Law Firm Feinen  -  International Debt Collection - Germany and Worldwide 
 debt collection  -  commercial law  -  contract law  

Statute of limitations / Limitation of action:





Please note that Your claims of Year 2014 could become time-barred on 31.12.2017! 


A claim based on purchase is legally statute-barred after 3 years starting from conclusion of contract (order, confirmation of order). 

After 3 years it is no longer possible to sue the debtor at court (end of the year). 

A claim based on transport is legally statute-barred after 1 year. 

The regular limitation period for all claims of the buyer/purchaser for defects liability/implied warranty is 2 years.

If you claim for a different cause in law (f.e. loan) please contact us.

Hence, the regular limitation period is basically 3 years for all claims based on civil law (with lot of exceptions). Exceptions are stipulated in the law (please note: the regular limitation period for all claims of the buyer/purchaser for defects liability/implied warranty is 2 years).

The legal meaning and consequence of the Statute: 

The Statute is not to check and judge by the court but if your debtor objects the Statute the court has to prove and judge it. This means that you can sue your debtor at court and you can win court proceedings but you have the risk that the debtor object the Statute and you would llose the case.

How to calculate:

The limitation period generally starts end of the year in which the claim legally comes into existence regularly by concluding a contract, not the date of delivery.
Example: if the claim came into existence on 30.07.2015 the limitation period starts on the 31.12.2015 and ends on the 31.12.2018. If the last day is not a working day the period defers to the following working day. 

But there are further exemptions: f.e. in case of transport the limitation period starts at the date of delivery (not end of the year).

How to suspend or interrupt lapse of time?

The only fail-safe method to interrupt lapse of time is to initiate court proceedings on 31.12. each year at the latest! It is only necessary to file legal action to court by application. 
The application or plaint must definitely be received by the court before that day. Otherwise your debtor can plead the statute of limitations and it is not possible anymore to force the debtor to payment. 

The expiry of period of limitation shall be suspended in cases of negotiations between the parties about the claim or the facts which are the basis of the claim or initiation of court proceedings. The limitation period is extended by that time period. That is what we cannot assess without further information. Attention: often it is difficult to prove such "negotiations".


Please contact us if you need further information.