Inkasso / Intrum - Debt made by someone with the same name

Good morning dear Mustachians,

I would like to have your opinion regarding the following situation: I’ve been receiving letters from Intrum to pay a debt that has been made by someone with the same first and last name as me.

It happens that this person lived on the same street but in a different house number. I emailed them with this information. What happened next is that they changed the street name to the one where I live. Amazing. So now, the letters are well addressed to my street and door number.

Here is my last email and their response:

Madame, Monsieur,
Je voudrais attirer votre attention sur plusieurs points importants:

  1. Vous continuez de m’envoyer des rappels concernant des transactions que je n’ai pas effectuées;
  2. Après plusieurs échanges de courrier et appelles téléphoniques, je vous ai fait savoir que le nom, le numéro de téléphone et l’adresse n’était pas correctes;
  3. En conséquence, vous avez changé l’adresse, mais clairement, vous ne pouvez pas changer le nom, ni le numéro de téléphone que je n’ai jamais eu;
  4. Je réaffirme que je ne suis pas M. *** et je n’ai jamais habité à l’adresse Rue des ***;
  5. L’attestation de résidence que vous m’avez demandé a un coût, lequel je ne vais pas supporter car c’est à votre Société de faire vous recherches et de trouver la personne concernée. Pourtant, si vous supportez les coûts de la procédure, je suis, bien entendu, disponible pour le faire;
  6. Par rapport à la photocopie de ma carte d’identité et une fois que vous n’avez pas démontré, soit par téléphone, soit par le bon traitement de cette situation, une attitude professionnel et de confiance, je ne suis pas dans la mesure de vous la faire parvenir.

Response:
Pour donner suite à votre dernier courriel, nous relevons qu’il est regrettable de ne pas souhaiter nous transmettre ces documents, car c’est la seule façon de progresser dans le traitement de cette affaire.
Nous notons donc que vous ne souhaitez pas fournir ces pièces et vous informons donc que malheureusement, indépendamment de notre volonté, les deux affaires suivront leur cours.

I believe that’s unreasonable to pay for an “attestation de résidence” when I’ve nothing to do with the situation.

What do you think? Have you been through something similiar?

Thank you.

If they (and they are trustworthy) only need your ID / proof of residency to close the case now, I would do it.

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I’d send a scan of my ID card, it’s cheap and may solve the problem. Being irritated at their behavior is understandable and legitimate (in my view) but the focus point should be to optimize your quality of life, i.e., getting them out of it.

If they do push further and do send the bill to collection (office des poursuites), you must [edit: correction, after verifying due to @kilyn answer below, you should take the payment order you’d be served. You must still contest the claim as soon as you are served with it (or at the latest 10 days after that) refuse to take the paper you’ll be served when it will be served to you and contest the claim. The burden of proving you have taken the debt they’re trying to collect will be on them, they don’t have your signature and they have the wrong ID so it should be relatively easy for you to do. Relatively easy doesn’t mean that there won’t be tiring procedures and that you wouldn’t be better off by getting them convinced you’re not the person they’re looking for right now.

Do send a written registered mail stating that you are not the person they claim you are, keep a copy of it and the receipt.

Take heart.

Unless you’re changing apartments soon I’d just ignore them. There’s nothing they can really do to hurt you without a proof that it was you.

They are not - they already demonstrated it by lifting your postal address from a reclamation email. They’ll lift you DOB and signature from your ID. Don’t send it them. Just ignore.

Also understand extracting payments from debtors is their sole business and raison d’être, they know all the tricks debtors can pull out. Same first name, same last name, same street name and claiming it wasn’t you is very suspicious and they’re right to doubt you. You’re sure it wasn’t a case of identity theft or something?

Don’t refuse registered mail. It will be counted as delivered either way the day you’re able to pick it up from the post office and Betreibungsamt probably will take it as a silent yes in that case. Refuse the claim you should, it’s just a checkbox on the form and Betreibumgsamt will stop the case until they go to the court with a proof (for a few hundred franks they won’t)

3 Likes

My understanding was that it didn’t come through registered mail (I’ve never gone through it) but you’re correct that taking the payment order doesn’t bear unwanted consequences. It’s still necessary to contest it immediately to the person delivering it to you, or at least 10 days after having been served with it. Sorry for the misleading part.

Official federal document regarding payment orders (in french): https://bs-lite.fenceit.ch/fr/feuilles-dinformation/

More informations from the Vaud Canton: https://www.vd.ch/themes/economie/poursuites-et-faillites/procedure-de-poursuite-ordinaire/vous-etes-poursuivi-debiteur/

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Tell them if they proceed (Betreibung / Poursuite) you will not only oppose (Rechtsvorschlag / Opposition) but hit them with a lawsuit, specifically for a negative declaratory relief (Negative Feststellungsklage / action déclaratoire negative).

However, I don’t recommend empty threats. If you choose this approach, be prepared to go all the way. This specific lawsuit is comparatively simple, but it does come with costs associated (which will have to be borne by the losing side).

Note: I am not a lawyer, and could not rule out that a judge might choose to share them amongst the parties if you are particularly unhelpful in resolving this prior to such lawsuit.

I concur.

In this specific case, I’d have considerable doubt that it will solve the issue. They might follow standard procedure and just update their records and pursue Hippo8 - just as they’ve done with the address change. Intrum might not even know the date of birth of the actual debtor.

In any case, it’s unlikely there’s a button or process in their software that says “wrong person” and to remove his/her address as a false positive.

Frankly, I doubt that they care from whom to extract the payment - as long as they are getting money.

Could be a relative. Or even some neighbour living on the same street, who will pay it anyway, just for peace of mind and/or fear of the consequences (poursuite).

Good morning and Thank You for your help.

I don’t think it was. This things have been bought in 2016 (a couple of months after my arrival in Switzerland). Nevertheless, back then, I was living in the same city but in another street. This only started when I moved (winter last year). This guy as the same 1st and last name as me, but the names in the middle are different. Back then his door number was 4 number higher than mine.

I already asked for a proof. The one that they sent me as the other guy full name, so I’ll ask the other proof as well. In fact, we are talking about two different debts here.

This is also the problem, because they already showed that they can change data if that’s good for them, like they changed the door number. More, they added a new charge for searching “the new door number”. Impressive!

After this experience I really believe in that. They want that someone pays it, independently of being the debtor or not.

I’ll move again in a couple of months, that’s why I worry a bit with this. Also, I really don’t find them trustworthy after all this situation to give them my ID card copy.

Thanks again!

Wow, this is shocking! I think if they understand their mistake now, they will “only” continue to harass you, which is probably worse for you.

Yeah, hence the common nickname for their firm - Irrtum Justitia

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