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Old 19.06.2011, 14:09
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Betreibungsankündigung

Hello, folks.

Does anyone have experience with the Betreibung process from the receiving end?

Having been on a trip of three weeks abroad, I was quite surprised to see a letter in my mailbox as I came back today from an Inkasso (debt collection) agency regarding a bill that I already paid a month ago to an online shop.

I believe what happened (which I will verify/clarify with the online merchant tomorrow) is that the merchant forwarded the bill to the collection agency in parallel to contacting me by phone. The reason the bill was not initially paid on time was the merchant sending it to the wrong e-mail address -- once we spoke over the phone they corrected that and sent me the bill to the right address which I then paid the same day, following which the shop sent me the stuff I ordered. They were supposed to withdraw the claim from the collection agency then but I guess they failed to do so, or the collection agency failed to notice that it has been withdrawn. So now I get this bill from them for a much larger amount than the original <20 CHF I owed the shop.

What concerns me is the subject line of the letter I received from the Inkasso service, which says "BETREIBUNGSANKÜNDIGUNG". The letter then proceeds to explain (claim) that I have an open debt to them, and that within five days (which have already passed as I was away when the letter was sent) if I do not confirm payment I will have a Betreibung on my record. BTW, the letter was not sent by registered mail.

So my question is: what does the Betreibungsankündigung subject line exactly mean? Is that the official notification of a Betreibung? From what I read in the past, my understanding was that a Betreibung is supposed to be sent through the Betreibungsamt, and the Betreibungsamt then sends you a (presumably registered) letter explaining how to settle the debt or contest it, and you only have it on your record if you did not settle it within the time indicated by the Betreibungsamt. I would be quite worried if there is a Betreibung in my record already (since I understand it's quite a hassle to remove even if it was wrongly filed).

Since I did not receive anything from the Betreibungsamt yet though, I expect it is still in the hands of the merchant / collection agency, and I have the time to call them tomorrow (Monday) and clarify the matters before any false claims come on my record?

Cheers,
-- Tom
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  #2  
Old 19.06.2011, 14:11
armandair
 
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Re: Betreibungsankündigung

If you have paid, then tell them.

If the debt claim is legit, solve the problem in a proactive way.

It's only in your best of interest.
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  #3  
Old 19.06.2011, 14:26
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Re: Betreibungsankündigung

Oh dear Tom this is never easy to clear up. Only the seller can remove the Inkasso demand, which has nothing to connect it with the Betreibungsamt. Both systems rely on a threat of being black listed and should be taken seriously. I detest these people, both debtors and the Inkasso jerks.

Tomorrow you have to contact the seller and insist on your name being cleared. Write to him registered post and give him 10 days to clear your name with a written confirmation from the Inkasso company. Tell him otherwise you will go to a lawyer and all the costs of clearing your name will be paid by him!

My "dear" ex-wife left a lot of debts when she went to the UK and I was Betreiben for her debts (Even though we had been divorced 8 years!) by the Winterthur car insurance, and by a dentist via an Inkasso. Afterwards I was never really certain my name was cleared completely, though I have had no problems since. I understand a Betreibung stays on your record, but only a judge can see it. For the Inkasso the rules seem to be made up by cowboys. My threatening Inkasso letter had no street address, no phone number, no e-mail address, just a payment slip and a post box in Biel/Bienne!
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Old 19.06.2011, 14:39
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Re: Betreibungsankündigung

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If you have paid, then tell them.

If the debt claim is legit, solve the problem in a proactive way.
Thanks for the good generic advice. Of course I will as soon as possible.

Did you read my post though? I mentioned I will call both the merchant and the debt collection agency tomorrow to clarify matters, which seems to be what you are suggesting. The reason I posted though was to ask the question I posted -- what the "Betreibungsankündigung" letter means, and more specifically if there might already be a Betreibung filed without any notification from the Betreibungsamt.

I am concerned about that because I know that removing all record of a Betreibung, even for a debt that was in fact paid (which is certainly the case here), can be a large hassle. And I definitely don't want any Betreibung on my record, especially as I intend to rent a new apartment sometime this year.

