Our collection specialists Germany are at your disposal and ensure efficient and above all professional handling. Read how we can collect for you in Germany.
Germans like to have clarity. This means that a German debtor must be given a clear deadline within which payment must be made. This is also called Fristsetzung. With this term, we do not only indicate that payment must be made before a certain date, but also that the debtor can be expected to be able to expect legal proceedings. When the payment is not made before that particular date, this ensures payment in most cases. But if that does not work, the German law is perfectly equipped to be able to cash.
German legal proceedings are carried out by our local debt collection lawyers ( Rechtsanwälte ). We start by starting a so-called Mahnverfahren. This is a German petition that describes what your claim is, how high it is and who the parties are. This request is submitted to the competent local court in Germany.
The authorized Mahngericht hands the submitted Mahnverfahren to the debtor. The debtor will then receive a court order for payment: the Mahnbescheid . The debtor can lodge a defense against this judicial reminder within two weeks. If he does not do this, the court will issue a Vollstreckungsbescheid .
The Vollstreckungsbescheid is the enforcement order with which attachment can be made. This judgment is also served on the debtor (by the court). Again, the debtor has two weeks to go in opposition. If he does not do this, then the claim is fixed. So he can no longer be affected, not even with an appeal!
For example, legal proceedings in Germany usually take a very short time compared to other countries. Why here also the German law has many advantages, you can read later.
The German legal system is characterized by very short terms of respond. When your respond is too late, it is really too late. If a debtor wishes to defend the Mahnbescheid , he must have actually filed his defense within four weeks of service of that Mahnbescheid . If he does not do this, the judge will immediately point this part out. This also applies if the debtor does not take Rechtsanwalt into account, because a lawyer is obliged. Many debtors, however, refuse to call in Rechtsanwalt and are responding to the judge themselves and the judge passes their entire answer.
Because the German court will order the debtor to pay the costs of the proceedings, a German debtor will think twice before deciding to take a defense. If the defense is nonsensical, the debtor will be deprived.
The seizure in Germany or Zwangsvollstreckung can not be compared with methods in the Netherlands. The method of executing in Germany offers many advantages over those in the Netherlands.
A German bailiff or Gerichtsvollzieher is an official, not an entrepreneur. He is only authorized locally and, contrary to Dutch bailiffs, receives instructions from the local court. A creditor who wants to execute a judgment, for example a Vollstreckungsbescheid, must let this go through the local court.
The Gerichtsvollzieher has far-reaching possibilities for actually collecting the claim. It is expected that the debtor will be fully cooperated. If he does not do this, he can be taken hostage and even be taken into custody. And that is not all.
In Germany, non-payment of debts is taken very seriously. In 2013 the law ‘Gesetz zur Reform der Sachaufklärung in der Zwangsvollstreckung’ came into effect. With effect from 1 January of that year, debtors who have been convicted are obliged to cooperate in a so-called Vermögensauskunft . In addition, a debtor is obliged to issue a statement about his entire assets (assets, debts, income, expenses), the Vermogenssenzezeichnis.
The bailiff then knows exactly where he has to seize. The debtor must also declare that he has made a statement of his ability in truth and best honor and conscience. He is obliged to sign a so-called eidesstattlichen Versicherung . Falsifying and / or not explaining ensures that the bailiff can have the debtor be held hostage with the police. A creditor can order an arrest, a Haftbefehl . If a statement is still issued and / or demonstrably declared false, detention in prison will follow. And it goes even further.
After the debtor has made the Referredowner the Financials / </>>, the bailiff will publish the report at the zalenralen Vollstreckungsgericht. He also sends an overview to the creditor.
Unfortunately, for the debtor, published messages remain in the system for years. In this way, creditors gain insight into the debtor’s entire assets. However, other governmental elements such as Vollstreckungsgerichte , Insolvenzgerichte , Registrar-oriented and even Strafverfolgungsbehörden have access.This means that most debtors want to avoid a publication at the zentralen Vollstreckungsgericht at any cost. For the bailiff this gives a lot of bargaining power, from which the creditor benefits. Most debtors are paying directly. For example, a debtor also prevents the Vermögensauskunft from being passed on to Schufa Holding AG (Schufa) , an association based in Wiesbaden that keeps records of solvency and creditworthiness and this information in various product forms to third parties. A debtor who is reported to be badly on the books will automatically experience problems: more than 128 million credit applications are made annually at Schufa . The Schufa has data on 66.4 million natural persons and 5.2 million enterprises. Nobody wants to do business with a company with bad credit.
