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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –

Source: Destatis Federal Statistical Office

According to preliminary data, 35% fewer regular bankruptcy proceedings opened in November 2020

Press release No. 522 from December 18, 2020

WIESBADEN – From January to September 2020, the German local courts reported 12,491 corporate insolvencies. According to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), that was 13.1% less than in the corresponding period in 2019. The economic hardship of many companies due to the Corona crisis has therefore not yet been reflected in an increase in the number of reported corporate insolvencies. One reason for this is that the obligation to file for insolvency for insolvent companies was suspended from March 1 to September 30, 2020. In contrast, the obligation to submit an application for over-indebted companies remains suspended until the end of the year. Overall, 15.8% fewer corporate insolvencies were filed between March and September than in the same period in 2019.

Most corporate insolvencies in the first nine months of 2020 were in the trade sector (including maintenance and repair of motor vehicles) with 2,020 cases (January to September 2019: 2,475). Construction companies filed 1,987 for bankruptcy (January to September 2019: 2,386). In the hospitality industry, 1,405 (January to September 2019: 1,688) bankruptcy applications were reported. All other industries are also showing declining figures.

The expected claims of the creditors from requested corporate insolvencies from January to September 2020 amounted to 39.3 billion euros. In the corresponding period of the previous year, they were still at 15.5 billion euros. This increase in receivables with a simultaneous decrease in the number of corporate insolvencies is due to the fact that more economically important companies filed for bankruptcy from January to September 2020 than in the first nine months of 2019. The increase is largely due to the joint and several liability of several subsidiaries in the Bankruptcy of large corporations. Each of the subsidiaries of the large company registered for bankruptcy is liable in the amount of the expected claims of the entire large company, so that there is a multiple count.

28.1% fewer consumer bankruptcies in the first three quarters of 2020

In addition to corporate bankruptcies, 49,308 other debtors filed for bankruptcy between January and September 2020. That was 25.1% less than in the same period last year. These included 35 047 insolvency applications from consumers (-28.1%) and 11 377 insolvency applications from formerly self-employed persons (-18.4%).

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Notes on standard insolvency proceedings: From March 1 to September 30, 2020, companies whose bankruptcy maturity (insolvency or over-indebtedness) was based on the effects of the corona pandemic and who had the prospect of eliminating an existing insolvency were exempt from the obligation to file for insolvency. In the case of insolvency applications from the creditor side, it was also assumed that the reason for opening was already available on March 1, 2020, i.e. before the corona pandemic. Since October 1, 2020, an insolvency application is again mandatory in the event of insolvency; in the event of overindebtedness, the exemption initially continues to apply until the end of the year. The effects of these changes will only show up in the statistics in the coming reporting months.

Of the insolvency proceedings in Germany, 30% are standard insolvency proceedings, which primarily include all proceedings by companies (around 55%). It also includes people who are economically active. These include, among other things, the personally liable partners of a general partnership (oHG), majority shareholders of a corporation as well as formerly self-employed people whose financial situation is classified as unmanageable:

Methodological notes: The provisional monthly information, here for October 2020, is based on current bankruptcy announcements from all local courts in Germany. The Federal Statistical Office publishes the development of the standard insolvency proceedings opened in Germany during the Corona crisis monthly on the Corona special page of the Federal Statistical Office.

Corporate insolvencies applied for by industry in Germany January to September 2020
Procedure overall
Change from January to September 2019
in %
All in all
12 491
Agriculture, forestry, fishing
Mining and quarrying of stones and earth
1 090
power supply
Water supply; Sewage and waste disposal and pollution removal
construction industry
1 987
Trade; Maintenance and repair of motor vehicles
2 020
Transportation and storage
1 405
information and communication
Provision of financial and insurance services
Real estate and housing
Provision of professional, scientific and technical services
Provision of other economic services
1 347
Education and instruction
Health and social services
Arts, entertainment and recreation
other services
Insolvency proceedings applied for in Germany

January to September 2020
September 2020
Change compared to the previous year 2019 in%
Change compared to September 2019 in%
1 consumer and standard insolvency proceedings.
All in all
61 799
3 191
12 491
1 065
Remaining debtors
49 308
2 126
from that:
– Consumer
35 047
1 213
– natural persons as shareholders
– formerly self-employed1
11 377
– Estates and common property
2 592

Detailed data can be obtained from the Tables 52411 (bankruptcies) can be called up in the GENESIS-Online database.

Further results and methodological information are available from Technical series 2, series 4.1that are in Subject area business registrations and bankruptcies is available.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

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