1. Costs - No Win No Fee! 

Having long standing relationships with all our overseas partners we have agreements to provide these services on a NO WIN NO FEE basis charging the agreed commission rate against monies recovered only. 

2. Coverage in France 

We cover all 18 regions in France including 13 metropolitan regions in Europe as well as 5 French overseas departments.  Our local offices are in Paris, Lyon and Mazamet where we recover debts throughout all of France. 

3. Local Experience 

Unlike many of our competitors all cases are handled by the local office or partner. The reasons for this are they speak the debtors' language in this case French and understand the local cultures and know all the legal processes. These are reasons why Creditreform are the ideal people to help you in collecting debts from overseas. 

4. Statute of Limitation in France 

5 years for B2B cases and 2 years for B2C cases but there are many special exemptions so whatever the age please contact us and we will advise if we can assist with your claim 
Search a country below for debt collection: 

How to Instruct Us 

We simply require the following details: 
Full name & address of the debtor 
All available contact details of the debtor i.e. contact name(s) / Tel / Mobile / Email(s) 
Amount owed (Invoice(s) or Statement will help) 
Or ask us to call you – just leave us your details: 

Case Study - EUR 14,000 recovered from French Debtor 

Initiation of Case 
A UK based manufacture near Milton Keynes of specialist parts for classic cars has a debt of EUR 14,000 against a French company located near Lyon. The client has had a 40 year relationship with French debtor but the business was recently sold and the relationship broke down. The debtor company stopped responding to emails, letters and telephone calls. 
Debt Collection Process 
After several weeks of non communication with the French debtor company the client instructed us to recover their monies. Upon receipt of the case the files were emailed across to our local partner. They immediately sent an initial letter to the debtor stating the amount owed and a deadline to pay. Our partner entered into lengthy negotiations with debtor who was suffering serious financial problems. To avoid costly legal proceedings our client accepted a EUR 10,000 full and final settlement providing it was made immediately. Our partner successfully negotiated this on behalf of the client and monies were transferred the same day. 
Despite the complexities and issues with the case our client were more than satisfied with our professionalism, communication and processes to recover their monies. 

France Debt Collection – No Win No Fee 

Creditreform operates a global specialist International debt collections service. We have local offices and fully approved expert international debt collection agency partners in every country worldwide. All our International debt collection agency partners and offices operate on a No Win No Fee basis charging an agreed commission against monies recovered only. 
Main reasons why a local country debt recovery agency is so important rather than trying to recover from a debt collection agency UK are as follows: 
The local International Debt collection Partners know: 
The local cultures 
The languages 
The laws 
Are in the same time zones 
Herewith details of our debt collection service France: 

Location of debt recovery office in France? 

We have local French partners in several cities throughout France. 

Number of debt collection staff? 

60. Each staff member is allocated a client and all their debt collection letters are personalised in order to effect the best response result s from debtors. 

How long have you been operating a debt recovery service in France? 

We have been operating a European debt collection service on a no win no fee basis in France for over 40 years. France is included on our debt collection agency list

What type of debt collection services do you provide? Do you do commercial debt recovery (B2B) and consumer debt recovery (B2C)? 

We handle both Business to Business debt recovery cases and Business to Consumer debt collections cases. There is different content for business to business debt collection letter templates and business to consumer debt collection letters templates

Statue of Limitation in France? 

In general 2 years for B2C files, and 5 years for B2B files but we have a lot of special limitations (for example the limitation for a B2B case for an international transport is only 15 months). 
France civil litigation statute of limitations is a law that time limits a plaintiff’s right to bring a claim against a defendant. The statute of limitations in France is 5 years. However, if an action has been taken within this time then the statute of limitations time will be extended to account for this. Once the specified time period elapses then no action can be taken through the legal processes unless the plaintiff is able to prove exceptional circumstances. Other Statute of Limitations include: 
France Open Account Years – 5 years 
France Promissory Notes – 5 years 
France Written Contracts – 5 years for B2B and 2 years for B2B claims 
France Oral Agreements – 5 years 

How EU (European Union) laws effect debt collection in France? 

EU laws have full effect for France debt Collection. 
France has been a European Union (EU) member country since 1958, Euro area member since 1999 and Schengen area member since 1995. 

How many companies registries in France for businesses (i.e. UK has just 1 central registry)? 

There is 1 company registry in France which is called Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques (INSEE) located in Paris. 
We have access to France Company Registry searches to find out who further background information on all France companies. 

What is the debt collection process in France? 

We do a mixture of debt recovery letters, e-mails, phone calls and amicable bailiff letter, with full respect of the GDPR law 

Average length of time to collect a debt? 

The average time taken to recover a France B2B debt collection case varies from case to case. 45 days for amicable – 1 year or more for legal 

Can late payment fees / interest to be added to claims? 

