Debt Collection Proceedings

 

In debt collection proceedings we stay in permanent contact with the debtor by telephone or in written in order to force him to immediate payment and ascertain the reasons of non-payment (f.e. insolvency, cash-strapped, serious legal objections). If necessary we will negotiate an instllment plan. 

If the debtor does not pay the debt immediately, we try to acquire all information on the financial standing and solvency of the debtor by different database services.

What do I have to do if I want you to collect our debt?


Please send us the invoices via email. We will contact you and inform us if you not receive a confirmation of receipt within 24 hours).


Our Fees and conditions:

1. Out of court: no upfront fees

Out of court proceedings are free of charge for our clients ("no cure, no pay").

As our client you come up to pay nothing in out-of-court-activities (prelegal proceedings). 

In case of success in collection we charge for a contingent fee (commission) only from the collected amount. The range is 1,5% - 12% (details on your request).*

 

Our service always includes the check of:

  • court's register of debtors 
  • active business of the debtor (f.i. phone calls, fax), etc.
  • pending bankruptcy proceedings, 
  • peculiarities in the Internet and Social Networks (low level), 
  • check if service of (court) documents is possible

We need: all contact details of the debtor (full name, legal form, CEO/MD, postal address, phone No., mobile No., Fax, email), the invoices, first reminder, main correspondence (emails etc), contract, and bank details if available. Please send by email.

 

2. Court proceedings:

If the debtor refuses to pay or does not react court proceedings are to recommend by lack of further legal options to force him to payment out of court. 

Before starting any court proceedings we request for your consent and try to get information about the solvency of the debtor.

The debtor is obliged by law to refund all court and lawyers fees, if he is defeated in the lawsuit.

Hence, all fees and costs are basically recoverable from the debtor.

Please consider: If the debtor has acknowledged to pay the debt you can achieve a judgment very fast and by investing less or no fees at all! Please call us or describe the case shortly by email.


In court proceedings we can offer favorable, competitive terms and reasonable fees:

  1. It is possible to free you from any costs if we dispose of full documentation (all invoices, reminder, POD, contract, signed PoA, all contact details etc.), we assess the legal position strong and the debtor is not insolvent. The range of the debt is 500,00 EUR-15,000.00 EUR. 
    Therefore you do not have to pay anything and do not have to care about something.
  2. Furthermore we offer conducting court proceedings by paying only court fees in case not all requirements are fulfilled (f.e. we dispose of full documentation, PoA...). The range is from 71,00 EUR-184,00 EUR (at a claim of 7.000,00 EUR). Such small fees can be sufficient to obtain an enforceable judgement.
  3. It is possible to free you from any costs to start court proceedings if you accept a higher commission/success fee (10-25%) to cover our risks. 


Your benefit: If you provide us with all documents and we found the debtor not insolvent you do not have to pay anything and do not have to care about something.

Basically Court and Lawyer fees relate to a legal table binding by law. The amount depends on the amount in controversy (amount of claim). 


We reserve to claim for the total of the legal fees if the debtor lodges an appeal against a court order or contests the debt in court proceedings (defect of goods, malperformance, late delivery, breach of contract, counterclaims etc.). We will inform you about the total of fees at an early stage or on request. Certainly you can decide not pursue the claim further on.

You can find the legal table for Court and Lawyer Fees here: more

You also find explanations how to calculate the fees in your case.

 

Please ask for your individual offer for free! 


Because it is regularly not possible to achieve reliable information about the financial standing of the debtor (even a credit report is without any guarantee and often out of date) it is always to recommend to demand the claim from the debtor by a Lawyer, out of court firstly and by court proceedings if the debtor do not react or refuses to pay anything. 

Please note that other debt collection agency can assist you merely in out of court proceedings. If court proceedings become necessary each debt collection agency will transfer the case to a Lawyer or Law Firm. It often means to spend supplementary costs and time for the services of a debt collection agency which are legally not to cover by the debtor.
 
Our Service in detail: 

  • On receipt of your documents (esp. invoices, proof of delivery, contact details, relevant correspondence) we will sent a request for payment (dunning-letter) to your debtor immediately by setting a deadline for payment. The content is the main claim, interest and costs. In the meantime we try to ascertain the financial standing and credit-worthiness and
  • we check the postal address and information we find in pour databases and Internet.
  • We will contact the debtor by telephone and force him to payment.
  • In case of a bad financial standing we negotiate and monitor an instalment plan
  • In case of bankruptcy proceedings we will file the claim to the bankruptcy court (list of creditors' claims) and observe further proceedings. If it is possible to claim for the retention of title we will inform you and manage the take over of your goods.


