Having drawn from the expertise of the Atradius Collections' local offices, the International Debt Collections Handbook explains the different stages, regulations and procedures for Germany.
Atradius Collections Germany maintains a professional collection process, focusing on the relationship between client and debtor at all times. Our team of collection specialists carry out the collection process in-house, contacting both verbally and in writing whilst adhering to federal and state laws. When there is a dispute, we aim to reach an amicable solution between creditor and debtor. We do this by analysing all contractual documents (e.g. signed contracts, orders, confirmations, invoices and delivery notes, as well as all standard terms previously agreed upon). All investigations are completed with the assistance and
agreement of our legal team.
Atradius Collections Germany always charges interest to debtors calculated from the base rate set by the German national bank plus 9% on a daily basis (see European Directive 2011/35/CEE Article 3 in conjunction with paragraph 288, section 2 of the German Civil Code). When creditors have to pay higher interest to their bank, we are able to ask for the higher rate. However, this rate needs to be confirmed by the bank in writing in case any legal action needs to be initiated.
From a cultural point of view, German debtors are used to paying late payment charges, although the actual amount of the interest payment is considered a matter of negotiation between debtors and collectors.
In Germany, under German Civil Code paragraph 280, sections 2 and 3 and paragraph 286, debt collection costs are chargeable to debtors representing the client’s claim for late payment. If the creditor has a special contractual agreement, this can be taken into account as long as the debtor has previously agreed to the terms.
From a cultural point of view, German debtors are used to paying debt collection costs, though often the actual amount of these costs is considered a matter of negotiation. Atradius Collections Germany will forward all recovered debt collection costs to our client to reduce the claim, retain the cost or add them to the success fee. This will depend on the contractual agreement between the client and Atradius Collections.
The Debt Collections Handbook presents a snapshot of Germany's local economic situation and covers the following topics:
- Accepted and most common payment methods
- Types of companies
- Legal procedures & legal system
- Enforcement in debt, movable goods and immovable goods
- Insolvency proceedings
- Pool of creditors
To read more about steps and procedures undertaken in the field of debt collection: