I have been living in Germany for about 4 years now.

On several occasions, some slight variation of the following has happened to me:

  1. A business or some other legal entity sends a letter to my home address. The letter arrives, for example, on 28.05.2021. I know that for a fact because I check my mailbox daily, as I'm required by law. The letter was delivered in a plain white envelope with no stamp, printed postage, signature of postal worker or any other form of tracking information on it.
  2. Inside the envelope I find a letter dated 02.05.2021, which demands action (or money) from me, and gives me a 14-day period to object or otherwise react to it.
  3. It's clearly impossible for me to react on time. My options are therefore to personally ask for an extension or leniency which I might not get, get a lawyer involved, or ignore it. The last option has the potential to cause additional headaches, as then the courts may be involved and in my limited experience, judges just take the date written on the letter as an absolute.

If a letter is somehow time-sensitive but was sent without proof of delivery, or the sender clearly back-dated it for their own gain, what could I possibly do to avoid extra costs, if I can't prove that it was delivered too late?

1 Answer 1


A letter without postage, with an impossible performance date, suggests an attempt to scam you. The envelope could have been put in your letterbox by someone other than the postal service. Any contact information in the mysterious letter should be disregarded; do not click on or visit any URL mentioned in the letter.

If the letter references an actual account or obligation of yours, you could contact the account-holder directly to enquire. Use the contact location or number already known to you, do not use any contact method included in the letter.

If the letter's demand is unknown to you, ignore it.

  • 2
    The only letters that are of interest for the court and you are required by law to react to, are Postzustellungsurkunde and they are sent in very distinct yellow envelopes. Commented Feb 3, 2022 at 22:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.