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Requirements for a Valid Claim Registration to the Insolvency Schedule

Creditors often file their claims to the insolvency schedule themselves. However, the fundamental requirements for filing a claim should be taken into account. Because if the facts on which the claim is based on are not sufficiently stated, the claim registration may be invalid.


The plaintiff demands from the defendant insolvency administrator the recognition of his claim to the insolvency schedule in the amount of about 6.5 million Euros. The claim originally resulted from the sale of solar modules to the now insolvent purchaser (hereinafter "debtor"). The plaintiff and the debtor were already involved in a legal dispute regarding the existence of the claim before the debtor filed for insolvency. The lawsuit was then interrupted due to the opening of the insolvency proceedings. Following this, the plaintiff registered the disputed purchase price claim to the insolvency schedule and referred to the specific purchase agreement and the statement of claim without attaching these documents to the registration. The defendant insolvency administrator contested the claim in full. Thereupon, the plaintiff resumed the interrupted lawsuit with the defendant insolvency administrator, who now represented the debtor, and demanded the approval of the claim to the insolvency schedule.

The decision of the German Federal Supreme Court dated June 25, 2020, Case No. IX ZR 47/19

The lower court rejected the claim because the recognition of a claim to the insolvency schedule requires, among other things, a valid claim registration, which was – in the opinion of the lower court – already missing in the present case. The Federal Supreme Court (BGH) had a different opinion and decided that the requirements for a valid claim filing were met in this case. A valid claim filing generally requires that the amount of the claim and the reason for the claim are stated. When stating the reason, the facts of the case must be presented from which the claim filed can be clearly and unequivocally determined. A legal classification of the claim and also a presentation of the facts as required in a lawsuit are not necessary. References to further documents are also possible, provided that such references allow that the claim can be determined without doubt. As the lower court had not further reviewed the substance of the claim, the Federal Supreme Court referred the action back to the lower court for a decision.


If a customer or supplier becomes insolvent, the creditor's only option is to file open claims to the insolvency schedule. In case of a valid claim registration and recognition of the claim to the insolvency schedule, the creditor receives - usually only after several years – a pro rata satisfaction of its filed claims. However, this requires that the claim filing was valid in the first place. The law stipulates that "reason and amount" of a claim must be stated for a valid claim registration. The Federal Supreme Court has now fortunately further specified the requirements for the statement of the claim's reason in its decision.

According to this decision, all facts from which the specific claim can be unequivocally determined must be presented when filing the claim. If the claims filed concern the consideration agreed in a contract, it is usually sufficient to name and send the specific contract. However, this is different if claims for damages, or on base of warranty cases or against third parties who were not direct contractual partners are to be filed to the insolvency schedule. In this case, the claim registration must also explain why there is a claim for damages, why there is a defect or why another person who was not a contractual partner is now liable; however, the creditor does not have to make a legal assessment.

If these facts are not presented in the claim filing, it is likely that the insolvency administrator disputes the claim. Furthermore, the filing of the claim itself is not valid. In this case, the creditor cannot simply submit further documents later on, but must file the claim again. Although the subsequent claim registration is possible, it bears the risk that the claim might become time-barred in the meantime and that the creditor will then lose the entire claim. After all, the limitation of the claim is only suspended with a valid claim registration.

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