When you fail to pay an invoice, despite several reminders from the creditor, the latter initiates a lawsuit against you. In this article, we will see how prosecution works in Switzerland.
This action by the creditor is the only legal way in Switzerland to request the reimbursement of a debt. Accordingly, there will be a registration with a prosecution office. It is the prosecution office which will take the measures for the recovery of the amount owed.
A process by the prosecution office usually takes place after one or more unsuccessful reminders. However, be aware that in Switzerland, an invoice is due upon receipt. A creditor could therefore legally institute proceedings against the debtor as soon as his invoice is issued. This prosecution is said to be requisitioned by the creditor from the prosecution office corresponding to the area where the debtor is registered. This via a requisition of prosecution.
Receipt of a command to pay
The order to pay is the official document issued by the prosecution office according to the details provided by the creditor, on the prosecution requisition. It should be noted that the prosecution office does not have the competence or the obligation to check that the claim is valid. The office therefore complies according to the instructions received by the creditor. In addition to the debt, the debtor will have to pay the costs of prosecution as well as the interest related to the amount of the debt.
As soon as the payment order is notified to you, you have two solutions left:
The claim is recognized
A period of 20 days from the date of notification of the order to pay in ordinary prosecution is granted to reimburse the full amount of the prosecution. Once this period is exceeded, the creditor may request the continuation of the lawsuit. It will be by way of seizure or by way of bankruptcy if you are registered in the trade register.
The claim is contested
To oppose the lawsuit, you have 10 days. This, from the date of the notification of the order to pay. If the prosecution appears to you to be unfounded and you wish to express your disagreement with the debt, you can file an opposition, either orally or in writing, with the prosecution office. You don't have to give reasons for your opposition.
The disadvantages of the operation of prosecutions in Switzerland
Even in the event of payment, a lawsuit remains registered for a long time! This period can be 5 years in the event of an order to pay. In the case of an act of default of goods, up to 20 years if you do not take any action. Contrary to what one might think, the creditor does not have the obligation to have a registration canceled with the prosecution office. He can do this and the service will usually be billed to the former debtor.
In addition, it is important to know that if you are looking for an apartment, a private loan, or even a job, ongoing or simply noted prosecutions, will severely limit you in your efforts or even make them impossible. In Switzerland, it is therefore very important to have a clean debt collection register!
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