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  #21  
Old 14.11.2019, 12:59
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Re: Legal advice needed - what's the deal with my (Swiss) husband's old debts?

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Depends on context. Usually means honest appraisal with right of reply by the accused or affected. In other words, not partisan self-blinding: in the political context. But (without reading the whole thread to find your reference) in the OP’s case might mean the obligation to conduct research before entering into a commitment.
That's how I understand this term.

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Without knowing all the circumstances, if the OP married with a separation of goods, then the debts are not hers. If there was no separation of goods she can be held jointly liable.

However, even if kept alive, and it has to be done properly with registered letters, the debt dies after I believe 10 years. There have been several changes to the law in recent years, but the best advice I can give is go to a good lawyer and spend a few hundred francs to obtain the correct and up to date legal position.
That is not correct. Debts from before the marriage stay with the person who piled them up.

I fully agree with Caryl about getting serious legal advice and immediately. OP you will get more and more confused, the longer the thread.
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  #22  
Old 14.11.2019, 13:07
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Re: Legal advice needed - what's the deal with my (Swiss) husband's old debts?

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However, even if kept alive, and it has to be done properly with registered letters, the debt dies after I believe 10 years. There have been several changes to the law in recent years.
If it went to Betreibung/Poursuit the Verlustschein is valid and can be enforced for up to 20 years (i think it was 30 years, this was changed 1997).
Art. 149a LEF https://www.admin.ch/opc/it/classifi...dex.html#a149a
Based on the Verlustschein a new Betreibung/Poursuit can be started, which leads to a new Verlustschein, again valid for 20 years and so forth.
Ar.t 265 LEF https://www.admin.ch/opc/it/classifi...ndex.html#a265
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Old 14.11.2019, 13:29
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Re: Legal advice needed - what's the deal with my (Swiss) husband's old debts?

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That is not correct. Debts from before the marriage stay with the person who piled them up.
Or the person who inherits them.

Tom
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Old 14.11.2019, 13:30
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Re: Legal advice needed - what's the deal with my (Swiss) husband's old debts?

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If there was no separation of goods she can be held jointly liable.
Only if acquired during the marriage.

Tom
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Old 14.11.2019, 13:50
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Re: Legal advice needed - what's the deal with my (Swiss) husband's old debts?

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Yes, we did this. 5 years back to the wedding day. Both have to agree of course. It was simple.
It's simple if you are not a bankrupt and it is not an attempt to avoid debts already incurred.....
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Old 14.11.2019, 14:42
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Re: Legal advice needed - what's the deal with my (Swiss) husband's old debts?

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Based on the Verlustschein a new Betreibung/Poursuit can be started, which leads to a new Verlustschein, again valid for 20 years and so forth.
Ar.t 265 LEF https://www.admin.ch/opc/it/classifi...ndex.html#a265
Which is probably what's happening to OP's OH (unless he's already paying them back).
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Old 14.11.2019, 16:36
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Re: Legal advice needed - what's the deal with my (Swiss) husband's old debts?

Thanks everyone for your thoughtful and (mostly) helpful answers! I agree I need legal advice, and will happily pay a couple hundred francs for it (just hoping to avoid paying a couple thousand francs for it! ). If anyone has any suggestions for knowledgable, English speaking lawyers in Aargau or Zurich I'd love to hear them. Also planning a trip to the debt office in Aarau when I get back to the states to help better understand his situation.

FWIW in the US when someone declares bankruptcy the debts are not collectable and fall off your record after 7 years (with a few exceptions like taxes) allowing for a fresh start eventually.

Otherwise it sounds like I'm correct that I won't be directly legally responsible for his old debts, but might end up indirectly responsible for them by using my income as household income to determine to what extent they might be able to garnish his wages, making him unable to contribute to the household and leaving me responsible for the shortfall :/

Strategic divorce could be a future possibility, but for now the main reason we married at all rather than simply co-habitating was to get my Swiss permit so we could actually be together, which will get taken away if we divorce...
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Old 14.11.2019, 16:43
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Re: Legal advice needed - what's the deal with my (Swiss) husband's old debts?

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Thanks everyone for your thoughtful and (mostly) helpful answers! I agree I need legal advice, and will happily pay a couple hundred francs for it (just hoping to avoid paying a couple thousand francs for it! ). If anyone has any suggestions for knowledgable, English speaking lawyers in Aargau or Zurich I'd love to hear them. Also planning a trip to the debt office in Aarau when I get back to the states to help better understand his situation.

