Attempting to Collect a Debt in Germany


Attempting to collect a debt in Germany can be difficult if one does not have a presence in the country. Any foreign individual or country will ultimately be subject to the German court system, and pursuing legal action from abroad is never easy. A debt collection company that has offices within the country will find it much easier to conduct the pursuit of the debtor, and eventually to follow a case through the court system, if that should become necessary.

Legal Process in Germany

Suing an individual or company in Germany for collection of a debt will start with filing an action in the nearest local court where that individual or company resides. There a judge will hear arguments presented by both sides, and usually urge them to come to an agreement between themselves. If no agreement can be reached, witnesses are generally called in to explain any fine points about the case, and to provide expert opinions on the facts in question.
After all expert testimony has been heard, it is usually somewhat clearer which side has the upper hand in the dispute, and which side the law favors, so the judge will again provide an opportunity for the two sides to come to an agreement between themselves. If this is still impossible, the only recourse left for debt collection in Germany is for an imposed rendering of decision, and after due consideration of all relevant information, the court will issue its finding several weeks later.

Both parties will be officially informed of the judge’s decision, and both parties are from that time forward legally bound to abide by that decision and act accordingly.

A seasoned, well-networked debt collector may be all the difference between successful collection and failure in Germany. The complexity underlines the need to use a company that has a sound track record in this regard.