Debt Collection in Germany

Pre-trial debt collection is definitely our forte. The bulk of our cases are settled without a lawyer is perhaps due to our expertise,there’s no such thing as the “standard German Debt Collection”.

Each case is treated individually and according to its merits. Primarily, that means accessing more information about your customer’s financial circumstances… information we happen to have at our fingertips in our business database which, with 4.9 million company entries, is the world’s largest for German Companies.

In this database, we’ll quickly find the necessary information on your debtor’s ability to meet his financial obligations, and avoid you throwing good money after bad. Our research also considers all entries in district courts’ debtor registers, published insolvencies and ongoing German debt recovery processes.

With all this information and our expertly trained staff, we achieve an extremely high success rate without the need for legal proceedings.

Before judicial German debt collection is instigated, we’ll naturally review the debtor’s economic circumstances beforehand to assess the benefits of such an action for our client.

If legal actions have a realistic chance of success, and the German debtsare undisputed, we’ll initiate judicial enforcement and compulsory execution upon the debtor’s assets, and advise you throughout all proceedings in a German debt collection process. Many debtors capitulate and pay up when they find the compulsory execution order in the mail.

If this step is unsuccessful, judicial German debt collection proceeds to execution (i.e. seizure) by a bailiff. If this is also unsuccessful, an affidavit will be procured.

We’ll naturally send you regular updates on all the initiated measures and results of the judicial German debt recovery process. In keeping with your instructions, we can also continue monitoring your judicially recognized claim with Creditreform’s Monitoring services. In that case, our Judgment Monitoring service will keep an eye on your debtor for up to 30 years.

FAQs

Number of offices in Germany:

129

Estimated number of staff in Germany:

3.500

Statute of limitation:

3 years (regular period)

Following please find the relevant sections of German Civil Code

Section 195 – Standard limitation period

The standard limitation period is three years.

Speciality:

Section 199 – Commencement of the standard limitation period and maximum limitation periods(1) Unless another commencement of limitation of is determined, the standard limitation period commences at the end of the year in which:

1. the claim arose and

2. the obligee obtains knowledge of the circumstances giving rise to the claim and of the identity of the obligor, or would have obtained such knowledge if he had not shown gross negligence.

How many registries in Germany for businesses? (i.e. UK just has 1 central registry)

Approx. 120, decentralised structure, business registries are kept by the local courts

Average length of time to collect?

Prejudicial 60 to 90 days

Can fees / interest be added to claims?

Yes, according to the following sections of German Civil Code: 280, 286, 288