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debt collection in Switzerland

Are you looking for a debt collection agency for Swiss debtors?

Debt collection in Switzerland is a complex matter. Switzerland consists of 26 cantons and sub-cantons, each of which has its own and different legislation. For many creditors, this legislation is difficult to fathom. For debt collection in Switzerland, to achieve maximum results, you cannot do without a debt collection Switzerland specialist. At Het Invorderingsbedrijf you have come to the right place. With our knowledge of debt collection in Switzerland, we will collect your unpaid debts.

Submit your invoice before 4:00 p.m. and we'll start today!

Debt collection Switzerland in as many as 26 cantons. Where is your debtor located?

Payment morale has fallen sharply in Switzerland recently. Every year around 2.9 million (!) debt collection procedures are started in Switzerland. Regardless of which canton your debtor is located in, our agency offers nationwide debt collection Switzerland coverage. Thus, it does not matter where your debtor is actually located. The cantons are as follows:

Aargau (AG), Appenzell Ausserrhoden (AR), Appenzell Innerrhoden (AI), Basel-Landschaft (BL), Basel-Stadt (BS), Bern (BE), Fribourg (FR), Geneva (GE), Glarus (GL), Graubünden (GR), Jura (JU), Lucerne (LU), Neuchâtel (NE), Nidwalden (NW), Obwalden (OW), St. Gallen (SG), St. Gallen (SG), St. Gallen (SG), St. Gallen (SG), St. Gallen (SG). Gallen (SG), Schaffhausen (SH), Schwyz (SZ), Solothurn (SO), Thurgau (TG), Ticino (TI), Uri (UR), Valais (USA), Vaud (VD), Zug (ZG), and Zürich (ZH).

Our strong reputation in international debt collection, knowledge of local customs, cooperation with local professionals and our uncompromising commitment as international debt collection managers ensure targeted results.

Effective extrajudicial debt collection Switzerland

If you are in danger of being left with an unpaid debt, our specialists in debt collection Switzerland will be happy to advise and assist you. In Switzerland, it is mandatory to first start an extrajudicial debt collection procedure. We make the first contact with your debtor in a professional and businesslike manner. In most cases, after contact by telephone or in writing, we succeed in securing full payment. In the unlikely event that this does not succeed, debt collection Switzerland offers effective legal options. Switzerland, just like Germany, is known for its thorough legal procedures. Creditors benefit from this.

Sophisticated judicial collection Switzerland

A. Payment Order

With the Swiss payment order (Zahlungsbefehl), issued to the debtor by the competent court (Betreibungsamt), the debtor has 20 days to pay. Does your debtor disagree with your claim? Then he must file an objection (Rechtsvorschlag) within 10 days of the court order being issued. The case then proceeds in the form of (normal) proceedings on the merits and the creditor has to further prove his claim by means of a so-called Provisorische Rechtsöffnungstitel.

No timely defence or no payment by your debtor? Then the Switzerland debt collection lawyer will ask for a declaration of enforceability, with which the bailiff can issue an attachment order. Think of the attachment of goods, such as household effects, cars and premises, but also of third parties, such as banking institutions. In Switzerland, the bailiff works at the court, he is a civil servant.

B. Main proceedings​

In this procedure, judicial debt collection Switzerland starts with the drafting of an extensive writ of summons (with evidence), which is served on your debtor. In complex cases or cases in which the debtor has been defending himself from the start, the debt collection Switzerland lawyer starts proceedings on the merits. These proceedings are also started if the debtor puts up a defence during the payment order proceedings, as described above. After submitting the summons to the competent court (in the appropriate canton), the court schedules a first hearing. Here, agreements are made about the continuation of the proceedings, after which one or more written rounds are held. Finally, the judge issues a final judgment based on the case and all the evidence. With a winning final judgement, an attachment can also be made. For debt collection in Switzerland, the Switzerland debt collection specialist supervises the seizure. So you don’t have to worry about that either.

Executable judgment and no payment? File for bankruptcy!

Have you obtained an enforceable judgment? Then an effective option in judicial collection Switzerland is to file for bankruptcy. Please note that in Switzerland, the costs for the application cannot be recovered from your debtor. The goal of the bankruptcy petition, as in the Netherlands, is to force payment. Usually your debtor still pays after his bankruptcy has been filed. If he does not, the request can be persisted with: your debtor goes bankrupt.

The debtor’s assets are liquidated and distributed proportionally, taking into account preferential rights among the creditors. Unlike in the Netherlands, it is possible to submit ‘verificatory documents’ or proof of your claim to the local court (Konkursamt) 30 days after the bankruptcy. The court is fairly strict in accepting reported debts. If your debt is not accepted, you will hear from the court with a statement (Verlustschein). We will, of course, assist you in this regard.

