The Debt Collection Procedure in Germany
The debtor is usually first requested to pay the outstanding amount out of court. For this, the debtor is asked to pay their debts within 7-14 days. The extrajudicial demand is required, as otherwise, the opposing party could immediately recognise the claim per § 93 ZPO. This would have the consequence that the creditor would have to bear all costs for the legal proceedings. Therefore, out-of-court solutions should always be sought first.
As the next step, the claims can be asserted in court with a dunning procedure or lawsuit.
Enforcement proceedings follow this. An essential condition to start enforcement proceedings is that there must be an enforcement title. This title determines the identities of the creditor and debtor and the type, substance, and range of enforcement. A judgment by a court of law, an enforcement order effected by a default action, an enforceable deed or a settlement agreement can constitute such an enforcement title. Further, the creditor must make an application to the relevant enforcement authority. Depending on the object of the enforcement proceedings, either the District Court or a bailiff may be responsible.