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Looking at the gross national product (GNP) and the level of unemployment, Austria is among the wealthiest countries in Europe. However, many people do not know that Austrians are bad payers. Read in this article how debt collection in Austria works and find out how we can collect your debt in Austria quickly and vigorously.

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Local specialists in Austria (Spezialisten)

Austria is divided into nine federal states, which together with the other states form a union. In accordance with the Austrian constitution, these nine federal states (Bundesländer) have their own law, which exists alongside the federal law (state law). Of course, you do not have to delve into these different legal systems. We have done this for you. Contact one of our debt collection Austria specialists, free of obligation, to discuss your claims.

Together with our debt collection Austria specialists, you can discuss the chances of success of your claim.

In specific situations, it is also possible to start debt collection Austria directly with the legal proceedings. Please contact one of our debt collection Austria specialists to discuss the terms.

Always an honest debt collection Austria advice

We always give you honest advice about the chances of success of your collection claim. We believe it is important to put your interests first. That is why we look for the best option for your claims. This is what you can expect from an international debt collection manager.

Judicial collection in Austria (Gerichtliche Betreibung)

Nine out of ten claims are collected by us in the extrajudicial phase. Unfortunately, not all debtors (Debitors) are the same. Debt collection in Austria has different routes to recover your claim through legal proceedings. We will explain the two most common routes for debt collection in Austria.

Austrian legal proceedings are conducted by our collection lawyers (Rechtsanwälte).

1. the austrian order for payment (mahnverfahren)

The Mahnverfahren can be applied to claims up to € 75,000. With this procedure, a conditional payment order (bedingter Zahlungsbefehl) can be obtained, without first having to start substantive proceedings. This ensures rapid clarity. The payment order is then served on your debtor, who is given a period of 14 days to make payment of the principal sum, interest and costs. Your debtor can also choose to put forward a defence (Einspruch erheben). For claims where the district court (Bezirksgericht) has jurisdiction, your debtor can do so himself without the intervention of a lawyer.

Your debtor must file a defense within 4 weeks. Experience shows that few Austrian debtors put up a defence, because otherwise they run the risk of being ordered by the court to pay the costs of the proceedings. If your debtor does put forward a defence, the proceedings will continue under the rules of the proceedings on the merits (see below). But if your debtor does not respond, or responds too late, the order for payment will take legal effect. This means that the bailiff can collect your claim with an attachment on the basis of an enforcement clause that the Austrian debt collection solicitor requests.

Thus, the deadlines are short: proceedings for debt collection in Austria are – compared to other countries – very prosperous.

2. Main proceedings

This procedure is also called the regular procedure and applies to claims over € 75,000. The proceedings on the merits can be started at two moments. We explain.

  1. Directly after the extrajudicial phase;
  2. If your debtor puts up a defence during the Mahnverfahren proceedings (as explained above). The proceedings are then continued under the rules of the proceedings on the merits.

Usually, the proceedings on the merits are conducted in writing. In some cases, the judge will invite the parties to the courtroom to explain the case. Then the judge will make a decision and inform the parties.

There is another option:

3. European order for payment procedure

The European order for payment procedure is a procedure for uncontested cross-border claims. Do you have an undisputed claim? Then this procedure can offer a solution. Under the European order for payment procedure it is possible to collect an undisputed claim quickly in all EU member states except Denmark. The court can then send a European order for payment to your debtor. Your debtor then has 30 days to respond. If your debtor does not respond, we can ask the court to make the payment order final. This is a judgement which is accepted in every EU member state. Very practical.

Together with you, our specialists in debt collection in Austria will assess whether there is an undisputed claim. This is the case, for example, if your debtor has said, ‘I want to pay, but this week I have no money’, or ‘Can we agree on a payment schedule?’.

Also if you want to discuss the procedures, you can contact one of our debt collection Austria specialists without any obligation.

Advantages of debt collection in Austria

  • Proceedings available in every language
  • Experienced debt collection specialists
  • Seamless connection in case of legal proceedings
  • Cooperation with local
  • Austrian debt collection lawyers
  • Expert information and clarity upfront
  • Proven track record
  • Fast and short lines of communication and 24/7 access via the Online Cockpit

Because we make use of the knowledge and experience of Rechtsanwälte certified in Austria, you can be sure that the quality is guaranteed

Why judicial debt collection Austria works so well

A so-called Mahnverfahren, or Austrian petition, describes what your claim entails, how high it is and who the parties are. This application is filed with the competent local court in Austria. The competent Mahngericht issues the filed Mahnverfahren to the debtor. The debtor then receives a judicial payment order: the Mahnbescheid. The debtor has two weeks to defend himself against this court order. If he fails to do so, the court will issue a Vollstreckungsbescheid.

