In Austria the so called Mahnverfahren is a very efficient way for creditors to obtain an enforcement order. In Austria there is a simple way to obtain a so called conditional payment order (‘bedingter Zahlungsbefehl’) from the court for claims up to € 75.000,–, without it first needing any proceedings on the merits.

There are only a small number of cases where a payment order may not be issued, including if it can be concluded from the summons (“Klage”) that

  • it must be rejected,
  • it evidently is not recoverable or due and payable,
  • it depends upon a consideration,
  • the defendant’s place of residence is unknown, or the defendant resides abroad,
  • it is contradictory or insufficiently substantiated.

If the conditional payment order is issued, it will state that the claim, including interest and costs, must be paid within 14 days, unless the defendant puts up a defence against the claim, which the
defendant must do within a period of four weeks (‘Einspruch erheben’). In cases where the district court (‘Bezirksgericht’) is competent, this can be done without the intervention of a lawyer.

If the defendant puts up a defence in time, the case will be dealt with on its merits by the court according to the normal (rules of) procedure. However, if the defendant does not, or does not timely, put up a defence, the payment order obtains legal effect and can be enforced by the bailiff (“Gerichtsvollzieher”).

For information on debt collection in Germany visit the site of my colleage Murk Muller: