Are you receiving red letters – when it’s not even your birthday? These are almost certainly from the local bailiff – Huissier de Justice. It’s more than likely they are chasing up a debt of some description, and once things have reached this level they need to be treated with utmost urgency.
In my experience, the Huissier de Justice is appointed as the third level of debt chasing –
- following unpaid bills,
- and after numerous reminder letters have been sent out,
- the Huissier de Justice may then get involved to sieze assets etc..
In France certain debts have to be treated in a legally prescribed fashion, contrary to the UK.
Unfortunately the reminder letters are not always very clear, and the red letters from the Huissier de Justice are not always much better. That’s not a lot of help, especially if you didn’t understand or react to the first letters/bills.
It’s vital to pay attention to these letters, as legal bills will soon start to increase the debt considerably. Reminder letters, if they are issued from the French Tax Office, will incur an additional fee over and above the original bill. Bailiff’s fees will be in addition to the above – but are regulated by the State. If for example the original bill was for unpaid water supply, and you find that your supply is cut off, there will be a further fee to reconnect the supply. Should the matter terminate in court there will be yet more fees to pay.
My advice is to contact whowever you owe money to, and agree a payment plan with them, additionally request them to stop the bailiff’s actions.
If this is all too complicated for you, please do not hesitate to contact me in confidence