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What is an enforcement order?

You have received an enforcement order – and now you have many questions? Here, we explain to you what an enforcement order is, how this could come about, and what is the best thing to do now.

Editorial Team Germany | Oct 4, 2022 6 min
Do you know what an enforcement order is?

Why am I receiving an enforcement order?

Many things must already have happened before an enforcement order is issued: If a consumer fails to settle an account, the creditor can apply for a so-called default summons to a court of law.

This default summons is served on the consumer. If the consumer does not lodge an objection against this default summons within a period of two weeks, the creditor can request an enforcement order. The creditor has a period of six months – counting from the date of the service of the default summons - to do that.

Just like the default summons, the enforcement order is also served on the consumer.

The process for an enforcement order.
Definition of an enforcement order.

The enforcement order: what is it?

An enforcement order is a so-called enforcement title - a court document that secures an outstanding claim for the creditor and from which attachment can be levied.

The enforcement order is served by the local court. The letter is served either via mail or by a bailiff.

An enforcement order is valid for at least 30 years. This means that creditors can use this order to enforce the debt for 30 years and thus claim the amount owed.

What do I do after I have received an enforcement order?

First, you should check whether you really owe the amount in the enforcement order. If that is the case, you should pay the amount as soon as possible – or contact the creditor or his representative to conclude a payment agreement.

If you think that the claim is not justified, you can lodge an objection within a period of 14 days as of the date of service of the enforcement order. After an objection, the proceedings are automatically handed over to a dispute court. In this case, the court decides whether or not the claim is justified.

However, before you actually take this step: Check all documents and ensure that you can prove that the claim in question is really not justified. This is important because adversary court proceedings can lead to enormous costs, which you have to bear additionally, should you be made liable to pay the amount due.

Get in touch

Even if you cannot pay the full amount immediately: It is still important to get in touch and sort out the matter. Ignoring it or burying your head in the sand does not help here!

What happens if I do not pay after receiving an enforcement order?

Then, a bailiff might visit you – and impound your assets. The creditor can also have accounts or even income from work and pensions attached. If you own real-estate property, it can be foreclosed. This is because the enforcement order gives creditors comprehensive rights to obtain the outstanding money.

 

Which court has competence for an enforcement order?

The local courts have exclusive competence for the judicial dunning procedure – regardless of the amount in dispute. A central dunning court has been established for every German state.

 

When does an enforcement order become legally effective?

If you do not lodge an objection within a period of 14 days after the enforcement order is served on you, it becomes legally effective. This has the following consequences:

  • The claim has been legally determined and titled – the enforcement order becomes an enforcement title.
  • With this enforcement title, compulsory execution can be commissioned.
  • You cannot lodge an objection and, as a result, object to the claim anymore.

Conclusion

Before an enforcement order is issued, there are several ways to react.

If you have already received an enforcement order, use the 14-day objection period to settle the matter out of court - instead of resorting to costly court proceedings.

What is an enforcement order?

What does Riverty do in the event of an enforcement order?

We are always interested in finding a solution that helps all parties involved!

An enforcement order is the final option for us to secure the claim if we cannot reach an agreement. We would like to spare every affected person these unpleasant steps and hope that we can find a good solution for both sides beforehand - for the creditor and for the consumer.