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UK debts chased in France after moving


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Hello,

 

It is the first time I use this forum, and I really need your advice. I am going to try to make it short, but it is not going to be easy...

 

My husband and I are French and lived in England for six years (July 1996 to August 2002). We left UK at the beginning of August 2002 to move back to France because of unplanned family reasons, but with outstanding unsecured debts in the UK. Before moving, we wrote to our creditors in the UK to let them know we were moving to France, our moving date and our temporary address in France where they could contact us.

 

Unfortunately, in 2006, we had to file for bankruptcy in France (because of financial difficulties in France) and we included our UK debts (all unsecured).

 

Our file went back and forth between the french Administrative Board and/or the Court for several reasons:

- our family situation changed several times (we broke up, then we went back together),

- then we challenged the measures decided by the french Administrative Board regarding our ressources, our expenses, the amount they wanted us to pay every month.

 

The UK creditors were all contacted by the French Administrative Board to declare their claims during the whole bankruptcy filing procedure, but none of them replied. However, we received the usual threatening letters from FRANCE CREANCES (from January 2004, a DCA in France) who acted in the name of LINK FINANCIAL LTD (a DCA in the UK) who bought an old BARCLAYCARD debt back in 2002. As we acted in good faith, we contacted them in 2006 to inform them of our financial situation, and that we had filed for bankruptcy in France.

 

Eventually, we started paying our debts from January 2012 up to February 2013 (including FRANCE CREANCES'), but had to file for bankruptcy again in March 2013 as we had contracted more french debts (one is around 20000 Euros. My sweet husband, always willing to help others, had the good idea to sign a deed of personal surety for somebody who was looking for a flat to rent. This deed is requested by a vast majority of landlords in France to secure the renting of their property. The person didn't pay her rent for months. As a result, because of the signed deed, we will have to pay the outstanding rent arrears in place

of the person who didn't pay the rent. In France, this kind of deed allows the creditor to contact directly the deed signer without even contacting the person who is faulty... It goes without saying that this additional debt has increased our financial difficulties...)

 

Our file has been back and forth again between the french Administrative Board and/or Court for 3 years because we have been challenging the measures decided by the french Administrative Board and/or the Court decisions, so as to make the payment plan viable for us. What is thepoint in signing a plan which we know we won't be able to respect. We want to be able to pay our debts and live (or should I say survive...).

 

In June 2014, we challenged the detailed statement of our debts, including the UK ones. We went to Court on July 1st, 2014. Regarding FRANCE CREANCES/LINK FINANCIAL LIMITED, we asked the Court to contact them to provide us with the proof that they bought our debt from LINK FINANCIAL LIMITED, and that LINK FINANCIAL LIMITED bought the debt from BARCLAYCARD. We cited as well sections 77 and 78 from the Consumer Credit Act 1974 so as we could be provided with a copy of the executed agreements signed by my husband and I (as we both had a Barclaycard), and of any other documents referred to in it. So far, the requested documents still haven't be provided. As far as the other creditors were concerned, we cited section 9 of Limitation Act 1980 regarding the 6 years' limitation to recover their debts that had been clearly missed.

 

As a result, from the evidence we provided ourselves, the french Court, on the 1st of August 2014, ruled out our UK debts of the payment plan since, during the whole procedure (and after the Court hearing of July 1st, 2014), all of our UK creditors had been contacted by the french Administrative Board and/or the Court to declare their claims, but none had replied.

 

In November 2014, we challenged AGAIN the measures decided by the french Administrative Board regarding our ressources, our expenses, the amount they wanted us to pay every month. They contacted again all our creditors, including the ones in the UK, for declaration of the claims. None of them replied apart from FRANCE CREANCES mentioned above, who tranmitted the french Administrative Board and/or the Court the amount of the outstanding debt (for which we started paying in January 2012, but stopped paying in February 2013). We have an Appeal court hearing in June 2016 for which we hired a solicitor.

According to her, UK law prevails over France law in our case.

 

As far as I am concerned, I have some questions regarding FRANCE CREANCE/LINK FINANCIAL LIMITED and the other creditors:

 

- according to you, due to the fact that we took on debts in the UK while we were UK residents, that we are French citizens and now live in France, which law should be taken into account for the Appeal procedure: English our French law?

 

- in case of the prevailing of UK law: prior to moving back to France, we contacted our creditors in good faith (see above). Is it considered as a relevant ackowledgement of debt according to the UK law and section 9 of Limitation Act 1980?

 

- in case of the prevailing of UK law: in 2006, when we filed for bancruptcy in France (including our UK debts), is it considered as a relevant acknowledgement of debt according to the UK law and section 9 of Limitation Act 1980?

 

- in case of the prevailing of UK law: does the UK Law take into account the filing of bankruptcy abroad and the inclusion of UK debts?

