For many brothers, the energy price flat rate is a consolation to cover some costs. But it can sometimes happen that the money has to be withdrawn immediately – millions of people are affected.
In a few days, many Germans should find the energy price flat rate (EPP) in their accounts. However, there is a big problem, as the Federal Working Group for Debt Counseling (BAG-SB) shows.
The energy price flat rate is not non-seizable. “Unfortunately, there was a failure to clearly regulate the non-seizability of the service in the law,” says the managing director of the BAG-SB Ines Moers.
This means that in the case of over-indebted citizens, the money could be confiscated directly to pay off the debt. This could affect up to seven million people in Germany.
Since the BAG-SB raised the alarm, the Federal Ministry of Finance also reacted immediately and published a corresponding notice on its website that the energy price flat rate cannot be attached as wages.
However, according to the BAG-SB, this is not enough to offer legal security for over-indebted citizens. Because if the account is seized instead of wages, then the EPP is gone too.
In an emergency, this means that courts have to decide whether the debtors are allowed to keep the money or not. “Many shy away from going to court, others do not know that there is this possibility of release and many do not dare to go to debt counseling either”, according to the BAG-SG
Such citizens could therefore face an electricity or gas blackout if they can no longer pay the bills. In an emergency, this means spending a winter in a cold apartment.
Conclusion: It is a pity that with a commendable measure such as the energy price flat rate, those who need the money most are not considered. So many people have to worry about whether they can keep the payout or not. At the same time, financially well-off citizens get the money even though they don’t urgently need it.