Since October 1, 2016, bailiffs can issue an enforceable title and recover debts less than 4000 euros without having to go before the judge!

Until now, a creditor could only seize the bailiff after having obtained from the judge an enforceable title (order to pay…) to initiate proceedings (seizures…).

With these new provisions, any creditor can contact the bailiff of the domicile of his debtor so that he can recover the sums due by carrying out a new amicable procedure.

The implementation of the procedure requires

A claim

  • An amountless than or equal to 4000 euros.
  • Original contractual (sales contract, loan contract, lease contract, etc.) or that it results from an obligation of a statutory nature (compulsory contributions to social services, etc.).
  • Liquid and payable(that is, certain and not in dispute). For this, it will be necessary to produce all the supporting documents demonstrating its certain, liquid and payable nature (contract, unpaid invoice, letters of reminders, formal notice, etc.)

A bailiff

He must practice in the department of the debtor's domicile.

(As of January 1, 2017, this territorial jurisdiction will be modeled on the jurisdiction of the court of appeal, if your debtor lives in Lyon, you can choose a bailiff practicing in Loire, Ain, or Rhône).

You can enter it by mail, by declaration (by going to the bailiff's office) or by email! A single site is provided for this purpose "" and an identification system will allow access. A decree of June 3, 2016 specifies all the conditions for the implementation, confidentiality and security of these dematerialized exchanges.

The exact contact details of the debtor

The creditor must present a complete file to the bailiff concerning the identity and contact details of the debtor.

These data appear on the judgment which fixes the definitive claim.

If the creditor has moved without leaving an address, the bailiff will in any case the means to find the debtor.

The conduct of the simplified procedure

The recovery is carried out by amicable means.

The bailiff sends the debtor a registered letter specifying his name and address as well as those of the creditor, the exact amount of the debt (in principal and accessory). A separate form specifies to the debtor that he remains free to accept or refuse this form of amicable recovery. The debtor has one month, from the date of its sending and not of receipt, to give its response.

If you debtor refuses, or does not reply at the end of the month following the registered mail (and this even if he had finally accepted but out of time) the procedure stops. The prescription will resume and the bailiff will not be able to collect by force the sums due without an enforceable title validly issued by a judge (order to pay, etc.).

If you debtor accepts (by signing the form within a month, by going to the study or by connecting to a dedicated website), the bailiff must obtain the agreement of the debtor and the creditor on the payment plan.

This first acceptance does not oblige the debtor to pay immediately nor to accept outright the amount of the debt.

It is only at the end of the procedure (in the month following the issuance of the proposal), and only if the bailiff notes that no serious dispute affects the claim or the proposed plan, that he may:

To know :

Acceptance of the procedure entails:

  • Recognition of debt (which you will no longer be able to dispute)
  • The issuance of an enforceable title by the bailiff given to the creditor (and a copy to the debtor)
  • Suspension of limitation periods

In the event of non-compliance with the terms of payment, the bailiff who ratified the agreement must contact another bailiff who will proceed to the forced recovery of the sums due.

All the costs of the procedure from the referral to the bailiff until the formalization of the agreement (issuance of the title and payment plan), are the responsibility of the creditor.

The chamber of bailiffs indicates a price range going from 10 euros in the event of failure to 40 euros in the event of success of the simplified procedure.

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