The Swiss government will relax the rules on personal bankruptcy


Personal bankruptcy rules in Switzerland are stricter than in many countries. In effect, they give people who are heavily indebted a respite rather than a clean slate. This week, the Swiss government presented a plan to relax the rules.

© Andranik Hakobian |

Opening personal bankruptcy proceedings (technically insolvency proceedings) in Switzerland requires funds of approximately CHF 5,000 to cover court costs and other agencies to restructure repayments. If the court accepts the request, it restructures the debts and issues affected creditors with Loss Certificates, documents that give creditors the ability to reclaim the money owed to them if the debtor’s situation improves, by buying into makes individual time rather than relieving them of debt.

On June 3, 2022, the Federal Council proposed a plan to relieve bankrupts of some of their debts rather than restructure them.

For those with a regular income, the new rules would simplify the process of getting creditors to agree to a repayment haircut. A debt haircut would be imposed on all creditors if the majority agreed.

For those without a regular salary, any balance due after the liquidation and distribution of proceeds from the sale of their assets would be wiped out after 4 years if the individual can prove that they worked hard to find regular work .

One of the main goals of change is to get people out of financial hardship, back into productive and healthy lives, and reduce their burden on social services.

More on this:
Government press release (in French) Take a 5 minute French test now

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