergency measures to limit the spread of the Covid-19 (the Moratorium).
In summary, the Moratorium provides that enterprises are protected against (i) bankruptcy and judicial dissolution, (ii) attachment and enforcement measures and (iii) termination of existing contracts due to non-payment. In addition, payment periods included in a homologated judicial reorganisation plan approved before or after 24 December 2020 are extended by the duration of the suspension with a corresponding extension of a maximum period of five years for the implementation of the reorganisation plan.
Unlike the previous moratorium decided upon in March 2020 and which applied until mid-June 2020, the Moratorium only applies to enterprises that are or were forced to close due to the governmental restrictions and whose continuity is threatened by these measures. The Moratorium will automatically end on 31 January 2021 unless extended by the Belgian Government.