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What NOT to do with unpaid bills in France

Today we’re pleased to present to you our southern neighbour. Does the country need an introduction? Everyone here in Belgium has heard of France and, in the past few months, the length and breadth of the country seems to have been swamped in the same fluorescent yellow. In both countries, TV screens and newspapers are full to bursting with images of the gilets jaunes, latter-day Mariannes spurring on the masses, their vested fury fighting to rein in runaway taxes. The more it goes on, the more we all seem to be partaking of the same political fare, especially the ripe, full-bodied Boursin cheese. So, does that mean that we ought now to take over control of unpaid bills in France and break them in according to the debt recovery process in Belgium?

 

 

« Bonsoir Biloute, HEIN ! »

True, ‘the French’ appear to be united by many similarities. And yet, to treat all the inhabitants of this rather large country as just so much of a muchness somewhat borders on madness. Or, as the film Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis rather nicely puts it, where lead actor Philippe Abrams, by way of disciplinary measure, is relocated from the easy-living South of France to the ‘Siberian’ Far North of the country.

Rigged out in polar explorer’s outfit Philippe ends up among the Ch’ti-speaking ‘natives’, eager to give him a warm welcome, where he first can’t understand a blind word. But the more Philippe gets to know the language and customs of the locals, the realization dawns upon him that he has perhaps fallen down a sewer and come up smelling of roses. But that’s not really how it goes in credit control. Or perhaps, broadly speaking, …

 

Order to Cash

Enfin, what we are actually trying to say is that, once correct communication has been established with (often highly specific) knowledge of the language and culture of the debtor, an amicable settlement is usually possible. That sets at rest the mind of creditor, debtor and credit controller.

And that is exactly what our partner Order to Cash does best. Swift, transparent debt recovery in France, where just the right accent (although Ch’ti perhaps eludes correct capture, …) is placed on an amicable, socially aware and sensitive solution for unpaid bills.

Order to Cash was started in 2008 by Mikaël Posnic who, a while later, welcomed former colleague Guillaume Baudoux into the company as fellow Business Manager. Both men have extensive experience in credit management, factoring and consulting. So, an ideal mix for the right touch in socially complex issues as regards content that debt recovery will often involve. Order to Cash also offers additional services, such as assistance for business in the correct billing of their clients.

 

Facts and figures

Order to Cash meanwhile collects unpaid bills in France, from Rouen and from Paris, and the company has grown from a core staff to today’s ten internal employees. Order to Cash also enlists the services of many external IT experts and lawyers, who ably manage the recovery material. They keep the system up and running and up-to-date. They give legal advice and follow judicial proceedings for claims in which no out-of-court solution can be found. Some key figures:

  • Order to Cash is currently managing claims filed by 400 active creditors with all manner of divergent requirements and from many different sectors.
  • At present more than 15,000 debtor cases are being processed throughout 60 countries.
  • France may well be a very big country, but our partner can send inspectors to the farthest reaches to settle debts with the debtor on a local basis.
  • 30% of the recovered claims are less than 30 days old, that is, the due date for payment.
  • 3% of the recovered claims are older than 2 years.
  • B2C claims end up before a court of law in only 1% of cases (in number, 2% in amount); B2B claims are ultimately legally pursued in 11% of cases (in number, 22% in amount). Working alongside external lawyers allows the company to charge standard rates for legal proceedings.

 

Member of the TCM Group

Order to Cash says that TCM Belgium was the real inspiration for their company joining the TCM Group in 2014. It had formerly tried to set up a global network of its own, but it soon enough came to realize that finding and bringing on board the best partner for each region would be hugely time-consuming. The Belgian claims were thereupon sent on to TCM Belgium, so the door to the TCM Group was open.

Guillaume: “The whole TCM Group does its best to deliver the best result for each partner, precisely because all the players in the network are equally necessary, and because losing a client means the loss of a client for the TCM Group. That gives a quality guarantee. We’re also proud to say that we work with the best partners worldwide. The Group also provides an environment in which natural competition is encouraged”.

 

To « IP » or not to « IP » ?

If you are already a client of TCM Belgium you may perhaps already have heard of the possibility of a Payment Instruction (Injonction de Payer – IP) in France. A PI is in fact a sort of summary procedure, an order to proceed to payment, that may be initiated for undisputed debts that, logically, have not yet lapsed. In France the expiry period for B2C claims is usually set at 2 years, for B2B claims 5 years. There are of course (as also in Belgium) some exceptions; a medical debt, for instance, will expire after 1 year. It is therefore useful to have a French partner by your side to guide you through the maze!

