At Schufa, data on private bankruptcies will be stored for much shorter periods in the future.
An ongoing court case has probably led to this step.
Karlsruhe – Against the background of ongoing legal proceedings, the Schufa is now reducing the storage period for entries on completed private bankruptcies.
Instead of three years, the data is now only stored for six months.
This is intended to create clarity and security for consumers, a spokeswoman said on Tuesday for the German Press Agency in Karlsruhe.
Schufa: Private bankruptcies were saved for three years
In the morning, the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) announced that it was suspending proceedings on the issue for the time being in order to await a decision by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in two similar cases.
Consumer bankruptcy allows private individuals to free themselves from their debts, even if they cannot repay everything.
At the end there is the so-called residual debt exemption.
Information about this will be published on an official internet portal for six months.
The Schufa and other credit bureaus collect these notices and store them for three years.
This used to be allowed, but since May 2018 a new data protection law has been in force across the EU.
Lawsuit against Schufa: Man did not get an apartment because of long storage
The judges in Karlsruhe are dealing with the case of a former self-employed person from northern Germany who is in dispute with the credit agency.
(Ref. VI ZR 225/21)
He had to file for bankruptcy in 2013.
In 2019 he was granted discharge of residual debt and entered in the nationwide insolvency portal.
The information can be viewed there for six months.
The Schufa retrieved the data and saved it.
According to him, the man did not get a rental apartment because of this.
He requested that the Schufa should delete his data.
Schufa data storage: Court judgment not yet fallen
The Schufa refused and referred to the code of conduct for credit agencies.
Accordingly, such data is stored for three years and then automatically deleted.
The man sued the Schufa and the Schleswig-Holstein Higher Regional Court agreed with him.
It decided that Schufa was only allowed to store its data for six months.
On the other hand, the credit agency went before the BGH.
This raises the fundamental question of whether a legal regulation is necessary specifically for credit agencies.
In the past there was - but since May 2018 the EU's General Data Protection Regulation has been in force, in which there is no such general standard.
The Wiesbaden administrative court has to decide in a similar case to the BGH and has already submitted questions to the ECJ about the interpretation of European law.
However, the judgment in Luxembourg has not yet fallen, so the questions have not yet been answered.
A judgment date has not yet been announced.
Almost two weeks ago, however, the responsible Advocate General at the ECJ presented his legal opinion.
List of rubrics: © Jens Kalaene