Rejected construction work – what now?
Contractors paying too late or claiming the delivered goods are damaged; these are two common scenarios that our specialists regularly deal with. When a German customer refused to pay a Dutch construction company for the work they had completed, hiring a debt collection law firm was the next logical step for the creditor.
The Dutch construction company delivered and build metal farm constructions to the German debtor for an amount of €100.000,-. The first payment was made on time, with no delays or complaints. But after completing the project and the final invoice was sent, the debtor refused to accept the work. Instead, they indicated that the work was of poor quality and refused to pay the last invoice with an amount of €22.000,-.
What made this case even more complicated, was that under German law, a formal acceptance of a construction project is required for an invoice to become due. This meant that the debtor was not legally obliged to complete the payment. With no other solution in sight, the creditor saw no other option other than to write off the debt.
But once the client transferred their case to our experts, we conducted a thorough investigation and weighed out all the possible options. In doing so, our lawyers at the German Desk found a loophole. We believed that the general terms and conditions of the creditor were applicable. This meant that the general terms and conditions applied under Dutch law instead of German law. Under Dutch law, the German debtor was obliged to pay an interest rate of 12% and an additional 15% penalty. Most importantly, under Dutch law, any formal acceptance of construction is not needed besides the completion of the project.
We took the case to court in Germany and after 2 years of litigation, the court agreed to our view. The German debtor was obliged to pay more than €45.000,- including 12% in interest and a 15% penalty to our Dutch client.
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Our experts do not give up so easily. They will do everything in their power to ensure that we fight for your case. Has your debtor left you in a similar position? This case study is one of the thousands of cases that we can solve on your behalf. Whether you need a trusted partner to collect your claim without court intervention or to litigate on your behalf, you can count on us. Contact us today for your free consultation.