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debt collection in the France

Are you looking for a collection agency in France?

France has the fifth largest economy in the world. Its gross domestic product (GDP) in 2005 was a whopping 1,737 billion euros. Within Europe, France is the third largest economy, after Germany and the United Kingdom. Many Dutch companies do business with French companies. Debt collection France is therefore invariably a runner among our legal products.

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Are you also dealing with a French defaulter?

The return on investment for debt collection France is high when efficient and decisive action is taken. Establish a carefully thought out debt collection strategy with one of the French debt collection specialists at the Debt Collection Company. Our debt collection specialists know the rules of debt collection France inside and out.

Our debt collection specialists are there for you and will ensure that your claim is handled with care. Read in this article how we win for you what you are entitled to.

Legal forms in debt collection France

In France, as in the Netherlands, there are various legal forms. We fine-tune our collection strategy to the debtor’s legal form. This is because the legal form of your debtor has an influence on his liability. Some examples of French legal forms are: the EURL (Entreprise Unipersonnelle à Responsabillité), the SASU (Société par Actions Simplifées Unipersonnelle) and the SARL (Société à Limitée). The latter legal form is comparable to a Dutch B.V. The Dutch N.V. is comparable to the French SA (Société Anonyme). We advise you.

But where do you start if you don’t get paid?

Extrajudicial phase debt collection France

French people are known to be bad payers. Unfortunately, but true. A French debtor is preferably first given a formal notice of default (mise en demeure) in the extrajudicial phase (phase extra-judicial). This means that we give the debtor a final deadline to make payment or repayment. French people are often quickly impressed when they receive a letter from a lawyer (avocat). Nine times out of ten, we collect your debt immediately. With debt collection France, if this does not help, we will discuss legal action with you. You then choose whether or not to proceed.

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Judicial phase France (phase judiciaire)

France offers several options. We explain.

1. The proceedings on the merits (procédure au fond).
The proceedings on the merits are often used in France in the case of disputed or high claims. That is, if your debtor does not agree with your claim. This procedure is started with a writ of summons (assignation) to the competent court and is similar to the writ of summons procedure in the Netherlands. After the summons has been submitted to the competent court, the case will be assigned to a particular chamber of the court. After this, a date and time will be set for a hearing (l’audience d’appel). On the basis of this hearing, it is determined whether a short track (circuit court), ordinary track (circuit moyen) or long track (circuit long) is to be followed. The route to be followed depends on the circumstances of the case.  We can provide you with extensive information. You will then know exactly where you stand in this difficult matter.

2. The French payment order (injontion de payer)
But in many cases we advise you to take another route, the payment order (injonction de payer). The injontion de payer is similar to the European order for payment and is characterized as a “fast procedure”. This procedure only applies to uncontested commercial claims. This procedure is started at court by the submission of an official document by one of our debt collection lawyers France.

In addition to the proceedings on the merits and the French order for payment, debt collection France has a number of other procedures, such as summary proceedings. Our lawyers and jurists are specialized in French debt collection law and can apply the correct procedure to your case.

French debtor often late

In France, strict deadlines apply within which the debtor must respond. If a debtor files an objection too late or does not file an objection at all (which often happens), the judge will immediately rule in absentia, in which case it is a procéduré au fond (proceedings on the merits). The practice of debt collection in France shows that many French debtors do not submit a defence. And that is good for your win(st) chances.

The role of the bailiff (huissier de justice)

Once we have obtained a judgment (jugement) for you, this judgment is enforced by one of our bailiffs. The bailiff ensures that your claim is collected. Unlike the Dutch bailiff, the French bailiff has the advantage that he may request bank details from the debtor in official databases. This ensures that the judgment can be enforced quickly and efficiently.

There is something else that makes debt collection in France attractive.

Debt collection in France? Free initial consultation

Have you become curious about the possibilities? Then ask for a free initial consultation with a specialist in French law. With our local debt collection France network, no question needs to go unanswered.

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    precautionary seizure

    The word “conservatory” is derived from the verb “conserve,” which means to preserve. If a prejudgment attachment is made then, as it were, the goods on which the attachment is made are preserved until the judge decides. Thus, you are already seizing, without the judge having made a final judgment.

