Professional Collection of Debts in Germany

http://www.grprainer.com/en/Debt-Collection.html The past has shown that even for successful companies, bad payment behavior by customers may soon turn into a major problem.

GRP Rainer Lawyers Tax Advisors, Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt www.grprainer.com informs: Statistics of insolvency reveal that default customers are often a factor behind company insolvency.

The effective way of debt collection already starts with the invoice. For this reason, we carefully check the invoice forms at the GRP Rainer law firm. If there is no binding period specified for payment for example, your customer does not enter into default in the event of non-payment. This is a waste of time in terms of debt collection. The first objective of our legal advice is therefore to have the GRP law firm prepare your company invoices so that they meet the debt collection requirements.

To specify the terms of payment on the customer invoice is very important. Anyone who does not observe the time limit for payment will be in default. We advise outsourcing the reminder and all further steps to a lawyer. One advantage is that you can make it immediately clear to defaulting customers that it is a serious matter. In most cases, the first reminder on headed paper from our law firm will bring defaulting customers to their senses.

A simplified method to enforce outstanding debts is the court payment order. The GRP law firm with offices in Cologne, Bonn, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich and Stuttgart takes care of all the necessary steps for your company. This includes our lawyers using the order for payment to apply for a default summons. The debtor then has two options: either he pays or lodges an objection.

If, however, he does not respond, your lawyer can apply for an enforcement order. We will naturally keep an eye on deadlines. At the same time, the GRP lawyers will identify the debtor’s attachable net assets and accounts.

Debtors have two weeks to appeal against an enforcement order. After this period, the enforcement order becomes valid. What this actually means is that a GRP lawyer can initiate an enforcement claim against the debtor on your behalf. Legal proceedings: the litigation collection proceedings do not always achieve their effect without the debtor making an objection to the order for payment. If this happens, the order for payment proceedings are terminated. Now you need to decide whether you wish to proceed to the next step. Our lawyers can provide reliable advice on the best case strategy and your chances of success. The offices of the GRP law firm in Cologne, Bonn, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich and Stuttgart will also make every effort to successfully pursue your claim in court.

http://www.grprainer.com/en/Debt-Collection.html

Regulations of commission for trade representative contracts

http://www.grprainer.com/en/Commercial-Agency-Law.html The contractual commission regulations of trade agents can be invalid if they are contradictory.

GRP Rainer Lawyers Tax Advisors, Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt www.grprainer.com elaborates: The higher regional court in Munich (Az. 23 U 4793/11) decided on March 22nd 2012 that commission determining clauses can be ineffective in view of coexisting and simultaneously completed cooperation agreement and trade-agent contract. According to § 307 para. 1 sentence 2 BGB (Federal code of law) they can be invalid if they are contradictory.

In this certain case at the higher regional court of Munich, two parties fought over the premise to claims of a commission for a trade-agent contract from a cooperation agreement, as well as, a simultaneously agreed upon and coexisting trade-agent contract. The defendant appealed that a claim to a commission payment can only be justified within the parameters of the cooperation agreement, if a finance-contract is prepared, completed and signed due to the trade-agents umpiring.

The higher regional court of Munich argued that in view of the trade-agent-contract, this clause stands in violation to the transparency dictate of § 307 para. 1 sentence 2 BGB. In the matter of dispute over the trade-agent-contract the regulation § 87 para. 1 HGB was used. According to the court the coexisting regulations of the cooperation agreement and the trade-agent-contract are unclear and contradictory. It also wasn’t evident which regulation was prevalent. A predominant regulation could not be determined. In light of the cooperation agreements regulations, an unjustified disadvantage is assumed according to § 307 para. 2 BGB, because of the risk that the claim to a commission could be suppressed and invalidated by causality of the framework of the cooperation agreement.

The non-concessions complaint is pending at the German federal court under Az. VII ZR 114/12.

Let a lawyer advise you regarding trade-agent law affairs. A lawyer can counsel enterprisers, as well as trade agents regarding the structuring of contractual relationships: from claims to closure.

http://www.grprainer.com/en/Commercial-Agency-Law.html

Judgment of the language in employment contracts

http://www.grprainer.com/en/Employment-Law.html Employers are not obligated to translate employment contracts into the employee’s respective mother tongue.

GRP Rainer Lawyers Tax Advisors, Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt www.grprainer.com elaborate: A recent judgment from the Rheinland-Pfalz labor court ruled that employers are not obligated to translate the employment contract into the respective mother tongue of the employee.

When a foreign national employee signs an employee contract formulated in German, then he is still bound by it even if the employee does not have a sufficient grasp of the German language to fully understand the contract. It is the court’s opinion that the contract is valid, even if its contents were negotiated in advance in the mother tongue of the employee.

The Mainz Judges justified their ruling by giving the comparison of an employee who signs a contract without reading it.

