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Old 27.07.2021, 12:03
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Re: Spending Time in Jail for Debt Collection

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I would call them or write them and *kindly* ask them if it's okay if you pay it when you receive your paycheck on such and such date. Explain your circumstances. I think that's much better than simply not paying it on time.
This is very good advice.

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I just rented a new apartment in Zurich and I had to pay 3 months deposit, plus the current month's rent, so over 7000 CHF in total. I am basically broke. This is my first month on my first job (fresh college grad), so no savings to cover expenses. I have enough money for food, and that's basically it. No wiggle room here.

I got a letter from the "Stadtrichteramt" that I owe them 430 CHF for a train ticket from 2 years ago that I forgot about. It is my due August 5th, and I don't get paid again for another month.
So you've started work, which probably means you're about to receive your July salary. That's good. The bill is due on 5th August. Strictly speaking, you might even be able to pay it all as soon as your July salary comes in, and live very modestly until your August salary arrives. However, since that's quite a chunk out of a first salary, here's a draft letter for you to write to your creditor, to ask them please to help you ease the payment a litte.

I recommend that you write in German, and that you use the Format Fr. and not CHF. Here's a draft in German, certainly not perfect, but it will work. Or maybe someone here will be kind enough to correct this. The translation into English is for you, not them.
Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,

Make a title line, with their reference number


Ihre Rechnung vom (insert DATE here) habe ich erhalten, und anerkenne, dass ich Ihnen Fr. 430 schulde. Siehe bitte angehängte Kopie.
I have received your account of DATE and acknowledge that I owe you Fr. 430. Please see the attached copy. (By the way, sending them a copy of their own bill shows that you're ready to save them time and energy looking it up. That reflects well on you.)

Am 1. Juli 2021 habe ich meine erste Stelle nach meinem Studium begonnen. Mein erster Lohn wird erst Ende Juli bezahlt.
On 1st July 2021 I started at my first job after my studies. My first salary will be paid at the end of July.

Leider habe ich keine Ersparnisse, da ich diese für die Kaution meiner neuen Wohnung habe ausgeben müssen (insert EXACT AMOUNT here, not just "over Fr. 7000").
Unfortunately I do not have any savings, as I used those to pay the deposit on my new flat (EXACT AMOUNT).

Da ich somit in Juli keinen Spielraum habe, und ich voraussichtlich im August ebenfalls mit mehreren neuen Rechnungen rechnen muss, bitte ich Sie um Erlaubnis, den Betrag in zwei Teil zu bezahlen: Fr. 230 bei Erhalt meines Juli Lohnes, und den restlichen Fr. 200 bei Erhalt meines August Lohnes.
Since, for these reasons, I have rather a tight month in July, and as I anticipate serveral other new bills in August, I request that you please allow me to pay this amount in two instalments: Fr. 230 when I receive my July salary, and the remaining Fr. 200 when I receive my August salary.

Ich wäre Ihnen sehr dankbar, wenn Sie mich auf dieser Weise entgegenkommen würden. Darf ich für die Teilüberweisung den gleichen Bankangaben wir auf der Einzahlungsschein benutzen?
I would be very grateful if you could accommodate me in this way. May I use the same bank details as shown on the paying-in slip?

Vielen Dank und freundliche Grüsse

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  #22  
Old 27.07.2021, 12:15
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Re: Spending Time in Jail for Debt Collection

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Everything I've said thus far is true; why would I waste time on a Swiss forum if I wasn't seeking location-specific advice? Yes my life is kind of chaotic but I'm trying to sort things out as they're thrown at me. I don't have all the answers, but I'm seeking them out as we speak.

If you don't believe me and think I'm some LARPing bragger, keep coping buddy boyo. I start these threads to seek out some possible solutions for the problems that have arisen in my time here. Many people here have spent more time in Switzerland and have more experience than me. Lots of practical advice and wisdom to be absorbed. Live and learn.

When things settle down and I have more time on my hands, I'll begin contributing to other threads with what knowledge I have.

Okay, benefit of the doubt*. In another thread you said you’d been in CH since six months. The fine you’re now talking about stems from 2 years ago, i.e. seems you’ve dropped in before a while ago. That it’s only being served now could perhaps be explained with your not having registered as resident at the time – and would also show that Swiss bureaucracy is relentless
Why don’t you ask your employer for an advance on salary and pay the fine asap? Your don’t have to tell them about your criminal activity while still a callow youth
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  #23  
Old 27.07.2021, 12:21
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Re: Spending Time in Jail for Debt Collection

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This is very good advice.


