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  #21  
Old 15.05.2015, 12:06
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Re: Debtor being in the Social Service?

Only thing I know is that debt is not a crime in Switzerland so whoever said police is involved is just trying to intimidate. I bought a computer online a few years back and had problems with it I tried to contact all authorities in the end I was informed it is not a crime most you can do is register in the Betreibungsamt.
BUT making threats is a crime, so next time tell these people you will report them to the Police.
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  #22  
Old 15.05.2015, 12:11
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Re: Debtor being in the Social Service?

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Only thing I know is that debt is not a crime in Switzerland so whoever said police is involved is just trying to intimidate. I bought a computer online a few years back and had problems with it I tried to contact all authorities in the end I was informed it is not a crime most you can do is register in the Betreibungsamt.
BUT making threats is a crime, so next time tell these people you will report them to the Police.
You are half correct. The Betreibungsamt can ask the police for help when entering the property, and controlling the owners.
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  #23  
Old 15.05.2015, 12:45
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Re: Debtor being in the Social Service?

Switzerland is a country where the state to a large extent has taken over the role carried by the family in the past (and still so in many other, poorer, parts of the world). With this transition, you have to live with the consequences. As a society you can't have it both ways.

So trying to guilt-trip children of parents in need of social services support, is ethically wrong in my opinion.

To the OP, why did they chose Fribourg? Seems like not such a good plan... As others have indicated, support would most likely be better in a Gemeinde better off.


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So people live their life abroad, never worked or contributed in Switzerland, have good time, when it's time to retire they come back here so we pay for their bills and retirement?

WHY?!

If you don't want to support your own parents, why should I?!
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  #24  
Old 15.05.2015, 12:55
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Re: Debtor being in the Social Service?

The sum your parents receive is a set amount, less what the social services pay out on their behalf, so have they been receiving the "extra" that should have been paid for the krankenkass in this interim period? In which case were they aware of that extra amount in their bank account?


If not, then that amount should have been stockpiled to their credit at the social services office, yes? (Not having been paid out). It has to be somewhere - either at S/S`s or in their pockets.
Sorry to be labouring this point, but the money just have to be "somewhere". If parents have used it (inadvertently unaware of its intention), then they are at fault. If not, they are innocent victims of faulty beurocracy - which will be revealed eventually.


Unfortunately, dignity does take a backseat when one lives on social help. So being invaded by debt collectors searching for wealth just has to be tolerated - if they have nothing to hide.
Like everything else in life lately, the good ones suffer because of the bad ones - like dog owners, asylum seekers, invalid claims, etc.


I do hope this is all cleared up soon, for you and your parents sakes.
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Old 15.05.2015, 12:57
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To the OP, why did they chose Fribourg? Seems like not such a good plan... As others have indicated, support would most likely be better in a Gemeinde better off.
They moved to the french part because of the language. They had some French knowledge, and in a relatively short time, they reached a level with which they can work and be useful to the job market. Achieving the same in German would have taken way longer.

But Fribourg itself was not deliberate, it was the only place where they found an apartment in which the landlord accepted the Social Service as guarantee. But yeah, probably other places would have been better.

Thanks!

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If not, then that amount should have been stockpiled to their credit at the social services office, yes? (Not having been paid out). It has to be somewhere - either at S/S`s or in their pockets.
Thanks smokey, yes, you're exactly right. The sum is a set amount. The two bigger sums being rent and medical insurance. Rent is paid out to my parents which in turn they use to pay rent, as expected. The money intended for medical insurance is not being paid out atm, it is stockpiled to their credit at the social service office as you say.

Cheers

Last edited by 3Wishes; 28.06.2015 at 18:50. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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  #26  
Old 15.05.2015, 13:11
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Re: Debtor being in the Social Service?

Yes, if they dont speak any German, as Spanish speakers, the French part is definitely a better plan from that perspective. They will pick up French quickly and should then hopefully find a job pretty fast. Good luck to them!


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They moved to the french part because of the language. They had some French knowledge, and in a relatively short time, they reached a level with which they can work and be useful to the job market. Achieving the same in German would have taken way longer.

But Fribourg itself was not deliberate, it was the only place where they found an apartment in which the landlord accepted the Social Service as guarantee. But yeah, probably other places would have been better.

Thanks!
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  #27  
Old 15.05.2015, 13:13
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Re: Debtor being in the Social Service?

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Thanks smokey, yes, you're exactly right. The sum is a set amount. The two bigger sums being rent and medical insurance. Rent is paid out to my parents which in turn they use to pay rent, as expected. The money intended for medical insurance is not being paid out atm, it is stockpiled to their credit at the social service office as you say.

Cheers
OK, so they don`t have the debt - the Social Services are in debt! Redirect Betreibungsamt to them! Problem solved huh?
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  #28  
Old 15.05.2015, 13:35
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Re: Debtor being in the Social Service?

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Whether it is or not is not relevant to the social services that are outlined in the legal framework that defines it. In any case, the assumption that is rising is just that, an assumption;
I read an article about it a while ago. The subject hits mainstream press (TA, NZZ) on a semi-regular basis.
Can't find the source now.
But your parents aren't an isolated case.

