Enforcement of Claims / Collateral

A simple statement of the creditor to the debt collection office at the debtor’s domicile or at the debtor’s registered office is sufficient to commence the enforcement proceedings of a money claim. Upon receipt of the enforcement request, the enforcement office issues the summons to pay. The debtor can file an objection within 10 days of notification without giving any reasons. This forces the creditor to set aside the objection and, depending on the evidence at hand on the claim, to:

  • institute an ordinary legal action (in the event of liquid cases in a summary proceeding) to prove the claim;

  • request in a summary proceeding the enforcement of an enforceable judgement rendered by a Swiss court, or an equivalent order of a recognised foreign court (or an abritral award), in which case the court will definitively set aside the objection; or

  • reach a provisional setting aside of the objection if the claim is evidenced by a written debt acknowledgement duly signed by the debtor.

Where the creditor’s claim is secured by collateral, the creditor can then proceed and request that the debt enforcement office proceed with enforcing the collateral or the creditor can request ordinary debt enforcement proceedings. In the case of companies or other parties registered in the commercial registry the latter would ultimately lead to the debtor being declared bankrupt.

As soon as a debtor has been declared bankrupt, there will be a notification in the Swiss Official Gazette of Commerce setting a deadline to file claims. To enforce a claim the creditor can file a claim in the bankruptcy proceeding by stating the claim amount, the basis for the claim and the security it has (if any) or which class of claim it considers to fall under.