As previously mentioned, Swiss law governing forced execution is distinctive in that it allows anyone to enforce a debt without the need for official authority or prior court verification of the debt's validity.
In rare instances, individuals may submit malicious, trivial, or blatantly abusive debt enforcement requests with the sole intention of recording a non-existent debt in the Debt Collection Register. This publicises the fictitious debt and seriously damages the debtor's financial reputation
Furthermore, even when a summons to pay becomes invalid due to the expiration of the relevant time period, the enforcement record remains in the Debt Collection Register in Switzerland for five years. The same applies when a summons to pay has been resolved and marked as "paid," unless the creditor revokes the enforcement.
Abusive enforcement actions can lead to criminal complaints for coercion under Article 181 of the Swiss Criminal Code.
As part of the December 16, 2016 amendment to Article 8a of the Swiss Federal Act on Debt Enforcement and Bankruptcy (DEBA)
, the legislator introduced a new mechanism allowing victims of unjustified enforcement actions to prevent them from being publicly listed in Debt Collection Register Extracts.
Creditors have the right to obtain an extract or Betreibungsauszug from the Debt Collection Register (Betreibungsregister). This document provides a detailed overview of a debtor's outstanding debts, ongoing debt collection proceedings, and any defaults. Creditors use this information to make informed decisions about whether to extend credit or enter into financial agreements with debtors.
A debt collection agency may report delinquent debts to credit reporting agencies, which can impact the debtor's credit score and credit history. This serves as an additional incentive for debtors to settle their outstanding debts.