Assertion of, or defence against, claims related to accounts receivable


Germany

Good contracts are the basis for establishing rights.

To enforce rights, however, there is often a need to resort to formal compulsory enforcement of claims. The same applies to the defence of unjustified claims. In both cases, we will support you comprehensively and reliably.

  1. Enforce rights and request guarantees
  2. Compulsorily enforce monetary claims
  3. Claims are not always justified
  4. Prices and considerations are often not well defined
  5. Unjustified warnings on the Internet

1. Enforce rights and request guarantees

Do you find yourself in a situation where your contractual partner is not delivering as contractually agreed, is making late deliveries, or is not delivering the agreed quality? Then you should indicate to them that they must fulfil their agreed obligations and, if necessary, carry out enforcement of claims. Should fulfilment or rectification not be possible, you will, generally speaking, have more or less extensive warranty rights: rectification or replacement, reduction in price, refund or compensation. These claims are generally based on the German Civil Code, but are specified or modified by the individual contract or the general terms and conditions. We would be happy to advise you of the correct procedure.

2. Compulsorily enforce monetary claims

Should your contractual partner fall into arrears with the payment of your goods and services, you should not allow any time to elapse; you should have your claims recognised and then begin compulsory enforcement of claims. This especially applies if your contractual partner is nearing bankruptcy, or has already become insolvent. In Germany, the entire instrument of enforcement law in accordance with the German Code of Civil Procedure (ZPO) is at your disposal for this. In addition, European law offers a variety of ways to collect funds throughout Europe. You can find out here how the Viehbacher law firm of tax consultants and lawyers can help you.

3. Claims are not always justified

The flip-side of enforcement is the defence of legal claims. It is important to firstly check if all of the claims asserted against your company are effective. Are they for the amount being claimed, or do you owe your contractual partner much less than they have stated? Or perhaps the claims were statute-barred long ago? Experience shows that it is useful to look at these in detail with a lawyer and in the case of doubt, to only pay under reserve.

4. Prices and considerations are often not well defined

Particularly conflict-prone are areas in which the originally agreed price and the consideration diverge from each other over the course of the contractual relationship. This can apply to construction law, where supplementary claims for extended services are levied as standard. The situation can be different in other service areas. However, these price increases do not always have to be at the expense of the client – the supplier or the service company often bear the price risk. We will be glad to review any claims registered against you.

5. Unjustified warnings on the Internet

The Internet and online commerce are particularly susceptible to unintentional violations of the law; equally, competitors are simply waiting to sanction any violations by means of warnings or cease-and-desist declarations with penalty clauses. Within the context of online trading, this may involve competition issues, such as violations of the law against unfair competition and EU price regulation, or infringement of trademark rights. A good sales system can help prevent this but, in the event of an emergency, you will need to take up a counter-defence position. We will support you in the defence of legal claims brought about by means of such a warning. If need be, we will also engage your opponents with an interim order or lawsuit claim.

Contact

As experts in the defence and enforcement of claims, we are ready to work with you. International debt enforcement is one of our special areas of expertise. We will be pleased to assist you in pursuing your claims. Get in touch!


Austria

A contractually justified claim is not always readily recognised in commercial reality. At times, judicial enforcement is necessary. This is similarly the case with the defence of unjustified claims. Our lawyers will be by your side in both instances.

  1. Enforcement of rights/warranty
  2. Enforcement of monetary claims
  3. Unjustified claims
  4. Definition of price and consideration
  5. Unjustified warnings on the Internet

1. Enforcement of rights/warrantyt

Should a contractual partner not provide the agreed service, deliver it late or provide poor quality, it is advisable to first file an action for fulfilment or improvement. If this is not possible, various warranty rights are generally available to you: rectification or replacement, reduction in price, refund or compensation. These claims are generally regulated in the Austrian General Civil Code and may be specified by the individual contract or the general terms and conditions. Our lawyers will be pleased to advise you on the correct procedures for the enforcement of claims.

