And I think Norwegians will lose their homes

And I think Norwegians will lose their homes

When a tenant no longer meets the terms of the lease, or fails to pay for himself, the landlord asks the surety to evict the tenant.

The public prosecutor in Bergen believes that by 2023 more people will not be able to pay to live at home due to rising costs and more poor people than ever before.

TV 2 joins Trinh, head of coercion, and bailiff Kathryn as they carry out the evictions.

– If you don’t open the door now, we will

They do such missions every week, where they meet Norwegians from all parts of society.

– Today we have four cases. In the beginning, we had a few more, but a lot goes down before we go out, says Kathryn.

Only 30 percent of cases end in discharge.

Many people pay themselves just before or before the bail agent shows up at the door.

Mission: People sent from the public prosecutor’s office meet at the door because the rent has not been paid for a long time. Photo: Rickard Thistle / TV2

– They find it embarrassing

At an address in a district in Bergen, a tenant ended his lease but did not appear to have moved out.

Along with the locksmith and the landlord, Trine and Kathryn troop out the door.

They brought in the help of the police because of concerns about how the resident would react.

Security: Most evictions take place without police assistance.  Each assignment is evaluated against information held by case managers before it goes to the resident's door.  Photo: Rickard Thistle / TV2

Security: Most evictions take place without police assistance. Each assignment is evaluated against information held by case managers before it goes to the resident’s door. Photo: Rickard Thistle / TV2

The police told the house owner to let them in immediately, but no one opened the door. In this case, the apartment is vacant and the apartment can be safely handed over to the landlord.

– Many choose not to stay at home. They find it embarrassing.

– Starts with small bills

Bail receives a large number of requests for waivers, the technical term for eviction.

– We are seeing an increase in people who were not in our system before. The way we see it, it is linked to everything that costs society, like interest on mortgages, food, petrol and electricity.

Investigator: Not everyone is home when District Collector comes to door with eviction order Photo: Rick Thistle / TV2

Investigator: Not everyone is home when District Collector comes to door with eviction order Photo: Rick Thistle / TV2

Compared to last year, the number of eviction cases received in West Police District has doubled in January this year.

Nationally, this number has increased from 6,978 to 8,086 in 2023.

– It often starts with small unpaid bills. These bills get bigger and end up with the tax collector. Eventually, they can’t pay the rent, which ends with an eviction, Drain says.

Drills and replaces the lock

At another address in Bergen, Trine, Kathryn, the landlord and locksmith presented themselves.

According to the state attorney’s office, the resident had not been home for an extended period of time.

Lock fitting drills.

No one is home here either.

Unsanitary: Some apartments are not properly maintained.  Such conditions are highly unusual, explains material manager Trine Photo: Rickard Thistle / TV2

Unsanitary: Some apartments are not properly maintained. Such conditions are highly unusual, explains material manager Trine Photo: Rickard Thistle / TV2

The apartment shows signs of damage and clutter. The resident will not be allowed to live here again.

– Exit takes place by changing the lock, and in cases where the owner of the house does not have the key, we must enter. Then we hang an eviction letter on the door, says Kathryn.

It is important to seek help

Not all apartments visited by the State Attorney’s Office had signs of default. People with stable income, social connection and family are now experiencing their first contact with the Norwegian Public Prosecutor’s Office.

New figures from debt collection firm Intrum show a 7 percent increase in debt collection cases in February compared to 2022.

Throughout the year, more and more Norwegians will end up in financial trouble. Many people are already struggling to pay their car loans.

– Many will probably end up in NAMsfogden’s portfolio. They’ve never been there before, and then it’s important that you actually do something, says Kathryn.

Notice: Many people receive debt collection notices for unpaid bills.  If you do, it's important to take action, says the public prosecutor in Bergen.  Photo: Froed Hof / TV2

Notice: Many people receive debt collection notices for unpaid bills. If you do, it’s important to take action, says the public prosecutor in Bergen. Photo: Froed Hof / TV2

Before you bail at the door, he says, there are alternatives.

You can seek debt counseling services from Now and the municipality or talk to a surety.

– The problem for many is that seeking help is too far away and you can feel very alone in your financial challenges. The truth is that there are a surprising number of people who do.

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Joshi Akinjide

Joshi Akinjide

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