Debts from open bills are collected by a so-called "debt collection company" or "Inkassounternehmen". The debt collection company is thus commissioned by a company to demand and receive what is due from its customers. The customers also pay a "collection fee" ("Inkassokosten"), which goes to the debt collection company for its service.
How should I deal with debt collection companies?
Each of us receives bills almost every day- for instance, from a handyman who has repaired something in our flat or a shop where we bought something online. If we forget to pay these bills, further letters with payment reminders and Warnings will follow. Or we may receive letters from a collection company ("Inkassounternehmen") which warns us about possible legal proceedings, the seizure of our wages or a bad Schufa credit entry. Here you can find out more about the workings of these collection companies and the best approach when you receive a letter from them.
What do I need to know?
What is debt collection ("Inkasso")?
When is a debt collection agency commissioned?
How does a debt collection agency work?
I have received a collection letter. What shall I do?
How do I recognise an authentic collection letter?
How much are the collection costs?
Where can I find support and counselling?
Don't be intimidated by a debt collection agency. Review the claim carefully and only pay if you have, in fact, ordered the item or service.