The correct reminder for default of payment
If as a company you offer your customers the possibility for purchase on account, then sooner or later you will encounter a customer with a bad payment morale.
A delay in payment is referred to as a delay in the actual cash payment due. This is regulated in the BGB under §280 and §286ff. The maturity within the accounting is determined, but the actual default does not always occur automatically when the due date is exceeded. The dunning letter will create security.
No later than 30 days after the actual due date, the default occurs which must be pointed out to the consumer. The deadline starts from the delivery of the invoice, which must be proven by the entrepreneur in the event of a dispute.
In the case of default, it is theoretically possible to calculate interest, even compensation and the withdrawal from the contract is possible.
The dunning letter is the first out-of-court remedy to remind of the claim and is formally not subject to any requirements. It is advisable, however, to specify a precise claim within the reminder, specify a deadline, and the possible possibilities for payment. If a judicial procedure is to occur in the next step, this intention should also be announced directly so that the debtor still has the opportunity to avoid additional costs.
The deadlines within the reminder should not be too short, so that the debtor is given the possibility to comply with them.
Even if the court procedure is intended for defaulting payers, the reminder helps to maintain a positive relationship with the customers, but on the other hand also in court, because it might be important for the process costs to prove that the debtor has been given the opportunity to pay the claim.
The reminder can be waived in the legal sense if the payment within the invoice is determined for a particular calendar date or the period of the due date is indicated in days after delivery. If the debtor specifically refuses payment, the dunning letter is directly unnecessary.
By the way, the reminder also extends the statute of limitations, since according to § 195 BGB claims expire after 3 years, whereby the deadline is on the 31.12. of the year in which the claim arose.