So you've started work, which probably means you're about to receive your July salary. That's good. The bill is due on 5th August. Strictly speaking, you might even be able to pay it all as soon as your July salary comes in, and live very modestly until your August salary arrives. However, since that's quite a chunk out of a first salary, here's a draft letter for you to write to your creditor, to ask them please to help you ease the payment a litte.

I recommend that you write in German, and that you use the Format Fr. and not CHF. Here's a draft in German, certainly not perfect, but it will work. Or maybe someone here will be kind enough to correct this. The translation into English is for you, not them.
Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,

Make a title line, with their reference number


Ihre Rechnung vom (insert DATE here) habe ich erhalten, und anerkenne, dass ich Ihnen Fr. 430 schulde. Siehe bitte die angehängte Kopie.
I have received your account of DATE and acknowledge that I owe you Fr. 430. Please see the attached copy. (By the way, sending them a copy of their own bill shows that you're ready to save them time and energy looking it up. That reflects well on you.)

Am 1. Juli 2021 habe ich meine erste Stelle nach meinem Studium begonnen. Mein erster Lohn wird erst Ende Juli bezahlt.
On 1st July 2021 I started at my first job after my studies. My first salary will be paid at the end of July.

Leider habe ich keine Ersparnisse, da ich diese für die Kaution meiner neuen Wohnung habe ausgeben müssen (insert EXACT AMOUNT here, not just "over Fr. 7000").
Unfortunately I do not have any savings, as I used those to pay the deposit on my new flat (EXACT AMOUNT).

Da ich somit im Juli keinen Spielraum habe, und ich voraussichtlich im August ebenfalls mit mehreren neuen Rechnungen rechnen muss, bitte ich Sie um Erlaubnis, den Betrag in zwei Teilen zu bezahlen: Fr. 230 bei Erhalt meines Juli Lohnes, und die restlichen Fr. 200 bei Erhalt meines August Lohnes.
Since, for these reasons, I have rather a tight month in July, and as I anticipate serveral other new bills in August, I request that you please allow me to pay this amount in two instalments: Fr. 230 when I receive my July salary, and the remaining Fr. 200 when I receive my August salary.

Ich wäre Ihnen sehr dankbar, wenn Sie mir auf diese Weise entgegenkommen würden. Darf ich für die Teilüberweisung die gleichen Bankangaben wie auf dem Einzahlungsschein verwenden?
I would be very grateful if you could accommodate me in this way. May I use the same bank details as shown on the paying-in slip?

Vielen Dank und freundliche Grüsse

I would add: "Ich bitte Sie um eine Bestätigung des Erhalts dieser Nachricht". It means: I ask you to please confirm receipt of this message.
Insert this before the greetings (so before "Vielen Dank und freundliche Grüsse")
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  #24  
Old 27.07.2021, 12:23
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Re: Spending Time in Jail for Debt Collection

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Stupid question, but do you have friends or family that can lend you 450 chf for 3 weeks? (you're fresh grad, surely you met someone at university)
This. Don't become a part of the prison system for such a small amount. I also doubt it would be an option, as it would cost the government a multiple of that amount to have you serve time. Talk to issuers of the bill, tell them by when you can pay (make it as soon as possible) and you should be ok. Remember that it costs money to chase money, so companies are usually fairly accommodating. Just don't take the mick, they will only slap you with additional costs.

Also: stop fare dodging, it must have been at least your fourth time getting caught without a ticket if that is how high the fine is.
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Old 27.07.2021, 12:28
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Re: Spending Time in Jail for Debt Collection

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If it wasn't for the criminal record record and risk of never being employed again it sounds like a pretty good option..

Schedule two week holiday from work, get a break from kids, free food, meet some interesting people..



I hear they play Bingo in there, too.

I like Bingo.
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  #26  
Old 27.07.2021, 12:32
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Re: Spending Time in Jail for Debt Collection

SOLVED

So I went to the Kreisburo on my lunch break and they told me to go to the Stadtrichteramt. I made it just in time before 1200, and the woman working there was able to help me.

