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Old 17.09.2019, 16:07
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Suspicious debt collection

Dear All,

Hi. I received a letter from Intrum and Credit Reform, stating that I have a total of CHF600 debts .

The name stated on the letters are not exactly the same spelling with my name but similar to my name. Just an example, Sally is misspelled as Sallyn.

Also the address on the letters is not exactly the same as my address but a non existing address. For example, my address is Falkenstrasse 5, but the letter was addressed to Falkenstrasse 6 (non existing house).

Since the name and address are similar to mine (also because Asian name is quite distinctive), the postman somehow delivered them to me.

Will I get into trouble if I ignore the letters?

Thank you very much in advance for your advice.
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Old 17.09.2019, 16:08
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Re: Suspicious debt collection

When you say the postman delivered them to you, were they just in your mailbox or were they registered and you had to sign for them?
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Old 17.09.2019, 16:19
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Re: Suspicious debt collection

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Dear All,

Hi. I received a letter from Intrum and Credit Reform, stating that I have a total of CHF600 debts .

The name stated on the letters are not exactly the same spelling with my name but similar to my name. Just an example, Sally is misspelled as Sallyn.

Also the address on the letters is not exactly the same as my address but a non existing address. For example, my address is Falkenstrasse 5, but the letter was addressed to Falkenstrasse 6 (non existing house).

Since the name and address are similar to mine (also because Asian name is quite distinctive), the postman somehow delivered them to me.

Will I get into trouble if I ignore the letters?

Thank you very much in advance for your advice.
It must surely say for which debt and originally owed to whom - phone / internet / other utility/ landlord ?
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Old 17.09.2019, 16:20
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Re: Suspicious debt collection

And importantly do you actually owe this money??

It sounds as if you are trying to avoid a debt on technicalities...
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Old 17.09.2019, 16:44
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Re: Suspicious debt collection

Thank you for your messages. It was delivered via A-post to my mail box. Not registered post.

The bills were from dentist. I have not been to the dentist.
Someone must have used my identity to register and somehow get the service?

Appreciate your advice.
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Old 17.09.2019, 16:49
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Re: Suspicious debt collection

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Thank you for your messages. It was delivered via A-post to my mail box. Not registered post.

The bills were from dentist. I have not been to the dentist.
Someone must have used my identity to register and somehow get the service?

Appreciate your advice.
To answer your original question, it's never a good idea to ignore letters that come, even if they are incorrectly addressed or bogus.

Find out the details of the bill and contact the dentist directly. Ask them to send you the original bill(s) and let them know that the debt collection letter is the first you've heard of the outstanding amount.

Is it your dentist and you are disputing the fact that there's an outstanding bill (i.e. you didn't receive this particular treatment) or have you never been to this dentist? If it's the latter, it's probably the easiest to sort out.
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Old 17.09.2019, 16:53
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Re: Suspicious debt collection

Never have been to the dentist.
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Old 17.09.2019, 16:57
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Re: Suspicious debt collection

Intrum is a debt collection agency. I think their business model is that they buy dept and try to recover it. I had to deal with them once (many years ago) and in my experience they were not particularly well organized nor did they even know exactly what the invoice was for or what it was about.

In my case, the bill was for an item I had ordered but that had never been delivered. The bill clearly said the item had been delivered and now they wanted payment. But when I told them, I didn't see why I should pay for an item I had not received, Intrum told me, actually you should pay first and then they will deliver. This was clearly nonsense as none of the documents supported that interpetation, and when I pointed it out to them, they said, well maybe the T&Cs have changed. It went on like this for a while but after some to-ing and fro-ing they accepted my version of events and backed off.

My recommendation would be to get all your facts straight. If you know the identity of the dentist, approach them for information. Do they really claim to have treated you? If the alleged treatment was, say, a filling, but you don't have a filling in said position, then that would already prove it wasn't you. I'm sure if you drill around you can find further inconsistencies. I think Intrum will back off when they see you know your stuff.

My hunch is that it is bogus, as if the dentist had a legitmate unpaid invoice, he would have mailed that to you at least once, so this wouldn't be the first you heard of it.

One more note on dentists. You say you never went to this dentist, or you never want to any dentist? My dentist sends me bills from an address that is different from the street address of her clinic. So the address alone doesn't prove much.

Good luck.
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Old 17.09.2019, 17:03
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Re: Suspicious debt collection

First write to the sender informing them this is a mistake and it is not you as you have never been to that dentist.

Next, if the dentist is local, go to his surgery and explain the problem. If he does not remember the patient or if it's you or not, then just open you mouth and let him have a look. He can tell in 5 seconds if he's worked on you or not.

Then they can inform Intrum and Credit reform on the spot that's it's been incorrectly invoiced to you. Follow that up with another letter insisting all notes about this on your file are removed.
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Old 17.09.2019, 17:28
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Re: Suspicious debt collection

Thanks for your advice.

I will be on 3 weeks holiday and I am literally packing and catching my flight soon.

I will call the dentist anyway while I'm on my holiday.

Just wondering if the bill will increase if I do not settle it now? Also will I get blacklisted/bad credit ( Betreibung) if I wait too long?
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Old 17.09.2019, 17:31
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Re: Suspicious debt collection

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Just wondering if the bill will increase if I do not settle it now? Also will I get blacklisted/bad credit ( Betreibung) if I wait too long?
Nope, since you've never been to the dentist.
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Old 17.09.2019, 17:46
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Re: Suspicious debt collection

I once received a Doctor's bill from Kanton A while residing in Kanton B. The name and address on the envelope was mine

On looking at the bill in detail, I realized it was for another person having the same family name as me (but in no way related to me ) and address in Kanton A.