2. Enforcement of monetary claims

Should payment for goods or services remain outstanding despite a reminder, acquisition of an enforceable title is advisable, in particular if the debtor is in danger of becoming insolvent. The basis for enforcement may either be the Austrian Execution Order (EO) or European law. In either case, we can represent and support you at both a national and international level.

3. Unjustified claims

Conversely, the situation may arise where claims against your company need to be countered. The first action to be undertaken is to check whether the asserted claim ever arose, whether it results from the underlying contract, is for the correct amount, and to check that it is not yet statute-barred by limitation. In any case of doubt, it is recommended that payment is only made under reserve. We can provide you with comprehensive advice in all of these issues as well as assist you in the defence of unjustified legal claims or correction of erroneous claims.

4. Definition of price and consideration

Contractual relations where the payment cannot be precisely calculated pose a particularly high potential for conflict. This is the case in construction law, where there are always additional requirements. However, that does not mean that such price increases will be borne by the customer without exception – depending on the contractual agreement, the risk may also be borne by the service provider or supplier. We will verify all claims asserted against your company and can help you defend or clarify them.

5. Unjustified warnings on the Internet

As fast as transactions can be concluded on the Internet, so too can warnings be issued. Online trading in particular is prone to involuntary legal violations that are often immediately penalised by competitors through warnings and cease-and-desist declarations with penalty clauses. Where such warnings cannot be prevented by solid contracts and a mature distribution system, a position of counter-defence must be assumed. We will help you with the defence of legal claims brought about by means of a warning and, if need be, the use of an interim order or lawsuit claim.

Contact

We are ready to work with you in Austria in the defence and enforcement of claims. In particular, international debt enforcement is one of our special areas of expertise. Get in touch!


Liechtenstein

Our lawyers will suport you competently in enforcing your claim

You have used relevant contracts to secure your business relationship. With these, you have prescribed and established rights and obligations. However, despite all of those efforts and actions, it may be the case that your rights are ignored and your requirements are not fulfilled. Enforcement action is therefore required in these cases. Our lawyers will provide you with competent assistance to carry out enforcement of claims.

Similarly, it is not to be excluded that your contractual partner – notwithstanding any statutory clause and/or contractual agreement to the contrary – may confront you with unjustified claims. If this should be the case, we will support you in the defence of legal claims.

  1. Enforcement action
  2. Enforce rights – request guarantees
  3. Compulsorily enforce monetary claims
  4. Defend claims
  5. Deviations from agreed obligations
  6. Warnings on the Internet

1. Enforcement action

Enforcement action is widely understood as the use of state power to enforce the legal claims of the creditor against the debtor. Since almost all jurisdictions prohibit the use of vigilante justice, citizens have the right to the aid of the state legal system to enforce their claims. Within the framework of this state legal help, it will be verified whether all of the documents required for the enforcement are present, and whether the conditions of the order are met. An enforceable title, article 1 EO, is therefore required. Whether you are going through the process of obtaining an enforcement title, or initiating enforcement proceedings, our lawyers will be by your side, supporting you in all the necessary stages. Likewise, you may be faced with a situation where a claim against you is wrongly enforced. Various options for the defence of legal claims provide you with the opportunity to defend yourself against unjustified enforcements (e.g. an assertion of enforcement despite successful and paid compensation) in accordance with Article 18 EO, or an impugnation claim (for example, an enforcement title obtained by fraudulent means) pursuant to Article 19, EO. Finally, limitation of the enforcement, Article 23 EO, or deferment of the enforcement, Article 24 EO, may be appropriate. Our lawyers will advise you comprehensively about your options and act quickly to reduce to the extent possible any disadvantages associated with the enforcement.

