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I have received a payment summons – what should I do?

A payment summons is the final demand to pay a sum of money owed to a creditor before debt enforcement proceedings are commenced.

I accept that I have to pay the amount due

This means that you have 20 days from receipt of the payment summons to pay the amount due. The debt enforcement costs paid in advance by the creditor also have to be a met.

It is recommended that you pay the amount directly to the debt enforcement office from which you receive the payment summons. You should also ask in writing for the debt enforcement proceedings to be stopped.

You can ask to pay off the debt by instalments and pay these to the debt enforcement office within 12 months. As soon as you have paid off the whole debt, you should ask the creditor to stop the debt enforcement proceedings.

I contest the payment summons

If you do not agree with the amount demanded from you, you can make an official objection (orally or in writing) within 10 days of receiving the payment summons. You should do this at the debt enforcement office that issued the payment summons. You do not have to cite a reason.

What it means

If you file an objection to the payment summons, the debt enforcement proceedings are put on hold. The creditor now has to apply to the competent authority to overrule the objection and restart proceedings. For amounts up to CHF 5000, the competent authority is the office of the justice of the peace, for amounts greater than this it is the district court. The authority decides whether or not the objection should be set aside on the basis of documents submitted by the two parties.

If the objection is set aside, the creditor has one year from issuing the payment summons to request that the debt enforcement proceedings be continued – this usually results natural persons having their assets seized and in bankruptcy for legal entities. Until the objection is set aside, all deadlines are frozen.

The creditor must apply to the debt enforcement office dealing with the case (usually the local office where the debtor lives) for the proceedings to be continued.

List of debt enforcement offices

Debt enforcement proceedings