The advantages of a PI are the shorter procedure time (although the courts are currently inundated with work) and the relatively low cost of those proceedings that nonetheless deliver an enforceable court decision. There are, however, drawbacks; a debtor may promptly object (and the content of the objection is of minor significance), and the proceedings are then brought to a halt. You will also have to be in possession of the necessary procedural documents in the file (but that much is also true for any other legal proceedings). Order to Cash always advises having to hand a signed contract/order form/ confirmation of receipt/acknowledgement of debt.

In most cases the partner will then advise initiating a PI, because it is not infrequently the case that a debtor will protest and because the cost is relatively low.

To call a spade a spade

Since Marianne, it must be said that, in France, “the People” rule the roost. Debtors are well protected, which means, e.g., that it is not always easy to collect costs an interests on an amicable basis. As a creditor the best protection that you can take is to ensure that you have all the necessary documents and, as additional precaution, also ensure that the general terms and conditions (in which the costs and interests are usually stipulated) have been signed.

Order to Cash works hard on developing its image around debt recovery in France and to help people to realize that opting for the amicable solution is more intelligent than a costly alternative for creditor and for debtor alike. Guillaume: “Well, you know, our activity is often regarded as immoral, but we’re precisely all about ensuring that our clients don’t experience problems. As far as we’re concerned we often think the other way around: debtors can always come to us for a free amicable solution.

What not to do in debt recovery in France?

In brief:

  • Never take a one-size-fits-all approach if bills remain unpaid. Remember that each country is different, and France is quite a large country, its regions may differ very considerably.
  • Never assume that a court case would be any faster and less expensive than an out-of-court settlement. A PI may well be a relatively low-cost legal solution, but the cost of an amicable settlement, is appreciably less again thanks to the TCM network principle no cure no fee, or is even zero if no recovery is made. Nor will a PI always ensure any speedier solution when you bear in mind the number of cases flooding the French courts of law, or if the debtor should decide to protest. Besides which direct contact with the debtor in the amicable phase will often elicit a favourable result. So always first opt for the amicable course of action.
  • Do not imagine that the administrative, legal and contractual formalities in France are the same as those in Belgium. Costs and interests are collected only with difficulty, if indeed at all, in the absence of any signed contract or signed general terms and conditions. Both of these are less necessary in Belgium if it can be demonstrated that goods or services have in fact been ordered or received. Expiry period may also vary quite considerably.

 

If you have any questions or want to find out more about debt recovery in France, do not hesitate to contact us on number 016 74 52 00 or send an e-mail to info@tcm.be . Remember also to take a look at our pointdrive.

What NOT to do with unpaid bills in France

Today we’re pleased to present to you our southern neighbour. Does the country need an introduction? Everyone here in Belgium has heard of France and, in the past few months, the length and breadth of the country seems to have been swamped in the same fluorescent yellow. In both countries, TV screens and newspapers are full to bursting with images of the gilets jaunes, latter-day Mariannes spurring on the masses, their vested fury fighting to rein in runaway taxes. The more it goes on, the more we all seem to be partaking of the same political fare, especially the ripe, full-bodied Boursin cheese. So, does that mean that we ought now to take over control of unpaid bills in France and break them in according to the debt recovery process in Belgium?

 

 

« Bonsoir Biloute, HEIN ! »

True, ‘the French’ appear to be united by many similarities. And yet, to treat all the inhabitants of this rather large country as just so much of a muchness somewhat borders on madness. Or, as the film Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis rather nicely puts it, where lead actor Philippe Abrams, by way of disciplinary measure, is relocated from the easy-living South of France to the ‘Siberian’ Far North of the country.

Rigged out in polar explorer’s outfit Philippe ends up among the Ch’ti-speaking ‘natives’, eager to give him a warm welcome, where he first can’t understand a blind word. But the more Philippe gets to know the language and customs of the locals, the realization dawns upon him that he has perhaps fallen down a sewer and come up smelling of roses. But that’s not really how it goes in credit control. Or perhaps, broadly speaking, …

 

Order to Cash

Enfin, what we are actually trying to say is that, once correct communication has been established with (often highly specific) knowledge of the language and culture of the debtor, an amicable settlement is usually possible. That sets at rest the mind of creditor, debtor and credit controller.

And that is exactly what our partner Order to Cash does best. Swift, transparent debt recovery in France, where just the right accent (although Ch’ti perhaps eludes correct capture, …) is placed on an amicable, socially aware and sensitive solution for unpaid bills.

Order to Cash was started in 2008 by Mikaël Posnic who, a while later, welcomed former colleague Guillaume Baudoux into the company as fellow Business Manager. Both men have extensive experience in credit management, factoring and consulting. So, an ideal mix for the right touch in socially complex issues as regards content that debt recovery will often involve. Order to Cash also offers additional services, such as assistance for business in the correct billing of their clients.

