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Old 30.01.2011, 15:14
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Quick legal advice needed

Hi all,

I am supposed to go to a hearing on tuesday here in Lugano as a collection agency has initiated a legal action against me (that i opposed) for a quite small credit i owe to a agency's client.

Their behaviour has sounded quite strange to me as I started repaying the debit (30-35% paid), then asked for a suspension for financial problems and at that point they started the legal action.

I've since then tried to propose solutions but they always rejected them even a couple weeks ago when I proposed to pay another 30% immediatly in a single payment. Their answer was simply: "it's our policy not to suspend our legal actions".

What happened next is what triggered me to ask for advice here: I have just received a letter from the collection agency where they say: "we are very sorry, we have to inform you that we will not be able to attend the hearing on tuesday. Please take note of this".

What does this means? what consequences this will take for the hearing and eventually for the action itself? i'm quite confused at this point...

thanks in advance for any tip.
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Old 30.01.2011, 15:17
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Re: Quick legal advice needed

Welcome to the Forum.
Have you read this Thread on debts.
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Old 30.01.2011, 15:23
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Re: Quick legal advice needed

Contact the court, Ask if a new appointment / hearing has been requested by the agency, if not, and they do not attend the original hearing, then ask for the case to be dismissed. If they are not represented at the hearing, the case cannot be heard and you have the right to have it dismissed. Bill them for your time and inconvenience.
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Old 30.01.2011, 17:27
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Re: Quick legal advice needed

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Contact the court, Ask if a new appointment / hearing has been requested by the agency, if not, and they do not attend the original hearing, then ask for the case to be dismissed. If they are not represented at the hearing, the case cannot be heard and you have the right to have it dismissed. Bill them for your time and inconvenience.
so you suggest me to contact them tomorrow or just go and attend the hearing on tuesday and ask for dismissing at that point?

anyway thanks a lot for your precious advice.
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Old 30.01.2011, 17:57
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Re: Quick legal advice needed

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so you suggest me to contact them tomorrow or just go and attend the hearing on tuesday and ask for dismissing at that point?

anyway thanks a lot for your precious advice.
Contact the court office prior to attending, if the appointment has been moved, show up on the new date. If the appointment has not been moved, show up on the original date, take the letter with you and if they do not show , ask for a dismissal.
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Old 30.01.2011, 18:19
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Re: Quick legal advice needed

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I am supposed to go to a hearing on tuesday here in Lugano as a collection agency has initiated a legal action against me (that i opposed) for a quite small credit i owe to a agency's client.
What is the hearing about? Rechtsöffnung (Rigetto)?

Martin
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Old 30.01.2011, 18:22
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Re: Quick legal advice needed

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Contact the court office prior to attending, if the appointment has been moved, show up on the new date. If the appointment has not been moved, show up on the original date, take the letter with you and if they do not show , ask for a dismissal.
ok, so in that situation i have a "legal right" to ask for dismissal independently of the case itself?

on the court document that i received stating the date of the hearing i read something like "The opponents must attend the hearing, and as a warning, if any of the opponents do not attend the case will be decided based on actual documents and the hearing itself".
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Old 30.01.2011, 18:24
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Re: Quick legal advice needed

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What is the hearing about? Rechtsöffnung (Rigetto)?

Martin
if i well understand the question, yes, i opposed and they are asking in court the rejection of my opposition.
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Old 30.01.2011, 18:25
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Re: Quick legal advice needed

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What happened next is what triggered me to ask for advice here: I have just received a letter from the collection agency where they say: "we are very sorry, we have to inform you that we will not be able to attend the hearing on tuesday. Please take note of this".

What does this means? what consequences this will take for the hearing and eventually for the action itself? i'm quite confused at this point.
Could be a strategy to make you believe they are not going. Then, you may decide not to go yourself. They do go and you end up standing on the wrong foot for not showing up. My advice: You have to go.
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Old 30.01.2011, 18:28
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Re: Quick legal advice needed

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Could be a strategy to make you believe they are not going. Then, you may decide not to go yourself. They do go and you end up standing on the wrong foot for not showing up. My advice: You have to go.
wait... their letter has been sent to the court too.. it's stamped for receipt by court...
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Old 30.01.2011, 18:36
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Re: Quick legal advice needed

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Could be a strategy to make you believe they are not going. Then, you may decide not to go yourself. They do go and you end up standing on the wrong foot for not showing up. My advice: You have to go.
My suspicions too...
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Old 31.01.2011, 09:27
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Re: Quick legal advice needed

I called the court and they say that the hearing will be held anyway, but of course at this point "your counterpart will not be able to reply".

Just to decide how to behave, in case they confirm their credit, at least partially, will i be able to ask for a grace period or something similar to pay for it?

and if, as suggested by Upthehatters2008, i "bill" them for my time and their behaviour, is that hearing the right place to do this, so asking the judge to reduce the due amount?

in other words, is that kind of hearing just a "black or white" decision to take or not?
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Old 31.01.2011, 17:52
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Re: Quick legal advice needed

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I called the court and they say that the hearing will be held anyway, but of course at this point "your counterpart will not be able to reply".

Just to decide how to behave, in case they confirm their credit, at least partially, will i be able to ask for a grace period or something similar to pay for it?

and if, as suggested by Upthehatters2008, i "bill" them for my time and their behaviour, is that hearing the right place to do this, so asking the judge to reduce the due amount?

in other words, is that kind of hearing just a "black or white" decision to take or not?