I sent the bill back to doctor with a post-it saying that I have no idea why it has been sent to me as I am not the same person !!!

Think the patient left the country without paying and Doctor tried to look up and found a person with same family name (me) living elsewhere and just tried his luck. I don't blame the doctor as he was just trying to recover his money.

May be it's the same case as yours but with Debt Agency involved
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Old 17.09.2019, 17:51
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Re: Suspicious debt collection

Thank you for your messages.

Is it too late now for the dentist to cancel the claim with Debt Agency since they made a mistake?

What is the implication when Debt Agencies involve? Are they the authority to give Betreibung?

Will the bill increases if I do nothing until my holiday? What will be the consequence if I do nothing?
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Old 17.09.2019, 18:01
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Re: Suspicious debt collection

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Thank you for your messages.

Is it too late now for the dentist to cancel the claim with Debt Agency since they made a mistake?

What is the implication when Debt Agencies involve? Are they the authority to give Betreibung?

Will the bill increases if I do nothing until my holiday? What will be the consequence if I do nothing?
If the dentist informs the debt agency that the claim is void, the debt agency cannot ignore that. Even if it means they miss out on money.

The claim can increase over time if you don't reply. Sometimes the agency will try to increase it extortionately. But in actual fact they aren't allowed to do that and will have to back-pedal if you challenge them. I believe they can only charge as additional fees costs actually incurred (although this itself is open to interpretation, and there is very little you can actually prove).

Of course if it turns out the money is not actually owed in the first place, they cannot charge collection fees either.

Anybody can initiate a Betreibung against anybody else. You don't need an agency for that. But it's a hassle and costs money and I don't think they will do that unless as a last resort.

So I wouldn't worry about this unduly.

But if you have time to talk to the dentist, that would definitely not be wrong.
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Old 17.09.2019, 18:51
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Re: Suspicious debt collection

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What will be the consequence if I do nothing?
If you do nothing for long enough. You'll end up with a debt.
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Old 17.09.2019, 20:33
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Re: Suspicious debt collection

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What will be the consequence if I do nothing?
Nothing if it is not your debt.

Tom
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Old 17.09.2019, 21:31
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Re: Suspicious debt collection

Call the debt collection agency and explain the mistake - they should be calling the dentist not you - in fact you could also send something in writing , even an email to have a written record
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Old 17.09.2019, 23:44
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Re: Suspicious debt collection

Do not do nothing.
Do not delay.
This is unlikely to go away by itself, and could get worse.

EITHER:
If you are sure, of if you believe, that you have never been to this dentist, then I suggest you write three letters along the following lines. Ideally, these should be on paper, in an envelope, but since you’ll be travelling, at least send them by mail.

If you do not receive replies from both Intrum and Credit Reform by the time you return, then send the same letter to each of them, again, this time in an envelope, registered at the Post Office. Keep those two receipts, with a copy of the letters sent, as proof of having sent it properly. A registered letter is the correct, formal way to do this, in Switzerland.

Letter One
Dear Dr Dentist

I have received two invoices, one from Intrum and one from Credit Reform, setting out that I (or someone with a name resembling mine) owe you Fr. 600.
Please see the attached copies.
Please note that they are made out to a similar but different name and address from mine.

As far as I am aware, I have never been treated by you. Could you please confirm this? Alternatively, if you do have records of my having been treated by you, could you please supply me with copies of all the accounts, including the dates and details of the treatment you carried out? Thank you.

Kind regards

Letter Two
Dear Sirs and Mesdames at Intrum,

I have received two invoices, one from yourselves and one from Credit Reform, setting out that someone with a name resembling mine owes Dr DENTISTNAME Fr. 600.
Please see the attached copies.

As far as I am aware, I have never been treated by Dr DENTISTNAME.
As the invoices are not in my name, but in a different name, and were delivered to my address in error, I must presume that they are, in fact, intended for someone else.

If, on the other hand, you do have documentation to prove that this debt is mine, please send me copies of all the accounts, including the dates and details of the treatment Dr DENTISTNAME carried out. Thank you.



Letter Three
Dear Sirs and Mesdames at Credit Reform,

I have received two invoices, one from yourselves and one from Intrum, setting out that someone with a name resembling mine owes Dr DENTISTNAME Fr. 600.
Please see the attached copies.

As far as I am aware, I have never been treated by Dr DENTISTNAME.
As the invoices are not in my name, but in a different name, and were delivered to my address in error, I must presume that they are, in fact, intended for someone else.

If, on the other hand, you do have documentation to prove that this debt is mine, please send me copies of all the accounts, including the dates and details of the treatment Dr DENTISTNAME carried out. Thank you.


OR:
If, on the other hand, you really were seen by that dentist, then just pay the bill as you owe it. Do the right thing and settle the debt. There is no point in trying to get out of it, never mind that the name is mis-spelled.


Intrum has a terrible reputation for making people’s life a misery, on and on and on, so the sooner you deal with this properly, the better for you.
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Old 17.09.2019, 23:47
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Re: Suspicious debt collection

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Nothing if it is not your debt.

Tom
Eventually it will become an Betreibung issue, if he keeps on doing nothing that will cost him.
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Old 18.09.2019, 08:58
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Re: Suspicious debt collection

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Eventually it will become an Betreibung issue, if he keeps on doing nothing that will cost him.
Betreibung costs nothing if you contest it due to it not being your bill.

BTDT, the company even wanted me to remove my opposition, which I refused!

Also, Intrum doesn't do betreibung, that's up to the original claimant.

Personally, I wouldn't write to anyone.

Tom
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