Neue Möglichkeiten für zu Unrecht Betriebene

It is very easy to start a «Betreibung» (enforcement, debt collection procedure) in Switzerland. You do not need any evidence. All you have to do is fill out the request, state a reason on it and send the request to the responsible debt collection office. The costs for a «Betreibung» are also relatively low (for a claim of CHF 10’000.00 the costs amount to approx. CHF 75.00). As a result, enforcement actions are sometimes initiated not for the enforcement of a claim, but for revenge or harassment, and so on.

Since the year 2019, Swiss law has provided a new option for debtors to submit an application to the debt collection office in order to achieve that a particular (unjustified) enforcement is no longer visible in the register. In concrete terms, those who are unjustifiably committed must make a legal proposal within ten days (Rechtsvorschlag). Then, at the earliest, after three months from the delivery of the order to pay (Zahlungsbefehl), it must send a “request for non-disclosure of an enforcement to a third party” to the responsible debt collection office. The debt collection office then requests the creditor to provide evidence within 20 days that it has taken legal action to repeal the legal proposal (Rechtsvorschlag). The creditor succeeds only if he can prove that he has filed an application for legal action or an application for recognition. This request costs CHF 40.00.

If the creditor does not provide the proof, the debt collection agency shall approve the application well. The enforcement will then no longer appear in the enforcement register, a real deletion does not take place. If the creditor subsequently lays claim, the enforcement will appear again in the debt collection excerpt.