I told her I wanted to go to jail, but she said that this option only appears much further down the line. I.e If I just ignored this noitce for 3+ months. So no jail for me

What she was able to do was split it into monthly installments. I have to pay around 110 CHF per month, with the first payment at the end of August. Works for me

Thanks to everyone here who provided advice!
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  #27  
Old 27.07.2021, 12:38
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Re: Spending Time in Jail for Debt Collection

Thank you for providing some news about what happened, in case others find the thread in future, and might benefit from knowing what the outcome was. Best of luck with finding your feet in Switzerland.
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  #28  
Old 27.07.2021, 12:41
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Re: Spending Time in Jail for Debt Collection

And you just discovered the most important thing about dealing with bills you can't pay (yet): Talk to people. It may feel like they are being harsh when the reminders start coming but in the end, they just want to know that they will get their money. If you silently panic, they just assume you are ignoring them and the costs will rise.
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  #29  
Old 27.07.2021, 12:46
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Re: Spending Time in Jail for Debt Collection

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So no jail for me
Good that you could find a solution but are you sure use used the right emoticon?
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  #30  
Old 27.07.2021, 12:54
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Re: Spending Time in Jail for Debt Collection

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So no jail for me
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Good that you could find a solution but are you sure use used the right emoticon?
They are Hillary Clinton and I claim my £ 5.00
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  #31  
Old 27.07.2021, 13:32
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Re: Spending Time in Jail for Debt Collection

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SOLVED

So I went to the Kreisburo on my lunch break and they told me to go to the Stadtrichteramt. I made it just in time before 1200, and the woman working there was able to help me.

...

What she was able to do was split it into monthly installments. I have to pay around 110 CHF per month, with the first payment at the end of August. Works for me

Thanks to everyone here who provided advice!
That's a very good solution. Good that you went over there directly, without delay.

Did you get the schedule of repayments in writing? If not, then - following irish_temptation's very good additional point, above - I suggest you put it in writing. Use the reference number and a copy of the bill, as I advised, above.

Vielen Dank für das hilfreiches Gespräch heute Dienstag 27. Juli, am Schalter, mit Ihrer Frau NAME (or: um ca. 11h45).
Thank you very much for the helpful conversation, at the counter, with your Ms NAME today, Tuesday 27th July 2021. (If you didn't make a note her name, then take this lesson, too, please, and always, always write down to whom you spoke. If you don't have the name, then add the time - as that will identify her, too, to her colleagues.), at approximately 11h45.

Ich bin dankbar, konnten wir uns auf NUMBER Raten einigen, wie folgt:
Ende Juli Fr. nnn
Ende August Fr. nnn
Ende September Fr. nnn
Ende Oktober Fr. nnn
Ende November final payment of Fr. nnn.


I am grateful that we agreed on NUMBER of instalments, as follows:
End July Fr. nnn
End August Fr. nnn
End September Fr. nnn
End October Fr. nnn
End November letzte Zahlung Fr. nnn.


Vielen Dank und freundliche Grüsse
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  #32  
Old 27.07.2021, 14:01
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Re: Spending Time in Jail for Debt Collection

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That's a very good solution. Good that you went over there directly, without delay.

Did you get the schedule of repayments in writing? If not, then - following irish_temptation's very good additional point, above - I suggest you put it in writing. Use the reference number and a copy of the bill, as I advised, above.

Vielen Dank für das hilfreiches Gespräch heute Dienstag 27. Juli, am Schalter, mit Ihrer Frau NAME (or: um ca. 11h45).
Thank you very much for the helpful conversation, at the counter, with your Ms NAME today, Tuesday 27th July 2021. (If you didn't make a note her name, then take this lesson, too, please, and always, always write down to whom you spoke. If you don't have the name, then add the time - as that will identify her, too, to her colleagues.), at approximately 11h45.

Ich bin dankbar, konnten wir uns auf NUMBER Raten einigen, wie folgt:
Ende Juli Fr. nnn
Ende August Fr. nnn
Ende September Fr. nnn
Ende Oktober Fr. nnn
Ende November final payment of Fr. nnn.


I am grateful that we agreed on NUMBER of instalments, as follows:
End July Fr. nnn
End August Fr. nnn
End September Fr. nnn
End October Fr. nnn
End November letzte Zahlung Fr. nnn.


Vielen Dank und freundliche Grüsse
Yes, they gave me a new contract stating the installment plan, as well as 4 separate payment slips to be used each month. All drafted up and printed up in under 5 minutes. Very Swiss
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  #33  
Old 27.07.2021, 14:25
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Re: Spending Time in Jail for Debt Collection

Excellent news! Thank you.
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  #34  
Old 27.07.2021, 14:48
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Re: Spending Time in Jail for Debt Collection

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What she was able to do was split it into monthly installments. I have to pay around 110 CHF per month, with the first payment at the end of August. Works for me
Best outcome.
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  #35  
Old 27.07.2021, 16:25
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Re: Spending Time in Jail for Debt Collection

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SOLVED

So I went to the Kreisburo on my lunch break and they told me to go to the Stadtrichteramt. I made it just in time before 1200, and the woman working there was able to help me.

