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Customer who will not pay!

Posted by The Monk-194594 - Created: 16 years ago
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Posted by Black Cat-192495 - 16 years ago

Ooops, forgot one thing.From the moment the Greffe accepts the debt, the legal interest rate applies to it on a monthly basis. The debtor should be advised of this when you send him the copy of the injunction. it'll encourage him to settle quickly. He should also be told that all recovery expenses are his (I usually add something like "We're in France not in the UK, after all". That throws 'em!).If you want the name of an English speaking lawyer who can handle all this (for a fee, of course) email me.BC

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Posted by Black Cat-192495 - 16 years ago

As you are a registered French company the services of the "Greffe de Tribunal de Commerce" are your best bet.Go to your local "Greffe de Commerce" and tell them you want to file an "Injunction à Payer". You will be given a form which you fill out attesting to the debt, and any proof you have of it (photos of the work done, estimates, signed contract, etc). Put it all together in a file and go back to the Greffe with your chequebook (they'll want a few euros - 30 or so? - to file the claim).Once the injunction is accepted (almost automatic within 10 days or so) a copy will be returned to you. Send a photocopy of this to the debtor by recorded delivery telling him that the Tribunal has registered the debt and ordered payment.If he then doesn't pay the next step is to have the original (you only sent a photocopy, right?) served by a bailiff (huissier). Find a huissier as close as possible to the debtor's address (less travel expenses) and have the injunction officialy served. You'll have to pay the huissier up front so be sure to ask him to add his own bill (about 150 euros or so) to the debt or you won't get his fee back.The debtor has a delay (can't remember how long, but I think it's 2 weeks) to either pay the debt or contest it in court. If he does neither within the legal delay the debt will automatically be considered valid and you will be able to instruct the huissier to do a "saisi conservatoire", that is to have some assets of the debtor seized (car, bank account blocked, etc). Anything sold at auction will be at his expense so the assets seized will be for considerably more than the debt.If he contests the debt by returned recorded delivery letter or through his lawyer you'll have a legal battle on your hands and the matter will wind up in court. Start now because if the process goes to term it can take quite a while.One precaution; be very sure of your case and provide solid proof of the debt when you first file the injunction. If the debtor contests it in court and wins because you don't have sufficient proof, you will have to pay all expenses and perhaps even damages.On the other hand, if you are sure of your case and have ample proof, the whole thing will cost the debtor a lot more than the initial debt. It's in his interest to pay as soon as he gets your first notification that the injunction has been accepted by the Greffe.To add even more weight to the procedure you'd probably find it worth your while to pay a lawyer to do the whole thing, especially if the amount owed is considerable. That way the initial notification will come from him rather than from you and will probably be taken more seriously. As well it should.Good luck!