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Old 01.02.2015, 20:04
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debts after leaving Switzerland?

The other half has just been sacked because of the rise in the franc. The agency told him he can have his job back if he "shares the burden" by taking a 10% pay cut.

The agency is advertising similar jobs for even lower salaries now, it seems there are still people willing to come here despite the high cost of living so we don't see things getting any better.

We still have to pay the same amount for rent and health insurance, flights to visit our families are not cheap and I haven't found any job in the 8 months we've been here, usually getting the excuse about Swiss German speakers only. The pay cut doesn't feel viable.

We've only been here 10 months and not eligible for RAV assistance.

We both feel our job prospects are better outside Switzerland.

However, we have read some of the comments in these forums and heard things from friends about the betreibungs and debt enforcement and we are a bit worried what will happen.

Our rental contract required cancellation before 30 December so technically we can't give notice again until 30 June, to leave on 30 September. We found other interested tenants but they all said the rent is too high and wouldn't commit to this flat with the uncertain economy and the sackings that seem to be happening everywhere. There is no way we can afford to pay 8 months more rent without any income though so we feel that we should just make a clean break.

We didn't pay a rental deposit, we used the SwissCaution and I've read on the forum that SwissCaution can pursue people abroad. Is this true?

We've also had problems with other little things, I saw a doctor back in May 2014 and we got some statement from the health insurance saying the doctor made an extra charge to our insurance 5 months later even though I never saw him again. We've heard a lot of similar stories about people being stung with little tricks like this. If the doctor or health insurance make more charges to us after leaving and we don't know about them or don't pay them, can they pursue us after leaving?

One person told us that we will never be able to buy a house anywhere in Europe because the Swiss can seize it under the Lugano Convention. Is that true for any financial dispute, even the scam from a doctor or the gym membership fees, or is that only applicable to people who run away from something like a large loan or credit card balance?

What would other people do in our situation?
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Old 01.02.2015, 20:25
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Re: debts after leaving Switzerland?

The minimum debt for making a claim at the debtor's office is Fr 100,-- so maybe you should think again before doing a runner. The problem is that when your past catches up with you, there are extra fees and high interest charges to pay. There are many debt collectors in Europe, most working on commission, and they will find you!

Please avoid these silly ideas, shop at Aldi and Lidl. Sell the car and get a bicycle, and start saving some money. Most of us are in a similar situation, we have had a very good life for a very long time, & now we have to be careful with our finances. Alas you arrived too late!

Many people will be working part time in the near future, http://www.derbund.ch/wirtschaft/das...story/11058596

I think professionals can present invoices up to 12 months late. I know small companies can demand payment up to 5 years after completing the job. So start keeping some records, and the receipts!
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Old 01.02.2015, 20:26
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Re: debts after leaving Switzerland?

Honour your contracts and pay what you owe.

1) You'll be able to look at yourself in the mirror each moring

2) You never know when this will come back and bite you hard in the ass, but you can be sure it will do.

Once when you're here for a skiing holiday maybe
Somebody making a background check for the position that'll put your career in the statosphere
A credit check for a mortgage for that dream house 10 years down the line
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Old 01.02.2015, 20:39
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Re: debts after leaving Switzerland?

Apart from the fact that people that you owe money will probably find you, you would add to the suspicions that some foreigners are up to no good, if you do that. All the worse for new people who come to CH.

Why now shop at cheaper shops, try to find a "nachmieter" (someone who will step into your rental contract) if you really want to move, or try to adapt to a lesser income? Is it really that bad that you no longer can live here on your salary? You are not the only one unfortunately
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Old 01.02.2015, 20:49
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Re: debts after leaving Switzerland?

Firstly, sit down and work out whether or not that 10% cut is going to be as bad as you think. Do a cost analysis and see where you can cut back/buy cheaper/have less often. Hate to say it, but do you really need to fly back to see the folks as often? What about Skype as an alternative?

Secondly, if you do feel you will have to move talk to your landlord/agency to see if they'll agree to release you early without having to find another tenant. If you have no money to pay the rent, they might think it better to let you go so they can rent to someone who can pay. It never hurts to ask.
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Old 01.02.2015, 21:01
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Re: debts after leaving Switzerland?