For B2C cases, we can add only interests at the legal rate in France 
For B2B cases, we can add interests, indemnity of €40 per unpaid invoice, and some damages. 
However we cannot oblige a debtor to pay these amounts amicably, only a Court decision enable us to claim them officially. 

Details on legal service / process in France? 

Payment Injunction for non disputed files 
Legal action by lawyer for disputed files, special files, or for files with high amounts 
Enforcement of Court’s decisions 
Lodgings : for debtors in bankruptcy / winding-up 
Any other relevant points: 
We can provide the other following services 
Credit report 
Solvency report on individuals 
Trace on individuals 
Creditreform has had a long standing relationship with our French partner for international debt Collection services in France. They are well reputed and maintain a high level of customer service and achieve an excellent success rate. It is also very important that our partners are experts in the local laws and collection procedures across the country. All debt collection cases are fully monitored and our clients are kept upto date with all developments and progress of each case individually. 
All communications are in English and any legal or local documents are fully translated from French to English. As with all our international debt collection partners and offices our clients always receive a first class debt recovery service. As previously stated cases handled are on a No Win No fee basis so no upfront fees have to be paid and the agreed commissions are charged against monies recovered only. Any legal actions or potential costs will not be undertaken without full consent from the client. 

France Business Credit Reports 

Creditreform provides over 88 million international business credit reports throughout Europe and 200 million international business credit reports worldwide. There are circa 4,500,000 companies entered on the French register. Through our online databases you can download these French business credit reports instantly. This can be done prior to trading to make sure the company you will be dealing with can meet the commitment or once the debt becomes overdue to ensure the debtor can meet the amount owed. 

France Skip Tracing Agents 

Creditreform’s debt collection company service also uses expert local France tracing agent services to locate any absconded debtor. This debtor tracing service is provided on a No Find No Fee basis only charging for a successful trace. 

Specialist Debt Recovery Experts 

There are many unique requirements to recovering international debts in all countries including France debt collection services which differ from the UK and therefore it is very important that cases are handled directly by our expert international debt collection agencies and not from the Debt collectors UK. This method of international debt collection sets Creditreform aside from the competition who in many cases try and recover debts from a UK debt collector only. Using the local offices and partners enables us to achieve a far greater success rate and our No Win No Fee service together with competitive commission rates against monies recovered only ensures you get the best service. 

European Payment Order in France 

There is an Order for Payment Procedure in France. Provision is made for a simplified order for payment procedure in France, known as the ‘procédure d’injonction de payer’, in Articles 1405 to 1425 of the Code of Civil Procedure. 
The procedure is available for the recovery of all claims with no upper limit. 
Proceedings of this kind must be brought before the court with jurisdiction for the place of residence of the debtor or one of the debtors concerned, which excludes recourse to the procedure when the sole debtor resides overseas. 
Once the plaintiff has made an application the debtor has a period of one month from the date of the demand for payment to lodge an objection. The objection must be made in writing. 

What language should the application be made in France? 

All actions must be made in the French language and must be made in writing. Since the beginning of 2021, an online referral service has been available on the portal for citizens involved in legal proceedings (Portail du justiciable). 
The French Centre for the Registration and Revision of Forms (CERFA) provides forms for referrals to the courts by application. 

What Courts are used in France? 

A regional court (tribunal de grande instance) hears disputes between private parties (civil and commercial cases) where the value in dispute is over €10,000. 
The district court (tribunal d’instance) hears disputes between private parties (civil cases) where the value in dispute does not exceed €10,000. 
The local court (juridiction de proximité) heard civil disputes between private parties where the amount in dispute was less than €4,000. However, since 1 July 2017, local courts have been abolished (Law No 2011-1862 of 13 December 2011), and their powers transferred to the district courts. 
The commercial court (tribunal de commerce) hears disputes regarding contracts between traders, between credit institutions or between traders and credit institutions, and disputes regarding commercial companies or commercial transactions between parties of any kind. The commercial court also deals with proceedings relating to firms in difficulty. 
The judges of the commercial courts are not professional judges but volunteers, traders or company managers. They are elected for a term of 2 years in the first election, and then for a term of 4 years at the end of the initial term, by an electoral college made up of current and former judges of the commercial courts and traders’ delegates. These latter are traders or company managers elected every 5 years in the area within the jurisdiction of the court. Their task is to participate each year in elections of commercial court judges. 
There were 134 commercial courts in Metropolitan France, 7 commercial divisions in the départements of Alsace and Moselle and 9 mixed commercial courts in overseas territories. 
The commercial court is usually composed of at least three judges. Where companies have trading/ solvency issues the public prosecutor’s office must be involved in all cases. 
There are various other courts including: 
Police Courts, Courts of Appeal and Criminal Courts. 

