Can an association certify an affidavit

Affidavit: what is it?

Celebrities, politicians or athletes: when people are under pressure in public life, they sometimes take an oath in front of a journalist. It is often about doping, donation scandals or similar scandals. Anyone who has debts and cannot pay them is also asked to submit an affidavit. The legal portal explains what that means and when you can lie.

What is an affidavit?

With an affidavit, a person confirms that a particular statement is true. One also speaks of an affidavit or an affidavit. You can submit it orally or in writing. Anyone who submits it in writing must sign it.

The insurance or declaration is only legally relevant if it is submitted to an authority that may request it in this particular case. In addition to the courts, this can also be the tax office or a bailiff.

When politicians or celebrities appear to have made affidavits in front of journalists, they may convince one or the other of the listeners. But: "Affidavits 'into the blue' are legally meaningless," says lawyer Dr. Bernd Hirtz, member of the German Lawyers' Association (DAV). The same applies to the famous "words of honor" from politicians, such as that of Helmut Kohl in the party donation affair.

Submission of an affidavit: When is this necessary?

The affidavit appears in different areas. It is regulated differently in the different areas of law. "In civil law, the affidavit serves as a means of establishing credibility," explains lawyer Hirtz. In civil proceedings, it may be necessary for a witness, an expert or one of the parties to make such a declaration themselves. It is not required by the court, those involved in the process would have to submit it of their own accord.

Prima facie means that it makes the matter at hand appear largely probable. It is therefore somewhat weaker than proof. This must prove beyond any doubt that a person has done something specific.

If it is a criminal offense, therefore, evidence is necessary. However, no criminal offenses are tried in the civil court. And if a procedure has to be carried out quickly, it may be necessary to present an affidavit. It is used, for example, when the court cannot hear a witness. Speed ​​is often the key in press law or competition law.

Debt: What is the purpose of an asset report in foreclosure?

Another area where the affidavit appears is foreclosure. "In this area, the affidavit is a declaration by debtors about their financial circumstances," explains the lawyer from Cologne. It used to be known as the oath of revelation.

Anyone who has debts and does not pay them will at some point receive a reminder. After several reminders, the creditor can obtain a title against the debtor. With an enforcement order or a court judgment, he can have his claim foreclosed. This means that a bailiff can seize the debtor's property and income, apart from a deductible.

In this case, the creditor can request an asset report or an oath of disclosure. The debtor must hand them over to the bailiff. This gives the creditor an overview of the debtor's assets and income. And he finds out whether he has withheld money or valuables so that they are not used to pay off his debts. The asset information in this case is a form in which the debtor has to list his assets and his income. He must be honest and not hide anything.

Submit a false affidavit: when is it a criminal offense?

An affidavit must always be given to the best of your knowledge. Anyone who gives false insurance, i.e. who lies, is liable to prosecution. This applies in cases in which the declaration is legally relevant. Anyone who hides an expensive heirloom in a financial report therefore risks criminal consequences. Or submitting a false insurance policy in front of the civil court. A false affidavit can be punished with a fine or up to three years in prison according to Section 156 of the Criminal Code (StGB).

A lie is only punishable if it is legally valid. If a celebrity lies in an alleged affirmation on oath instead of the public, the BILD newspaper or his grandmother, he does not have to fear any legal consequences.

Submission of an affidavit in tax law: when is it necessary?

Affidavit also occurs in tax law. The tax office can demand it from a taxpayer as proof that he has given correct information about his assets. The head of the tax office is responsible.

What is the difference between an affidavit and an oath?

Witnesses are sometimes required to take an oath after testifying in a criminal trial. It should also ensure that a statement is true. The judge can have a witness testify under oath in criminal proceedings if his testimony is of particular importance. This is only possible orally: the witness then has to raise his right hand and verbally swear an oath.

Anyone who lies here must expect a prison sentence of at least one year. "A false statement in court is punishable anyway," explains lawyer Hirtz. In the case of a statement under oath, the requirements are even stricter. But even here there are exceptions: As a defendant in criminal proceedings, you can not only refuse to testify in the dock, you can also lie - as long as you don't make yourself punishable by false suspicion, for example.

Questions about the oath of disclosure, financial information, affidavit? Lawyers advise

Are you over-indebted, should you submit an asset report and do not know how to behave? Have you given the wrong insurance and want to know what else you can do now? Get advice from a lawyer. You can find competent contacts for civil law, insolvency law, tax law and criminal law using our lawyer search tool at the top of the page.