Debt enforcement law: My debtor refuses to pay me even though I won the case in court. What should I do?

You are a creditor and won your lawsuit in court? Your debtor does not repay the amount owed to you? Lawrence explains what to do!

Your debt has not been repaid after the debtor has been ordered to pay. You won your case in court. In this case, the debtor has 20 days according to the law, or another period if an agreement has been reached, to reimburse the debt.

What should you do if the debtor does not pay after this period?

Let’s consider two cases: the debtor is a natural person or a legal person.

The debtor is a natural person:

You can order a legal action by way of seizure. 

The creditor will take the lawsuit to a judge by requesting a seizure order. The Debt Enforcement Office informs the debtor, who must either be present or send a representative during the proceedings. He will have to indicate all the assets that belong to him, under penalty of criminal sanction.

The debtor’s assets (objects, income, etc.) will be seized by the Office of Proceedings and liquidated until the amount of the debt, interest and costs is reached. The Office first seizes the assets, then the debtor’s salary, while respecting the minimum subsistence level which is CHF 1200.- per month for a single person. 

If the seizure does not enable the debt to be repaid in full, the creditor must himself apply to the Office of Proceedings for a loss certificate. The pursuit will then be registered for 20 years and allows the pursuit procedure to be quickly resumed. If it is resumed, the 20-year period is renewed. The loss certificate allows the heirs to be sued if the debtor passes away. 

 

The debtor is a legal person: 

As soon as the creditor restarts the pursuit, the judge sends the company a bankruptcy commission document. The company will have to pay the debt within 20 days (or another period if there is an agreement). 

If the debt is not paid within this period, the creditor can ask the judge to declare the company bankrupt. 

The bankruptcy petition will force the company to cease its activity. It will be deleted from the Commercial Register.

The assets (objects, wages, etc.) will then be seized and liquidated in order to reimburse the creditor. The amount includes the debt, interest and administrative costs. 

If the seizure does not enable the debt to be repaid in full, the creditor will himself have to apply for a loss certificate to the Office of Proceedings. The lawsuit will then be registered for 20 years and can easily be revived. The period of 20 years is renewable if the lawsuit is relaunched. The deed of default allows the heirs to be sued if the debtor passes away. 

 

Here is what you can do if your debtor does not repay the debt, even though a judge has recognized the lawsuit in court!

 

However, seizure and bankruptcy proceedings are not pleasant for either the creditor or the debtor. In order not to come to that point, just one word: dialogue!

Indeed, it is always possible to conclude a composition agreement between the creditor, the debtor and the judge, in order to grant an additional stay, to avoid the delicate procedure of seizure of assets. 

 

Are you facing an impasse? Are you dealing with an uncooperative debtor and want to recover your money? Don’t panic: Lawrence will assist you in your legal steps!

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