Recognition of an EU Court Decision in France

Updated on Sunday 21st April 2019

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According to the European Council Regulations, the enforcement of a judgment issued in civil and commercial matters applies between all member states of the European Union. Thus, the recognition of an EU court decision in France is possible and can apply in debt collection matter. 
 
A foreign creditor, who can be either a natural or a legal person, can have a claim over a French resident who has an unpaid debt to the said creditor. In this case, and especially when the creditor has a judgment issued in his favor for the recovery of the due amount, can commence the recovery procedure through a formal demand.
 
A judgment issued by a different state can be enforced in France under the general condition that the local laws also allow for its enforcement. Our team of agents who specialize in debt collection in France can give you more details on how the judgment can apply if you are interested to recover debts in this country.
 
What is the debt collection process in case of a court decision issued in another Member State? The steps that are to be implemented start with a formal demand and then follow the general debt collection or enforcement process.
 

What law governs the enforcement of an EU court decision in France?

 
The enforcement for the collection of debt in France issued by the EU Court or by a court in another Member State takes place according to the French enforcement law and, in some cases, according to the applicable treaties. The Brussels I Regulation is the one generally followed for the purpose of implementing judgments in civil and commercial matters.
 
The Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 refers explicitly to the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters. The regulation covers all of these main disputes but it does exclude certain well-defined matters. An important consideration is that there must be a direct link between the proceedings to which the Regulation applies and the Member State in which its implementation is desired. In principle, the Regulation applies when the defendant is domiciled in one of the EU Member States, in this case, France. 
 
When the debtor is a French resident, the procedure used for the enforcement of the judgment will be the one applicable in this state.
 
International treaties with France are useful for the treatment of similar cases that involve creditors from other, non-EU countries. International creditors who need to recover debts can reach out to our team of specialists in debt collection in France.
 

What is the small claims procedure for cross-border debts?

 
Creditors who are interested in recovering debts with a total value below 5.000 euros will need to observe the procedure for cross-border small claims. In most cases, this involved submitting a special claim form, duly filled in, which includes information about the claim. When commencing a European Small Claims Procedure with a debtor in France, the parties can communicate with the courts by post.
 
The information that needs to be filled in for a small claim includes the claimant’s details: corporate name/first name and surname, the personal identification number, address and country. Details about the nature of the dispute and the debt amount (including interest and expenses when applicable) are also included in the document. The forms need to be accompanied by supporting documents, relevant to the case. The defendant receives a copy of the claim form and, when applicable, of the supporting documents.
 

How can a debt collection lawyer in France help creditors?

 
One of our debt collection lawyers in France can help creditors who need to recover amounts from a French debtor. Requesting specialized legal aid can be important, especially in cross-border cases where the forms, like the one mentioned above, need to be filled in in an appropriate manner and be accompanies by relevant documents that will prove the case.
 
The types of assets that can be seized according to the standards debt collection enforcement procedure include:
  1. Accounts: these are the active bank accounts of the debtor, which may be frozen.
  2. Salaries: the wages and salaries as well as other types of income, with limitations in certain cases.
  3. Immovable property: real estate or land owned by the debtor who, after the procedure, will not be able to dispose of this type of assets.
  4. Movable property: valuable goods, means of transportation and others; this category is subject to a list of exempt goods.
 
In some cases, the court ruling is issued in thirty days, however, this time may vary when the court requests additional documents.
 
Working with our team of agents who specialize in debt collection in France can make it easier for creditors to submit EU cross-border. Contact us for more details about how we can help.
 

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