Prior to bankruptcy being declared, a creditor can request a freezing or attachment order from the court at the debtor’s place of residence or domicile, or at the place where assets are located if the creditor plausibly shows that its claim exists and that assets belonging to the debtor exist.
An attachment order can in particular be requested where the creditor has an enforceable judgement or arbitral award. Prior to obtaining a judgement, a creditor can also obtain an attachment order if the debtor has no domicile in Switzerland, and the claim has a sufficient connection to Switzerland or is based on a signed recognition of debt. Similarly, a claimant can obtain an attachment order if a defendant dissipates assets with the purpose of evading its liabilities, flees or is taking steps to flee. Further, special grounds for obtaining an attachment order exist.
Unless the creditor already holds a judgement against the defendant, the creditor must validate the attachment order by filing either debt enforcement proceedings or court proceedings against the debtor within short deadlines.
The attachment order does not give the creditor any prior or better rights and once the debtor is declared bankrupt, the creditor participates in the bankruptcy as any other creditor.