Someone who is aware of making a legally binding declaration cannot afterward appeal to the fact that he/she was not fully aware of the complete picture. The contract signee should have gained knowledge about the contents of the contract before signing it, because the ignorance of its contents falls into his/her area of risk.

It is important to note that, a foreign employee would still be bound by a signed contract, as well as, any work contract exclusion clauses even if they were not formulated in the employees mother tongue. This could have effects on a huge number of contracts. However, it is not foreseeable if this legal view will generally assert itself.

Due to the importance of this judgment, the Rheinland-Pfalz labor court referred the case to the German Federal Labor Court.

The details are important in an employment contract. We provide water-tight employment contracts for our clients. We check your existing contracts for economic solutions and juridical details. Wherever problems appear, our lawyers will help in the solution. As clients you can expect the whole range of certified consultations for labor legislation from the offices of GRP Rainer.

http://www.grprainer.com/en/Employment-Law.html

Collecting debts in Germany

http://www.grprainer.com/en/Debt-Collection.html Trust is good, control is better. This is especially true when making the first delivery to a new customer. A lawyer can support your company by assessing customer creditworthiness. Experienced lawyers will also discuss strategies to protect you against the risk of default.

GRP Rainer Lawyers Tax Advisors, Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt www.grprainer.com elaborate: Effective debt collection starts with the invoice. One example: if there is no binding period specified for payment, your customer does not enter into default in the event of non-payment. This wastes time in terms of debt collection.

Even for busy companies, bad payment behavior by customers may soon turn into a major problem. Insolvency statistics reveal that default customers are often a factor behind company insolvency. Only effective debt management can help protect against this.

Specify the terms of payment on the customer invoice. Anyone who does not observe the time limit for payment will be in default. The advantage: You can make it immediately clear to defaulting customers that it is a serious matter. In most cases, the first reminder on headed paper from a law firm will bring defaulting customers to their senses. Anyone who still does not grasp the seriousness of the situation, must reckon with the next level: a legal order to pay.

A law firm can take care of all the necessary steps for your company. They will naturally keep an eye on deadlines. At the same time, the lawyers will identify the debtor’s attachable net assets and accounts. The court payment order is used as a simplified method to enforce outstanding debts. This includes using the order for payment to apply for a default summons. The debtor then has two options: either he pays or lodges an objection. If, however, he does not respond, your lawyer can apply for an enforcement order.

Legal proceedings: the litigation collection proceedings do not always achieve their effect without the debtor making an objection to the order for payment. Debtors have two weeks to appeal against an enforcement order. After this period, the enforcement order becomes valid. What this actually means is that a lawyer can initiate an enforcement claim against the debtor on your behalf. If this happens, the orders for payment proceedings are terminated. Now you need to decide whether you wish to proceed to the next step. A lawyer can provide reliable advice on the best case strategy and your chances of success.

Debt collection costs money. Apart from the loss of interest, the costs of collection mount up. In addition to overdue notices/reminders, these also include, for example, charges relating to the order for payment. A lawyer can charge the costs of the collection to the defaulting customers, who incurred them.

http://www.grprainer.com/en/Debt-Collection.html

In principle no right to restitution of a legacy gifted during lifetime – Law of succession

http://www.grprainer.com/en/Last-Will-and-Testament.html A legatee is only entitled to restitution of a legacy gifted during the lifetime of the testator under special circumstances.

GRP Rainer Lawyers and Tax Advisors in Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London – www.grprainer.com/en conclude: In its judgment dated January 9, 2014 (Az.: 10 U 10/13), the Higher Regional Court of Hamm (HRC) had to address the question of whether a person considered in a will can demand restitution of an asset gifted to a third party by the testator during the latter’s lifetime. In the instant case, a married couple had determined in a joint will that one of their two daughters should be due a semi-detached house after the death of the last surviving spouse. Following the death of the husband, the wife became the sole heiress. However, she thereafter conferred the semi-detached house upon her grandchild after a conflict arose between her and her daughter.

The daughter subsequently lodged a claim after the death of the testatrix and demanded transfer and restitution of the house from the grandchild of the deceased. As justification, the plaintiff cited that the testatrix made the gift in order to interfere with the plaintiff’s rights with respect to the semi-detached house. However, the HRC Hamm did not consider a corresponding claim to exist. While there are certainly provisions which direct the restitution of a gift from the donee to the future legatee, these require that the testator intends the impairment of the future legatee in making the gift. The Court, however, was not able to establish this intention in the present case.

Moreover, the interpretation of the will resulted in the plaintiff becoming legatee and not heiress. As such she was not entitled to any claim for restitution vis-à-vis the donee grandchild, since for this she would have to have initially approached the heirs of the deceased mother and brought a claim against them for compensation. However, she did not do this.