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Firstly, sit down and work out whether or not that 10% cut is going to be as bad as you think. Do a cost analysis and see where you can cut back/buy cheaper/have less often. Hate to say it, but do you really need to fly back to see the folks as often? What about Skype as an alternative?

Secondly, if you do feel you will have to move talk to your landlord/agency to see if they'll agree to release you early without having to find another tenant. If you have no money to pay the rent, they might think it better to let you go so they can rent to someone who can pay. It never hurts to ask.

I agree with this, but would add that if it doesn't add up then yes leggit, they aren't going to chase you overseas if you leave no or a fake forwarding address so as long as you scrub switzerland out of your future holiday destinations you'll be ok.

Immoral ? Perhaps, but the same landlords have no problem screwing over foreigners for as higher rent as they possibly can so it swings both ways.
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Old 01.02.2015, 21:22
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Re: debts after leaving Switzerland?

I would check your rental contract first, you might not have to "run away"..
My contract says the usual 3 months notice blah blah but also that if i need to leave the country or my employer reposts me xx distance away, i can break the contract much easier. I doubt I'm the only one with this sort of thing.

So if you feel that leaving the country is the only option for work, it may not be as bad as you think.
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Old 01.02.2015, 21:36
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Re: debts after leaving Switzerland?

How long is the notice period for your husband? Will those extra months get him to a full 12 months to qualify for RAV? If not, have you considered taking the pay cut for a short time? This would give you more credit towards RAV, give you a chance to look for jobs elsewhere, more time to sort out a new tenant, etc.

I'd think carefully before doing a runner, and not just for the possible debt consequences. At least for the moment you have income. Jobs are not exactly hanging on trees everywhere just for the picking. Good luck, this is a terrible position to be stuck in.
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Old 01.02.2015, 21:42
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Re: debts after leaving Switzerland?

Lot of good advice given by veterans and legends above . Your situation reminds me of "one bird in hand worth two in the bushes" . What guarantee do you have that you will get job outside Switzerland. Job opportunities are on the downhill everywhere.
If you are so determined to leave Switzerland , would it not be better to do so after one of you has got a a permanent job first.

If I were in your place I would accept the 10./. Salary cut , continue with the same job WHILE searching for a new one. And once I have the job in hand , resign the Swiss one.
And I would cut down on the grocery , holidays , car, eating out and such expenditure.

I hope you take your time to think, and make decision .
Writing down the pro and cons of the many options on a paper and comparing them is how I try to analyze things . Maybe it will help you too.

All the best
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Old 01.02.2015, 21:56
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Re: debts after leaving Switzerland?

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What would other people do in our situation?
Bite the bullet, take the 10% pay cut. In two months time your partner will be eligible for RAV. This will take away some pressure.

Try to reduce the cost of your rent - e.g. by moving to a different flat (careful about your deposit on moving out, though) as soon as possible. Apparently your rental expenses are mismatched with your income, given that a 10% pay cut in gross income seems to make your financial situation not viable.

Learn the local language and the local "system" - typically people do not play tricks on you, you simply do not understand the system for lack of language skills. Knowing the language will make you feel better, and will allow you to navigate the system better.

Get rid of that employer. It has been a mere 14 days that the SNB removed the totally artificial limit on the CHF and nobody knows where the CHF will stabilize. Either the employer is in financial trouble already or tries to take advantage of the situation. The story would be different if this was to happen in three months time and the CHF is still at 1:1 ...

Make sure that you have full transparency on your recurring expenses. The only things absolutely and positively required are
- rent
- basic health insurance
- electricity
- basic food from Lidl, Aldi, Denner, Migros
- local public transport

What is NOT absolutely and positively required are
- car
- phone, TV, and Internet subscription (use a prepaid mobile phone); this removes Billag, too
- posh food from coop, Globus
- going out
- add-on health insurance

Finally: Stay honest and you have nothing to fear.
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Old 01.02.2015, 22:01
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Re: debts after leaving Switzerland?

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There is no way we can afford to pay 8 months more rent without any income though so we feel that we should just make a clean break.
10% pay cut is better than 0 income.

Take the cut, give notice on the apartment to the earliest opportunity you can and plan to leave things in order.
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Old 01.02.2015, 22:06
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Re: debts after leaving Switzerland?

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landlords have no problem screwing over foreigners for as higher rent as they possibly can
Stop whining and victimizing yourself.

Swiss nationals are exactly in the same position as foreigners.