Any clarifications as to whether this "Betreibungsankündigung" letter I received might stand before, or whether it is part of an already open the Betreibung process, are still appreciated.
Thanks,
-- Tom
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Old 19.06.2011, 14:39
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Re: Betreibungsankündigung

Hopefully, you have proof of the payment. If you do, send it via Einschreiben ASAP to the Inkasso as well as the company where you
bought the merchandise.. Most of the time, they are trying to scare you
into paying.
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Old 19.06.2011, 14:43
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Re: Betreibungsankündigung

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My "dear" ex-wife left a lot of debts when she went to the UK and I was Betreiben for her debts (Even though we had been divorced 8 years!) by the Winterthur car insurance, and by a dentist via an Inkasso. Afterwards I was never really certain my name was cleared completely, though I have had no problems since. I understand a Betreibung stays on your record, but only a judge can see it. For the Inkasso the rules seem to be made up by cowboys. My threatening Inkasso letter had no street address, no phone number, no e-mail address, just a payment slip and a post box in Biel/Bienne!
Have you been able to receive a credit card since then? I received
a bill from an Inkasso for an amount that I didn't know that I owe.
I paid it immediately over 3 years ago, and now, I cannot receive
a credit card. Checking my credit showed that this was not listed
with the credit agencies. Now, I have to use a foreign CC with fees
in the need arises.
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  #7  
Old 19.06.2011, 14:49
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Re: Betreibungsankündigung

Yes, I have read through your post. Arm chair philosophies on a Sunday will not get you the desired answer.

1. Show proof of payment - that's it.

2. Betreibungsankündigung, means that they will take their steps through Betreibungsamt. If they already have taken this step, then call up your local Betreibungsamt and ask them.

3. If "betrieben" once, it will show for 3 years on the Betreibungsregisterauszug, that is essential if applying for an apartment.

4. If you are falsely "betrieben", then make sure to do the "Rechtsvorschlag". It will stop the legal process and the company/other party must proof that the Betreibung against you is correct.

As said, not much help on a Sunday.

Relax and do the necessary admin tomorrow.

In the end a Betreibung is not the end of the world. Not nice, but it can happen to anyone.
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Old 19.06.2011, 14:50
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Re: Betreibungsankündigung

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Thanks for the good generic advice. Of course I will as soon as possible.

Did you read my post though? I mentioned I will call both the merchant and the debt collection agency tomorrow to clarify matters, which seems to be what you are suggesting. The reason I posted though was to ask the question I posted -- what the "Betreibungsankündigung" letter means, and more specifically if there might already be a Betreibung filed without any notification from the Betreibungsamt.

I am concerned about that because I know that removing all record of a Betreibung, even for a debt that was in fact paid (which is certainly the case here), can be a large hassle. And I definitely don't want any Betreibung on my record, especially as I intend to rent a new apartment sometime this year.

Any clarifications as to whether this "Betreibungsankündigung" letter I received might stand before, or whether it is part of an already open the Betreibung process, are still appreciated.
Thanks,
-- Tom
A "Betreibungsankündigung" from a debt collection agency isn't an official document, just a private letter announcing that they will enforce the payment of the debt. The agency probably uses this term to put pressure on the (supposed) debtor coercing him into making a payment.
If a debt enforcement procedure (Betreibungsvefahren) had already been initiated you would have received an order for payment (Zahlungsbefehl) by registered mail from the debt collection office (Betreibungsamt).
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Old 19.06.2011, 14:57
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Re: Betreibungsankündigung

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Oh dear Tom this is never easy to clear up. Only the seller can remove the Inkasso demand, which has nothing to connect it with the Betreibungsamt. Both systems rely on a threat of being black listed and should be taken seriously. I detest these people, both debtors and the Inkasso jerks.
Wait, what do you mean when you say "both systems"? Is "Inkasso" an official system? I thought it's just companies that provide the service of dealing with collection of debts. Is there any register of claims in Inkasso agencies?

And as for the Betreibung system, am I right that you get a notification from the Betreibungsamt if something is filed with them?

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Tomorrow you have to contact the seller and insist on your name being cleared. Write to him registered post and give him 10 days to clear your name with a written confirmation from the Inkasso company. Tell him otherwise you will go to a lawyer and all the costs of clearing your name will be paid by him!
I will definitely do that. (Initially by phone to clarify the situation, and then in any case I will also send a letter to have it on the record).

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My "dear" ex-wife left a lot of debts when she went to the UK and I was Betreiben for her debts (Even though we had been divorced 8 years!) by the Winterthur car insurance, and by a dentist via an Inkasso. Afterwards I was never really certain my name was cleared completely, though I have had no problems since.
That really sucks -- sorry to hear about that.

I'd assume if nothing appears in your Betreibungsauszug then you're all clear though? Do you know if there other less open registers you can have trouble with, in the Betreibungsamt or elsewhere?

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I understand a Betreibung stays on your record, but only a judge can see it.
You mean even a Betreibung that was withdrawn?