Your debtor can ask the court for a stay of payment

Your debtor can ask for a cooling off period: a period during which the debts are not due for a while, determined by the court. This is called a moratorium (Nachlaßstundung or Sursis Concordataire). Such a cooling off period can last from 4 to 6 months, but can also be extended to 2 years. 

In the meantime, your debtor works on a reorganization plan, including balance sheets and statements of account. A repayment plan must also be drawn up. The judge reviews the plan. Generally, the plan is accepted (and recorded) by the judge if at least two-thirds of the creditors have agreed to the proposal (or a quarter of all creditors representing at least two-thirds of the debts). If the plan is accepted, the remainder is no longer due and payable.

Since a creditor can be confronted with a moratorium during debt collection Switzerland, we recommend immediately starting extrajudicial debt collection Switzerland proceedings in the event of an unpaid debt.

What makes a canton so special in debt collection Switzerland?

There is a federal law that is the same for every canton. It is the Systematische Sammlung des Bundesrechts, abbreviated SR, in French the Recueil systématique du droit fédéral and in Italian the Raccolta sistematica, abbreviated RS. Part of this is the so-called Obligationenrecht in German (or Code des Obligations in French and Diritto delle Obbligazioni in Italian) which regulates all contract and company law (already since 1912).

In addition, each canton has its own supplementary laws, its own parliament, its own governmental organization and its own courts and thus its own case law (jurisprudence). This means for debt collection Switzerland that there are 26 different jurisdictions in one country as far as applicable law is concerned.

A court of first instance consists of one judge each (while in the case of an appeal, a chamber consists of three judges each). Legal proceedings always start in the first instance, in the appropriate canton. Appeals also take place in the canton itself. Only cassation before the Supreme Court takes place at the federal level.

Legislation in the cantons of Vaud, Neuchâtel, Geneva and Jura is standard in French. In the cantons of Fribourg and Valais, legislation is published in French and German. In the canton of Ticino, legislation is in Italian. In all other cantons, legislation is in German (and also in Romanche and Italian for the canton of Graubünden).

What do you need for your Switzerland file?

Starting a collection in Switzerland is easy. It is not a problem if you do not have all the documents. Send us what you do have. Our debt collection specialists will be happy to help you with this.

  • A copy of the agreements, for example, an agreement, an e-mail message, fax message or simply a WhatsApp message or a text message
  • Copy of your invoices
  • Copy of your reminders
  • A copy of your general terms and conditions
  • Any proof of delivery

Benefits debt collection in Switzerland

  • Nationwide coverage throughout Switzerland (all 26 cantons)
  • Customization of your file
  • Fast procedures aimed at results
  • One point of contact in the Netherlands
  • 24/7 online access
  • Expert information and clarity in advance
    Proven track record

Debt collection in Switzerland? Schedule your free consultation

Have you become curious about the possibilities? Then ask for a free initial consultation with a specialist in Swiss law. With our local debt collection Switzerland network, no question needs to go unanswered.

Free advice on debt collection in Switzerland?

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    What else can we help you with?

    • European Payment Order (EEW)
    • Enforcement of judgments (seizure in Switzerland)
    • Conducting various proceedings under Swiss law
    • Advising on contracts and conditions
    • Taking care of the order to impound property attachments
      • Credit information on debtors established in Switzerland
    • Disputes with trustees, e.g. with regard to retention of title and the right of recovery

    Jurisdictions debt collection Switzerland

    Our clients for debt collection Switzerland deal with all kinds of claims. We can help you with all civil claims against debtors in Switzerland. Examples include:

    1. Construction law
    2. Rent and lease
    3. Purchase and sale
    4. Labor law
    5. Agency agreement
    6. Transport
    7. Damages and wrongful acts

    We work for clients directly, but also for intermediaries, such as law firms and accounting firms.

    Start today with debt collecton Switzerland

    Do you have something to claim in Switzerland? Or a dispute with a Swiss debtor? If so, debt collection Switzerland can also help you. Feel free to contact us by phone on +31-(0)70-762 0330 or send us an e-mail. Joost Konings LLM​, a debt collection specialist, can tell you more about the possibilities of debt collection in Switzerland and about receivables (that are difficult to collect) from debtors based in Switzerland.

    Submit your invoice before 4:00 p.m. and we'll start today!

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      Why 40.000 customers tried our services

      Meet our specialized legal team

      Y. Portz
      Y. Portz
      It is easy to get in contact with them, and the staff is very helpful. They create an online file that can be looked into 24/7, which is very useful if you want to check the status of your case. Overall a great service and I would recommend them.

      Free legal advice from your personal specialist

      Joost Konings LLM​

      International debt collection specialist
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