I told her I wanted to go to jail, but she said that this option only appears much further down the line. I.e If I just ignored this noitce for 3+ months. So no jail for me

What she was able to do was split it into monthly installments. I have to pay around 110 CHF per month, with the first payment at the end of August. Works for me

Thanks to everyone here who provided advice!

I probably the most stupid person in this thread

why go somewhere to say I want to go to a jail, instead of going to father/mother/brother/sister/friend to ask for 450 chf for 3 weeks ?

seriously ?
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  #36  
Old 27.07.2021, 16:41
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Re: Spending Time in Jail for Debt Collection

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I probably the most stupid person in this thread

why go somewhere to say I want to go to a jail, instead of going to father/mother/brother/sister/friend to ask for 450 chf for 3 weeks ?

seriously ?

Just unaware, not stupid. Plenty of people live without any of those people in their lives, sadly, or with fractured relationships with all of those, despite them being in their lives.


There are many people drifting through life without anyone they can trust. It's 1 way how a person can end up destitute from 1 day to the next, should they fall on hard times.


Shame is also very powerful. I know of a person who has now lived on the streets for many years, who'd rather his family think he's dead, than know he's in such a desperate situation.


We have plenty of working poor people in Switzerland, too, who cannot support their basic living costs, and others dependent upon social help, or without a legal status, who get-by with the help of voluntary organisations. None of these people have such a lofty amount of money for thenselves, let alone anyone else.


Lastly, money is famed for being a main topic of conflict between people.
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Old 27.07.2021, 16:50
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Re: Spending Time in Jail for Debt Collection

As exciting as this thread may sound to some, you won't be able to go to jail for this.
You got a job = an income. They will either make you pay in installment and/or if they don't trust you, they can implement a wage garnishment (which means your employer gets officially involved).

Thinking the Swiss are stupid enough to put you up in jail, including food and all the other "services" provided by the prison guards paid by the taxpayer .... yeah well, wishful thinking.

Court costs can be "worked-off" in certain cases but not in yours. (zsge)
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Old 27.07.2021, 18:43
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Re: Spending Time in Jail for Debt Collection

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Just unaware, not stupid. Plenty of people live without any of those people in their lives, sadly, or with fractured relationships with all of those, despite them being in their lives.


There are many people drifting through life without anyone they can trust. It's 1 way how a person can end up destitute from 1 day to the next, should they fall on hard times.


Shame is also very powerful. I know of a person who has now lived on the streets for many years, who'd rather his family think he's dead, than know he's in such a desperate situation.


We have plenty of working poor people in Switzerland, too, who cannot support their basic living costs, and others dependent upon social help, or without a legal status, who get-by with the help of voluntary organisations. None of these people have such a lofty amount of money for thenselves, let alone anyone else.


Lastly, money is famed for being a main topic of conflict between people.
Click on his profile picture -> Statistics -> Find all posts

Looks like he has parents and they are well alive:

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My parents raised me American, not Swiss. I came here on a whim, because I heard the labor market is better for degree holders in Switzerland. And this proved to be true. "It's common knowledge" is condescending to someone who didn't grow up with Swiss culture or knowledge of the many rules they have here.
He deffo has some kind of friends

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I've been in Switzerland for 6 months now.
There's a tradition among the international school crowd that a true gentlemen has a mastery of both English and French. As an aside, French sounds a lot better than German, is more emotional/expressive, and would be very useful should
You can't get a job at a major bank without being socially acceptable.


Its very possible to get into the financial troubles as he got now, but for a person of his background (looking at his posts):

1. borrow 450chf from friends or family

2. use American credit card to get cash (he is 24 y.o. has US driving license, good education, 99.99% he has a credit card)
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  #39  
Old 27.07.2021, 18:51
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Re: Spending Time in Jail for Debt Collection

The good thing is that he/ she has faced up to the matter, got him/herself over to the office, and has a payment plan that can work.

I think that were I ever in such a situation, I'd much rather have gone that route, myself, than bother any of my friends or family.
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Old 27.07.2021, 18:54
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Re: Spending Time in Jail for Debt Collection

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The good thing is that he/ she has faced up to the matter, got him/herself over to the office, and has a payment plan that can work.

I think that were I ever in such a situation, I'd much rather have gone that route, myself, than bother any of my friends or family.
yea considering his story about 2 y.o. ticket is true, considering he writes he was in Swiss only for 6 months.
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