A debtor will never disclose the financial situation voluntarily and by reliable facts. Therefore it is necessary to claim for the principal claim, interest and costs, to set a deadline for payment and to decide -by lack of sufficient reactions- to take him to court. 

Exclusively a judgement (writ of execution) is the basis to force a debtor/company to payment by 

  • seizure of bank accounts, real estate, 
  • to make an oath of disclosure/affidavit of means, 
  • to order a bailiff with seizure of property … 
  • We can check fast whether a petition for bankruptcy is filed to the bankruptcy court if already published.


If court proceedings become necessary court fees are to pay to the court related to a legal binding table (Please inform about our offers on this website). Court fees are related to the amount in controversy (exact amount of the claim in Euro). 

In court proceedings we (only) charge for our fees if the debtor objects in court proceedings (the debtor raises legal objections, takes legal remedies) or if he is possibly not solvent anymore. In case we win the lawsuit the debtor is legally obliged to pay all fees and costs of proceedings so that we can refund all payments to our clients.

For information to bankruptcy and administration resp. insolvency proceedings please read here>>

1. Out-of-court activities, prelegal proceedings:

As our client you come up to pay nothing in out-of-court-activities. We understand that your debtor is solvent but not willing to pay the invoice(s) and has not raised any serious legal objections to the claim up to now.
In debt collection cases as such we generally do not claim any retainer fee for our services. Therefore our clients have to pay no fees for our services.

As explained below out-of-court proceedings are free of charge (no cure, no pay in out-of court proceedings). In case of success in collection we charge for a commission of 1,5% -12%.

The advantage of our services as a Law Firm is that all proceedings, out of court, court proceedings and execution (enforcement) proceedings are in one single hand.

Our client's have no risk in fees and costs in prelegal proceedings (out of court).

Therefore it is basically possible to collect the total of the debt for our clients. Full particulars are depending on the legal position (no objections possible) and the solvency of the debtor.

Before starting court proceedings we request for your consent and try to get information whether the debtor is still solvent. 
In Germany the debtor is obliged by law to pay all fees and costs of court proceedings (Court fees, Lawyer fees) if he is defeated in the law-suit (successful court proceedings).  
Hence, all Lawyer's and Court fees and costs are basically recoverable from the debtor.
In addition we will not invoice supplementary fees or expenses in case that we would have to state that the debtor is definitely not solvent or bankrupt and the client decides not to go to court because of lack of possibilities to cover the claim in execution proceedings against the debtor.


Our out-of-court-service regularly covers

  • to review the legal position,
  • to advise the client concerning legal problems or risks of (court) proceedings,
  • to investigate the actual postal address and financial standing of the debtor,
  • sending a dunning letter with a deadline for payment (within 8-10 days),
  • correspondence with the debtor in written and by telephone,
  • negotiations concerning an instalment agreement (if advisable).
  • Costs and fees for information and investigation like trade register fees, internet databases, fees of commercial agencies and resident's address registration office a.s.o. are free of charge too.


Therefore the first step is to review the legal position, to ascertain the financial standing of the debtor by information given by different registers, databases and authorities and to contact the debtor by phone and sending a dunning letter at the same time. 

Please note that it is very important to dispose of a valid postal address of the debtor, particularly legal action become necessary.

Anyway, we will always keep you informed about the actual situation and the next steps we would like to recommend. Please check our new FAQ's here and post your questions there.

In most of the debt collection cases it is not necessary to initiate court proceedings because we regularly succeed to collect the debts out of court (on the background that the debtor has to bear substantial costs and fees).

2. Court proceedings:

If the debtor does not react or objects to the claim and all measures taken to force him to payment turned out with no result, initiation of court proceedings become necessary.

2.1. Court fees: It is to point out that in case of legal action at court (by submitting a statement of claim, pleading) the court requires an advance payment of court fees. Otherwise the court rejects each action. 