The German company Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung, abbreviated GmbH , is a limited liability company under German law. This legal form is common in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. The driver ( Geschäftsführer) of a GmbH must always be a natural person and can not be a company. The minimum capital of the company is € 25,000 (at the time of incorporation at least € 12,500 must be paid up).
Notwithstanding Dutch law, the Geschäftsführer can be liable fairly quickly for the debts incurred by the GmbH. This is an important issue within the German debt collection. For example, the Geschäftsführer may be liable to the GmbH itself (as a director, for example under an employment contract), but also as a director vis-à-vis third parties, such as creditors. This is the case, for example, if the published annual figures are misleading. Or if the Geschäftsführer deals with transactions when he knew or ought to know that the GmbH would never be able to pay or if he would not pay taxes. In addition, there may even be criminal liability.
Whether a Geschäftsführer is personally liable depends on how carefully he acts. In Germany there are many procedures every year about the ‘ Sorgfalt eines Geschäftsmannes’.
In any case, a Geschäftsführer does not act carefully if it fails to request the bankruptcy of the GmbH. Is the Geschäftsführer aware of imminent insurmountable indebtedness ( Überschuldung ) or non-payment ( Zahlungsunfähigkeit) – and therefore creditors can not be paid – and if he does not request bankruptcy within 3 weeks after he finds out, he will be held personally liable for all debts (!) of the GmbH. He also has to pay for part of the costs of the bankruptcy procedure.
Because there is no frivolous thinking about driving a company in Germany, acting in violation of the ‘ Sorgfalt eines Geschäftsmannes ‘ can also be followed by a criminal prosecution. The Staatsanwaltschaft or the public prosecutor may sue and have the Geschäftsführer prosecuted for committing criminal offenses against other companies, natural persons or the State of Germany itself, such as the tax authorities . It concerns the Wirtschaftskriminalität .
A Geschäftsführer knows this. During a collection procedure, this legal obligation is sometimes used to reinforce the negotiating position of the creditor.
In the Netherlands, a shareholder is not held liable for the shortfall in the event of bankruptcy. If in Germany a GmbH no longer has a director, but still a shareholder, this Gesellschafter can also be held liable for the shortage in the estate. This if the shareholder was aware of the insurmountable indebtedness ( Überschuldung ) or non-payment ( Zahlungsunfähigkeit).
Our clients for debt collection Germany are dealing with all sorts of claims. We can help you with all civil claims on debtors in Germany. Think for example:
We work directly for clients, but also for intermediaries such as law firms and accountancy firms.
An interruption of prescription, comparable to Dutch law, in the sense that the limitation period is interrupted and a new limitation period starts, can only be based on German law if there is an acknowledgment of the claim by the debtor (for example by (partial) payment) or if the creditor has made a request for execution measures (attachment).
Like Dutch law, German law has various prescription periods, or Verjährungsfristen . The general limitation period is 10 years. For many agreements, however, a limitation period of 3 years applies. For certain claims, different limitation periods apply, such as transport. An enforceable title such as a Vollstreckungsbescheid has a limitation period of 30 years (in the Netherlands 20). The commencement of the limitation period does not start – just as in the Netherlands – from the moment that the claim has become due (default) but at the end of the year in which the claim became due and the creditor based the circumstances on which the claim is based. knows and the creditor is familiar with the debtor or should reasonably have known about it.
If this is not the case now, the limitation period can be temporarily interrupted, for example by starting a legal procedure, such as a Mahnverfahren or having a court order of execution such as a Mahnbescheid . Slightly less often, the period of interruption is temporarily interrupted by service of the request to conduct a judicial procedure to secure proofs ( selbstständiges Beweisverfahren) also the limitation period.
Because German law has so many limitation periods, it is advisable not to wait too long to start a collection procedure.
Do you have something to claim in Germany? Or a dispute with a German debtor? In that case, direct debit Germany may also be helpful to you. Please feel free to contact us via telephone number 070-7620330 or send us an e-mail . Collection specialist Mr. Konings can tell you more about the possibilities of collecting Germany and (hard to) recoverable receivables from debtors established in Germany.
cost reduction of 80%
and invoices paid up to 3 times faster
cost reduction of 120%
and invoices paid up to 5 times faster
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