How to collect a debt? The 2020 Guide

Many companies in France are forced to file for bankruptcy, following claims not honored by bad payers. If you have to deal with bad faith debtors who refuse to pay the amount owed to you, do not wait and take the situation in hand! You can be accompanied by a third party. Here are some tips for collecting a debt under the best possible conditions, and for dealing with dishonest debtors.


The characteristics of a claim.

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In order for you to be able to set up a recovery procedure and collect your claim in due form, it must meet three characteristics:

  • It must be certain: as a creditor, you must have in your possession documents proving that your debtor was informed of the amount due (a contract), an invoice, as well as reminders claiming the amount pending collection. If you also have documents certifying that the service has been performed (email exchanges, etc.), this may allow you to strengthen your procedure.
  • It must be liquid: you must claim a sum of money, and be able to specify the exact amount.
  • It must be due. In other words, the deadline for payment of your invoice must be exceeded.

If your claim meets these three characteristics, then you are entitled to claim your due, whatever the amount.


Favor amicable recovery

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To recover a receivable in due form, you must follow a rigorous procedure, here are the steps.

First, you need to build a file with all the information that can prove your good faith:

  • Signed quote
  • Bill
  • Contract
  • Documents proving the performance of the service: email exchanges, recovery letters, etc.

You must then send a letter to your debtor, by registered mail with an acknowledgment of receipt; this letter of formal notice is one of the elements that may be asked of you if you need to take the next step, namely the forced recovery procedure (also called judicial recovery).


Use the third party

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This amicable recovery procedure involves several inconveniences:

Collecting a receivable constitutes a set of very time-consuming steps, which prevent you from concentrating on your core business

The steps to raise arrears are sometimes very unpleasant and conflicting, some bad faith debtors do not hesitate to question the skills of their creditor to excuse a settlement not made. The conflicts generated by this situation are frequent.

Obviously, these steps are expensive and can jeopardize the health of a business.



This is why it may be wiser to entrust your payment settlement procedure to a third party to collect the debt. Collection firms allow you to set up amicable recovery procedures on your behalf. Note that some of them, like the Rubypayeur law firm, only invoice the result by asking creditors a commission on the amount received.

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