The court fees are related to a legal table. This scale of fees is binding by law. The amount depends on the amount in controversy (sum in dispute, amount of your claim). For instance the court fees for a claim of 10.000,00 EUR are amounting to 588,00 EUR and for 20.000,00 EUR up to 864,00 EUR. 

We will give you further details on your request (legal table of fees: check here). We will not initiate legal proceedings against your debtor without your prior consent.

Please note that we are called and admitted to each court all over Germany.

We kindly ask for your understanding, that besides our offers court fees can not be covered by our office, meaning that you would have to provide us with the court fees in advance.

2.2. Lawyer fees:

In small cases and cases in serious dispute we can arrange a percentage of the claim or a closed budget as a retainer fee. You will receive our table of fees immediately on your request. Thus all activities are covered for court proceedings.

Only in case the debtor raises serious legal objections (defective goods, delay in performance, malfeasance, malperformance …) or if it is obvious that we cannot cover our fees by the debtor because of lack of assets of the debtor we have to reserve to charge our fees.
Therefore we have to charge our fees in case if it is obvious that we would have difficulties to enforce our fees after having obtained a judgement to your favour because the debtor does not dispose of assets to enforce in or assets like bank accounts, property, real estate, are lacking or not known.

In case we are successful in court proceedings and collecting the debt we refund the full retainer payment (incl. the court fees).

Further on we can arrange working on a moderate hourly rate or charge a lump sum (flat rate scheme) fee for working on the file. 

Please note that German Law Firms are regularly subject to the German Federal Law regarding Lawyer's Fees (RVG, Rechtanwaltsvergütungsgesetz). Therefore "success fees" are not legal in Germany and law firms are legally bound to charge at the RVG. It is common to ask for a retainer. As a matter of course it is possible to find an individual agreement, particularly in case of multiple debts or we take over your claim management.

Please note that we regularly do not ask for a retainer if the debtor does not contest nor object to the claim seriously ("plain sailing").

Due to our standard of service we always provide our clients with general information concerning the actual legal position and proceedings.

If the debtor is in bankruptcy proceedings, we file your claim at the bankruptcy court resp. the administrator and will preserve your rights (f.e. retention of title).

3. We regularly need the following documents and information:

  • all contact details of the debtor and your company (legal form, full name of the legal representative CEO, MD), EU-Countries: Your VAT-ID-No.
  • signed PoA download here>>
  • contract, all invoices, whereas copies are sufficient
  • reminder, demand letter a.s.o.
  • order, confirmation of order (if applicable),
  • delivery notes, POD
  • receivables account, statement of account (if applicable)
  • placement form/short statement of the matter (if applicable)

It is firstly sufficient to send us the invoice and the contact information of the debtor and your company.

Please send us the documents via e-mail (feinen@netcologne.de, please no zip-, msg or rar-files) or fax +44 203 3181394 fax.

4. Enforcement proceedings:

The enforcement of the judgement could be the further necessary step in debt collection. It is not the obligation of the court or other authorities to enforce the judgment - enforcement and execution is the task of the creditor himself or his Lawyer. 


A lot of measures are possible to levy execution like attachment of the bank account/salary, seizure on property a.s.o.), more details are given on your request.

For recovery by legal means we need firstly the enforceable court order to pay (judgement).

We can

  • attach a bank account of the debtor here in Germany
  • order a bailiff to take away assets of the debtor 
  • bring the manager to an affidavit of means
  • seizure of claims (debtor’s claims)
  • seizure of real estate

Please inform us whether you know a bank of the debtor’s company or other assets in Germany.

We recommend to inform us immediately if you receive any payment from the debtor, mentioning the exact amount and the date of the credit to your bank account.

5. Power of Attorney, Proxy:

It is strictly to recommend to provide us with a written Power of Attorney (download here>>). We will need it in any case if we have f.e. to cancel the contract). 

Please sign and return the Power of Attorney and add the full name (first name, surname) of your company and its director (legal representative) and stamp it.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you have further questions. For further questions we are always prepared to support you with detailed information - on our work and our conditions, fees and charges.

Our new company information service: information about your debtor for free (is a valid address on your disposal? Is the company still existing? Has it ceased trading? Are there bankruptcy proceedings pending on court? What is its legal form?).

Anwaltskanzlei Feinen 
D-50670 Köln
London Office 
+44 203 3181272 fon
+44 203 3181394 fax
e-mail -click here