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The lawyer and the debt collection

Home > French Business Law | Updated 2014-11-17 | Published 2010-12-30

Businesses are often faced with problems of debt and overdue balances. Our transactional lawyers can help you collect those debts anywhere in France.

Business leaders are often unable to resolve such delicate issues and often require assistance in order to recover the sums due.

The lawyer can act to resolve the problem quickly while maintaining amicable relations and upholding the corporate image.

Their involvement can transpire at various stages for various reasons: prevention of accumulated debt, an amicable and speedy settlement, and judicial recovery.

Before ending up in an indissoluble situation it is advisable to hire a lawyer in order to prevent any unpaid and overdue fees.

There are several mechanisms through which this may be carried out:

The bond: a commitment by which a subsidiary guarantor undertakes to pay a creditor in the event of financial default.

The creditor may, if the debtor does not act, require that the bond go into effect.

This mechanism can therefore provide certainty and assuredness to a business owner.

The reservation of ownership: the clause whereby the parties at variance with the rule of law agree that the transfer of ownership shall be effective until the date of full payment of the price. This ensures the solvency of the customer and prevents the failure of the counterparty.

The measure on all or part of the estate: this measure has a different focus in which the company is in liquidation or bonuses.

If the company is in bonuses that will prevent the debtor from squandering his inheritance with systems such as the provisional judicial mortgage on immobile property seized from the bank account ... Alternatively, if the company is in liquidation it helps maintain a particular place in the classification of receivables.

The lawyer will best advise you in the implementation of these preventive measures.

Before the litigation stage, the court of appeals serves as a critical step. The creditor may appoint an attorney for the amicable recovery of debts in order to claim the burden of debt effectively from the debtor. An agreement must be made between lawyer and client which contains the foundation of the claim, details regarding the amount owed, conditions for determining the remuneration paid by the creditor, and the conditions for recovery of funds collected for the creditor's account.

The lawyer in charge of recovery then sends a letter containing certain required data to the debtor.

In this case, the attorney will be very helpful in the recovery via several varied methods (registered letters, telephone). They seek to maintain good relations with debtors who may also be key customers.

In the event of failure during this mutual phase, the company will shift gears and start the process of legal action in order to obtain payment of outstanding debts.

There are two options of potential procedures and the choice is not always easy. For this reason the intervention of a lawyer is vital as their experience and know-how in the field is irreplaceable:

Seizures: A way to directly use and involve the debtor's assets. We can distinguish the seizure of the award before sale.

Seizure is the act of granting the creditor the will and ability to seize, from a third party, claims it holds on behalf of the debtor. Consider for example: if the debtor owns an apartment, the creditor may involve itself directly in the tenants rent.

There are also entered on wages. In this case, in order to recover a debt, the creditor that possesses a writ of execution and finds a debt due and payable may obtain portions of the payments of the employer to the employee.

Seizure sale allows the creditor to seize the debtor's movable assets and sell them to recover debts.

Partnership rights and securities are also seized.

There are two emergency procedures commonplace in situations such as these:

The payment order before the district court is a court procedure allowing a rapid creditor to compel the debtor to honor his commitments.

It is possible to initiate this procedure if the claim results from a contract, a legal obligation with a fixed amount of a bill of exchange, a promissory note, and the acceptance of assignment.

The claim must result from a refusal of the debtor.

The lawyer then files a creditor's representation, or query written request, accompanied by several supporting documents which are housed at the local court and the court proceedings noting the amount of the civil claim. The jurisdiction is the domicile of the debtor.

The request is dated, signed, and includes a number of indications on pain of nullity.

The summary: This procedure allows the recovery of the debt when it is not seriously disputed (809 al 2 NCPC).

This is the epitome of an emergency procedure. The main advantage of this procedure is its speed. However, it is important to note that it has failed to render temporary orders which do not bind the trial court. Additionally, it does not convert a measure into a definitive measure.

The lawyer is a valuable element in all phases of debt collection. He will help increase your sense of security by exploring and enacting safe and reliable tactics of debt collection by juggling the different legal tools at his disposal.

This article is available online for public information purposes. It is updated regularly, as needed. Due to the constant evolution of the laws and the legal system, we cannot guarantee that the information in this article is still applicable. We invite you to contact us with any legal questions or concerns you have regarding this topic at +33 1 56 79 11 00. In no way can this firm be held liable for articles that contain inaccuracies or are now out of date.

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