An official record of debtors is a list of persons who authorities know to be debtors. The district court is responsible for the management and administration of this register.
Two groups of persons are noted in the record of debtors. On the one hand, persons who have filed an asset disclosure statement about their financial circumstances are listed. On the other hand, the record of debtors contains data on persons who have refused this asset disclosure request (formerly: affidavit) and against whom warrants have been issued. With the asset disclosure statement, colloquially referred to as the oath of disclosure, a debtor reveals his entire asset situation. Creditors who have an enforceable title can insist on such an affirmation if the bailiff does not find any distrainable assets. If the debtor refuses, he may in certain circumstances be forced to file an asset disclosure statement. In both cases, this will be entered in the district court's record of debtors.
The purpose of the record of debtors is to protect business transactions from non-creditworthy debtors. Therefore, under certain conditions, anyone can search the public record of debtors: private persons, companies but also credit agencies. The Arvato Financial Solutions credit agency , infoscore Consumer Data GmbH, relies on the information in the district courts' records of debtors when issuing credit reports. However, this is not the only source of information that is consulted. Therefore a more advanced scoring also offers more security than a simple debtor disclosure at the district court.
The record of debtors is a non-public register. Anyone who has a verifiable reason to legally do so may search the record of debtors. Information may be provided for the purposes of enforcement proceedings, verification of economic reliability as part of legal obligations, in the provision of public services, to be able to avert economic disadvantages and for prosecution of criminal offences. In general, information from the record of debtors may only be used for the purpose for which it was transmitted. The conditions for obtaining information from the district court's record of debtors are set out in the Code of Civil Procedure. Furthermore, the Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Chambers of Crafts and credit agencies are specially entitled parties. Upon request, these organisations receive copies from the record of debtors and may also pass these on to their members. Especially credit agencies regularly query the entries in the respective record of debtors and are thus well-informed.
Private persons can also request debtor information if they have a legitimate interest. An informal application to the district court with the name and address of the person concerned will suffice. This application should credibly and comprehensively state the purpose of the information request . If there are documents such as an enforcement order, these should definitely be attached to the application. The application for debtor information goes to the district court in the district where the potential debtor resides. However, if he has moved since the entry, his name may only appear in the record of debtors of the district court for his former place of residence. Here a credit agency such as infoscore Consumer Data GmbH offers a comprehensive service as well, as it regularly contacts all district courts and thus has more information than individual courts.
If the district court finds that the applicant is entitled, he will receive the requested information. Firstly, the applicant is informed as to whether there is an entry at all, and on what date the person was entered into the record of debtors. The information relayed will include whether the debtor was entered into the relevant record of debtors by means of an asset disclosure statement (formerly: affidavit) or a warrant relating thereto.
After three years, the entry in the record of debtors will be officially deleted. The deletion from the debtor register does not have to be explicitly requested. It happens automatically. Premature deletion from the record of debtors may occur, if the debts have been repaid earlier. The reason for the entry ceases if the creditor who imposed the asset disclosure statement was satisfied or if the enforcement title was revoked.
If the entry is deleted from the record of debtors, the person concerned will receive a document from the district court. With this letter, he can approach the various credit agencies to improve his credit rating again.