Research group Debt and Debt Collection

This research group aims to contribute to effective and efficient professional practice in debt assistance and debt collection. We carry out research projects that contribute to teaching at HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht by developing the curriculum, and we also contribute to the professional field itself. The third goal of this research group is to create a (substantive) connection between the fields of debt assistance and debt collection.

Professionals working in the field of debt assistance and debt collection struggle daily with a range of questions. The research group works on these questions on behalf of actors from the professional field. As part of this process, the research team also provides the professional field - where possible - with a reflection on the choices made and on important current developments.

The research group aims to achieve the above ambitions within the three research pillars of professionalization, efficiency and prudent regulation.


In the case of professionalization, the following questions are relevant: what works for which customer, how, under what circumstances and why? Answering these questions is not straightforward, neither within the world of debt assistance nor in the world of debt collection. The research group therefore conducts research into effective intervention (what works?) and the role of the professional (who works on it?). In this way, the group seeks to encourage professionals to make choices based on (scientific) knowledge rather than intuition.

Success rates

Understanding the (economic) efficacy of intervention by professionals is increasingly important. The team therefore conducts research that provides insight into the efficiency of debt and debt collection. This follows on from previous research on the benefits of early detection (Jungmann et al., 2011), debt assistance (Jungmann et al., 2011) and the use of voluntary workers in debt relief (Cross et al., 2011).

Prudent regulation

The research group also examines within which frameworks debt assistance and debt collection is carried out. And how are these developing in practice? It focuses specific attention on the role of privacy legislation in early detection and the development of (special) powers to recover debts. The policy choices of municipalities and creditors are also examined. This also applies to the functioning of the various legal frameworks that are relevant to providing debt assistance and recovering debts.

Research group website


Visiting adress:
Padualaan 101
3584 CH Utrecht
Postal adress:
Postbus 85397
3508 AJ Utrecht
Phone: 088 481 12 84