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Debt settlement in dignity


One of our dreams was to make our reference budgets available to the debt mediation sector. With MELISA, we have made this a reality. MELISA is an online tool that provides tools for a dignified life in debt reduction.



Determining the cost of living is an important part of a debt settlement. According to Belgian law, the living allowance you receive while paying off a debt settlement must allow you to live in dignity. However, the law does not provide any guidelines to help debt mediators or judges determine what this living allowance should be or what expenses are essential to maintain human dignity.

This is where our reference social participation budgets can play an important role. A living allowance that allows a life in dignity contributes to the sustainability of debt relief for debtors and increases the likelihood of a successful voluntary or judicial debt settlement arrangement. We have developed an online tool, MELISA, to calculate a dignified living allowance for households seeking a debt settlement agreement. The tool calculates a dignified living allowance tailored to each client's individual situation.

Thanks to the financial overview provided by MELISA, debt counsellors can quickly and objectively determine which expenses are essential and available budget. Creditors get an objective view of debtors' financial situation and their ability to repay the debts. For judges, the reference budget-based tool provides a scientifically based benchmark for monitoring voluntary debt settlement arrangement, for justifying their proposals for court-ordered debt settlement arrangements and for resolving discussions about the necessary level of living expenses.

MELISA is not only useful for preparing an application and negotiating a repayment plan, but also for managing the debtor's household budget. The tool provides a structured and detailed overview of a household’s income and necessary expenses and the financial capacity to pay off debts from the moment a debt settlement petition is filed. Because the reference budget-approach implemented in the MELISA-tool also considers irregular and less obvious expenses, fewer unexpected expenses are unaccounted for, which helps adherence to the repayment plan. This benefits both the debtor and the creditors. At the same time, MELISA aids in strengthening the debtor's financial skills by providing tools to manage one's budget and identify overspending and underspending. This helps debtors to remain debt-free at the end of the debt agreement settlement.

Since the debt agreement settlement often takes several years, it is important to prepare the client to manage all income independently again after the settlement ends. To this end, the tool allows to divide payment responsibilities between debtor and the debt settlement lawyer and to adjust these responsibilities throughout the settlement agreement process. Over time, more payment responsibilities can be transferred to the debtor and a gradual transition from budget management to budget counselling can be achieved.

More information about the price and how to obtain a (test) account via


Being and staying debt free

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