Insolvency administrators recommend already now:

Open a “P-Konto” (account with seizure protection) in Germany

This is our recommendation for a secure “P-Konto” (account with seizure protection) – why and the background in the article.

P-Konto eröffnen

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The most important data briefly:

  • Withdrawing cash free of charge around the globe (1 × month)
  • Incoming transfers free of charge (5 × month, then 50 cent each)
  • Payments in Euros with the Mastercard are always free of charge
  • Online setup of the seizure protection done in 1 minute
  • Immediate online account opening (DE-IBAN generated within 1 minute)
  • Consistent provider since 2008, which is specialized in this type of accounts and earns money through fees (basic fee of Euros 9.90  monthly + one time setup fee)
  • Commercial use is permitted!

Background information (commercial situation and seizure protection account)

In times, in which the commercial situation is going downhill, it is a matter of course that insolvencies happen. This concerns small and mid-sized businesses, and as a next step, their employees.

The employees do not even have to reach the private insolvency. Some unpaid bills are enough and you get hit with an account seizure for the first time.

The hurdles and the costs for an account seizure are not particularly high – in contrast to the problems that surge for the account holder.

This is why insolvency administrators and other industry experts recommend:

Set up a seizure protection account (P-Konto) already today as a precaution.

A small historical retrospect

Indeed no provider wants to get customers that have encountered payment problems. They cause more work on average, e.g. because debit entries are transferred back or account seizure attempts have to be processed manually. Moreover, there are almost no possibilities of earning money through the customer (to get the costs back) apart from the account management fees.

That lead to a growing number of people that could not get an account opened again. A bank regularly checks the Schufa-data at the account opening procedure and whenever the score did not match the critera or the stated income was to low or the client was currently unemployed, then the application on account opening was rejected.

Additionally in many cases, banks cancelled the accounts of those people ofter the first account seizure or at the second time, or the cancellation was conveyed in a manner to the clients so that the clients did not want to stay with the bank anymore.

Apart from that, the entire balance of an account without seizure protection got blocked and also, without telling the client, got transferred to the one who asked for the seizure.

What would you do, if your account got blocked and then, after activation, would be empty?

At an account with seizure protection (P-Konto) the account remains “open”. Only the amount beyond the seizure exemption limit is transferred to the creditor or its provider. This process minimizes the problems for the person, who is affected by the seizure, to about 95 per cent! More about that later.

The number of “accountless” people in Germany rose tremendously during the last financial crisis, so that the German parliament passed a law that financial institutions are obliged to transform an existing current account into a seizure protection account, if the customer wanted to.

This, however, only helped people, who already had an account.

Shortly after that, banks were obliged to offer a “basic account”, which can be opened without creditworthiness exclusion. It is just about basic bank services and many banks designed the conditions unattratively, so that the least possible number of these customers reached out to the own bank.

Free start-up banks as a solution?

When the neo-bank N26 started in 2015, there was neither a creditworthiness check nor a Schufa-query during the account opening procedure. As a consequence – even recommended by some debt counselling – many people opened an account there. This is still the same at some current start-ups that offer Schufa-free and cost-free current accounts.

Nevertheless, caution is recommended, because not all providers offer the conversion into a seizure protection account and if too many “problematic customers” open these accounts, they are readjusted. The Schufa-query is nowadays implemented at every account opening at N26. As a consequence, there are account opening rejections or there is only the possibility of getting a more expensive premium account.

I also used the term “caution”, because a noticeable number of accounts have been cancelled again on the part of the bank in the years after. What good is it to open a free account, which is cancelled on the part of the bank when the first problems appear?

Of course, every bank has the right to cancel the business relationship timely and since the costs for more bureaucracy have been increased in the banks and on the other hand the earnings dropped, it is used increasingly. Who would not want to part from loss-making customers?

For your safety, look for a long-term solution!

Most of the cost-free banks are therefore void. Sure, you can have an account there. This often has additional advantages, such as at Bitwala e.g. with the interface to Bitcoin. But you should have an emergency savings account secured with an seizure protection, just in case!

A seizure protection account with which you have a good night rest!

Big problem:
Conversion of an account into a seizure protection account!

Yes, there is a law in place to oblige the bank to convert an existing account into a seizure protection account, if the account holder requests it. Neo-banks also have to comply with this law. However, this only applies to the area of the German jurisdiction.

Everyone has the right of one seizure protection account!

And exactly this is the problem: So that other banks can exclude that a second bank gets the seizure protection, the seizure protection is documented in the Schufa.

The seizure protection is documented in the Schufa!

It officially says that the note has no influence on the score value and that only banks and the Sparkasse linked to the Schufa get this information – no further contract partners, such as mail-order companies.

However, this note can become a problem, if you apply for a loan or a credit card or if you only want to increase the limits on the credit card or of the overdraft facility.

Of course, you can preventively convert an existing current account into a seizure protection account – but who does that?

A banker rather assumes from experience that only people, who expect an account seizure do that and want to protect themselves from them. This is why there is some kind of a “silent alarm” going off at some banks at such a conversion.

There are cases in which the credit card got cancelled or the overdraft facility limit was checked as a “routine” and was then lowered or completely cancelled. This could also happen at a secondary bank, if it finds out through the Schufa that its customer has setup the seizure protection at another bank!

