What happens if your contractual partner in Germany is insolvent, but you still have claims against the opponent? If these claims are established before the insolvency proceedings were opened, you can assert these claims against the insolvent debtor. We will be pleased to support you in registering your claim at the so-called insolvency table.

On this page, you will find information as to how to conduct insolvency proceedings in Germany. However, if you find yourself in this situation and want to be provided with a more personalised service, please contact our insolvency practice group at +49 221 93295960 or by email at info@se-legal.de.

What Role does the Insolvency Table play in German Insolvency Proceedings?

The insolvency table has two main functions. Firstly, it forms the basis for distribution to the creditors at the end of the proceedings. Secondly, a creditor can request an enforceable extract from the insolvency table. This is then a title that has the legal force of a court judgment or an enforcement order. The title allows the creditor to enforce against the debtor after the end of the proceedings.

If the claim has been determined and a quota of the insolvency claim has been allocated at the end of the proceedings, the insolvency administrator pays the determined amount. Since insolvency proceedings usually last several years, patience is required. Although the insolvency administrator can make predictions at an earlier stage as to what proportion of an insolvency claim will be due, these are not always certain.

If you have a particular issue or legal question concerning German Insolvency Law, you can contact our law office anytime. Our lawyers for German Insolvency Law can be reached by phone, email and also provide video conferencing options. For more legal information, please visit our German Insolvency Law Homepage.

What must be Considered when Filing a Claim?

If you, as a creditor, want to participate in distributing the insolvency assets, you must file a claim. It should be noted that such a filing is also necessary if the insolvency administrator is familiar with your claim due to the debtor’s bookkeeping.

The filing of insolvency claims occurs at the insolvency administrator’s office in Germany and not at the insolvency court. If you have filed your claims with the insolvency court by mistake, the insolvency court will forward your registration. In practice, however, this means that your registration will not reach the insolvency administrator until a few days later, which can lead to the registration deadline being missed.

To proceed to the registration of the insolvency table, the insolvency proceedings must first be opened. Within this framework, the insolvency court publishes an opening order in which creditors are requested to file their claims. This official publication of the order is intended to ensure that all creditors of the insolvency debtor can note the filing deadline. Therefore, the deadline must be observed irrespective of whether the creditor has actually learned of the opening of the insolvency proceedings. In addition, the insolvency administrator usually informs all creditors known to them and personally requests them to register for the insolvency table.

What Happens if a Filing Deadline is missed for Insolvency Proceedings?

However, if the filing deadline is missed, a subsequent filing is generally possible. To this end, the insolvency court sets a new date for the examination of claims. This usually takes place shortly before the end of the insolvency proceedings. However, this examination meeting allows creditors who have filed their claims within the deadline to object to the examination of claims filed late. It should also be noted that creditors who have not filed their claims in time bear the costs of a subsequent verification meeting.

What do I have to Remember with Subordinated Insolvency Proceedings?

Claims, such as interest accrued since the opening of the insolvency proceedings, costs incurred by the creditor due to participation in the insolvency proceedings, claim to a gratuitous performance by the debtor, or claims agreed between creditor and debtor as subordinate, constitute subordinate insolvency claims. As a creditor, you can only register these claims after an express request from the insolvency court.

If the court has issued such a request, it is included in the decision to open insolvency proceedings. Before you file a subordinated insolvency claim, you must, therefore, always check this order first to see whether you are permitted to do so.

What is the Verification Meeting in Insolvency Proceedings?

Your claim will be examined in a verification meeting. While you have a right to be present in person, it is usually unnecessary for you to attend this appointment as a creditor. This is also not common practice, as there is generally no discussion of the substance of the claim.

After the verification meeting, all creditors receive an extract from the insolvency table. If you have contested a claim, you will also receive a letter with the extract in which reference is made to it. The excerpt contains the various verification notes resulting from the verification of your claim.

Once the insolvency administrator has determined the claim, the creditor does not need to take any further steps. It can also determine the claim in a certain amount, while the amount over this is disputed. Furthermore, a claim can also be contested in full.

To enable the creditor to understand why a claim is (partially) disputed, the insolvency administrator shows the reasons in the extract. This also allows the creditor to see whether and how the claim can be amended to be recognised. Such subsequent recognition is possible using a letter from the insolvency administrator to the court until the closing date.

If a declaration of default is noted, the claim is in principle recognised, but the creditor has other security rights which he can claim outside the insolvency table. If the creditor insists on an unrestricted determination of this claim, either the security interest must be waived, or a notification of the proceeds from the security interest must be given.

How do I Substantiate my Insolvency Claims?

Your claim filing must allow the insolvency administrator to investigate whether your claim actually exists and verify it. If there are several claims, a list of claims is required. It is advisable to reproduce the claims in the form of official registration forms. The corresponding claims must be presented in a comprehensible manner using contracts, invoices and proof of performance. These documents are necessary to allow the insolvency administrator to identify the claims in the insolvency table.

Especially since an enforceable title is created with the determination for the insolvency table, the registration of receivables is measured against high standards. Therefore, make sure that you provide sufficient support for your claims.

Tips for Conduct

  • Make sure that you describe the claim asserted so specifically that confusion with another claim is excluded,
  • Indicate the legal basis of the claim: This results either from the type of contract from which the claim arises (e.g. sales contract, contract for work and services, etc.) or from the legal obligation from which the claim arises (e.g. in the case of claims for damages or claims under public law). If you are in doubt about the classification, please describe the facts of the insolvency case,
  • Quantify all claims, both principal and accessory claims. You can only file receivables in euros and not in a foreign currency,
  • Submit two copies of your claim registration to the insolvency administrator.

Our lawyers for insolvency law will be pleased to assist you in identifying the correct documents and preparing complete evidence for your filing. If the insolvency administrator is only given several invoices, he may not simply pick out the relevant invoices. Rather, it is the creditor’s task to present the claim’s existence in a comprehensible and plausible manner.

Insolvency Lawyer in Germany

At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte, we are experienced legal professionals in the field of insolvency law. We have worked with many clients from our offices in Cologne, Aachen and Düsseldorf over the past few years. We also offer our services from distance through telephone, email and video conferencing. Our attorneys can provide you with the information you need when it comes to German insolvency law in English and German to ensure that we do not get lost in translation. If you have any further questions about insolvency proceedings and filing claims, make sure to contact us. We are looking forward to working with you.