The bill you send them will need time to be paid or refuted, this means it cannot be offset against any judgement tomorrow. You can asks for costs to be awarded. if they do not attend, tell the judge you have been in contact and discussing payment terms and have offered large lump sums towards reducing the debt. Explain that you consider their action premature and wish to settle the matter amicably outside of court and not to waste the courts time any more. At all times act reasonably, with a willingness to pay etc.

I did not make it clear before, if they do not attend , it does not mean you do not owe them money.
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Old 31.01.2011, 18:04
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Re: Quick legal advice needed

so you mean that the judge can decide to "freeze" / postpone the legal issue?
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Old 31.01.2011, 18:22
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Re: Quick legal advice needed

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so you mean that the judge can decide to "freeze" / postpone the legal issue?
He can dismiss, most likely, which means he is dismissing the request against you to get money, the request can be re-instated at a later date. Double jeopardy does not apply here. He may also decide to set a future date for the same hearing (postpone). Unlikely, if the courts have not been told of the other party not attending, the lack of ettiquette is unlikely to be met with any humour on the side of the Judge.
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Old 31.01.2011, 18:27
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Re: Quick legal advice needed

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He can dismiss, most likely, which means he is dismissing the request against you to get money, the request can be re-instated at a later date. Double jeopardy does not apply here.
sorry for my bad english, as i'm not understanding what you mean here; what is he is likely going to do? freeze THEIR request for me to pay immediatly if i'm good enough to show that i'm willing to pay with reasonable timing?
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Old 31.01.2011, 18:35
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Re: Quick legal advice needed

i have no idea what to do. but judging by how i see lawyers operate the done thing is to:

1. say the other side is totally in the wrong
2. never admit to any wrong doing on your side even if there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary
3. make outrageous claims for costs/damages

translating this into your case this would mean

- asserting that the action is totally without merit
- asserting that the failure to turn up is an abuse of procedure / contempt of court
- asserting that your existing payments are full and final settlement of outstanding debts (which you in no way acknowledge are actual debts you owe, but if, hypothetically speaking, you did owe them any money, you have now made good on the debts)
- claiming that since they have wasted your time and the courts time they should pay for the full court costs
- claiming that since they have wasted your time and the courts time they should pay for your time and costs which will be some outrageous amount like 1,000 chfs per minute.
- claiming that they should pay 3x your actual costs for no real reason other than they deserve to

i mean, the worst they can say is 'no', right?
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Old 31.01.2011, 18:58
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Re: Quick legal advice needed

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sorry for my bad english, as i'm not understanding what you mean here; what is he is likely going to do? freeze THEIR request for me to pay immediatly if i'm good enough to show that i'm willing to pay with reasonable timing?
He will dismiss the case. He will not make a judgement for or against you. You will still owe them money, and they can try again at a later date to get you to court. They will not do this if you are paying reasonable amounts.

Phil_Mcr has a brave strategy. Nothing to lose. But never ever lie to a Judge.
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Old 01.02.2011, 01:11
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Re: Quick legal advice needed

They have brought you to the court, but it will be you whom will be paying for this hearing. If the hearing is postponed you will be paying twice. You have to pay this debt, you could have objected to it within 30 days, but now it is too late, and the court will not dissmiss it.

In my opinion I would go to the court, explain how the creditors have rejected your reasonable repayment suggestions (Obviously take all the documentation with you) and ask the court to regulate the levels of payment. You will need to take copies of your rental contract, your medical insurance policy and your working contract and recent payment statements. Bank statements would also be a good idea.

The court can then see that you are offering a reasonable amount and you will receive a payment court order. Once you have repaid the debt and the ensuing interest and the court costs, you can ask to be removed from the register of debtors, and start living again. Otherwise you will never get another apartment nor a loan. Remember we are in Switzerland! Financial debts are looked upon as the same as stealing, so be careful.

Do not on any account show any agression to the creditor nor to the court. This would definitely prejudice your position.

Last edited by Ittigen; 01.02.2011 at 01:22.
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Old 01.02.2011, 01:19
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Re: Quick legal advice needed

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i have no idea what to do. but judging by how i see lawyers operate the done thing is to:

1. say the other side is totally in the wrong
2. never admit to any wrong doing on your side even if there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary
3. make outrageous claims for costs/damages

translating this into your case this would mean

- asserting that the action is totally without merit
- asserting that the failure to turn up is an abuse of procedure / contempt of court
- asserting that your existing payments are full and final settlement of outstanding debts (which you in no way acknowledge are actual debts you owe, but if, hypothetically speaking, you did owe them any money, you have now made good on the debts)
- claiming that since they have wasted your time and the courts time they should pay for the full court costs
- claiming that since they have wasted your time and the courts time they should pay for your time and costs which will be some outrageous amount like 1,000 chfs per minute.
- claiming that they should pay 3x your actual costs for no real reason other than they deserve to

i mean, the worst they can say is 'no', right?
This attitude would cause very big trouble for Emanu, the judge would defintely work against Emanu. All his assets might be siezed and sold at auction i.e. for nothing! Nice to have an appartment with no furniture!

Remember we are in Switzerland, having financial debts is considered to be almost a crime!
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