The bill shown below has been weakened.
The German government is expected to pass a law early next week that will impose numerous obligations regarding payments in the Corona crisis.
The draft law is currently not without its critics, and above all it should be noted that the regulations only include deferrals of obligations, as deferrals of payments. The obligation therefore revives at a later date.
Among other things, Article 240 of the Introductory Act to the Civil Code is to be worded as follows:
(1) A debtor has the right to refuse performance of a claim related to a contract entered into before March 8, 2020, until September 30, 2020, if, as a result of circumstances attributable to the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus infections (SARS-CoV-2 virus pandemic),
1. cannot provide the service or
2. the provision of the benefit would not be possible without endangering his reasonable subsistence or the reasonable subsistence of his dependants or the economic basis of his business.
(2) Paragraph 1 shall not apply,
1. if the exercise of the right to refuse performance is unreasonable for the creditor, taking into account all the circumstances of the individual case, including the changes in the general circumstances of life caused by the COVID 19 pandemic,
2. insofar as in individual cases applicable provisions of international conventions on the carriage of goods contain conflicting regulations.
Paragraph 1 shall also not apply in connection with
1. contracts pursuant to §§ 2 and 3,
2. employment contracts,
3. package travel contracts,
4. contracts for the carriage of passengers by air or rail.
If the right to refuse performance under subsection 2 sentence 1 number 1 is excluded, the debtor may withdraw from the contract. In the case of continuing obligations, the right of rescission shall be replaced by the right of termination.
(3) Paragraphs 1 and 2 may not be deviated from to the detriment of the debtor.
Restriction on the termination of tenancies
(1) A landlord may not terminate a lease of land or premises to the extent that the tenant fails to pay rent during the period from April 1, 2020, through September 30, 2020, despite the fact that rent is due, and the failure to pay is due to the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic. The link between COVID-19 pandemic and non-performance is suspected. Other rights of termination shall remain unaffected.
(2) Paragraph (1) shall apply only until September 30, 2022.
Regulations on loan law
(1) For loan agreements entered into prior to March 8, 2020, claims of the lender for repayment, interest or principal payments due between April 1, 2020, and September 30, 2020, shall be deferred for a period of six months upon the occurrence of the due date if the borrower experiences a loss of revenue due to the extraordinary circumstances caused by the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic that results in the borrower being unable to reasonably perform the service owed. He cannot reasonably be expected to provide the service in particular if
1. his or her reasonable living expenses or the reasonable living expenses of his or her dependents; or
2. the economic basis of his business is endangered. The link between the COVID-19 pandemic and the revenue shortfalls is suspected.
(2) Termination by the lender due to default in payment or significant deterioration in the financial circumstances of the borrower shall be excluded in the case of paragraph 1 until the end of September 30, 2020.
(3) The contracting parties may reach agreements deviating from paragraph 1, in particular on possible partial payments, interest and repayment adjustments or debt rescheduling. Paragraph 2 may not be deviated from to the detriment of the borrower.
(4) The lender shall offer the borrower a discussion on the possibility of an amicable settlement and on possible support measures. Remote means of communication may also be used for this.
(5) If an amicable settlement is not reached for the period after September 30, 2020, the term of the agreement shall be extended by six months. The respective due date of the contractual services shall be postponed by this period. The Lender shall provide the Borrower with a copy of the Contract reflecting the agreed amendments to the Contract or the amendments to the Contract resulting from the first sentence and the first sentence of paragraph 1.
(6) Paragraphs (1) through (5) shall not apply if the lender asserts that deferral or exclusion of termination is unreasonable for the lender, taking into account all the circumstances of the case, including changes in general circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection is authorized, in agreement with the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, by ordinance without the consent of the Bundesrat, to
1. to extend the application of § 1 until July 31, 2021 at the latest,
2. to extend the termination restriction contained in section 2(1) to rent arrears incurred in the period from October 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021 at the latest,
3. to extend the period referred to in Section 3 (1) and (2) to up to twelve months and the period referred to in Section 3 (2) to no later than the end of March 31, 2021,
when it is expected that the social lives and employment of large numbers of people will continue to be significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.