    In order to secure the creditor’s recourse, debt collection France offers two forms of precautionary attachment, namely saisies conservatoires and sûretés judiciaires.

    Saisies conservatoires can be laid on movable property (such as cars or stocks) or under third parties, such as bank accounts. The purpose of this form of conservatory attachment is to primarily secure the creditor’s ability to recover. The attachment has a freezing effect, preventing the attachment object from leaving the debtor’s assets.

    Sûretés judiciaires can be levied on immovable property and, for example, on shares.

    A judge’s permission is required for a prejudgment attachment. Our debt collection lawyers France will advise you on the route to take.

    In principle, the debtor’s entire assets can be subject to a prejudgment attachment.

    Arbitration

    France has always been an arbitration-friendly country. Importantly, there is an agreement between the parties that, in the event of a dispute, the parties will first try arbitration. In principle, French courts will not intervene in a dispute where there is a valid arbitration clause. Whether you are dealing with such a clause, we will be happy to look into it for you.

    In addition to a valid arbitration clause, the contract must specify which law is applicable, for example French or Dutch law.

    Does arbitration apply to you? We will check it for you. Just contact us.

    What can you do in case a debtor is declared bankrupt?

    If your French debtor has been declared bankrupt (banqueroute), there is still a chance to recover your claim. The deadline for filing a claim, in case of bankruptcy, is four months for foreign creditors. The term starts from the moment the bankruptcy is registered in an official French register, called the BODACC.

    For individuals, there is a separate procedure of bankruptcy. So do not hesitate to contact us immediately so that our specialists can investigate your case and take appropriate action.

    Directors' Liability

    In debt collection France, directors’ liability plays an important role. The director (administrator) can be liable to the company but also to his creditors. This must be determined according to the circumstances of the case. The decisive factor is whether the director acted with due care. In France, directors are liable to the company in the following cases.

    1. Infringement of legislation or other regulatory provisions
    2. Breach of the company’s articles of association
    3. Mismanagement

    In order to determine whether there is director liability, the judge puts himself in the situation of the director. The judge analyzes the actions/ omissions of the director. The judge will examine whether the director acted as a “bon père de famille”.

    Limitation periods

    French law has limitation periods. The general limitation period in France is five years for commercial claims. However, French law also has specific limitation periods. For example, in transport law there is a limitation period of nine months to one year. This means that it is therefore even more important to take action quickly. A judgment that we obtain for you remains valid for 10 years.

    Interruption of the limitation period (l’interruption de prescription)

    It is also possible to “interrupt” the statute of limitations. This means that the period of limitation begins to run again. Under French law, the statute of limitations is interrupted by starting legal proceedings. There are also other possibilities for interrupting the limitation period, such as a summons. Which of the aforementioned interrupting possibilities you can use best depends on your claim and the number of days it has been open.

    What do you need for your collection France file?

    With debt collection France we start immediately. It is not a problem if you do not have all the documents. Send us what you do have. Our debt collection specialists will be happy to help you with this.

    • A copy of the agreements, for example, an agreement, an email message, fax message or simply a WhatsApp message or a text message
    • Copy of your invoices
    • Copy of your reminders
    • A copy of your general terms and conditions
    • Any proof of delivery

    Advantages of debt collection in France

    • Nationwide coverage throughout France
    • Customization of your file
      Fast procedures aimed at results
    • One point of contact
    • 24/7 online access
    • Expert information and clarity upfront
    • Proven track record

    Start directly with Debt collection France

    Do you have something to claim in France? Or a dispute with a French debtor? If so, debt collection France can also help you. Feel free to contact us by phone on +31-(0)70-762 0330 or send us an e-mail. Konings, a debt collection specialist, can tell you more about the possibilities of debt collection in France and the collection of receivables (that are difficult to collect) from debtors based in France.

    Submit your invoice before 4:00 p.m. and we'll start today!

    Why 40.000 customers have gone before you

    Free legal advice from your personal specialist

    drs. mr. Joost Konings

    International debt collection specialist
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