French Collection Agency Service
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How to solvE Debt Collections In France

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Our mission: provide to our foreign clients a law firm service exclusively dedicated to their rights and recoveries. We want to collect their unpaid accounts in France quickly, using all the French Debt Recovery Laws on their behalf.

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Collection Debt in France: 1. The Amicable Phase

Accounts Receivable France works with a dedicated staff collaborating with all debtors to facilitate a convenient claims process. It is always our intention to operate towards a successful debt relief through payment plans, mediation and review of information related to the debtor's amount owed. All our operations are in-house, and debtors are approached by our specialists via telephone interaction as well as written mail delivery.

In the event of a conflict, to guarantee an amicable resolution and payment

we use the documents provided by our client. Our in-house team of lawyers conducts any debtor investigations. Our in-house team of lawyers conducts any debtor investigations.

Contact Debt Collection Lawyer in France
Contact a Debt Collection Lawyer in France and solve the issue.


1.2 Use Local French Debt Collectors

If we are having issues recovering a debt, we may hire a lawyer in person to contact the debtor. This meeting is aimed at learning more about the economic situation and creditworthiness of the debtor. Our field agent lawyers hold us up-to-date on any changes and are able to obtain payments from the debtor for use in the unpaid balance of the debt. If this phase fails, when deciding on the next course of action, we will communicate with the agents and our legal team.


1.3 About Interest in Debt Collection Accounts

If mentioned on the contract by debtor and creditor our French Debt Collection Agency will add those interests to the claimed balance. Our strategy is to comply to any interest requirements set out in the original debtor-creditor agreement. If such requirements do not apply, we will give an interest rate based on the French National Bank's fixed rate.

This interest is regarded as a negotiating point in France. Interest can be relieved to secure payment of the balance of the debt.
1.4 Debt collection costs in France
  • In France, debt collection charges may be charged to the debtor to cover the late payment loss costs.
  • The French Civil Code and the French Commercial Code are setting the laws related to this fees.
  • If the Customer has clear contractual terms to cover collection costs, these will be used as a reference in deciding the debtor's final due fees.

French debtors see debt collection fees as a bargaining tool and these charges can be minimized to ensure that the outstanding balance of the debt is fully satisfied.

1.5 Debt Prescription in France
  1. France's statute of limitations is recognised as the period of prescription. The length of this period is 15 years after the first moment a debt is considered as passed due.
  2. The length of this period is 15 years after the first moment a debt is considered as passed due.
  3. Debts related to transportation are subject to a shorter period of only six months.
  4. After these two periods of time, requesting payment from a debtor is not valid or permissible.

Under the following conditions a prescription period may be suspended:

  • For Credit claims payment using the Court
  • If Creditor files an extrajudicial process
  • If Debtor acknowledges the due debt

This is regarded as the debtor's fully underwritten benefit. A court can not set it up or assess it.

1.6 Most Common Debt Collection Payment Methods in France

Debt payments are made via wire transfer or bank cheques. There is in some cases possible to set direct debits.


1.7 Business Intelligence in France

Our French Debt Collection Agency has access to the information entered in the company register database in France. This information includes financial reports and risk assessments. Along with information we obtained from our customers, these reports provide a key next step in debtor pursuit and help identify the best approach.

This  database data facilitates us in finding those debtors still involved in business and trading. If our consultants decide to file a lawsuit, we will send a local field representative to visit the firm and find out more information on its finances and its justifications for failure to return a payment.

In France, private investigators are not used to obtain this data, as business information is available at no cost to our personnel or customers using several other networks. If we are involved in legal proceedings, it is possible for us to use the Court's own agencies and sources of information. A private researcher would certainly be more efficient than these sources.

2. The Legal Phase

2.1 Retention of Title in France

Throughout France, Title Retention is usual but frequently needs to be brought to Court. In addition, businesses must show that they own goods for which the borrower has still not paid.

This frequently begins when the Court tries to trace the goods and the debtor's location. It is the mission of accounts receivable to recover those products if the Court considers that the title retention regulations cover them.

2.2 Safeguarding Measures During Collecting Debts in France

The purpose of our debt collection efforts is to have the debtor accepts the existence of his liability  and get a signed agreement confirming the same. Such document shall not be confirmed by a notary, but may be legally binding in any Court claim, given the signature of the debtor is on it. In order to guarantee a possible payment, the debtor able to add any of his assets to the agreement. Contractual assignment of debts or assets is required while mortgage securitisation requires notarial confirmation.