2. Enforce rights – claim guarantees

At the time of execution, you will have signed a clear and unambiguous contract with your business partners. However, perhaps your contractual partner is then not proceeding as agreed. Regardless of whether your contractual partner is not delivering the amount agreed, is making late deliveries, or is not delivering the agreed quality, you have a number of options open to you for further enforcement of claims. Reminding them of the agreed commitment is often useful. If this doesn't help, you can also compulsorily enforce your rights. The contractual provisions, irrespective of whether these are agreed in the contract itself or in the general terms of business, are decisive in this instance, as they specify and modify the general legal rules. Even if no claims relating to these instances can be made on the basis of the contract, you can make a claim under §§ 918 et seq. of the Austrian General Civil Code (ABGB). These might include a substitute delivery or compensation. There is also the opportunity to withdraw from the contract at this stage. The options are therefore varied. Our experts will be happy to advise you of your options and any appropriate course of action.

3. Compulsorily enforce monetary claims

Should your business partner be in default with their performance, regardless of whether this involves fulfilment of payments or any other obligation, then speed is of the essence. This is even more the case if your business partner is in serious economic difficulties and bankruptcy is imminent or already underway. Before you can carry out enforcement of claims, you will need an enforcement title. Having such a title will provide you with ways to compulsorily proceed against the debtor.

Should your business partner be in default of payment, it might be worth considering applying for a payment order. This procedure is a simple and cost-effective way of making a claim to money. Whether this is a good option in your particular case depends on various factors. We will be happy to advise and support you in the necessary steps to be taken. Due to the size of the Principality, it should not be ruled out that your debtor might be established in the European Economic Area (EEA) or in Switzerland. In these cases, the cross-border orientation of the Viehbacher law firm will prove to be an invaluable asset. Our consultants know the fastest, cheapest and most risk-free ways to safeguard your rights and support you in enforcing them. International debt enforcement is one of the special areas of expertise of the Viehbacher law firm. You will find more information here.

4. Defend claims

In a similar way, your business partner might come to the conclusion that you have not fulfilled your obligations. You might then find yourself in a situation in which you must mount a defence of legal claims, possibly having to fend off unjustified claims. The starting point for the defence in such cases is initially a review of whether the claims asserted against you or your company are valid or not. Formal defects can result in contractual obligations not arising. It must be confirmed that you have actually effectively committed yourself and it should therefore be clarified whether the claim made by your business partner should still be in existence. This would be the case, for example, if you have already fulfilled your obligation. If your business partner does have a valid right to claim, then ultimately it must be checked whether this claim can be enforced at all. This is even more important if the claim has been in existence for a long time, but has not yet been asserted. Experience shows that an expert examination of the material and legal situation by a lawyer is often beneficial in the defence of legal claims. As part of this expert assessment, you might be advised to make a payment under reserve in order to avoid negative consequences.

5. Deviations from agreed obligations

Areas in which the agreed obligations might change during the contractual relationship are particularly prone to conflict. This is especially the case with construction law, where supplementary claims are asserted for expanded or additional services. However, the situation can be different in other areas when it comes to deviations and price variations. It is not always the contractor who has to bear the risk for this, in fact, quite the opposite. Often, your supplier or your business partner bears the so-called price risk. Our consultants will be glad to look through any claims submitted and successfully defend them, unless they are justified.

6. Warnings on the Internet

The Internet and online trading provide a great opportunity for businesses to showcase their company, acquire new customer groups, and gain market share. However, it should be noted that online trading is extremely vulnerable to conscious or unconscious breaches of regulations. Violations will be sanctioned by competitors or third parties with warnings and cease-and-desist declarations featuring penalty clauses. Optimising your sale system can help prevent this and minimise the risks. However, there is still a risk and, in an emergency situation, it is often best to take active resistance. Even with the delivery of a warning or cease-and-desist letter, it is best to respond promptly. In addition, it might be best to switch from a passive defence to an attacking stance, taking out an injunction or action against your opponent.

Contact

When it comes to the defence and enforcement of f legal claims, we are specialised consultants. International debt enforcement is one of our specialities. This means you can also rely on our expertise when it comes to cross-border issues relating to the defence and enforcement of claims. Do you have any questions? Our experts are looking forward to hearing from you.