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For the Inkasso the rules seem to be made up by cowboys. My threatening Inkasso letter had no street address, no phone number, no e-mail address, just a payment slip and a post box in Biel/Bienne!
Yeah, the Inkasso service do not seem to go out of their way in their letter to make things clear. Mine does have a phone number and e-mail address (no physical address other than a postal box though). But as for the debt itself there's just a merchant name and a made up amount, with no details as to what it is for or what it consists of. I'd expect such a letter to clearly specify what part is the original debt -- with the original detailed bill from the merchant attached, what part is collection charges and what part is interest.
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Old 19.06.2011, 15:01
armandair
 
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Re: Betreibungsankündigung

Ok, sometimes those "inkasso" companies also make up amount and debt, in order to harass people or make them pay.

This is totally illegal.

In this case, they only put pressure on you to make you pay in the end.

If this is the case here, DO NOT PAY !!!

The letter head you described sounds a bit fishy.
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  #11  
Old 19.06.2011, 15:03
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Re: Betreibungsankündigung

Address Betreibungsamt in Zurich

http://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/portal/d...ngszeiten.html
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Old 19.06.2011, 15:03
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Re: Betreibungsankündigung

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I received a bill from an Inkasso for an amount that I didn't know that I owe. I paid it immediately over 3 years ago, and now, I annot receive a credit card.
Ugh, that's ed up. So what is their explanation for rejecting your request for a for a credit card? They just don't say?

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Checking my credit showed that this was not listed with the credit agencies.
So are there other credit agencies than the Betreibungsämte? Who runs them and how do you check with them?

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Now, I have to use a foreign CC with fees in the need arises.
Sorry to hear about that mess. There must be a way to figure out where it lies and fix it though?
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Old 19.06.2011, 15:12
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Re: Betreibungsankündigung

http://www.zek.ch/

If you apply for a credit card or a loan for a house, e.g. the bank will check the database with ZEK.

Call them up and ask for your "Auszug" - it shows if you ever have applied for a personal credit or have unpaid debt with a card company.

Also: you can clear your name here!

Betreibungsamt is an official legal institution for debt enforcement. Inkasso companies of course are not.


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So are there other credit agencies than the Betreibungsämte? Who runs them and how do you check with them?

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Old 19.06.2011, 15:15
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Re: Betreibungsankündigung

The other day I had the UPS delivery company on my case claiming that allegedly I had unpaid bill. I had a rant with the agent who failed to listen to my explanation. So, I ignored all consecutive letters biding my time at the same time knowing that they were wrong anyway. They filed the case with inkasso and I was sent official letter from the debt collecting agency, whom I phoned and clarified the matter with. They asked me to write my side of the story and send it back to them. I had all the proof of payment with important dates. Never heard from them anymore. Does that mean I'm blacklisted - frankly I doubt it! They send those letters rather to threaten the potential debtor to pay their bills asap. I guess different story is with traffic fines where you basically have no choice unless carry very good proof of why you could appeal. They are super strict in enforcing it. Really

If you have your proof in form of the ticket and can prove that you were absent from dates x till y and furthermore already paid the bill, then there is nothing they can do against you. Just phone them and clarify it.

I'm also curious if the answer is: "After having been filed the debt claim against, one should always double check with inkasso that their record is clean"
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Old 19.06.2011, 15:22
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Re: Betreibungsankündigung

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Yes, I have read through your post. Arm chair philosophies on a Sunday will not get you the desired answer.
I'm not sure what you mean. Obviously you're trying to help, and that's appreciated. But your original response did neither answer the question I posted, nor add anything that I haven't already said I'm doing in my post. So I was a bit unsure if there was a misunderstanding. Calvin's answer directly addressed my main question though -- thanks, Calvin!

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3. If "betrieben" once, it will show for 3 years on the Betreibungsregisterauszug,
Irrespective of whether the debt was paid, or the Betreibung withdrawn?

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4. If you are falsely "betrieben", then make sure to do the "Rechtsvorschlag". It will stop the legal process and the company/other party must proof that the Betreibung against you is correct.
Good to know, thanks. I'll check if that's the case tomorrow, and if so I'll do it.

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Relax and do the necessary admin tomorrow.

In the end a Betreibung is not the end of the world. Not nice, but it can happen to anyone.
Sure, everything can be settled, but I'd really not want getting an apartment to be any more difficult than it already is.

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Ok, sometimes those "inkasso" companies also make up amount and debt, in order to harass people or make them pay.

This is totally illegal.
Just to be clear, the fact that there was at one point a debt (until the merchant sent the bill to the right address at which point I paid it) a debt is not made up. But there is none now, and the amount is made up (they say CHF 71.65 with no details whatsoever -- the original bill I paid was around 12 CHF).