Mediation (Alternative Dispute Resolution - ADR) in France 

There is no central or government authority responsible for regulating the profession of mediator in France. 
Each court of appeal (cour d’appel) publishes lists of mediators in civil, social and commercial matters. These lists were established by Article 8 of Law No 2016-1547 of 18 November 2016 which are mainly used to inform judges but can be used by litigants. 
Law No 95-125 of 8 February 1995 on the organisation of courts and civil, criminal and administrative procedure introduced civil mediation into French law. Order (ordonnance) No 2011-1540 of 16 November 2011 transposed EU Directive 2008/52/EC into French law. The Directive establishes a framework intended to facilitate the amicable resolution of disputes by the parties, with the aid of a third party, the mediator. The Order broadened the scope of the provisions in the Directive to cover not just cross-border mediation but also mediation without a cross-border element, with the exception of disputes relating to a contract of employment or involving administrative law within the sovereign power of the State (droit administratif régalien). This Order also amended the Act (loi) of 8 February 1995 so as to establish a general framework for mediation. It defined the concept of mediation, described the conditions that the mediator must satisfy, and confirmed the principle of confidentiality, which is vital to the success of the mediation process. 
Recent legislative developments have made it mandatory, under French law, to use mediation in certain circumstances. 

France Debt Collection Partners in the following French Cities: 

What is the legal system in France? 

The France legal system is based on Napoleonic code (code civil of 1804). 

What is the name of the Government Gazette in France? 

The Gazette in France is called the Journal officiel de la République française - Official Journal of the French Republic. 

Which countries border France? 

France is bordered on the northeast by Belgium and Luxembourg, on the east by Germany, Switzerland, and Italy, on the south by the Spain, and Andorra

Who are the main trading partners for France? 

The top trading markets for France are Germany (14.2%), Italy (8.1%), Belgium (7.7%), Spain (7.6%), USA (7.3%), United Kingdom (5.9%), China (5%), Netherlands (4.1%). 

What is the Supreme Court in France? 

The Supreme Courts for France are called 
Constitutional Council - Conseil constitutionnel 
Court of Cassation - Cour de cassation 
Council of State - Conseil d'État 

France Debt Collection Agency FAQs 

1. How does a Debt collection agency in France recover overdue debts? 

The debt collection process is initiated by an introductory letter to your debtor stating the amount owed to you and informing them of our involvement. Letters are then followed up with emails and telephone calls. From our experience the most effective part of this process will be the outsourcing to a third party debt collection agency in France as the debtor now has to resolve the debt and can no longer hide or provide lame excuses. 

2. How long does the debt recovery agency in France take to process a case? 

The debt collection case will be processed immediately up receipt and a letter sent normally by email and post. You will receive an automated confirmation by return. 

3. What is the success rate for debt collection agencies in France? 

The success rate of the debt recovery case depends on a number of factors including the solvency of the debtor and whether the case has a legitimate dispute. Our aim is to recover every debt that is recoverable. 

4. Does the debt recovery agency in France operate a No Win No Fee debt collection? 

We take on all debt collection cases on No Win No Fee basis only charging the agreed commission against monies recovered. 

5. Why use a local debt recovery agency in France? 

The reasons for using a local France debt collection agency than processing from a different country is the debt collector in France speaks the local language, knows the local laws and operates in the same time zones. 

6. Are there any debts too old or too small for France debt collection? 

We will assess all debt cases, irrelevant of age and size and then advise the best processes to recover these through the France debt collector. 

7. How do I instruct the debt collectors in France? 

Instructing the debt collectors France is a simple process. You just email details of the debt, debtor and amount to be recovered and the case can be initiated. 

8. What evidence do I need to provide when instructing the France debt collector? 

When instructing the debt collector in France just provide copies of invoices/statements, debtor contact details and any relevant information you may have to assist with the recovery process. 

9. Who does the debtor pay? 

In general the debt collector in France will request payments to be sent directly to the client but if not possible for any reasons will take payment directly. If payment is taken then cleared funds will be processed and sent to client straight away. 

10. Can I instruct multiple cases? 

You can send unlimited debt case instructions. Our systems will automate volume cases to meet your requirements. 

11. Can you trace debtors in France? 

Through our network of skip tracing agents we have an extremely high success rate of locating your absconded debtor. 

12. How long does the debt collection process take? 

On average the debt collections process takes 90 days to resolve an amicable debt recovery case. There are a number of factors that can delay this process but we will keep you informed every step of the way. 

13. What are my options if debt collection in France is not successful? 

If the debt recovery service is not successful we will advise you of your options including legal actions. Please note no legal actions or other processes will be taken without prior instruction from you. 
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