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Debt collection



Open amounts


Personal property - Part 2

Personal property, like land, may be used as a means of securing debts. There are various forms of security upon personal property; but we can make no more than bare reference to three of them.
First, personal property may be mortgaged. In the case of a mortgage of goods (other than ships) if the terms of the mortgage are such that the debtor is to retain possession of the goods, while the creditor acquires the ownership, and if the transaction is effected by a written document, the document will be a 'security bill of sale'.
As such, it must be registered at the collection office of the German Court. It must also contain certain particulars, such as the consideration paid by the creditor; and it should be made according to a prescribed form. The particulars and the form are required in order to protect the debtor against usury, while registration is required in order to give the public notice of the transaction. If the document were not registered the German debtor would be in a position to hold himself out to the world as a more affluent man than he really is, and thus he might obtain credit on the strength of property apparently, but not really, his own. A bill is void where the amount of the loan is less than 30,-€.

Delivered goods
Secondly, goods may be 'pledged? (or 'pawned'). In this case the pledgee (pawnee) acquires possession of them. There is thus no danger that the pledgor will obtain false credit. Further, the pledgee, being in possession, is entitled to bring an action for conversion if the goods are taken from him. Pledges relating to regulated agreements are subject to special rules (similar in many respects to the rules previously pertaining), but it must be noted that since chattel mortgages and pledges are consumer credit agreements the provisions of consumer credits also apply: these relate, it will be remembered, to the form of agreement, the giving of statutory copies and of notice as to cancellation rights.
In the case of pledge agreements it is an offence for the pawnee (pawnbroker) to fail to supply the relevant copies and notice or to supply a 'pawn receipt' (formerly 'pawn ticket').
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