The solution:
Seizure protection account at a provider without Schufa-connection!

Sometimes, the solution is so easy that you do not see it immediately: You simply open the account at a provider that does not exchange data with the Schufa. And now, our solution from the beginning of the article comes into play:

P-Konto eröffnen

(Almost) everyone can get this account, because there is no Schufa-query and no creditworthiness check – You only have to be willing to pay the account fees.

This bears a big advantage and security for many years

The provider only has a single business model: Offering stable current accounts. There is no cross-funding through loans or other upsells, such as insurances etc.

Moreover, the provider of the business model “P-Konto” (seizure protection account) professionalized by partially automizing many steps from the setup of the seizure protection up to the processing and possible resistance of seizure requests.

P-Konto beantragen

The seizure protection can be activated by yourself immediately after the account opening (= no cumbersome application or presenting at a bank is necessary).

The seizure exemption amount is automatically consigned for a person – according to the current state of law, it is Euros 1,180 montly incoming money flow.

If you are entitled to a higher amount, e.g. because of children, then you can increase it by presenting proof through the customer service.

Summary of the “hidden” advantages

  • No connection to the Schufa

    That means that this account is invisible to other banks. No other bank can determine that you have a seizure protection account. That means: All possible disadvantages of a seizure protection account entry do not exist!

  • Cheap, but not free of charge

    Free of charge always bears the risk of an account cancellation, if you become too expensive to the provider. This is not the case here. Even if seizure requests are presented frequently. One estimates the client that wants to pay a monthly fee for this personal service. The waiting times on the phone were almost always considerably shorter than at the DKB when I called.

    The account is worth its price!

    The provider makes profit in this customer segment year after year, without changing its price listings a lot since 2008. Moreover, not every customer gets seizure request – many use the account just for having a discrete secondary account.

  • Mastercard (as a Debit Card) with credit card number

    Especially the Volksbank and Sparkasse supply seizure protection account customers only with a service card or Girocard. This is enough for shopping cashfreely in the supermarket or withdrawing cash from the ATM, but there are quite a lot of providers on the Internet that need a credit card number for payments. Herein, you can consign the Mastercard.

    Nevertheless, it is not embossed in relief (flat printing), so that people recognize at renting cars or rooms that it is a positive account balance variant.

  • Private and commercial use permitted on only one account

    One of the most frequent account cancellation reasons of private current account, as offered by the ING and other banks, is the discovery of a commercial use. You usually get a “warning”, because of using the account obviously in a way contrary to contract and you get a due date until you have to use the account only privately. If you do not change the account use, then you will have to face an account cancellation soon.

    At “our” provider, you can use the account as you wish. You can even consign a company name, so that you do not have to state your first and family name as the account holder on your bills, but only the company name. This is very useful, if you are also doing busines, isn’t it?

    Anyway, you rarely get a comparable business account for less than Euros 9.90 per month.

Account opening made easy

The account opening is very easy and starts with entering the name and e-mail address. Immediately after sending the online application you receive your DE-IBAN. This is interesting for people, who quickly need an account for receiving transfers.

Payments are activated with the legitimating that you can make through the PostIdent or VideoIdent. The video-legitimating is a comfortable advantage especially in current times.

» Step-by-step instructions through the account opening procedure

Another advantage: Multilingualism German and English

German is not the native language for every reader. Some would feel more comfortable with an account in English, as well as a customer service in English. This account offers both:

P-Konto in Englisch

The seizure protection account can be opened and managed in English language.

Frequently asked questions and answers

How does the seizure protection work in practice?

In contrast to an account without seizure protection, the “P-Konto” (seizure protection account) remains “open” and incoming monthly amounts up to the consigned seizure exemption amount are protected. Normal payments, such as transfers, direct debits and card payments, can be implemented.

Amounts beyond the seizure exemption amount – at a formally justified demand – are transferred to the account number stated in the seizure demand. This is possibly an automated debt payment that you do not have to take care of and which does not cause extra costs.

Does the account remain, if you move abroad?

Yes. When the Mastercard expires, you get an e-mail with the note that triggers the shipping of a new card. It is possible to enter a desired address. It can be abroad, as this screenshot shows:

P-Konto Ausland

The card to the account can be shipped to different countries.

You can even open the account from abroad!

Are Euros 0.50 from the 5th incoming money transfer per month not a bit too much?

Most privately used accounts do not have more than 5 incoming money transfers per month. You do not have further costs.

At some business accounts – e.g. “ebay-companies” – there are tendentially many small incoming transfers and the 50 cent for each transfer sum up. Is there a “trick” or something?

Yes, there is one for our Newsletter subscribers. 🙂 Just answer us to any Newsletter mail with the question of the trick and you will get the solution. Only applies to entrepreneurs (or to future ones)!

Is there another charging method besides transfers?

Yes, the provider currently works on an interface to Paypal.

Further questions?

Please feel free to use the comments feature. Let me know, if this article has brought you to getting a new comfortable account. A hearty thanks!

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Who writes here?

Richard helps people through this special portal to find bank products in Germany and abroad and shows how to use them optimally. You can register as a “fan” and, by doing so, watch even more instructions and videos.

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