The Vollstreckungsbescheid is the enforcement order with which distraint can be imposed. This judgement is also served on the debtor (by the court). Here, too, the debtor has two weeks to object. If he fails to do so, the claim is fixed. This means that it cannot be contested, even with an appeal!

Thus, legal proceedings in Austria are usually very short compared to other countries. Why Austrian law also has many advantages here, you will read further on.

Debt collection in Austria? Free initial consultation

Have you become curious about the possibilities? Then ask for a free initial consultation with a specialist in Austrian law. With our local debt collection Austria network, no question needs to remain unanswered.

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    An Austrian debtor thinks twice before defending himself

    The Austrian legal system is characterized by very short deadlines to respond. Too late is really too late. If a debtor ticks off the Mahnbescheid that he wants to put forward a defence, he must actually submit his defence within four weeks of the notification of the Mahnbescheid. If the debtor fails to do so, the court will immediately order the debtor to appear in absentia. This also applies if the debtor does not hire a Lawyer, as a lawyer is mandatory. However, many debtors refuse to hire a Rechtsanwalt, respond to the court themselves, and the court passes over their entire response.

    Since the Austrian court will order the debtor to pay the legal costs, an Austrian debtor will think twice before deciding to file a defense. After all, if the defense is nonsensical, it will cost the debtor dearly.

    What happens if we have obtained a judgment (Urteil) for you?

    After obtaining the winning verdict, you obviously want to have your money in your bank account as soon as possible. We understand this. After we have obtained a judgement, our Austrian collection specialists will request permission from the competent judge (Gericht) to execute your judgement. The judge has to give his/her separate permission for this. When the judge has given permission, our bailiff will start collecting your debt. The debt collection agency has everything under one roof. For your claim we activate the right links to make debt collection in Austria a success.

    Seizure in Austria: Zwangsvollstreckung

    Seizure in Austria offers many advantages, being:

    1. the role of the gerichtsvollzieher

    An Austrian bailiff, or Gerichtsvollzieher, is a civil servant, not an entrepreneur. He is only locally competent and is commissioned by the local court. A creditor who wants to execute a judgement, for example a Vollstreckungsbescheid, has to go through the local court.

    The Gerichtsvollzieher has far-reaching possibilities in actually collecting the claim. It is expected that the debtor will cooperate fully. If he fails to do so, he can be taken hostage and even detained. And that’s not all.

    2. Vermögensauskunft en eidesstattlichen Versicherung

    In Austria, non-payment is taken seriously. If all the information we have received from you and that the bailiff himself has collected should still fail to result in collection, we require the issuance of a so-called eidessstattlichen Versicherung. 

    Debtors who have been convicted in Austria are obliged to cooperate with a so-called Vermögensauskunft. In this process, a debtor is obliged to make a statement about his entire assets (possessions, debts, income, expenses), the Vermögensverzeichnis. The bailiff will then know exactly where to seize. The debtor must also declare that he has made a statement of his assets truthfully and to the best of his knowledge and belief. He is obliged to sign a so-called eidesstattlichen Versicherung. 

    The false and/or failure to declare ensures that the bailiff can have the debtor taken hostage with police. A creditor can order an arrest, a Haftbefehl.

    3. Publication of the vermögensverzeichnisses: an effective means of pressure

    After the debtor has made the Vermögensverzeichnisses to the Gerichtsvollzieher, the bailiff will publish the report in a central and public register. Creditors may, under conditions, demand a copy of the registration. An Austrian-based debtor will want to avoid this and often pays quiackly after all.

    In Austria, a judgment can be enforced for up to 30 years.

    Precautionary seizure (Beschlag)

    If we employ precautionary seizure, the property rights on which the attachment has been made are preserved, as it were, until the court rules. Your debtor can then no longer alienate or conceal the asset right in question.
    Before a prejudgment attachment can be made, we must obtain permission from the court. It must be demonstrated that:
    1. That you have a claim against your debtor;
    2. That there is a real risk that your debtor will make the objects in question ‘disappear’.

    In principle, the court will approve the request for a prejudgment attachment if the above conditions are met. This makes prejudgment attachment as part of debt collection Austria a welcome addition.

    Bankruptcy (Bankrott)

    If your debtor is declared bankrupt, the bankruptcy will be announced by an official notice (Edikt). The legal effects of the bankruptcy will take effect from the beginning of the day following that of the official notice. The bankruptcy will then be registered in the public registers. Our Austrian collection specialists can then submit your claim to the trustee.

