Legal default action
The creditor is allowed to protect his debt. He will normally do this by taking legal default action. In this case the court will send you a default summons (Mahnbescheid) (this comes in a yellow envelope with an endorsement of service.
IMPORTANT: The court has not verified the information given by the creditor.
For you, this means:
- Read the information in the default summons carefully!
- Check whether the amount owed is correct!
- If the amount is incorrect or if you do not know why you have received the default summons, you must lodge an OBJECTION within 2 weeks.
- To do this, you can use the form sent with the default summons. All you need do is put a cross in the box depending on whether you object to the claim as a whole or just in part (e.g. only the excessive interest or collection costs).
- Send your objection to the court that sent the default summons. The address is printed on the form.
- BUT: Do not lodge an objection simply to gain time or because you just can't pay at the moment. This just leads to more costs. If you have lodged an objection to a claim for payment, the creditor is obliged to prove that he has a justified claim against you. In some cases this may lead to a court case. If the claim in the default summons is justified, you do not have to do anything. You will receive an enforcement order (Vollstreckungsbescheid) from the court. You have 2 weeks to appeal against this order, too. If the creditor is in possession on an enforcement order, he is entitled to authorise a bailiff to carry out attachment measures. However, the law dictates that debtors must be left with a minimum to live on.
Note: Public creditors (tax authorities and other authorities) do not have to apply to the court for a default summons (Mahnbescheid) and enforcement orders (Vollstreckungsbescheid). They may send an order demanding repayment themselves. In this case you may lodge an objection (within 4 weeks) if the claim is incorrect.