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Unpaid maintenance: recovery by the public treasury

Verified 01 January 2020 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

If the person who is required to pay you support does not do so, you can use the procedure for recovering support payments from the public treasury, under certain conditions.

This procedure allows the public accountant to recover the unpaid support for you, with the same procedures as for tax collection.

For this purpose, the public treasury may be provided with the address of your debtor or its employer by certain organizations, including:

  • tax administration,
  • social security,
  • the departmental services of the greycards of the prefectures.


after a divorce or legal separation, the maintenance debtor is obliged to report to his creditor any change of address or risk of penalty.

You can use this procedure under 2 conditions:

  • the recovery procedure you initiated has failed (direct payment, wage attachment or foreclosure)
  • and you have a document (court order that has become enforceable, or divorce agreement by mutual consent signed by the lawyers and filed with a notary).

Recovery by the public treasury can only cover the backlog due for a period of 6 months.

The procedure is free for the creditor. In addition to the amount of the maintenance debt, the debtor will be liable for the recovery costs (10%) and the prosecution costs for the benefit of the Treasury.

You have five years to initiate a recovery procedure through the public treasury.

You must send a registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt to the public prosecutor the court on which your domicile depends.

Who shall I contact

The dossier shall include the following elements:

  • Copy of the divorce judgment or the order or agreement fixing the pension with proof of service and a certificate of non-appeal
  • Document proving that one of the procedures (foreclosure, wage foreclosure, direct payment) failed
  • All possible information about the debtor : name, address, occupation, social security number, bank number, savings bank number, property and income, address of your employer, ...,
  • Letter of request for recovery by the Public Treasury to the public prosecutor duly signed, including the amount of the pension and the arrears due.


the debtor may challenge the procedure to the public prosecutor by simple letter. Pension recovery through the Consolidated Revenue Fund continues until the Tribunal Chairperson issues a decision.

Who shall I contact