 

- in case of the prevailing of UK law: is the fact that no UK creditors replied/declared claims when contacted by the french Administrative Board and/or Court during the whole bankruptcy filing procedure (starting from 2006 up until now, apart from FRANCE CREANCES/LINK FINANCIAL LIMITED) relevant to sections 77 and 78 from the Consumer Credit Act 1974 for the transmission of a copy of the executed agreements signed by my husband and I, and of any other documents referred to in it, and to section 9 of Limitation Act 1980 regarding the 6 years' limitation to recover their debts, as no relevant claim has ever been declared?

 

- in case of the prevailing of UK law: as far as FRANCE CREANCES/LINK FINANCIAL LIMITED, does the fact that we started paying them in 2012 (10 years after leaving the UK, 6 years after including them in our Bankruptcy file in France) play against us regarding section 9 of Limitation Act 1980 and the 6 years' limitation to recover their debts? By the way, I have asked them to provide me with a copy of their declaration of claim to the french Administrative Board. From their email I have just received, they can't find the declaration, or don't want to provide me with it. I have asked the french Administrative Board as well. In case of the prevailing of UK law, if no declaration of claim from FRANCE CREANCES/LINK FINANCIAL LIMITED can be provided to either the french Administrative Board and/or the Court, can either sections 77 and 78 from the Consumer Credit Act 1974 or section 9 of Limitation Act 1980 regarding the 6 years' limitation to recover debts be cited in the forthcoming Appeal procedure?

 

- in case of the prevailing of UK law: does it matter if the french Administrative Board and/or Court contacted in our names the creditors for a declaration of claims or a copy of the executed agreements signed by my husband and I and of any other documents referred to in it?

 

- in case of the prevailing of UK law: is Section 9 of the Limitation Act 1980 the only section dealing with time limit regarding the recovery of sums by statute?

 

- in case of the prevailing of UK law: are there other acts dealing with time limit regarding the recovery of sums?

 

I know there are many questions, it is a long read, and I am sorry. I hope I am clear enough. If you need more info, I will be pleased to try to answer your questions.

 

I really need some answers because all this stresses me too much. The end of the Bankruptcy procedure is near, and I really need to have some answers, some advice before starting to pay again, because the procedure won't go any further...

 

Thank you ever so much in anticipation for your help !!!

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Yes, you certainly have asked a lot of questions.

 

As a general position, you should understand that that the questions you are asking concern a fairly specific area of law known as the "conflict of laws" which is concerned about how the competing laws of different nationstates reconcile with each other.

 

This is not something that we have any particular experience with on this forum and unless you are lucky and somebody who does have this experience comes on to this thread, I'm afraid that we won't be up to help you.

 

On the matter of statute barred debts, once the debt has become statute barred then it can't be revived by the re-commencement of payments.

 

I understand that the last time you acknowledge the debt was in 2006. Is this correct?

 

I understand that you then resumed payments on that debt in 2012. Is that correct?

 

If there was a clear six year gap between the 2006 date and the 2012 date then I would say that the debt is statute barred under English law. In that case your subsequent 2012 payments won't have re-validated the debt and so it remains unenforceable.

 

In terms of any debts incurred in the United Kingdom, they would be subject to UK law. I'm quite sure of this.

 

In terms of a bankruptcy proceedings commenced in France, I can scarcely imagine that there isn't some international agreement whereby bankruptcies which are ordered in one signatory state are recognised in all the other signatories. However, I'm afraid that this is something that you should take independent advice on.

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If there have been ongoing court processes over the many years, i would question whether any debts are statute barred. It would be up to whoever is handling your bankruptcy to ensure they deal with the various debts in accordance with the law/rules that apply. I think you will have to leave this in the hands of the lawyers and other professionals you are dealing with, as it has become very complicated.

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I understand that the last time you acknowledge the debt was in 2006. Is this correct?

 

I understand that you then resumed payments on that debt in 2012. Is that correct?

 

 

Hello,

 

Thank you for your quick reply.

 

The above dates are right. But there has been back and forth communication from 2006 to 2012, emails between the creditor FRANCE CREANCES and myself regarding our debt and the bankruptcy procedure in France. So would our debt be considered statute barred?

 

Many thanks in anticipation for your help.

Edited by Chouquette
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Hello,

 

Thanks for your reply. As it is way to complicated, I am going to ask independent advice from a lawyer specialised in European or International laws.

 

I would like to thank you again for the time you spent reading my long post.

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if link are involved I know what i'd do...ignore them totally

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Just to double check the current bankruptcy proceedings are the 2nd time both yourself and your husband will have been made bankrupt? The 1st being in 2006?

 

 

If this is the case then Link/France Creances should not have been chasing the debt in the intervening years as it should have been included in the initial bankruptcy, and no payments should have been made by yourselves. Whether these payments can be reclaimed I don't know.

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