When composing a will, it is important to pay attention to legal details. The consequences of an ineffective or incomplete will can be far-reaching and occasionally elicit a legal dispute between the heirs. With the help of a lawyer versed in the law of succession, those affected can achieve a secure settlement of their estate. By drawing up an irreproachable will, testators can assure themselves that their last will shall be adhered to. Additionally, a lawyer can also support the heirs in enforcing claims in the event of legal problems.

http://www.grprainer.com/en/Last-Will-and-Testament.html

Incorrect turnover projections can justify damages claims – Franchise law

http://www.grprainer.com/en/Franchise-Law.html If a franchisee is not informed that turnover projections are based merely upon estimations then it is entitled to damages claims with respect to the turnover figures that have not been achieved.

GRP Rainer Lawyers and Tax Advisors in Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London – www.grprainer.com/en conclude: In its judgment of January 17, 2014 (Az.: 332 O 249/12), the Regional Court of Hamburg (RC) clarified that from the submission of incorrect or merely estimated turnover projections follows a pre-contractual breach of duty on the part of the franchisor which entails claims for damages. A franchisee raised an action before the RC Hamburg, pursuant to which the turnover achieved fell far short of the forecasted figures. The defendant franchisor had allegedly failed to point out to the plaintiff during the contractual negotiations that the submitted turnover figures were based only on estimations.

The RC followed the franchisee’s pleading and granted it the claim for damages. In the instant case, it did not come down to whether the plaintiff ought to have informed itself of the risks and prospects of the undertaking, as the defendant’s breach of duty was based on the use of unrealistic and inaccurate data for the turnover projection. The only circumstance in which this would not have led to a pre-contractual breach of duty is if the franchisor had drawn attention to this fact.

However, this duty to inform on the part of the defendant franchisor was not complied with and thus the plaintiff was given erroneous perceptions with regard to the development of turnover. Furthermore, in the view of the Court, the plaintiff also had no duty to mitigate damages in terms of changing the concept at his own risk and expense.

Franchise concepts represent attractive prospects both for franchisors and franchisees in many fields. In the course of this, the franchisee runs an independent business but distributes the goods or services of the franchisor. For this purpose, it makes recourse to the distribution channels and marketing concept of the franchisor. However, the difficulty that often emerges for the parties involved is one of legal classification, as different elements from various types of contracts are incorporated.

Against the background of this complex legal subject matter and the frequently not inconsiderable contractual sums, those affected should turn to a lawyer. He can examine the franchise agreement having regard to the current case law or suspend an effective agreement. Additionally, he can be of assistance in enforcing any claims or regarding problems arising from the franchise relationship.

http://www.grprainer.com/en/Franchise-Law.html

HRC Hamm: Vouchers as unfair competition – Competition law

http://www.grprainer.com/en/Competition-Law.html Automotive garages cannot promote the repair of damage which is covered by comprehensive collision insurance by issuing vouchers for follow-up jobs.

GRP Rainer Lawyers and Tax Advisors in Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London – www.grprainer.com/en conclude: This kind of advertising constitutes unfair competition, according to the Higher Regional Court (HRC) of Hamm in its judgment of November 12, 2013 (Az.: 4 U 31/13). The HRC stated that this kind of vouchers would mislead the customer into breaching his contract with his insurer.

The defendant here offers, among other things, to repair motor vehicles. In its advertising, it promised in return for granting the job to replace a glass pane in a vehicle a voucher for the next job. The plaintiff considered this advertisement of the business to constitute unfair competition and the Regional Court (RC) of Essen found in his favour. It prohibited the business from advertising with vouchers for follow-up jobs in the form of a reduction of the deductible amount. The comprehensive collision insurer concerned refused to provide the necessary approval for this.

The defendant subsequently lodged an appeal against the judgment of the RC Essen, however this was dismissed by the HRC. It stated that the advertising was anti-competitive, as the interests of the comprehensive collision insurer were not observed here. While advertising with price discounts was in principle allowed, this kind of advertising is subject to checks against abuse if the interests of a third party must still be observed by the customer. Here, in the event of collision damage, there is at any rate a third party interest worthy of protection, namely the comprehensive collision insurer’s interest in minimising damage by the customer and accurate information regarding the costs of repair.

The HRC went on to state that the objectivity of the customer in reaching his decision, which the insurance contract requires of the customer, is impaired by this kind of advertising statements. In general, there are no economic benefits for insurance customers in contracting a cheap garage. The situation is different if the “voucher” is not disclosed to the insurer. According to the HRC, there is the risk from the garage’s offer that the insured party tasks the defendant in order to obtain the benefit and breaches his duties arising from the insurance contract. Common sense also supports this.

Competition violations can have far-reaching consequences for businesses. For this reason, one should enlist the help of a lawyer active in the field of competition law, if possible before advertising measures or other actions which interfere with competition are carried out.

http://www.grprainer.com/en/Competition-Law.html

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