    However, as a creditor, you can also file for the bankruptcy of your debtor, as a means of pressure in your debt collection Austria strategy.

    Bankruptcy as leverage in debt collection Austria (Insolvenzverfahren)

    You want to get paid. If your debtor does not voluntarily proceed with payment, the specialist debt collection Austria can initiate bankruptcy proceedings (Insolvenzverfahren).

    Pursuant to the Austrian Insolvenzordnung, there must be Zahlungsunfähigkeit, under which it is stated:

    “Der Schuldner ist zahlungsunfähig, wenn er nicht in der Lage ist, die fälligen Zahlungspflichten zu erfüllen. Zahlungsunfähigkeit ist in der Regel anzunehmen, wenn der Schuldner seine Zahlungen eingestellt hat.”

    The claim must then be known to your debtor, be fixed (for example, follow from a judgment) and the remedy must not be used as an abuse of rights, for example, with the aim of declaring a competitor bankrupt. It is necessary to be able to prove that your debtor has stopped paying, for example with a fruitless execution or an eidesstattlichen Versicherung made by your debtor himself.

    Starting bankruptcy proceedings with debt collection Austria is not infrequently successful. Our debt collection lawyers have the means to make your debtor pay after all.

    What else can we help you with?

    • Converting international verdicht to be executed in
    • Austria and visa versa
    • Enforcement of judgments (seizure in Austria)
    • Conducting various proceedings under Austrian law
    • Advising on contracts and conditions
    • Arranging for the assignment of real estate seizures
    • Credit information on debtors established in Austria
    • Disputes with receivers, e.g. with regard to retention of title and the right to advertise
    • Mediation in and assistance with private settlements (also settlements)

    Limitation periods (Verjährungsfristen)

    Statute of limitations means that a claim is no longer legally enforceable. Do not despair if your claim has expired. Even claims that are time-barred can still be collected. The fact is that your debtor has to appeal to the statute of limitations. Experience shows that few debtors do this.

    The general limitation period for claims in Austria is 30 years. Debt collection in Austria also has a number of specific limitation periods:

    • Unlawful act: 6 months
    • Claims arising from a transport contract: 1 year
    • Claims relating to the provision of services or goods: 3 years

    Do you have a different type of claim? No problem. Contact us without obligation. Our Austrian collection specialists will help you determine which limitation period applies to your claim.

    Legal form of your debtor (Rechtsform)

    In the Netherlands, trading parties can choose in which form they run their business. This is, of course, also possible in Austria. This is also called the legal form (Rechtsform) of your debtor.

    • The Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung (GmbH)
    • The Aktiengesellschaft (AG)
    • The Offene Gesellschaft (OG)
    • The Einzelunternehmen

    The legal form of your debtor influences the liability of your debtor and thus the recoverability of your claim. The debt collection strategy for Austria is fine-tuned by our debt collection specialists to the legal form of your debtor (taking into account Austrian company law).

    What do you need for collection Austria file?

    No file is perfect. It is not a problem. Together with you, we will look at what documents and/or evidence are available. We would like to receive the following documents:

    • Copy of the agreements, for example, an agreement, an e-mail message, a fax confirmation or simply your summary of what was agreed upon
    • Copy of your invoices
    • Copy of your reminders
      A copy of your general terms and conditions
    • Any proof of delivery

    No matter where in Austria you have something to claim

    Austria is divided into nine states. Recovery Company operates in all nine states:
    1. Vienna
    2. Lower Austria
    3. Upper Austria
    4. Salzburg
    5. Tyrol
    6. Voralberg
    7. Carinthia
    8. Styria
    9. Burgenland

    Jurisdictions debt collection Austria

    Our clients for debt collection Austria deal with all kinds of claims. We can help you with all civil claims against debtors in Austria. Think for example of:

    • Construction law
    • Rent and lease
    • Purchase and sale
    • Labor law
    • Agency agreement
    • Transport
    • Damages and wrongful acts

    We work for clients directly, but also for intermediaries, such as law firms and accounting firms.

    Start today with Debt collection Austria

    Do you have something to claim in Austria? Or a dispute with an Austrian debtor? Wir lassen Sie nicht im Regen stehen.
    Please feel free to contact us at +31-(0)70-762 0330 or send us an e-mail. Our debt collection specialists can tell you more about the possibilities of debt collection in Austria and about (difficult) collectible debts from debtors domiciled in Austria.

    Submit your invoice before 4:00 p.m. and we'll start today!

    Why 40.000 customers have gone before you

    Free legal advice from your personal specialist

    drs. mr. Joost Konings

    International debt collection specialist
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