Debt Collection in Germany

Do you have a German customer who doesn't pay invoice for your company?

German consumers try and pay on time, for the most part.  Also, good credit management is recommended.

It is often evident that legal proceedings will be needed based on the response to the first letter of application. The German legal system is based on maintaining valid contractual agreements, so in order to prove a point in a German case, you must have the documents.

Our German debt recovery attorneys have all the expertise and experience you need to make the debtor pay.

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1.1 If your German customer does not pay on time, immediately send a notice. Note a payment period in the warning. As a general rule, the payment period in Germany is 14 days. Apply to the payment reminder a detail of your allegation.

1.2 Further suggestions: Say in the bill notice that if the client does not pay, you will turn over the refund charge at the customer's expense; make sure your arrangements are written down; submit your communications via fax with evidence that your emails have been sent or retrieved.


2.1 Our German debt recovery attorneys have vast experience and knowledge of the German laws and rules. Therefore, they are fully aware of the German business traditions and culture. Which makes it easier for your German debtor to quickly make payments.


3.1 Our attorneys know both your english and German so they can quickly solve the language barriers.


4.1 Our business debt recovery strategy is tailored to every single case, and we provide tailored advice to you.


5.1 We will always offer our honest advice on the likelihood that your debt recovery will be successful. It is vital to us to put your needs first; we are endeavoring to provide you with your choices and guidance on the best route to take. It is clear to see how we are upholding our core values of honesty and justice.


6.1 In Germany the debt collection process can be separated into two stages. Selection takes place during the extrajudicial process, without the intervention of the Court. We include the Court during the legal process, in order to make the German debtor pay. Because we are a law firm, we are able to assist you in both processes.

6.2 Pre-legal debt collection In theory we often continue with the extrajudicial step in the debt collection cycle. We are trying to avoid the need to go to Court at this point. We must call your customer in Germany to accept payment.

6.3 Germany is defending the debtors, meaning that action against debtors can not be done just like that. There are less extrajudicial debt collection options as compared with other European countries.

6.4 During the extrajudicial process, we have the following options in Germany: written complaint letters and telephone calls: we give a written request letter to the debtor and reach them by telephone, asking that they settle your demand within a few days, together with interest and costs; launch legal proceedings: the most effective way to put pressure on your German client is to put pressure on you.

6.5 This declaration normally convinces them to make payment. That is why it's best to hire a debt recovery lawyer's services immediately, who can launch these hearings on your behalf. In this way, you escape an overly extended cycle of debt recovery.


7.1 If your debtor refuses to pay during the extrajudicial process we can go to the Court after mediation with you. We will always provide you with information about the possible costs in advance and we will only continue with your permission.

7.2 As the German legal system is especially debtor oriented, the criteria for legal proceedings are more strict. The German Court is requiring you to make a valid claim. In Germany, we have the following legal remedies against debtors:

  • "Mahnverfahren": "Mahnverfahren" is an extended mechanism for unchallenged claims. You may receive a Compliance Order ("Vollstreckungsbescheid") within a relatively short period of time; which allows the claimant to pay both the petition and the costs of the proceedings. It only takes the debtor a few weeks to contest this. If that does not apply, then the settlement warrant is legally binding and we can begin compliance action, such as forfeiture of the debtor's bank account or sending a debt recovery bailiff;
  • Ordinary civil litigation(' Klageverfahren'): this may be the correct procedure if your argument is in doubt, but our German attorneys will always be able to advise on the debt. To support their position all sides must provide documentary evidence.

7.3 The Court must issue a verdict after one or more hearings. If the court makes a decision in your favor, and the defendant still does not pay, we can use this to impose your judgement by taking the debtor's bank account for example. Settling the matter before decision remains an option at all times;

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In the case of an uncontested dispute between two parties based in EU Member States (except Denmark).

the European Payment Order may proceed.

In your case, the prosecutor who manages the case will decide whether this kind of practice is acceptable.

The claimant typically filled out a standard form for EU Order for Payment procedures and submits this to the Tribunal.  

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Instead, the Court issues a Local Transaction Notice. The debtor then has 30 days to decide whether they object to the charge. 

If no notice is obtained within the 30-day span, you can require the Court to finalize the payment order (called a "declaration of enforceability"). This decision is true and enforceable and is recognized in any Member State (except Denmark). 

The EU Payment Order is never appropriate for contested issues (so not in situations where there is a disagreement over the invoice).

The benefit of this process is flexibility and low cost (some Member States don't even impose a court fee), but the drawback is that if it gets challenged, the case stops, and if the claimant wants to continue, a regular civil action will have to be launched.

Debt Recovery in Germany. Fast.

Our business debt recovery methodology is customized to every single instance, so that we can provide objective advice to you.
We will always give our objective advice on the likelihood of your debt recovery being successful.
It is essential to us to place your interests first; we aim at providing you with your possibilities and suggestions on the best path to take. It is clear to see how we are pursuing our fundamental values of integrity and justice.

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What To Do When Your German Customer is Not Paying

- Contact your customer and demand why no payment has been and when exactly it will be.
   Always request the payment copy sent to you.
- Are you not able to solve the problem with your customer? Send them a certified letter requesting immediate payment.
- Be conscious that with ambiguous payment terms or arguments, your German debtor may try to gain additional time.
Persevere, be direct and never postpone.
- In the Germany, a payment period of three to seven days is normal

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Our German debt collection experts have comprehensive experience and perspective of German laws and policies.
Therefore they are perfectly aware of Germany trading values and traditions.
Which makes it easier for your German debtor to quickly make payments.

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We follow your instructions at all times and ensure regular communication with you via collection reports, recommendations regarding debtor payments, payment plans and, where necessary, repossession and Court proceedings.

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We have prepared for you a comprehensive article about how the debt collection process works in Germany.
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Debt Recovery in the Germany