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The legal term of the creditor is a loan translation of the Italian creditore, which is derived from credere ' to believe'. A creditor “believes” his debtor that he will pay the debt ( performance owed ).

In the law of obligations , a creditor is referred to as someone who can demand performance from another, the debtor ( Section 241, Paragraph 1, Sentence 1 of the German Civil Code ). The legal relationship between the creditor and the debtor is known as the debt relationship . The totality of those who have claims against the debtor is called the group of creditors. They make a claim to enforce this .

In enforcement , the (enforcement) creditor is the one who enforces an enforceable title . The (enforcement) debtor is against whom the enforceable title is being enforced.

In Swiss usage, the term “creditor” in a debt enforcement only means “ operator”. In other words, the creditor is “the person whose claim is enforced, in whose favor the debt collection procedure is to be carried out”.

In insolvency proceedings , the creditors represent their interests jointly. The main organ is the so-called creditors' meeting , Section 74 InsO . The creditors' meeting makes the main decisions in the insolvency proceedings. In addition, the creditors 'meeting can set up a creditors' committee to support and monitor the insolvency administrator in carrying out his duties, Section 69 InsO.

The creditor is often equated with the beneficial owner . Although the status of a creditor and beneficial owner can often coincide in one person, a divergence of both characteristics is quite possible.

There are several majorities of creditors:

  • Partial creditors: All creditors, independently of one another, have the opportunity to demand part of the performance. If there is no contractual provision, all creditors receive the same share. The prerequisite for partial membership is that the service owed is divisible (the service may not be impaired by the division).
  • Total creditorship: In this case, the claim is not divided, so the creditor can demand the entire performance.
  • Community of creditors: Here, the debtor has to make joint payments to all community creditors. If only one believer is satisfied, the claim does not expire.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Believer  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations


  1. Hunziker, Pellascio: Debt collection and bankruptcy law. P. 7.
  2. Blumenstein, p. 145.
  3. Justus Kortleben: The creditor in insolvency proceedings . Peter Lang, 2018, ISBN 978-3-631-75825-0 , pp. 11 ff .
  4. Opportunities for a majority of creditors. Retrieved June 8, 2017 .