Default summons: Costs and financial rules in the dunning procedure

If a customer does not pay an outstanding account, companies initially try to collect the account by sending out reminders, or calling in the services of a collection agency. If, however, all commercial collection measures remain fruitless, a judicial debt collection procedure is initiated. In this process, the creditor or a service provider commissioned by him/her initially applies for a default summons by a court of law. But who has to assume the costs for such a default summons? What are the costs for the default summons? What do the costs for the default summons include?


Default summons - Court fees are due immediately

Court fees are incurred as soon as an application is filed. If these costs are not paid to the competent local court immediately, the application for a default summons is ineffective. As a result, the creditor initially has to be pay for the debt collection procedure. In other words, the creditor has to pay these expenses in advance. However, ultimately, the cost caused by the default summons have to be assumed by the debtor and reimbursed to the creditor - i.e. if the default summons is successfuil, the debtor does not object to it and the procedure leads to an enforceable title (enforcement order).

Default summons - Costs for the court

The exact amount of the court costs is based on the amount of the principal, i.e. the total in the original invoice which the creditor has been unable to collect so far. In the case of an account of, e.g., EUR 10,000, the costs for the default summons are approx. EUR 100. The court fees for a default summons are assessed at one half of the court fee. However, they are, at least, EUR 32 irrespective of the amount of the principal. If the creditor prematurely withdraws an application for the issue of a default summons, such a move does not release him/her from the obligation to pay the court fees. These fees are incurred irrespective of whether or not the court dunning procedure is concluded.

Default summons - Cost reimbursement

This means that the costs incurred as a result of the default summons have to be refunded to the creditor. In addition to court fees, these also include lawyer's and collection fees if the creditor has commissioned a service provider to apply for the default summons. These costs which are directly connected with the defaults summons can be asserted as an accessory claim in the application. In addition, the creditor can also assert all other claims from the  damage caused by the delay. The costs for a collection order before the court is invoked, default interest and other costs can also be considered here. In the default summons, costs of this type are also listed as accessory claims and, as a result, they are asserted in addition to the principal claim. 


Therefore, the total claim is established on the basis of the original amount owed as well as the damage caused by the delay and the direct costs for the default summons. If the proceedings end with an enforceable title, the debtor has to fully cover all of these costs.

This shows that a default summons causes considerable costs for the debtor - which can be avoided if the creditor and the debtor come to an agreement beforehand. Paigo GmbH sees itself as a mediator between both parties and tries to find a solution before legal action is taken. This is advantageous for both creditors and debtors. Therefore, you should not wait until court debt collection proceedings are initiated - since this would ultimately lead to more costs for you because of the default summons etc. For this reason you should contact us immediately if at all possible. Of course, you can also reach us via e-mail via the contact forms or via phone using the phone numbers specified in our letters. 

Default summons - costs in cases of insolvency

If court dunning proceedings end in an enforceable title (enforcement order), this does not ensure that the creditor actually can collect his claim and all expenses. Because the debtor might be insolvent and might not have any assets suitable for foreclosure. But even in the event of insolvency, there is still a chance for enforcement since a title remains valid for a period of 30 years. If the insolvent debtor regains solvency during this period, the claim under the enforcement order can be collected, costs can be refunded and the creditor can obtained the funds owed. This is an unpleasant route for the creditor. After all, the default summons/enforcement order cause costs which he/she has to cover initially. In certain cases, however, taking legal action is the last resort to assert the creditor's claim.