If you are unable to pay a bill, you should contact the sender immediately to negotiate a payment schedule, because interest on late payments and collection costs will increase the sum due. In addition, interest will keep accumulating. The first and second payment reminder will each involve a maximum of €5 in additional costs.
If the bill remains unpaid after the creditor's payment reminders have been sent, the creditor may transfer collection to a collection agency, which will continue the collection process by sending a payment demand. The first payment demand will increase the sum total of the bill by €14–50, depending on the total debt. For the second payment demand, the creditor may only charge up to 50% of the maximum costs associated with the first payment demand. For a single debt, the maximum total collection costs amount to €60–210, depending on the amount owed.
If the bill remains unpaid after the payment demands, and there is no agreement on a payment plan, the creditor may take the matter to court in order to obtain a verdict on the basis of which the debt can be collected by the competent authorities. The legal costs will increase the debt by €110–240. A debt collection ruling issued in court will result in a payment default entry in your credit history and authorise debt enforcement.
Recovery costs and debt collection process