Answers to children's questions

Here we answer questions and concerns that you and other children may have about debt.

I am a girl who is 9 years old. I usually pick up the mail and have noticed that my mum and dad get a lot of letters that say "Kronofogden" on them. And now they don't want me to collect the mail anymore. What do the letters say?

We send letters when there are important things we want your mum or dad to know. The letter can also be about your parents needing to do something, such as replying to a letter.

Tell your parents that you have seen the letters. Ask what they say. We know that many children think it's better to know than to wonder. Therefore, it is good to ask your mum and dad.

My mum has received lots of letters from Kronofogden that she never opens. The other day, a man knocked on the door and asked if Mum was home. She wasn't. He said he had important mail from you to Mum. What is happening?

The letters we send to your mum have important information. We need to know that your mum has read them. In the letters, we tell your mum to reply to us that she has received the letters. We have knocked on your door because your mum has not responded. We do this to find out if your mum has received our letters.

How can my dad get rid of his debts with the Enforcement Authority? Where can he get help?

Your dad must pay the debts to become debt-free. One way is for your dad to pay with part of his salary each month. Then he pays a little at a time until the whole debt is paid. For us to know how your dad can pay his debts, he needs to contact us.

The municipality has so-called budget and debt advisers. They give support and advice to everyone living in the municipality on planning how to use their money. It doesn't cost anything. A budget and debt adviser can help your dad get his finances in order.

Remember that you as a child are never responsible for your parents' debts.

I am a 10-year-old boy who knows that my mum owes people a lot of money. But she has no money in the bank so she can't pay. What happens then?

Those your mum owes can leave the debts to us. Then we can help them get paid. We then look at how much money your mum is paid each month. We also calculate how much your family needs to live on. We do this to see how your mum can pay her debts.

For example, if we decide that part of your mum's salary should be used to pay off her debts, she can first keep enough of her salary to pay for rent, food, clothes and some other things you need as a family.

My dad says you will take our things. Is that true? Why do you do that? Are you taking my computer, too?

It is true that we can take care of things that can be sold to pay a debt. We do this if your dad or mum has debts but no money to pay them. We always try to choose things that are the least difficult for the family to do without. The money is used to pay the debt. If you have a new and really expensive computer, we may have to sell it. If your computer is older, you can keep it.

I'm 11 years old and I know that my parents have huge debts, I mean really huge. Do we have to move out of our house?

We always try to find other ways to pay a debt, so that a family does not have to move. For example, part of your mum's or dad's salary may be used to pay the debt. We can also sell valuable things you own. But sometimes we have no choice but to sell a house or flat.

If you feel worried and want to talk to someone, you can call BRIS, for example.

Call 116 111

I'm 9 years old and I know that my dad has over a million in debt. Will he go to jail?

Your dad will not go to jail because he is in debt. Being in debt is not a crime.

I am an 11-year-old girl. My mum and dad have told me that you will take their salary to pay back debts. Will we not have any money left?

Your mom and dad get to keep some of their salary so you can pay rent and bills, buy food and other things necessary for the family. So you will have money left.

You will probably notice that part of your parents' salaries goes towards paying the debts. You might not be able to do things you did before – things that cost money – until the debts are paid.

Do you want someone to talk to?

Are you worried about your family's money? Often you may feel better if you talk to someone. You can call, email, or chat with BRIS counsellors for help and support. You don't have to say your name, you can be anonymous.