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Debt collection France

Debt Collection in France

Updated on Tuesday 08th November 2016

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Debt collection in France is the process of claiming undue payments for services or products offered to clients. As a services provider you can also be entitled to claim penalties for late payments. Regardless of your type of business, this is a situation that you might encounter in France and it is advisable to seek professional help in order to solve any bad payments issues.
Debt collection in France consists of two stages: amicable recovery and/or legal procedures. When any negotiation with the debtor has failed, creditors who want to recover any outstanding liabilities are advised to use the help of a debt collection agency in France. Our French lawyers can represent you throughout the debt recovery procedure. In case you need to recover a debt in other country, for example in Montenegro, we can put you in contact with our partners, who have an extensive experience in debt recovery cases.

Amicable debt collection in France

In case of any dispute, the first solution to be considered is the amicable recovery. In this initial stage, the creditor and the debtor try to reach an amicable solution for solving the problem and avoid the legal procedures. The debtor is contacted and informed about his or her financial situation. The lawyer will draft and send the notification letter and state the amounts that need to be paid. At the same time the payment notification will also making it clear that the creditor intends to initiate legal action, if necessary.
In order to reach an agreement, all the documents signed between the debtor and the creditors are analysed: contracts, orders, invoices, confirmations, delivery notes, etc. If possible, the debtor may be granted a longer period of time in order to pay his/her liability. The exact time-frame for the due payments can be negotiated between the creditor and the debtor once they settle upon solving the problem amicably. 

Legal procedures for debt collection in France

If the amicable recovery procedure fails, the remaining available method for debt collection in France is the court recovery procedure. A letter is usually sent to the debtor, informing him/her that a decision has been made to start the necessary legal proceedings. The creditor can then apply for an injunctive order, a procedure regulated by the French Civil Code. A letter is usually sent to the debtor, informing him/her that a decision has been made to start the necessary legal proceedings.
The French Commercial Court deals with legal disputes between traders or businesses and any requests to initiate an injunctive order are sent to this court. Some of the documents required to initiate the legal procedure are copies of the contract between the parties, invoices and statements of the account indicating payments. The relationship between the debtor and the creditor should be fully provable. If the French judge decides that the evidence is satisfactory, he or she can issue an injunctive order which obliges the debtor to pay. The debtor can contest this decision within one month.
Easier cases can take between eight to ten months. This time-frame may be doubled or it may extend to a couple of years.
The enforcement of a judicial decision in France includes two types of goods: movable and immovable goods. Any movable goods will be taken from the debtor for the purpose of liquidation. However, goods deemed necessary for daily life cannot be seized. Immovable goods include real estate in France, although these types of goods are not very common for companies in Fance.

What is the mission of the French lawyers?

Business owners in France will generally adopt a softer and non-aggressive litigation method. This is why most debtors will usually agree upon a settlement with the debtor. However, if the claim is disputed by the debtor, the creditor will have greater chances of claiming his or her debts if requesting the services of a law firm in France.
Our lawyers in France can help you with all of the legal proceedings for debt collection in France. We can provide complete information about the French legal system and offer you various legal services. If you need legal services in other European countries, such as Spain, or accounting services in Romania, you can send us your request.

We invite you to watch a video about debt collection in France:


  • Quentin 2015-03-01

    Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a enjoyment account it.

  • York 2015-03-07

    I am very happy to peer your article.

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