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Yes, exactly. But in any case, do you know the emotional cost of having your house seized in search of valuable items for a debt that -in theory- the state was taking care of?
No, I don't know.
And surely, I would have problems adapting to such a situation.
But as you say, it's only emotional costs.
In the end, the taxpayer is picking up the bill anyway, right?

Look, I don't blame your parents for doing what they did, I'm not judging them. They will have had their reasons for leaving Switzerland - as I had my reasons leaving Germany. And now they obviously have a reason to return...
I'm not even Swiss (I just work and pay a bit of taxes here).

[...later...]

Now I've found the right word to put into Google: "Ergänzungsleistungen".

With this, you'll find a couple of news-reports about the situation described in your original posting, as well as a link to this:

http://aso.ch/de/beratung/rueckwanderung-in-die-schweiz

These people might know a thing or two about the situation your parents are in.
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  #29  
Old 16.05.2015, 21:55
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Re: Debtor being in the Social Service?

Good evening,

Have you contacted the health insurance about the situation? I would recommend the following:

1. Any meeting with social aid ask somebody who is fluent or good in French to go with your parents. Always take notes of what has been discussed.

2. Any communication should be sent by registered mail.

3. Contact the health insurance, name the social worker who is responsible, ask them to contact that individual.

4. In the case of a "poursuite" - tell your parents to contest it - in French "faire opposition". You will at least gain a breather until they sue properly.

5. Tell them not to sign anything without double checking what it is. Because sometimes they will try and force repayment asap, by making individuals sign a form saying that any kind of payments outside of social aid will be paid directly to social aid. I am however not sure if this is common practice in Fribourg.

6. Get anything relevant in writing.

7. Social aid always has a higher up responsible, I think these guys are it in Fribourg: http://www.fr.ch/dsas/fr/pub/index.cfm , contact the superior authority by registered mail and make a formal complaint. Phone calls may or may not be ignored.

8. Never give up - I know these situations are very very frustrating, but don't give up.

Best of luck,

Kind regards,

international
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  #30  
Old 16.05.2015, 22:34
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Re: Debtor being in the Social Service?

Thanks a lot, international! Extremely concrete, pragmatic TODO list. I think this is exactly what I needed.

Highly appreciated!
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  #31  
Old 17.05.2015, 13:58
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Re: Debtor being in the Social Service?

Hi,
I would contact the ombudsmann office.

each canton has one (except fribourg, theirs is coming about this year. I find that unbelievable!!!). So contact bern (as it is close and they could possibly redirect you or perhaps they deal with fribourg as well?) or the zurich office.

These are statutory legal offices set up to investigate ( free of charge ) and mediate where there is a dispute with government bodies or private institutions ( such as health insurance, banking, social security issues etc) .
They are impartial, are there to offer legal advice on your rights and will liaise with these people if needs be. I have not has any dealings with the swiss but know of this service from my home country.

have a timeline of all relevant events set out with all the written evidence to date by the phone when you call ( it sounds like you may be in a position to aid communication for your parents?) . It makes their job easier. try and get zurich to deal with it. Face to face meetings are always preferable.
Just google ombudsmann zurich, it's in English.
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  #32  
Old 17.05.2015, 17:06
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Re: Debtor being in the Social Service?

Seems that the problem lies in the move from one Kanton to another. Did your parents ask if it was ok to move Kantons- and did they notify the relevant authorities in Zurich before the move and deregister properly and re-register in FB right after the move? Clearly Zurich were in charge of your case from the beginning and should have organised and paid for medical insurance back dated to month or arrival.

Could it be that in Fribourg moeny is paid to 'client' who then has to pay for insurance themselves. This changes from Kanton to Kanton, as everything else. Moving from one K to another when on the social without the full approval and all the ticks in all the right boxes- is unfortunately bound to lead to problems.
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  #33  
Old 28.06.2015, 13:20
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Re: Debtor being in the Social Service?

Alright, we finally managed to resolve this! So I'm posting here in case anyone ever has the same problem.

In retrospect, it is not that complex, but as the process is not transparent, it is pretty painful to go through. Here's the key steps to resolve:
  1. Send a registered letter with a formal complain to the direction of the Social Service at the Municipal ('Gemeinde') level. E.g. basically complain to the boss of your social worker. This is key, this is what sets everything else in motion.
  2. Request your social worker to contact directly 1) the Betreibungsamt, and 2) the company filing the debt complaint; and request to stop the process. Ideally have them send a written confirmation of payment willingness.
  3. Contact the Betreibungsamt directly, explain the situation and present all documentation showing you are in the social service. This is kind of redundant with the previous, but it helps making sure time is not wasted.
  4. Contact the Cantonal Social Service office for additional guidance. They might help push the Municipal Social Service to get their act together.
  5. Call with Steueramt to get the definitive calculation of last year's tax declaration. This takes time to process, but if you don't request it explicitly, this office might take even longer.

As others pointed out, it's vital to keep track of every communication, either sending it via registered post, or by requesting print outs and confirmations of whatever they say on each office.

I'd like to thank everyone who helped out in this forum giving useful suggestions/ideas/etc. You guys and girls are awesome!

Cheers

PS to the board admins: do you have the convention of marking threads as "[Solved]" as other forums?
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