Or do you really believe that this red passport magically gets you that CHF 500 discount on rent? I do grant that landlords can be very careful and discriminatory in picking tenants. "Running away from a rental contract" could come to mind as one reason, don't you think?
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Old 01.02.2015, 22:06
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Re: debts after leaving Switzerland?

10% less the stoppages is closer to 7%, not ideal, not the end of the world.
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Old 01.02.2015, 22:14
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Re: debts after leaving Switzerland?

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How long is the notice period for your husband? Will those extra months get him to a full 12 months to qualify for RAV? If not, have you considered taking the pay cut for a short time? This would give you more credit towards RAV, give you a chance to look for jobs elsewhere, more time to sort out a new tenant, etc.

I'd think carefully before doing a runner, and not just for the possible debt consequences. At least for the moment you have income. Jobs are not exactly hanging on trees everywhere just for the picking. Good luck, this is a terrible position to be stuck in.
I had heard that new arrivals in Switzerland now need to work 24 months before having access to the RAV, is that true or is it just 12 months?

We are not the sort of people who would go into a restaurant without money to pay the bill. A restaurant, however, can't make a charge to your credit card 6 months later for a meal you didn't order or consume so why can a Swiss doctor charge another fee to your insurance when you didn't make another visit? A lot of people told us that it is not worth the hassle to fight all these silly little charges here and we just have to get used to paying them but we really don't want to live like that and feel we would be more comfortable elsewhere. Even so, we've heard people still get stung with things like this after leaving, it seems Switzerland haunts them wherever they go even if they thought all bills were settled fairly when they left and they made a clean break.

I understand Switzerland is great for those with a dual income but for one income (now 0 incomes!) paying health insurance for 2 people and everything else it is hard to get excited about staying.
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Old 01.02.2015, 22:23
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Re: debts after leaving Switzerland?

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I had heard that new arrivals in Switzerland now need to work 24 months before having access to the RAV, is that true or is it just 12 months?

We are not the sort of people who would go into a restaurant without money to pay the bill. A restaurant, however, can't make a charge to your credit card 6 months later for a meal you didn't order or consume so why can a Swiss doctor charge another fee to your insurance when you didn't make another visit? A lot of people told us that it is not worth the hassle to fight all these silly little charges here and we just have to get used to paying them but we really don't want to live like that and feel we would be more comfortable elsewhere. Even so, we've heard people still get stung with things like this after leaving, it seems Switzerland haunts them wherever they go even if they thought all bills were settled fairly when they left and they made a clean break.

I understand Switzerland is great for those with a dual income but for one income (now 0 incomes!) paying health insurance for 2 people and everything else it is hard to get excited about staying.
Regarding RV, you can google the information in 2 seconds. Do some basic research, many websites have that information, in English.

About the bills etc, if the doctor has issued a false charge then obviously the least that you should do is use some cost-free common sense and investigate it. Have you contacted the Doctor to ask about the bill and have a detailed discussion about what the invoice was for?

As for the salary cut... 10% is not such a big deal vs having no salary at all in the short-term, and you could easily accept that and then have time to make your decisions/plans to leave, instead of doing what you are doing now and running around in circles flapping your arms and trying to what should be days/weeks of careful and informed research done in the space of a few hours.

Last edited by Richdog; 01.02.2015 at 22:37.
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Old 01.02.2015, 22:30
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Stop whining and victimizing yourself
Hopefully the couple in question will take the advice and not listen to tossers like yourself spouting the usual bleating drivel.

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I had heard that new arrivals in Switzerland now need to work 24 months before having access to the RAV, is that true or is it just 12 months?

We are not the sort of people who would go into a restaurant without money to pay the bill. A restaurant, however, can't make a charge to your credit card 6 months later for a meal you didn't order or consume so why can a Swiss doctor charge another fee to your insurance when you didn't make another visit? A lot of people told us that it is not worth the hassle to fight all these silly little charges here and we just have to get used to paying them but we really don't want to live like that and feel we would be more comfortable elsewhere. Even so, we've heard people still get stung with things like this after leaving, it seems Switzerland haunts them wherever they go even if they thought all bills were settled fairly when they left and they made a clean break.