2.3 Debt Collection Legal Procedures in France

Citizen-State ties are regulated by public law in France, while civil law refers to company-specific relations. Legal processes against a debtor may be launched without warning, but this is not usually done as legal proceedings are expensive and slow in France, even in the case of conflicts between the creditor and the debtor. There is therefore a need to always pursue amicable collections before Court proceedings.

Civil Courts shall deal with all legal cases concerning unpaid debts and outstanding accounts.

The case will be heard at the Court of First Instance throughout the first phase of the judicial process. This is the point in which a statement on the debt will be made to clear the way for a higher court of appeal. It is recognized as the Regional Court in France, and the debtor's last known address or corporate offices will be sent to the regional court.

The Court of the Third Instance shall be given all claims that do not meet the criteria of the Regional Court. Claims which do not fulfil the requirements of this Court will be completely dismissed. In order to sue the debtor, taxes must be paid during the procedure. This quantity depends on the amount of debt that is currently outstanding.

2.4 Required documents

Our French Debt Collection Lawyer will need the following documents in order to launch the legal debt collection process:

1- Original of signed contract or certified copy of it
2- Copy of claimed invoices
3- Copy of statements, including payments and credits toward the debt(s)

If a lawsuit against the debtor is submitted, the following documents shall be added:

  1. Original or certified copy of the complete contractual agreement
  2. Copies of purchase orders, delivery confirmation, and email confirmation
  3. Copies of conversations and emails/messages between creditor and debtor
2.5 Legal Procedure in France for Collecting a Debt

The legal procedure for dunning pertains only to monetary debts of less than  250,000.00 euros and only where this debt is past due and payable to the creditor right away. The Court of First Instance is responsible for those cases. The debt is not questioned during legal dunning, and only the court has to state the right of the creditor to the payment.

The tribunal will request the debtor to pay by official notice which will include payments of all interest or fees. If the debtor has any reason to object, legal action will begin right away. All future prosecutions shall be brought before the Court of First Instance but this Court will not determine the validity of the debt. The claim will be referred to the Court of Second Instance for this opinion.

2.6 About the Lawsuit

Court action begins after the debtor is announced solvent enough to pay the balance of the debt completely, when amicable debt collection does not solve the issue. A document is prepared and circulated before the operation. Until the judge has gathered sufficient proof for a trial the creditor and debtor may share their views via mail with the Court. A court hearing will be established at that time and both parties will be required to attend the hearing.

The judge shall set a date for delivering the judgment after the hearing. The Court where the trial is held must notify all parties of the result. You can execute the judgment straight away.

A decision may be contested to pass the case to the second instance court. A further appeal to the Court is feasible, although this appeal will only serve to establish the proper application of laws and statutes.

3.0 Costs of Debt Collection Lawsuit in France

Our agency employs local French debt recovery attorneys to reduce dramatically the expense of the creditor when suing a debtor. The expenses incurred during the legal stage rely heavily on the debt balance. Cost is based on a percentage system. During the legal process the charges involved include legal costs, legal fees, report fees and other costs. Our Debt Collection Agency in France will provide you a calculation on a case-by-case basis as it is difficult to determine the exact costs of a lawsuit.

3.1 How Long does it Take to Recover a Debt in France?

As for many European countries a decision may be issued by a judge, from three months to many years, based on the specificity, size and decision of the case.

3.2 Costs and Interests During the Legal phase

The expenses associated with the prosecution of a debtor are to be included in the final judgement by the judge and considered as payable by debtor. It covers tax, paying fines, court expenses and penalty fees. The French Civil Code stipulates that the party who loses must bear the full expense of a legal procedure.

Which can, however, be overridden by the Judge if the judge determines that a part of the claimant expenses incurred during legal proceedings should not be the responsibility of the debtor. The parties are in charge of their own expenses in the event of a settlement.

4.0 Debt Enforcement in France

The creditors may enforce the debts by blocking the debtor's bank account or by retaining their tax  or insurance claims In addition, the value of the balance owing may be maintained by company or corporation partners and wages can be fully or partially obtained to implement the decision. All these interventions are very efficient and they are recognised to trigger debtors to enter into payment arrangements or to comply fully with the creditor's duties. In order to minimize expenses, creditors can potentially apply only part of the judgment.

4.1 Provisional Enforcement

Provision enforcement is the option to enforce a judgment even while the debtor is disputing the judgment in court. This  action must be requested by filing a writ with the Court that issued the original verdict.