Bankruptcy estate

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The Insolvenzmasse after comprises legal definition of § 35 Insolvenzordnung (InsO) all of the assets that the bankruptcy debtor at the time of opening of the bankruptcy belongs and it acquires during the process (so-called "new acquisition"). The objects of the bankruptcy estate are to be listed in accordance with Section 153 InsO in the overview of assets in order to compare them with the debtor's liabilities. The term of the bankruptcy estate replaces the term of the bankruptcy estate of the previous law.


The bankruptcy estate is used to satisfy the creditors in bankruptcy proceedings by way of full enforcement . After the segregation of the assets that are not part of the procedure (e.g. from the property of third parties, e.g. in the case of purchases with retention of title ), the consideration of the segregation rights (from liens, but also somewhat contrary to the system security property , which is more like a lien in economic terms), the enrichment of the bankruptcy estate by rescinding the legal acts subject to the avoidance of insolvency , the deduction of the procedural costs and the satisfaction of the mass creditors, the quota according to which the insolvency creditors are satisfied is calculated from the remaining mass . In the meantime, special software is often used to determine the bankruptcy estate, which determines the amount available from existing accounting data.

The debtor's business documents, which are fundamentally non-attachable, also belong to the bankruptcy estate according to Section 36 (2) sentence 1 InsO. The insolvency administrator needs this in order to be able to create the directory of creditors and assets.

Assets that the debtor acquires during the insolvency proceedings - i.e. in the time between the opening and the cancellation or termination of the proceedings - immediately become part of the bankruptcy estate as new acquisitions. This applies e.g. B. for inheritances, but also for lottery winnings.

If the debtor is self-employed or if he intends to take up such activity in the near future, the insolvency administrator has to explain to him according to § 35 Paragraph 2 Clause 1 InsO whether assets from self-employment belong to the insolvency estate and whether claims from this activity are valid in the insolvency proceedings can be made.

Legal sources

The basic definition of Section 35 InsO is detailed in sections 36 and 37 InsO. Section 36 (1) InsO contains important restrictions. On the one hand, it is made clear that objects that are not subject to foreclosure do not belong to the bankruptcy estate (cf. § 811 Code of Civil Procedure (ZPO)).

With a few exceptions, the provisions of § § 850  ff. ZPO on the admissibility and scope of the garnishment of earned income or the income that replaces it are declared to be applicable accordingly. In the case of a natural person as the insolvency debtor, the basic amount of € 930 per month remains free of attachment (cf. the table for Section 850c (1) ZPO).

With the opening of the insolvency proceedings, the insolvency debtor loses the authority to dispose of his insolvency-biased assets, § 80 InsO. In his place, the insolvency administrator or in consumer insolvency proceedings according to § 304 InsO the trustee ( § 292 InsO) is solely authorized to dispose. The insolvency administrator can contest legal acts carried out before the opening of proceedings ( insolvency contestation ).

Individual evidence

  1. Big bankruptcy, big data (How insolvency administrators examine company bankruptcies with AI tools). Retrieved August 6, 2019 . c't 13/2019, p. 152ff.