Mortgage Problems in France

Are you worried about a French mortgage debt?

Difficulties with mortgage payments

Many French properties are bought using mortgage loans and when owners have difficulties paying the mortgage, the situation can deteriorate rapidly.

Failure to pay your mortgage instalments can allow the bank to claim repayment of the full amount of the loan, and then force a sale of your property at an auction which takes place at the court.

Auctions before the court are a great risk for the owner, as the properties are often sold at well under their market value – still leaving the owner liable for the balance of the loan.

Do not ignore the problem – be proactive.

If you are having difficulties paying your mortgage, the most important advice we can give you is not to ignore the difficulty but to have an open dialogue with the bank and generally to be active in the search for solutions.

Starting the dialogue early can make all the difference, even in difficult cases. Judicare can help you to explain your situation to your bank or do so on your behalf, in order to help you show good faith in attempting to find solutions. Provided the case is dealt with at an early stage it may be possible to agree an instalment plan.

Even if the Bank is not prepared to continue with the loan agreement, it may be possible for you to refinance the loan with another Bank. In this case we can help you prepare your plan for refinancing, whilst agreeing terms with your initial lender which will give you a breathing space to explore all possibilities for a new loan.

If proceedings for a forced sale have been started, it is vital to be represented as soon as the procedure begins, as certain arguments, defences and solutions can only be used in favour of the property owner at the initial stage of the proceedings.

In particular, if a property has to be sold, it is possible for the owner to sell voluntarily, either with the consent of the Bank or with the authorization of the court, thus maximising the chances of repaying all the mortgage debt and preserving equity.

Are you being pursued by a French Bank or debt collectors for an old mortgage debt?

Property owners are often under the mistaken impression that if a French property is sold, their liability for the payment of the debt ends.

This is not the case. Sale of the property by the Bank is just one way of obtaining payment of the mortgage debt and the Bank may pursue the borrower for payment of the balance of the loan even after a forced sale.

Owners may find themselves being pursued for payment even outside France. We are aware of claims pursued in England by Banks and even by third parties (so called “Vulture Funds”) to whom Banks have transferred their portfolios of mortgage debt.

What to do if you receive a Debt collection letter or a Solicitor’s letter?

If you are being asked to pay an old mortgage debt, particularly after a forced sale of your property, it is essential to take advice immediately – and before responding to any demand – to see whether the claim is valid. A proper review of your case may result in the availability of complete defences to the claim against you for the whole of the remaining balance of the mortgage.

You may receive a letter from companies such as CLI Debt solutions who will be acting on behalf of the Bank in France: typically, on behalf of BNP Paribas. You may also receive letters from solicitors in the UK acting for a Bank in France and looking to exercise a Judgement previously obtained against you from a French Court.

A recent such case resulted in us completely “striking out” a Claim from a French Bank being pursued against our client by a firm of Solicitors in the UK. The Claim and the entire amount – which was almost €200,000 – was successfully defeated and the debt written off in full. Read more here.

It is therefore important when looking for a firm to represent your interests and to negotiate with a foreign Bank on your behalf, that you look to engage a specialist, experienced and regulated firm of Solicitors. Here at Judicare we have decades of combined experience in dealing with Banks in foreign jurisdictions, and as a specialist firm of Solicitors, we have been able to negotiate over €35 million of foreign Bank debt being successfully written off for our clients.

If you have received a debt collection notice or have fears you may soon receive something from your Bank in France, or would simply like more information on our approach, a member of our team will be happy to take your call on a confidential basis at 01438 840258 or via email to admin@judicaregroup.com

We can also arrange a free no obligation teleconference via Zoom/Skype.

Getting in touch will allow us to understand your individual circumstances and discuss with you your concerns and objectives. Working with you we can then decide upon the correct strategy to approach and find the solution which is right for you.

At Judicare, we can advise and assist you as a matter of urgency:

-  if you are having difficulties with mortgage payments

- if there is threat of forced sale or

- if you are faced with a demand in relation to an old mortgage debt.

Our team can also manage court proceedings throughout France and help you to explore solutions for sale otherwise than at a court auction if a sale is inevitable.

The quicker you act the greater the chance of a successful outcome.