I will send them registered mail demanding to stop harassing me and withdraw any Betreibung or claims with credit agencies. I wonder if I can send them a bill for the time I spend on their bureaucracy?
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Old 19.06.2011, 15:28
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Re: Betreibungsankündigung

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Hopefully, you have proof of the payment.
Yes, I do. It is currently only in the form of a line in my online bank statement, since I paid the bill online, but I can get it official from the bank.

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If you do, send it via Einschreiben ASAP to the Inkasso as well as the company where you bought the merchandise..
That's what I'll do. Only problem is it's a bit late, as the letter from them came 17 days ago when I was away. I guess technically I'm responsible for reading my mail within reasonable time. But then again, they should have sent it registered.

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Most of the time, they are trying to scare you into paying.
I increasingly believe that's the case. Maybe the merchant did correctly withdraw the claim with them and they're just using it as a chance to pocket fees in case I don't contest?
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Old 19.06.2011, 18:14
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Re: Betreibungsankündigung

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Irrespective of whether the debt was paid, or the Betreibung withdrawn?
The Betreibungsregister mirrors in fact the entries that were made at some point. But you yourself, should an entry have been made and an order of payment (Zahlungsbefehl) been issued, can demand to delete this entry. It needs proof ready that the debt was settled including all costs or fees for the order of payment (Zahlungsbefehl). I'm not quite sure how to proceed in the case when the Zahlungsbefehl was withdrawn. If either you or the collector should ask the deletion from the register.
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Old 19.06.2011, 18:28
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Re: Betreibungsankündigung

Everyone gets hot under the collar when mentioning Betreibung, but in a case like this where you have apparently paid already, you simply prove that pro-actively as the other posts have mentioned and then do a "Rechtsvorschlag" if you ever receive an actual Betreibung (unlikley if you have paid on time and can prove it).

As Armandair says (point 4):

4. If you are falsely "betrieben", then make sure to do the "Rechtsvorschlag". It will stop the legal process and the company/other party must proof that the Betreibung against you is correct.

In the latter case, I would use a Swiss lawyer to help me through the process.

I have been through the process on both sides, and have got a court ruling against one big debtor which my lawyer is following up...

Good luck...
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Old 19.06.2011, 18:42
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Re: Betreibungsankündigung

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4. If you are falsely "betrieben", then make sure to do the "Rechtsvorschlag". It will stop the legal process and the company/other party must proof that the Betreibung against you is correct.
That's only half-correct. Once you've objected to the summons (by making the cross at "Rechtsvorschlag" and sending back the form within the indicated period of time), depending on the amount owed (or not), the company who sent you the summons will have to prove that they owe you the money by suing you - if they do that and they win in court, you'll also have to pay for the legal fees. If the amount in question is small (200, 300 Fr. or so), the objection to the summons will usually stop the summons altogether. However, that does not mean that the summons has been deleted from your records. It will just be listed as "objected to" but will still prevent you from getting a new apartment or (in some cases) a new job for the 3 years the entry is listed in the excerpts. However, just because the entry isn't listed anymore after 3 years, it's still there. Credit card companies, banks etc. can still see it. Such an entry will effectively prevent you from getting a new credit card, a loan, a leasing contract etc. for decades to come.
Only the company who sent you the payment summons can get the entry deleted - that almost never happens. Theoretically, you can try to get the entry killed by suing the company (doing a so called "Feststellungsklage"). That, however, is extremely expensive, can take years and is rarely successful.

So: do absolutely everything you can to prevent an entry. This may sound stupid - but usually it's way better to pay even if you think you don't owe the money, at least if the amount is small.

Also, the fact that you have been contacted by an Inkassofirma is very bad - those companies have the reputation of making entries in all kinds of private debt registers - and oftentimes don't delete those entries even if you paid the amount. I'd proactively call them and sort things out ASAP.

Peter
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Old 19.06.2011, 18:47
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Re: Betreibungsankündigung

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The Betreibungsregister mirrors in fact the entries that were made at some point. But you yourself, should an entry have been made and an order of payment (Zahlungsbefehl) been issued, can demand to delete this entry. It needs proof ready that the debt was settled including all costs or fees for the order of payment (Zahlungsbefehl). I'm not quite sure how to proceed in the case when the Zahlungsbefehl was withdrawn. If either you or the collector should ask the deletion from the register.
no, you can not. If the Zahlungsbefehl / payment summons was withdrawn, the entry is deleted anyway. If you did the Rechtsvorschlag and the company that says you owe them money doesn't sue you in court over the amount, the entry will remain in the registry for up to 20 years. There's nothing you can do about that, other than trying to persuade the initiator of the payment summons to withdraw it.
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