What is the sequence of a legal dunning procedure?

A legal dunning procedure cannot be requested for every case. Only claims directed at the payment of a certain amount of money in domestic currency can be prosecuted. These include liabilities arising from a purchase, loan, work contract or a mortgage or pension obligation. Possibly payment claims in residential property matters, for example damage claims or payment claims of the landlord against the tenant.


Legal dunning procedure - sequence and application

The sequence of a legal dunning procedure is subject to certain rules. The creditor needs to apply for issuance of a court order. The legal dunning procedure is then dependent on whether the application meets the legal requirements. This means it needs define the parties, the court seised and the claim. To initiate a legal dunning procedure, the application for issuance of a  court order must be submitted in writing. There are official pre-printed forms that must be used for the form requirements. Since 1 May 2007, an automatic process has been available nationally. The advantage is the same-day processing of dunning entries and transmission to the responsible debt collection court.

Sequence of legal dunning procedure - rejection of dunning application

Under certain conditions, the sequence of a legal dunning procedure may be interrupted by the rejection of the dunning application. This applies to cases in which the dunning application is directed against a person who is not subject to German jurisdiction. The dunning application is rejected. A legal dunning procedure is also interrupted if  necessary details and required content are missing or if the official form has not been used.

Sequence of legal dunning procedure - the court order

The legal dunning procedure ends with an enforcement order. Prior, a court order that must meet the legal requirements is applied for and issued. These requirements include a request to the customer to settle the claim asserted by the creditor, together with interest and all other specified costs, within a period of two weeks after delivery of the court order. As a part of the legal dunning procedure, the court order comprises the possibility for the debtor to raise an objection to the court order within a specified time. The responsible debt collection court undertakes the delivery of the court order to the debtor and notifies the applicant of the date of delivery.

Sequence of legal dunning procedure - potential objection to court order by debtor

The debtor's potential objection to the court order is part of a legal dunning procedure. The objection must be submitted in writing and may be directed against all or part of the claim. A potential reason for the objection is the customer's belief that he does not owe or only owes part of the amount claimed. It is also possible that the customer didn't give reason for the dunning procedure to be initiated. In this case, the costs for the procedure are imposed on the applicant, i.e. the creditor. If the debtor does not object to the default notice, the competent court issues an enforcement order at the request of the creditor.