5.1. Enforcement in debt
You can block the bank accounts of the debtor or block the debtor’s claims against tax offices, life insurance, the debtor’s employer, shares in businesses, corporate shares, or any possible claim the debtor may have against any third party.
This usually proves very effective and can save costs when enforced as part of the judgment. Very specific information, such as the debtor’s bank account details, the name and address of their employer, and any information about their corporate shares or shares in businesses, is required for this kind of enforcement. In all cases, the court where the debtor (the garnishee) resides is responsible for the single enforcement action.
5.2. Enforcement in movable property
This is the standard procedure where the bailiff visits the debtor to take away movable property that can be liquidated in favour of you - the creditor. The bailiff can’t seize the property necessary for the debtor’s basic daily life or that enables them to maintain their business activities. If these types of property are not available, the bailiff will demand a statutory declaration from the debtor.
If the debtor refuses and does not appear before the bailiff for the appointment set up for the affidavit, you need to file for an arrest warrant before court. The warrant will then be executed by the bailiff and supported by the police. The warrant is used to obtain the statutory declaration from the debtor and can only be obtained every three years.
5.3. Enforcement in immovable property
If the debtor owns real estate, it’s possible to receive a record of their claim in the land register, and then force the attachment, the attachment and sale, or, if there are tenants, the sequestration of the real estate by court order. All of these processes are more expensive than those mentioned previously, and it can be a long process to get a copy of the record. Afterwards, it can also take time to sell or sequestrate the land and real estate.
5.4. Expected time frame
The enforcement in debt generally takes only four to eight weeks. The enforcement in movable property, however, often needs six to nine months in the western part of Germany and nine to 12 months in the eastern part of Germany, due to a lack of bailiffs and large backlogs. The time frame for enforcement in real estate depends very much on the course of the case, the court, possible banks, and, of course, possible buyers.
(End of chapter 5 - Enforcement)