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Debt Collection Steps in Germany

Debt Collection Steps in Germany

The debt collection procedure is not complicated in a matter of steps, however, it can be shorter or longer depending on the method selected to recover the outstanding amount of money. In Germany, the steps related to debt collection are not different from those taken in other countries, no matter if we are discussing EU or non-EU countries.

In ordered to fully understand what the debt collection steps in Germany are, our lawyers explain them below.

If you need help in debt collection in Germanyour lawyers can help you. The procedure can also be completed by a debt collection agency in Germany, however, in most cases, the amicable procedure is the only step completed by such agencies.

What are the steps to recover a debt in Germany?

If you find yourself in the unpleasant position of dealing with debtors unwilling to repay their debts, you need to consider the following debt collection steps in Germany:

  1. contacting the debtor should be the first stage of the procedure (you can do that yourself or ask for support);
  2. sending the debtor all the documents from which the debt resulted is the next mandatory step in debt recovery in Germany;
  3. asking for the support of an agency or debt collection lawyers to complete the amicable procedure and to reach a payment agreement should be considered next;
  4. if the amicable procedure fails, the procedure can be initiated in court by filing a petition in this sense;
  5. the trial is the next step to consider once the procedure turns into a legal debt recovery case;
  6. the issuance of a judgment and enforcement of a court order which will lead to the recovery of any amount of money will be the last debt collection step in Germany.

It is important to note that this enumeration of the debt collection steps in Germany can intertwine with other procedures, depending on whether the case reaches the stage in which an EU court decision is required. Appeals should also be considered when dealing with debt collection in Germany.

Amicable debt collection in Germany

It is always best to try and recover a debt from a Germany bad payer amicably. The procedure can be initiated by the creditor and only the last stage of the payment agreement can be handled by a debt collection agency or debt collection lawyers in Germany in order to make sure the new agreement is legal and enforceable. The assistance of a lawyer can also help both parties understand what their rights and obligations are as part of the new debt repayment arrangement are.

The amicable debt collection procedure in Germany implies a few important steps, among which:

  • notifying the debtor about the outstanding amount of money;
  • sending the debtor the documents proving the debt;
  • after a positive answer from the debtor, reaching a new agreement is mandatory.

All the terms of the new payment arrangement must be written, according to our debt collection lawyers’ advice.

Steps in the court debt collection procedure in Germany

The natural step to consider if the amicable procedure fails is the court procedure which implies more steps, which is why it is also lengthier. The debt collection steps which need to be taken when trying to recover an outstanding amount of money in Germany are:

  • filing a petition with the German court which has competence in this matter (the court must usually be located in the debtor’s jurisdiction);
  • all the evidence from which the debt results must be filed with the court (including any arrangements related to the amicable procedure);
  • the court will summon both the creditor and the debtor for hearings before a judge;
  • the hearings are the next stage in a debt collection case completed through court proceedings in Germany;
  • the verdict and the court order for debt recovery is the next stage in debt collection, however, sometimes it is not the final step;
  • the last step can be represented by an appeal which can be lodged by any of the parties in the trial.

It is best to seek legal advice from our debt collection lawyers in Germany when dealing with court proceedings.

Recovering a debt in Germany

The last step in debt collection in Germany is represented by the actual recovery of a debt which implies reaching the payment of the money in installments (in the case of an amicable procedure) or the seizure of assets or other dispositions as imposed by the German court.

In the case of judgments issued by an EU court, the German court will recognize and enforce the foreign order.

If you need more information or assistance in completing the debt collection steps in Germany, please contact us. We can handle all types of debt collection cases in Germany.