CreditorDebt Enforcement and Bankruptcy Law

Debt enforcement law: I made a loan to a company that went bankrupt two years later. How do I get my money back? 

You loaned a considerable amount of money to a company, but it went bankrupt two years later without paying you back. This is a difficult situation, but it is possible to get your money back. Lawrence tells you how to do it. 


First of all, what is “bankruptcy”?

A business declares bankruptcy if it can no longer pay its debts to its creditors. 

Bankruptcy can also be caused by a creditor who sued the company that did not reimburse him on time.

Bankruptcy has multiple consequences for the creditors, raising the concern that they may never be able to recover their loan. 


The Cantonal Debt Enforcement Office declares bankruptcy by publishing an official bankruptcy opening sheet, in order to inform the creditors.

Please note that the bankruptcy of a company makes all its debts due, even if the repayment period has not yet expired!

Thus, creditors have a period of 1 month following the publication of the bankruptcy to notify the Cantonal Prosecution Office.


The Office then takes charge of seizing the company’s assets, which are called “the estate” (bank accounts, real estate, products, machinery, etc.). It will have to estimate their value and liquidate them until the funds collected are sufficient to repay the company’s debts. 

In reality, creditors often recover only 0 to 10% of their loan. 

However, it is possible for you to contest this with the Debt Enforcement Office or to initiate other legal proceedings against your debtor!


Let’s consider the legal form of the company owing you money:

Capital company (SA or Sàrl):

With this legal form, the company’s debts become legally non-existent following bankruptcy. 

The creditors can however initiate criminal proceedings against the Administrative Council or the management of the company to recover its due. 


Natural person :

If the debtor is a partnership, such as a sole proprietorship, you can sue the entrepreneur, whose person is responsible for the company’s debts. If he or she cannot repay the debt due to lack of means, the creditor can apply for a loss certificate to the Debt Enforcement Office.

The lawsuit will then be registered for 20 years and allows the lawsuit procedure to be quickly resumed. If it is resumed, the 20-year period is renewed. The deed of default allows the heirs to be sued if the debtor dies.


Nothing is lost! Even if the company to which you made a loan goes bankrupt, it is still possible to recover your money.

The terms and conditions can be complex, so don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer for advice and to put all the chances on your side! Lawrence will assist you in your legal steps and help you recover what you are owed. 


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