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Old 25.06.2021, 11:33
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Financial advice -lots of debt

Can anyone recommend a Financial Advisor in Lausanne?

I am way over my head in debt
-- bank loan
--credit card
--outstanding tax
-- lawyer fees
etc

and the monthly payments are becoming too difficult to maintain in addition to paying the normal other monthly bills such as health insurance etc.

Each month im left with very little money to buy food and and stuck in a cycle of using credit card to buy food.

I would like see if there are any options for me such as a debt consolidation loan or another more managable option.

thank you
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Old 25.06.2021, 11:45
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Re: Financial advice -lots of debt

I think you need specialist debt advisory services who can give you practical advice on how to manage your existing debt e.g. writing to your creditors to see what they can do.

And kudos for reaching out, you shouldn't suffer in silence. Good luck!
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Old 25.06.2021, 11:49
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Re: Financial advice -lots of debt

Good recommendation by Castro. They can help you to negotiate with creditors (assainissement des dettes) and avoid that creditors start even more expensive debt collection procedures (poursuites).
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Old 25.06.2021, 12:49
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Re: Financial advice -lots of debt

I agree: well done for wanting to face the mountain and deal with it!

There are services that help. However, there are some things you can do, immediately, to prevent things getting worse.

Make a comprehensive list of all the debts.
Include the contact details of each creditor, the amount you owe them, and the dates, i.e. since when you've owed them what, and how long it's been since you last used to pay them punctually. Also note, for yourself and your future planning, why and how you incurred that debit (= work out why, in fact, you spent that money when you did?).

Sort the debts into Stack A and Stack B
Check whether you believe that you really do owe the money. Where you are sure you do, put those in Stack A. Are there any charlatan bills amongst them, for money you are 100% certain that you do not owe? By that I don't mean any you just feel aren't fair, but whether or not they have a legal claim on you. If there are claims you identify as definitey fake, (or if there are any claims by intrum justitia, which is a debt collection company which, at least in the past, had a very bad reputation for sometimes persuing debts that had already been settled, so those claims need to be triple-checked by you, to see whether you really do owe those amounts) set those into Stack B.
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Old 25.06.2021, 12:49
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Re: Financial advice -lots of debt

Stack A.
Write to every creditor with a simple letter (not e-mail) in an envelope:
I acknowledge that I owe you the amount of CHF... .
I am unable to settle this amount in full.
Currently, I am seeking advice to re-organise my finances. In the meantime, I request that you please not escalate this matter, and not start any steps for debt collection. I will contact you soon, again, in this regard.
This will keep some, but not all, of the creditors from taking the next steps, at least for 10 days or so.

Go through each creditor and work out which one is charging you the greatest penalties (some list on the bill how these will escalate) and/or interest (you can see this in the terms and conditions of your credit card contract and loan agreement, or ask your bank) for being in debt. This may be your credit card or your bank loan, and is less likely to be your tax bill. Then, set the one that is most expensive (= that is costing you the most for paying late) as your priority.

Within a week of your first letter, pay something to each creditor, even a small amount, but focus on the most expensive debt. Write another letter saying:
On DATE I wrote to you. Please see attached copy.
I am now in the process or re-organising my finances.
As a start, I have, today, transferred into your account number nnnnn the sum of CHF as part payment of my debt to you. I intend to make further payments soon.
I request that you please not escalate this matter, and not start any steps for debt collection. I will contact you soon, again, in this regard.
Brace yourself. Despite your efforts, some of your creditors will write a demand for the full amount, and others will institute debt collection procedures, no matter what you write to them, and despite partial payments. Others, however, will wait a bit longer, or will write acknowledging your partial payment and demanding the rest according to some terms they set.

Ideally within another two weeks, make another partial payment. Once again, write to them.
On DATE and DATE I wrote to you. Please see attached copies of both letters.
I am in the process or re-organising my finances.
Today I have transferred into your account number nnnnn a second sum of CHF as further payment towards the settlement of my debt to you. I intend to make further payments soon.
I request that you please not escalate this matter, and not start any steps for debt collection. I will contact you soon, again, in this regard.
Depending on the institution or company to whom you owe money, your payment will be processed by an individual or just a programme. Your letter, however, will be read by someone who works with debt collection. Remember, they are hunting lots of people who seem to be slithering away, so one who writes to say that they're trying and are indeed starting to repay, is likely to get their attention. And any programme which is switched to "debtor isn't paying" which receives just Fr. 20 from you, will be forced to switch, at the very least to "debtor is moving in our direction". Again, for some, that will not be enough, but at least some will accept that you're on the right track, and at least withhold any legal procedings they might otherwise have instituted.
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Old 25.06.2021, 12:55
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Re: Financial advice -lots of debt

Stack B
These will take more effort.

