The most important thing about voluntary debt counseling

  1. In addition to social education workers and social workers, honorary debt counseling also includes business economists and lawyers with many years of experience in debt counseling.
  2. Check for a serious and professional help the recognition of the debt counseling center according to § 305 paragraph 1 No. 1 Insolvency Act (InsO)
  3. The requirements for a recognized honorary debt counseling service that can initiate a private bankruptcy vary from state to state.


The honorary debt counseling and other types of counseling

If the debt counseling is voluntary, it is free of charge for the debtor.

If the debt counseling is voluntary, it is free of charge for the debtor.

For many people, debt counseling is the last chance to get rid of their debts . There are various types of debt counseling available:


  • Public or public debt advice
  • Debt counseling by lawyers
  • Debt counseling by private providers

The government debt counseling is mostly free and is therefore in accordance with strong demand from stakeholders. In addition to appropriate institutions of the cities and municipalities, non-profit and charitable organizations are also among the public counseling centers.

These non-profit organizations do not seek profit from debt counseling but offer this service on a voluntary basis . Some of these organizations or associations are funded or funded by the state .

This honorary, mostly free debt counseling has a big disadvantage: Debtors often wait for weeks or months for a consultation due to the strong demand .
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Sometimes the honorary debt counseling of charitable or charitable institutions gets into criticism not only because of the long wait:

So z. B. argues that these institutions often use social workers and social workers as honorary debt counselors . Although they could advise on debts, they are less suitable for legal advice and insolvency advice . In other words, it is claimed that the volunteer lacks the appropriate qualification for adequate debt advice.

Such an assertion can not be generalized . As a rule, public debt advice centers employ qualified professionals , B. have completed a degree in business administration or law and have many years of experience in debt counseling . And also former bank employees work honorary in the debt counseling. But also educators, social workers and sociologists work as a debt counselor.

The recognition of voluntary debt counseling

But what does that mean for debtors? How can indebted people make sure that the voluntary debt counseling service offers them professional and professionally qualified help ?

If you want to be quite sure, check whether the said body, whether honorary, public or private, as an appropriate body in accordance with § 305 paragraph 1 No. 1 Insolvency Act (InsO) is recognized and let you show appropriate evidence .

Not only can such a recognized body advise you on your debts, but you can also assist with the initiation of personal bankruptcy if necessary. It is entitled to issue you with the necessary certificate for a failed out-of-court settlement attempt with your creditors .

With the appropriate recognition, a voluntary debt counseling service can also initiate private bankruptcy.

With the appropriate recognition, a voluntary debt counseling service can also initiate private bankruptcy.

Each federal state has its own implementing law on the insolvency code . This law specifies exactly what conditions the volunteer counseling center and other counselors have to fulfill in order to be recognized as suitable.


The corresponding regulations of the federal states require z. B.

  • a “sufficient practical experience in debt counseling” by at least one consultant (eg § 4 (1) No. 3 AGInso Berlin – Law on the Execution of the Insolvency Order of the Land Berlin)
  • ensuring the required legal advice from the counseling center (eg § 4 (1) No. 4 AGInso Berlin) or
  • that ” proper advice and support … in the out-of-court settlement attempt and in the judicial consumer insolvency proceedings is guaranteed …” (§ 1 AGInso NRW – Law for the Execution of the Insolvency Order of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia)

In addition, these laws enumerate other requirements such as the reliability of the operator, which may vary slightly from one federal state to another.

However, debtors can also seek advice and assistance from a solicitor in bankruptcy law . However, these do not offer free debt counseling, but are usually recognized as a suitable person within the meaning of § 305 InsO.

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