 

Facts and figures

Order to Cash meanwhile collects unpaid bills in France, from Rouen and from Paris, and the company has grown from a core staff to today’s ten internal employees. Order to Cash also enlists the services of many external IT experts and lawyers, who ably manage the recovery material. They keep the system up and running and up-to-date. They give legal advice and follow judicial proceedings for claims in which no out-of-court solution can be found. Some key figures:

  • Order to Cash is currently managing claims filed by 400 active creditors with all manner of divergent requirements and from many different sectors.
  • At present more than 15,000 debtor cases are being processed throughout 60 countries.
  • France may well be a very big country, but our partner can send inspectors to the farthest reaches to settle debts with the debtor on a local basis.
  • 30% of the recovered claims are less than 30 days old, that is, the due date for payment.
  • 3% of the recovered claims are older than 2 years.
  • B2C claims end up before a court of law in only 1% of cases (in number, 2% in amount); B2B claims are ultimately legally pursued in 11% of cases (in number, 22% in amount). Working alongside external lawyers allows the company to charge standard rates for legal proceedings.

 

Member of the TCM Group

Order to Cash says that TCM Belgium was the real inspiration for their company joining the TCM Group in 2014. It had formerly tried to set up a global network of its own, but it soon enough came to realize that finding and bringing on board the best partner for each region would be hugely time-consuming. The Belgian claims were thereupon sent on to TCM Belgium, so the door to the TCM Group was open.

Guillaume: “The whole TCM Group does its best to deliver the best result for each partner, precisely because all the players in the network are equally necessary, and because losing a client means the loss of a client for the TCM Group. That gives a quality guarantee. We’re also proud to say that we work with the best partners worldwide. The Group also provides an environment in which natural competition is encouraged”.

 

To « IP » or not to « IP » ?

If you are already a client of TCM Belgium you may perhaps already have heard of the possibility of a Payment Instruction (Injonction de Payer – IP) in France. A PI is in fact a sort of summary procedure, an order to proceed to payment, that may be initiated for undisputed debts that, logically, have not yet lapsed. In France the expiry period for B2C claims is usually set at 2 years, for B2B claims 5 years. There are of course (as also in Belgium) some exceptions; a medical debt, for instance, will expire after 1 year. It is therefore useful to have a French partner by your side to guide you through the maze!

The advantages of a PI are the shorter procedure time (although the courts are currently inundated with work) and the relatively low cost of those proceedings that nonetheless deliver an enforceable court decision. There are, however, drawbacks; a debtor may promptly object (and the content of the objection is of minor significance), and the proceedings are then brought to a halt. You will also have to be in possession of the necessary procedural documents in the file (but that much is also true for any other legal proceedings). Order to Cash always advises having to hand a signed contract/order form/ confirmation of receipt/acknowledgement of debt.

In most cases the partner will then advise initiating a PI, because it is not infrequently the case that a debtor will protest and because the cost is relatively low.

To call a spade a spade

Since Marianne, it must be said that, in France, “the People” rule the roost. Debtors are well protected, which means, e.g., that it is not always easy to collect costs an interests on an amicable basis. As a creditor the best protection that you can take is to ensure that you have all the necessary documents and, as additional precaution, also ensure that the general terms and conditions (in which the costs and interests are usually stipulated) have been signed.

Order to Cash works hard on developing its image around debt recovery in France and to help people to realize that opting for the amicable solution is more intelligent than a costly alternative for creditor and for debtor alike. Guillaume: “Well, you know, our activity is often regarded as immoral, but we’re precisely all about ensuring that our clients don’t experience problems. As far as we’re concerned we often think the other way around: debtors can always come to us for a free amicable solution.

What not to do in debt recovery in France?

In brief:

  • Never take a one-size-fits-all approach if bills remain unpaid. Remember that each country is different, and France is quite a large country, its regions may differ very considerably.
  • Never assume that a court case would be any faster and less expensive than an out-of-court settlement. A PI may well be a relatively low-cost legal solution, but the cost of an amicable settlement, is appreciably less again thanks to the TCM network principle no cure no fee, or is even zero if no recovery is made. Nor will a PI always ensure any speedier solution when you bear in mind the number of cases flooding the French courts of law, or if the debtor should decide to protest. Besides which direct contact with the debtor in the amicable phase will often elicit a favourable result. So always first opt for the amicable course of action.
  • Do not imagine that the administrative, legal and contractual formalities in France are the same as those in Belgium. Costs and interests are collected only with difficulty, if indeed at all, in the absence of any signed contract or signed general terms and conditions. Both of these are less necessary in Belgium if it can be demonstrated that goods or services have in fact been ordered or received. Expiry period may also vary quite considerably.

 

If you have any questions or want to find out more about debt recovery in France, do not hesitate to contact us on number 016 74 52 00 or send an e-mail to info@tcm.be . Remember also to take a look at our pointdrive.

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