Unpaid Bills

How should I deal with debt collection companies?

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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.