I understand Switzerland is great for those with a dual income but for one income (now 0 incomes!) paying health insurance for 2 people and everything else it is hard to get excited about staying.
It's still 12 months out of the previous 24 as far as I am aware.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 01.02.2015 at 22:37. Reason: merging successive posts
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Old 01.02.2015, 22:36
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Re: debts after leaving Switzerland?

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I had heard that new arrivals in Switzerland now need to work 24 months before having access to the RAV, is that true or is it just 12 months?
My understanding is it needs to be 12 of the most recent 24 months. So if you're already at 10, and there's a month or two of notice period anyway, it would be pretty silly to up sticks right before you'd qualify. Granted, RAV is only 80% of salary but it's better than nothing - which is what you'll get if you just leave without another job lined up.

Quote:
...why can a Swiss doctor charge another fee to your insurance when you didn't make another visit?...it is hard to get excited about staying.
Did you contact either your doctor or the insurance about the additional charge? People make mistakes, you know.

As for being excited about staying, who says you need to be? It's clear you're not happy here so I suppose the goal is to eventually leave. That's okay, Switzerland is not for everyone.

So far the suggestions I've read have been to put up with this hassle a little bit longer, so that you can search for a better job and leave with a solid plan. From where I sit it truly seems foolish to just run, particularly if your finances are not solid.
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Old 01.02.2015, 22:38
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Re: debts after leaving Switzerland?

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I had heard that new arrivals in Switzerland now need to work 24 months before having access to the RAV, is that true or is it just 12 months?

We are not the sort of people who would go into a restaurant without money to pay the bill. A restaurant, however, can't make a charge to your credit card 6 months later for a meal you didn't order or consume so why can a Swiss doctor charge another fee to your insurance when you didn't make another visit? A lot of people told us that it is not worth the hassle to fight all these silly little charges here and we just have to get used to paying them but we really don't want to live like that and feel we would be more comfortable elsewhere. Even so, we've heard people still get stung with things like this after leaving, it seems Switzerland haunts them wherever they go even if they thought all bills were settled fairly when they left and they made a clean break.

I understand Switzerland is great for those with a dual income but for one income (now 0 incomes!) paying health insurance for 2 people and everything else it is hard to get excited about staying.
As Richdog said, query with your doctor about the charge and see what he says. Without info you're just going on hearsay from others of how things are. We've never been charged for anything we didn't know about and if we had I'd certainly query it.

All I can say is your one income can't be that great to start with because we've managed on one salary ever since we arrived in the country 16 years ago and live quite comfortably. Admittedly we're not ones for going out much, but we manage to put money by monthly, go back to the UK twice a year, pay UK bills on our house there and still don't struggle to make ends meet. And no, we're not on that magic 120,000 a year salary either.

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Old 01.02.2015, 23:36
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Re: debts after leaving Switzerland?

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A lot of people told us that it is not worth the hassle to fight all these silly little charges here and we just have to get used to paying them but we really don't want to live like that and feel we would be more comfortable elsewhere. Even so, we've heard people still get stung with things like this after leaving, it seems Switzerland haunts them wherever they go even if they thought all bills were settled fairly when they left and they made a clean break.
I don't know what "people" you are referring to. What you call "silly little charges" may be legitimate amounts to be billed. I had no idea when I visited the emergency department of the hospital that the report would be sent to my GP and I would be billed by my GP unless I told the emergency department not to send the report. So now I know better. I was billed twice for crutches by the hospital. Mistakes happen. Some companies are very slow to invoice. If you have not received a bill you can contact them and ask where it is.

I have provided departure services to clients leaving Switzerland. There is a ton of paperwork involved. I do not have a single client who was "stung" by anything after leaving.

Clearly here you have a chance to plan leaving and do things properly and still receive 90% of the previous salary.
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Old 01.02.2015, 23:54
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Re: debts after leaving Switzerland?

10% cut on 10k is only 1000 chf so it really can be compensated by somethings smaller


But why stay if you have to live your life as such?
Living with no luxury at all?
your goal should be to work ahead and get better, not taking a step back....
(I realize that sometimes it happens but CH is not easy to survive on 0 money)
If you haven't found a job after 8 months applying you will likely not get a job since you are not qualified. (language alone will do that) check out different areas in the world where you know people and where you might be needed or can start your own thing..... .

Also when I left Ch I had a couple outstanding bills (that were send to my inlaws after leaving)

. Just got my poursuites copy after 2.5 years and nothing on there.....
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