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Debtor and consumer insolvency advice

Are you tormented by the question: "What do I do with my debts?"

In Germany, around 3.2 million households are over-indebted, almost half of which are families with children.

Over-indebtedness is when the monthly income over a longer period of time is no longer sufficient to pay the cost of living as well as the bills, installments and liabilities due despite a reduction in the standard of living.

Over-indebtedness is an extraordinary burden for the whole family. It would be wrong to simply resign, put reminders aside and let things take their course. Instead, you should turn to those who can really help in this situation with a request for advice and support: the debt counselling centres.

Who should I contact?

The responsibility lies with the debt counselling centres.

As a rule, these counselling centres are run by the independent welfare service (Workers' Welfare, Caritas, German Red Cross, Diakonisches Werk, Paritätischer Wohlfahrtsverband), consumer advice centres or municipalities, joint municipalities, cities and districts.

For more information on the nearest debt counselling centre, please contact:

  • the service telephone of the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth on 030 201791-30 (Monday to Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.);
  • the Lower Saxony State Office for Social Affairs, Youth and Family, the branch office in Verden and your district, the municipality, joint municipality and city
  • the charities

and under the following links:

Which documents are required?

It is recommended that you pay attention to the following:

  • Drawing up a list of debts that is as complete as possible
  • Create a list of all the monthly income and expenses of the budget, e.g. in the form of a budget
  • any seizure orders
  • Wage statements
  • Reminders
  • other documents relating to payment obligations

In this way, you can make it easier for the debt counsellor to take stock of the current income and expenditure situation. Submit these documents to the debt counseling service, including. Even if the documents are incomplete and unclear about the debt situation, it is advisable to go to the debt counseling center. There, everything that is missing will be discussed and worked through together with you.

What are the fees?

Counselling in recognised debt counselling centres is free of charge for over-indebted persons, provided that they are entitled to counselling assistance (determined by the insolvency counselling centres).

Commercial debt regulators, on the other hand, also charge fees; which, however, cannot be taken over by the state of Lower Saxony. These fees, which may occasionally be unreasonable, are to be borne by the person seeking advice, regardless of whether the over-indebted person is entitled to counselling assistance or not. In the event that you choose a commercial debt adjuster, you should inform yourself in advance about the amount of all costs incurred and the possibility of covering the costs. This can save money and a lot of trouble.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

There are no deadlines to be observed.

What else should I know?

Extensive information can be found on the website of the Lower Saxony Ministry of Social Affairs, Health and Equality.

Technically approved by

Lower Saxony State Office for Social Affairs, Youth and Family


The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)