FWIW in the US when someone declares bankruptcy the debts are not collectable and fall off your record after 7 years (with a few exceptions like taxes) allowing for a fresh start eventually.

Otherwise it sounds like I'm correct that I won't be directly legally responsible for his old debts, but might end up indirectly responsible for them by using my income as household income to determine to what extent they might be able to garnish his wages, making him unable to contribute to the household and leaving me responsible for the shortfall :/

Strategic divorce could be a future possibility, but for now the main reason we married at all rather than simply co-habitating was to get my Swiss permit so we could actually be together, which will get taken away if we divorce...
Sounds like you got it.

Go through with the separation of property contract though.
All the best.
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Old 14.11.2019, 16:59
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Re: Legal advice needed - what's the deal with my (Swiss) husband's old debts?

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Go through with the separation of property contract though.
Although, the law states in Art. 188 Swiss Civil Code that it happens automatically if one of the spouses gets "bankrupt" (Konkurs) it might be wise to do this ASAP.

Also by law, each spouse has the right to know the full and complete financial details: earnings, assets, and debts. Art. 170 Swiss Civil Code (The law says spouses, not fiancé/fiancée.)
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  #30  
Old 14.11.2019, 17:35
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Re: Legal advice needed - what's the deal with my (Swiss) husband's old debts?

Oh dear me....getting married just for a permit.

You made your bed, now lie in it.

A lawyer will certainly be more than a couple of hundred....
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  #31  
Old 14.11.2019, 17:53
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Re: Legal advice needed - what's the deal with my (Swiss) husband's old debts?

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Oh dear me....getting married just for a permit.

You made your bed, now lie in it.

A lawyer will certainly be more than a couple of hundred....
She wrote "Swiss permit". Some couples like to live together, you know? (Not to mention that Trump probably doesn't even let the Swiss in anymore, definitely not the bankrupt ones)

If it was only for the passports - yeah, well, it will be an expensive one.
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Old 14.11.2019, 20:17
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Re: Legal advice needed - what's the deal with my (Swiss) husband's old debts?

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She wrote "Swiss permit". Some couples like to live together, you know? (Not to mention that Trump probably doesn't even let the Swiss in anymore, definitely not the bankrupt ones)

If it was only for the passports - yeah, well, it will be an expensive one.
Did i miss understand something. Curley ?

QUOTE
the main reason we married at all rather than simply co-habitating was to get my Swiss permit
UNQUOTE
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Old 14.11.2019, 20:30
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Re: Legal advice needed - what's the deal with my (Swiss) husband's old debts?

So how much debt are we talking here?

Tom
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  #34  
Old 14.11.2019, 20:43
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Re: Legal advice needed - what's the deal with my (Swiss) husband's old debts?

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Did i miss understand something. Curley ?

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the main reason we married at all rather than simply co-habitating was to get my Swiss permit
UNQUOTE
I read that too. But a permit one needs to be able to live with one's true love, no? NO?

Ah well, you may be right - I'm in tears
If you are - sounds like a fair deal then.

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So how much debt are we talking here?

Tom
Let it be a lot.
And after they're payed, here come the Schweizermacher. LOL.
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Old 14.11.2019, 23:54
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Re: Legal advice needed - what's the deal with my (Swiss) husband's old debts?

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Thanks everyone for your thoughtful and (mostly) helpful answers! I agree I need legal advice, and will happily pay a couple hundred francs for it (just hoping to avoid paying a couple thousand francs for it!

A couple hundred francs? Not a chance.

As someone else pointed out, it is unfortunate that you were unaware of your husband's financial situation beforehand. That is how it sounds. Had you known, perhaps together you could have come up with a plan. Afterall, marriage is a partnership, for better or for worse. Looks like you are starting off on the wrong foot.

I do hope you can obtain some decent advice. I think you will need to be well prepared before meeting a lawyer which means bringing all the relevant documents, if you have them. Otherwise the lawyer will likely have to request them.
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Old 15.11.2019, 00:19
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Re: Legal advice needed - what's the deal with my (Swiss) husband's old debts?

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Is this correct? So he will never be in a position to be financially healthy and have savings unless he is able to pay off the debt?
Isn't this normal in your view? If one keeps accumulating debt after debt and then tries to escape paying them back why should he be allowed to keep his savings? Jesus. What a question.

I feel sorry for you because it shouldn't be you paying the debts he accumulated long before your marriage, but not for him. If I understand correctly, he hid his true situation from you. What a mess. Get a lawyer.
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Old 17.11.2019, 09:51
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Re: Legal advice needed - what's the deal with my (Swiss) husband's old debts?