Some bills are random but fake, for example charging you to be registered in a telephone book, or claiming that you went on a holiday that you did not. If you are certain that the claims have nothing at all to do with any goods or services you ever bought, then you can set them aside and not respond at all. Only if you get a reminder or a threat, write back, in a registered letter, that you do not owe this money and have never ordered the product or service.

Others are for debts you really did incur, but may already have paid off in full. If the bill sounds familiar to you, go back and check when it was, and the amounts, and see if you can reconstruct the proof (e.g. receipts or bank statements) that you have, indeed, properly and fully settled that debt. Sometimes a debt-collection agency has papers to claim the amount, but you have already paid the original service provider. If you can document that, do not write to the debt-collection agency, but instead write to the original person:
On DATE, I received service xyz from you. You provided me with an invoice of DATE in the amount of nnnn. I paid this in two instalments of DATE in the amount of mmmm and DATE in the amount of pppp. With that, my debt to you was settled in full.

On DATE, I received a new demand for this amount to be paid to Debt-Collection-Agency-Name.

As there is no basis for their claim, would you please confirm to me, and to Debt-Collection-Agency-Name, in writing, that I have made payment to settle your account in full? Thank you.
Sometimes, that can untangle things in Stack B.
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Old 25.06.2021, 12:59
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Re: Financial advice -lots of debt

It can take a lot of courage and effort to get that initial sorting done. I have seen that one of the hardest tasks to do is to open those envelopes and unfold the bills and really stare at it all.

Throw the envelopes away. Don't re-fold the bill and put it back in the envelope.
Make a file for the bills and the letters, sorted by creditor.
On each piece of paper, ring or mark the date and the amount, so you don't have to look for it on the page, again.

Keep meticulous records of each payment you make, and the sum still outstanding.

Last edited by doropfiz; 25.06.2021 at 13:09.
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Old 25.06.2021, 13:13
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Re: Financial advice -lots of debt

This is also a charity that can help you manage debt, they are in Lausanne.

https://csp.ch/vaud/services/questions-dargent/
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Old 25.06.2021, 13:19
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Re: Financial advice -lots of debt

Scrutinise your Expenditure

Make a list of what you spend each month. Here are some suggestions of ways in which, depending on your personal circumstances, you might be able to reduce the amount your day-to-day living costs. There may be others, too. No matter the amount that you manage to scrape together by reducing expenditure, plough it into repaying your debt.

Accommodation
Could you take in a tenant to share your home? If you live near a university or large company, could you rent out your bedroom to a student or a newcomer who is looking for temporary accommodation?

Could you live somewhere else more cheaply? Remember that if you already have a record at the goverment debt office (poursuite) you will be unable to rent a new flat, so if you give up the one you already have, you will thereafter have to live in only shared accommodation, until you have cleared your debt. Even so, that might be an option to consider, but with your eyes wide open.
Exception: Your current landlord may let you move into a cheaper flat in their property.

Subscriptions
Do you have any subscriptions to magazines, online services, Netflix or similar, gym memberships, sports clubs, etc.? If yes, look up all their terms and conditions, and cancel them radically, by giving the proper notice in the proper time.

Mobile Phone
Check your mobile phone usage. Reserch to see whether you could switch to a less comprehensive subscription? There, again, check the proper notice periods.

Transport
Do you lease a car? If so, find out what it would cost you to get out of the lease contract. If you do not already use public transport, learn how to do so, and compare the costs of this with the costs of leasing and running your car. Or could you travel more cheaply by bicycle (factor in repairs, there, too)? Even if you do not lease, might you consider selling your car and using the money to pay off another slice of your debt?

Buy only used
Learn how to find your way around tutti, anibis and ricardo.
Find out where the second-hand shops are in your area and just do not buy anything new, again, except underwear, at least not until your debts are paid off in full.

Food and Beverages
Do not eat out, at all.
Do not buy any type of take-aways, at all, including not colddrinks along the way. When you go out, take your own water bottle and snacks along with you.
Never buy alcohol while out.
Cut down or eliminate expensive alcohol consumed at home.
Cook proper, nourishing food at home.
Each evening, cook enough to eat eft-overs for lunch the next day.

Last edited by doropfiz; 26.06.2021 at 19:28.
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Old 25.06.2021, 13:22
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Re: Financial advice -lots of debt

If you have a partner, and if you have children, or parents you need to support, do not try to hide this from them.

Explain to them very clearly that, from now on for the next few months or for the next year, things are going to be much more frugal, and you will be strictly cutting down on expenses, so as to clear the debt fully and regain your freedom. The ways of economising, that I recommended above, and any others you can see, will apply to the rest of your family, too, in as far as you are funding their costs.

