Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
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    Default Debts in France, Living in the UK - What will happen to me?

    Hello, I will try to explain as clearly as possible my situation:

    I am a UK Citizen and I lived in France for about 10 years.
    I moved back to the UK last year to help my father who was sick but had some large loans in France with my French Bank Account and a Loan Company.

    I tried to keep up with payments but slowly my salary was not enough in the UK to cover my daily living and pay my monthly payments. I started to dip into a Credit Reserve to keep up with payments which is now at its maximum and now I am into my overdrafticon. Overall we are now looking at about 32,000 .

    I cannot manage on my current salary to pay anything towards my French Debts.
    My French Bank has sent a letter saying I need to refund my Overdraft and the situation is getting worse. I have no money to refund my overdraft and it keeps getting worse with the monthly payments that are coming out of my account.

    I tried to find a company in France that would group my debts so I could reduce my monthly payments but this is impossible as I am no longer resident in France. In the UK it is impossible as I have only been back a year and my credit rating is low and I would never get a loan to cover even a quarter of the amount I owe.

    I do not know what to do, as it is a debt in a foreign country I cannot seem to find any assistance or advice here in the UK.

    What could I face with regards to debt recovery? Can the French Banks take any action whilst I am here living in the UK?
    Please any information would be invaluable.

    I am prepared to pay my debts but my current financial situation would only allow me to pay maybe 150 - 200 a month, not the current 800 a month (all added together) plus there is my French overdraft which is now at about 3000 and getting worse.

    Thank you for your help.


  2. #2
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    Default Re: Debts in France, Living in the UK - What will happen to me?

    If you defaulted on these debts there are reciprocal agreements in place where it would be possible for an EU creditor to take enforcement action within other member States. However, because you are now resident in the UK and any French CCJ is absent they would have to take action in a UK court using French law. Given that the amount is so high it is probable that they may attempt to do so.

    It really depends on your circumstances as to what advice can be given. Do you own property or have any assets?

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Debts in France, Living in the UK - What will happen to me?

    Thank you for your quick reply - I have no property or assets... what would that mean for me?


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Debts in France, Living in the UK - What will happen to me?

    If your job is not dependent on you having a clean credit file you could consider bankruptcy which would clear these debts. There are other options too which if you contact http://www.nationaldebtline.co.uk/ they will be able to go through with you. It is a charity & does not charge for their help.

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Debts in France, Living in the UK - What will happen to me?

    Thank you once again.
    I did contact the national debtline for some advice but they said as I had not yet defaulted on payments and that my debts are abroad and no action had yet been taken, they were limited on the advice that they could give me. They sent me information on budgeting etc but I just do not have the income to keep up with the payments that they require.
    I really do not know what to do, I tried to speak with companies in France and also at first my bank but typically they reply that they cannot help as I am no longer a French Resident and I have to find a solution on my own. They are not clear with what the next steps will be for me if I do not keep up with the payments.
    Do I just have to wait and see? Is it best to lie low, ignore any letters from my bank in France and wait until I am contacted by a debt recovery company in the UK?
    I assume I cannot file for bankruptcy until there is action taken here in the UK, is this correct?
    I would so much rather deal with this with an English Speaking Company, my French is good but not when it comes to this kind of talk.
    I do appreciate the help, I feel so panicked at the moment with a million questions and its hard to find someone to actually sit and talk this through to find the best solution.
    Thank you.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Debts in France, Living in the UK - What will happen to me?

    I assume I cannot file for bankruptcy until there is action taken here in the UK, is this correct?
    You can personally file for BR at anytime but it will cost around 700.

    Some people chose to wait for there creditors to send a 'Statutory Demand' which is a precursor to them applying for your bankruptcy which would mean the creditor paying the fees. The problem with this is it can take several months [if ever] for them to do it + you will have debt collectorsicon writing & telephoning all the time & even via your employer if they have those details.

    If your creditors are aware you have no assets they will be likely to sell the debt on after a few months too.

    As it stands now I personally would default on the payments, obviously you cannot afford them, and wait & see what they do. Even if you make reduced payments it will have little impact on the debt & they will increase in any case because of the interesticon & charges they will add on.

    There is no need to panic, this is purely a civil matter & the bottom line is there isn't a great deal they can do other than harass you via the post and on the telephone. If they do ring refuse to speak to them & tell them you will only communicate in writing. If they do start to harass you there are plenty of things which can be done to stop them so do not feel intimidated by them.

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    Default Re: Debts in France, Living in the UK - What will happen to me?

    Thank you, I need to take a deep breath, take this all in and think about this further in the morning instead of making myself ill with worry.
    Your advice and reassurance is greatly appreciated
    What a mess eh! :s


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Debts in France, Living in the UK - What will happen to me?

    I know it's easier said than done, but honestly do not worry about it. You are one of many tens of thousands of people in exactly the same position due to world's economic situation & personal problems. Debt is no longer the stigma it once was, in fact it's fast becoming the norm.

    Long gone are the days of the debtors prisons & they cannot abduct your eldest born.

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