Insolvency: how to register a claim

In case you have a claim against a German trader and the trader declares insolvency before you can get your money back.


You have ordered a good from a German trader via internet and have paid the money in advance. Since the trader still didn’t deliver the requested good after six weeks, you make use of your right to revoke the contract and ask the trader for reimbursement. It turns out that in the meantime the trader has declared insolvency.

The above mentioned case does not necessarily mean that you will not get your money back from the trader. When a company declared insolvency the insolvency court delegates the case to a liquidator. The liquidator will then evaluate whether an insolvency procedure can be opened or has to be rejected since the trader even hasn’t the means to pay for the costs of the insolvency procedure.

When the liquidator decides to open the procedure you as a creditor have got the possibility to register your claim in this procedure.

It is important to know that you can only register your claim at the liquidator’s office and not at the insolvency court.

In order to register a claim you have to fill in a questionnaire which you can get from the liquidator. After you have filled in this questionnaire, you enclose all the documents that can prove your claim and send it with a duplicate to the liquidator’s office.

If you don’t know if a German trader has declared insolvency or who the liquidator is in an insolvency procedure, please contact the European Consumer Centre Germany. We will be happy to give you further advice.

If there are no objections against your claim you will at the end of the procedure receive a rate of the money that is left over in the insolvency. This will enable you to receive at least a partial reimbursement of your total claim.

Since the questionnaires in the insolvency procedures are usually only available in German, we have provided a German and an English version of a model questionnaire:

  1. German version of the formular
  2. Filled out example of the German version
  3. English translation of the formular

These samples will help you to fill in the original version of the questionnaire in German which you will get from the liquidator. Whilst in essence the same, please be aware that the original form may differ from this sample because some German states use a different layout (for example official form of Nordrhein-Westfalen)

How to find and contact a liquidator

In order to find the liquidator and his or her contact details, visit the official insolvency register website Insolvenzbekanntmachungen.

Click on „Bekanntmachungen suchen“ (search announcements).

By filling in the debtor’s / trader‘s details, you will find all the information you need about the insolvency case, including the contact details of the liquidator.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Innovation Council and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Executive Agency (EISMEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.