Likewise, if you can "come out" to your close friends, that might help, too, because they will stop trying to get you to contribute to joint - expensive - outings, and will then understand why you are, instead, suggesting get-togethers at home, or a picnic outdoors, that cost so much less.
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Old 25.06.2021, 16:23
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Re: Financial advice -lots of debt

What is happening to this forum ?
Surely one of the self righteous forum heavyweights should have been here, long before now, to loudly castigate the OP for living beyond his means and to inform him that he is the author of his own misfortunes etc. etc.
This concentration of helpful and practical advice is quite uncharacteristic.
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Old 25.06.2021, 17:53
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Re: Financial advice -lots of debt

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What is happening to this forum ?
Surely one of the self righteous forum heavyweights should have been here, long before now, to loudly castigate the OP for living beyond his means and to inform him that he is the author of his own misfortunes etc. etc.
This concentration of helpful and practical advice is quite uncharacteristic.
Nice isn't it? Is it because of the mod changes
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Old 25.06.2021, 18:35
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Re: Financial advice -lots of debt

What kind of amount are we talking? How much will you need to fix all your financial problems?









...and I am losing control
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Old 25.06.2021, 18:48
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Re: Financial advice -lots of debt

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This concentration of helpful and practical advice is quite uncharacteristic.
Is it though?

Posting on any public forum will attract a range of responses, some sarcastic and unhelpful - just like real life conversations.

Doropfiz, and others, more than make up for it by being routinely generous with giving their time to help others.
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Old 25.06.2021, 18:55
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Re: Financial advice -lots of debt

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What is happening to this forum ?
Surely one of the self righteous forum heavyweights should have been here, long before now, to loudly castigate the OP for living beyond his means and to inform him that he is the author of his own misfortunes etc. etc.
This concentration of helpful and practical advice is quite uncharacteristic.
You're doing pretty good yourself there....

Perhaps the so called heavyweights took a look that OPs profile and saw what dire straight he is in.....

And since your comment adds noting to the thread, leaving it unsaid would also have been the better approach.
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Old 25.06.2021, 20:24
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Re: Financial advice -lots of debt

Sincere thanks to all that replied,
i am reading and re-reading and this will be very helpful..I have already contacted caritas today..
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Old 25.06.2021, 20:43
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Re: Financial advice -lots of debt

Great that you've contacted Caritas. The better the documentation you can bring them, the more sorted your papers are, the clearer the picture, the more effectively they will be able to help you. Having said that, even if you're feeling too down to face it all, still follow through with them. Remember that they're used to dealing with people who are overwhelmed by their situations, and so they will have methods to bring structure to what might feel like an awful mess.

As encouragement, remind yourself that if you need to take stringent measures (and you probably do) that does not necessarily mean that your life, and meaning in life, is over.

In the meantime, weather forecast shows it's looking better for Saturday than Sunday, so perhaps try to get out to enjoy a free walk, or so, to breathe.
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Old 26.06.2021, 15:41
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Re: Financial advice -lots of debt

Great advice here.

Another way to efficiently pay off the debts (in addition to seeking advice):

1. Make sure you pay any minimum payments every months
2. Rank the debts in order of APR
3. Clear highest APR debts first whenever you get your salary or a windfall.

This will minimize the amount of interest you pay and will get expensive debt off your books faster.
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Old 26.06.2021, 19:16
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Re: Financial advice -lots of debt

Yes. And in addition to the interest rate you're being charged, also compare the penalty fees. Some creditors charge a flat fee to send you a reminder or demand to pay. Factor those in, too, together with the interest you're paying.

Also, while looking at the interest, find out whether you would effectively have less of an overall debt if you managed to pay any instalments early. This will depend, for example, upon whether the interest is calculated on a daily basis.

Last edited by doropfiz; 26.06.2021 at 19:45.
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Old 26.06.2021, 19:26
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Re: Financial advice -lots of debt

Some creditors will allow a debtor a temporary remission. You still owe the amount, but the dire consequences are suspended. Such consequences could be penalties, compound interest, higher interest for being later, or other matters such as debt collection fees or poursuites, or such things as cancelling insurance cover or being threatened with eviction.

These are different classes of effects of being in debt, and it is sometimes hard to compare them. Even so, if you've generally had a good track record somewhere - let's just say, with your landlord - it might give you some breathing space if you were to ask for permission to please defer payment of a small slice of the rent, for a few months. That might give you Fr. 100 or even Fr. 50 to pay, more quickly, into flattening the most expensive debt.

Note: if you're considering asking for a concession, anywhere, then make your request specific (how much, for how long, how many times) and realistic. Consider how you will, when the time comes to deliever, actually live up to the deal you're now asking for. Try not to do yourself the disservice of becoming unrealiable, when someone has agreed to some lenience, or postponement.

These kinds of requests are well worth considering, but probably best made only after you've spoken to Caritas.
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