Germany: Insolvenzanfechtung bei im Rahmen von Zwangsvollstreckung vereinbarter Ratenzahlung

Last Updated: 23 January 2019
Article by Stephan Neubauer
Most Read Contributor in Germany, September 2019

Durch die Anfechtungsreform des Jahres 2017 sind Gläubiger in Teilbereichen besser gegen Insolvenzanfechtungen von Insolvenzverwaltern geschützt worden. Dies gilt insbesondere für mit Geschäftspartnern abgeschlossene Ratenzahlungsvereinbarungen und sonstige Zahlungserleichterungen. Hierzu liegen inzwischen erste gerichtliche Entscheidungen vor. Eine Klarstellung erfolgte auch hinsichtlich der häufig von Gerichtsvollziehern im Rahmen der Zwangsvollstreckung vermittelten Ratenzahlungen.

Eine ausufernde Rechtsprechung des Bundesgerichtshofes hatte zum Teil zu horrenden Anfechtungsforderungen von Insolvenzverwaltern geführt. Unternehmen waren – insbesondere auch bei den häufig branchenüblichen Ratenzahlungsvereinbarungen – gezwungen, im Insolvenzfall des Lieferanten oder sonstigen Leistungserbringers hohe Rückzahlungen bereits erhaltener Beträge zu leisten. Insolvenzverwalter konnten erhaltene Beträge unter gewissen Voraussetzungen bis zu zehn Jahre rückwirkend anfechten. Dies sind inzwischen noch vier Jahre.

Einige Unternehmen waren dazu übergegangen, Zahlungsrückstände ihrer Kunden sehr zeitnah durch Vollstreckungsbescheid oder Gerichtsurteil zu titulieren und zu vollstrecken. Hierdurch konnte das Anfechtungsrisiko auf drei Monate begrenzt werden. Die Zivilprozessordnung hält die Gerichtsvollzieher jedoch an, auf eine gütliche Einigung und Zahlungsvereinbarungen hinzuwirken. Im Rahmen dieser Zahlungsvereinbarungen geleistete Beträge waren allerdings wiederum durch Insolvenzverwalter anfechtbar.

Nach der Anfechtungsreform von 2017 hat der Gesetzgeber die Beweislast umgekehrt und festgelegt, dass bei Gläubigern, die ihrem Schuldner eine Zahlungserleichterung gewährt oder mit ihm eine Zahlungsvereinbarung getroffen haben, vermutet wird, dass sie die Zahlungsunfähigkeit ihres Schuldners nicht kannten. Unter Bezug auf den Regierungsentwurf nehmen die Gerichte inzwischen an, dass auch Zahlungsvereinbarungen im Rahmen einer Zwangsvollstreckung diesem Privileg unterfallen. Es wird vermutet, dass der die Zahlung empfangende Gläubiger die Krise seines Schuldners auch in einem solchen Fall nicht kannte.

Diese gesetzliche Vermutungsregelung ist jedoch weiterhin vom Insolvenzverwalter widerlegbar, falls es ihm gelingt, die Kenntnis des Gläubigers zu beweisen. Das Dilemma der Gläubiger ist durch die Reform des Anfechtungsrechts also nicht endgültig gelöst. Gläubiger können sich weiterhin nicht dagegen wehren, dass sie – ungewollt – Kenntnis von der Zahlungsunfähigkeit sowie der mit Zahlungen einhergehenden Gläubigerbenachteiligung durch ihre Gläubiger erlangen. Dies wäre z. B. der Fall, wenn die Gläubiger ungefragt schriftlich von ihrer wirtschaftlichen Krise berichten, wenn Ratenzahlungsvereinbarungen nicht eingehalten werden, oder neu entstandene Forderungen zu einem erheblichen Zahlungsrückstand anwachsen.

Das Problem der Unternehmen, im Insolvenzfall ihres Geschäftspartners und Schuldners womöglich bereits Jahre zuvor empfangene Zahlungen zurückzahlen zu müssen, wurde also nur entschärft, nicht jedoch behoben.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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