Switzerland

Good contracts are the basis for establishing rights. To enforce rights, however, there is often a need to resort to formal compulsory enforcement of claims or an execution for debt. The same applies to the defence of unjustified claims. In both cases, we will support you comprehensively and reliably.

  1. Enforce rights and request guarantees
  2. Compulsorily enforce monetary claims
  3. Claims are not always justified: defence of claims
  4. Prices and considerations are often not well defined
  5. Unjustified warnings on the Internet

1. Enforce rights and request guarantees

Do you find yourself in a situation where your contractual partner is not delivering as contractually agreed, is making late deliveries, or is not delivering the agreed quality? Then you should indicate to them that they must fulfil their agreed obligations and, if necessary, carry out enforcement of claims. Should fulfilment or rectification not be possible, you will, generally speaking, have more or less extensive warranty rights: rectification or replacement, reduction in price, refund or compensation. These claims are generally based on the Swiss Code of Obligations, but are specified or modified by the individual contract or the general terms and conditions. We would be happy to advise you of the correct procedure.

2. Compulsorily enforce monetary claims

Should your contractual partner fall into arrears with the payment of your goods and services, you should not allow any time to elapse; you should have your claims substantiated and then begin compulsorily enforcement of claims. This especially applies if your contractual partner is close to becoming insolvent or has already become so. In Switzerland, the entire instrument of the federal law on the execution of debt and bankruptcy (SchKG) is at your disposal, and for specific claims there is also the Swiss Civil Procedure (ZPO). In addition, European law offers a variety of ways to collect funds throughout Europe. You can find out here, how the Viehbacher law firm of tax consultants and lawyers can help you.

3. Claims are not always justified: Defence of legal claims

The flip-side of enforcement is the defence of legal claims. It is important to firstly check if all of the claims asserted against your company are effective. Are they for the amount being claimed, or do you owe your contractual partner much less than they have stated? Or perhaps the claims were statute-barred long ago? Experience shows that it is useful to look at these in detail with a lawyer and in the case of doubt, to only pay under reserve and to put forward a specific defence of the legal claim.

4. Prices and considerations are often not well defined

Particularly conflict-prone are areas in which the originally agreed price and the consideration diverge from each other over the course of the contractual relationship. This can apply to construction law, where supplementary claims for extended services are levied as standard. The situation can be different in other service areas. However, these price increases do not always have to be at the expense of the client – the supplier or the service company often bears the price risk. We will be glad to review any claims registered against you.

5. Unjustified warnings on the Internet

The Internet and online commerce are particularly susceptible to unintentional violations of the law; equally, competitors are simply waiting to legally sanction any violations. Within the context of online trading, this may involve competition issues, such as violations of the federal law against unfair competition or infringement of trademark rights. A good sales system can help prevent this but, in the event of an emergency, you will need to take up a counter-defence position. We will help you with the defence of legal claims like this. If need be, we will also engage your opponents with precautionary measures or a lawsuit claim.

Contact

As Swiss experts in the defence and enforcement of claims, we are ready to work with you. International debt enforcement is one of our special areas of expertise. We will be pleased to assist you in pursuing your claims. Get in touch!


Italy

Our information in the English language concerning assertion of or defence against claims related to accounts receivable in Italy is currently still being developed. We kindly ask for your understanding. Therefore, please do not hesitate to contact us directly with your queries and concerns. For over ten years now, we have been guiding clients in five different countries on the assertion of or defence against claims related to accounts receivable. With us you are always competently advised and well represented. We look forward to receiving your message or call!

Your contact persons

Mag. Florian Proxauf, Rechtsanwalt

» Mag. Florian Proxauf

Lawyer

email: f.proxauf@viehbacher.com

 

Dr. Lothar Stix, Rechtsanwalt

» Dr. Lothar Stix

LL.M., LL.M., Lawyer

email: wien@viehbacher.com

Your contact person

Susanne Hirschberg, Rechtsanwältin

» Susanne Hirschberg

LL.M., Lawyer

email: s.hirschberg@viehbacher.com

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