Important legislative amendment in France

This year, important new legislation was enacted in France. Is a judicial procedure necessary to make your debtor pay his bills? From this moment on, you must be able to prove that you have first tried to come to an extrajudicial solution (that is to say, a solution outside of Court). If this is not specified in the writ of summons, parties may be forced to enter into negotiations among themselves to find a solution before the French Court will handle the case.

What does this change mean for companies with debtors in France? It shows how much importance the Court is placing on extrajudicial measure being tried before Court proceedings are started; the Court must be seen as the last option if you have exhausted amicable methods of dispute resolution. The arguments put forward by the debtor as to why they won’t  pay are irrelevant, but in order to prove that you have tried to collect your debt extrajudicially, you must be able to provide evidence that you have demanded payment from your debtor in writing and by telephone.

It is essential to prove that these demands have been sent. It does not matter if you do not receive a response from the debtor.

If your debtor does respond but still does not pay, for example, because he disputes the claim, you must also be able to provide evidence that you have at least attempted a conversation to come to a solution.

Reaching an amicable settlement is not always possible, and the French Courts are well aware of that. The fact that the French Courts emphasize the need for negotiation before taking a case to Court does not mean that parties are obliged to agree to settlement offers put forward.

Result in extrajudicial debt recovery

This legislative change does not need to pose a problem for you, since finding solutions out of Court is often a more favorable situation for a creditor. Our French lawyers will always try to enforce payment without starting costly legal procedures. If these measures do not lead to the desired results, our lawyers will advise you on what judicial measures can taken in your particular case.