Huissier De Justice - Restitution Limited
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Persistence Pays Off With Debtor Hiding in France


Having arranged and swiftly defaulted on a contractual loan debt, the debtor may have thought he had got away with it. Our lender client had obtained judgment in the Jersey Court in 2011, but by then the debtor left the jurisdiction and moved abroad.

Instructed by the lender in 2016, we first needed to trace the debtor. He had moved through several jurisdictions and kept a low profile, though with our contacts throughout the UK and Europe, we were able to trace him to a small town in France. Once done, we were faced with time limits for taking action against him in France having expired. We approached him and sought to negotiate a settlement with him to no avail, the Debtor believing he was beyond reach in his new jurisdiction.

We had the lender assign the debt to ourselves, putting us in the position of creditor and begun a fresh legal action against him in France. The debtor defended the action, seeking to rely on time lapse, a deal he claimed to have previously struck with the lender for reduced interest payments, and other perceived procedural irregularities. Following several hearings, the French courts found against our debtor, and awarded us the judgment we required. The French process took several years to come to the hearing, with Covid intervening.

Despite having the French Judgment against him, the debtor still refused to pay. We undertook asset tracing, and monitored the debtor to guard against further absconding. Ultimately we involved French huissiers (Bailiffs) who were routinely met with claims of inability to pay, evidence of empty bank accounts, and complaint from the Debtor of failures in, and challenges by the Debtor to the process.

When ultimately met with the likelihood of the huissiers turning up on his doorstep to take goods from his family home, the debtor made contact with us and settled his liability in mid 2022. By then he had caused himself a substantial amount of additional costs and interest, which could have been avoided had he engaged with us at our initial approach.

The debt had long since been written off by the lender, and thus our recovery in which they shared, was a welcome relief against this bad debt.