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A couple hundred francs? ....
...
I do hope you can obtain some decent advice. I think you will need to be well prepared before meeting a lawyer which means bringing all the relevant documents, if you have them. Otherwise the lawyer will likely have to request them.
Yes! The more of the work you've done, collecting the documents, before you get to the lawyer, the lower her/his fees will be.

Here's a thread of someone in a different situation from yours, but in post 14 there's a list of documents which may be relevant (only some of which apply to you) and in post 19 a list of tips to keep the lawyer's fees low.
https://www.englishforum.ch/housing-...t-anymore.html

Good for you that you intend going to the debt office yourself, to find out how to get this matter sorted out.

Please be aware that Switzerland, things rarely just disappear, so even if you don't hear from the authorities or the creditors again soon, you can count on it that there is a defined procedure which will be running. This is also so if you ever miss a deadline set by them, such as "within 10 days". If you know you're not going to make that date, however, it is often possible just to write and say so, and specify from which date you will be able to deal with the matter.

Last edited by doropfiz; 17.11.2019 at 10:11.
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Old 17.11.2019, 10:10
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Re: Legal advice needed - what's the deal with my (Swiss) husband's old debts?

If I found myself in the situation as you've outlined it, finding out that someone has debts they didn't tell me about before we married, I'd feel angry, both with the spouse for having kept this information from me, and with myself for not having checked. From then on, I would be wanting to get all the facts on the table, asap.

One of the things that would influence my decision of what to do next would be exactly how large the sum of all outstanding debts is. I'd want to research and understand that, fully.
  • The debt office will tell you (perhaps only with permission from your husband) about those debts that are already registered there.
  • You will need to quizz your husband about anything else that he owes. You see, not all creditors take the route of registering the debt, or not as soon as they could. This is more common amongst small creditors, such as known business associates in small businesses, or amongst friends who have given personal loans. They may, however, make use of their right to do so, later. Debts owed must be repaid anyway, even if not registered, so it's best you know about them all.
  • Also, ask at the debt office whether they can give you advice on how else you could find out about any further outstanding sums, if those debts have not yet been registered.

I would then do the maths to compare the cost (talking only Francs, here, not feelings) of:
  • paying off the spouse's debt (even though you are not legally bound to do so) in order to buy yourselves freedom from that debt, vs
  • supporting the spouse fully (which you are legally bound to do) while he pays off his own debt at the rate that the debt office will determine (and may review and revise, as circumstances change, e.g. new debts come to light, or as some are paid off, or as your finances and expenditure change).

If you choose the latter route, I'd then consider how to keep those living costs low, i.e. so there'd be less out of your pocket.

Next, I'd compare that to the costs of a divorce (again, talking Francs not feelings). Do the research about alimony/maintenance payments that might potentially be due by you to your then ex-husband.

Typically, the amount of financial support due is determined by the two parties in agreement with each other, but it then also needs to be approved (and might be revised) by a divorce Court. Naturally, such support is higher if there are children involved, and it also depends upon the ages of both spouses, on how long they've been married, and to a lesser extent (but relevant in your case) on the gap between their respective incomes/wealth and their relative level of need.

In that regard, you might find some help from the organisation called www.binational.ch, which deals with marriages between people of different nationalities.

I'd like to suggest two more things that could help you to gain a grasp of the facts that you need:
  1. Before you go to the Debt Office you get written permission from your husband, authorising the officer to show you (and your translator) all the documents and to speak with you about the whole debt situation. Submit this as soon as you arrive (having kepy a copy, of course).
  2. Take someone along with you. I say this assuming that you don't speak fluent German. However, if you do have a good command of German, then get the letter from your husband to grant permission to you and your assistant. And then choose a competent person to go along with you and help: someone who understands Swiss bureaucracy, and most especially who will take notes for you, during the discussion, and help you go through it all again afterwards.
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  #39  
Old 29.05.2020, 14:36
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Re: Legal advice needed - what's the deal with my (Swiss) husband's old debts?

Hello everyone,

Not sure if this is the right place where I should post this. Sorry if thqt is not the case. I need quick legal advice. Im thinking perhaps you can help. My ex owes me a lot of money. I contacted her but she doesnt want to repay. For you to take into consieration, we were not married. Also, Im not familiar with the Swiss legal system.

What would you suggest I do in order to get back the money she owes me?
Do you think it would be of any help if I go to the police?

Kind regards,
Alexis
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Old 29.05.2020, 14:39
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Re: Legal advice needed - what's the deal with my (Swiss) husband's old debts?

See a lawyer.

The police won't care.

Tom
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