French Insolvency Law – Leaseback Issues

Pursuant to the Insolvency Act 26 July 2005 and Article L622-17 of the Code de Commerce, debts arising after the date a French company is put into Receivership must be paid by the company’s Receiver.

The process of lodging a claim or proof of debt with the competent official of the insolvency proceedings (Liquidator or Creditors’ Representative) is called ‘Déclaration de créance ‘. Until a creditor has filed its proof of debt, any discussion with this official is, in most cases, ineffective. ‘Déclaration de créance’ Claims must be filed either with the creditor’s representative, whose duty is to represent the interests of the creditors and list all claims, or with the Liquidator if the company is already in liquidation. 

Proofs of Debt must be very carefully drafted. Some essential points to consider are as follows:

• Drafting the proof of debt in French;
• Mentioning whether the debt is a preferential one or not;
• The legal interest on unpaid sums should be included. Interest stops accruing at the date of the commencement Receivership Order;
• All sums must be converted in Euro with the exchange rate applicable at the date of the Order;
• The ‘Declaration de Créance’ is to be signed by a legal representative of the foreign creditor, or anyone holding a special power of attorney, or the creditor’s solicitor;
• Above his/her signature, the creditor or its legal representative must handwrite a special Statement of Truth;
• All supporting documentation evidencing the claim should be listed on a document called ‘Bordereau de documents justificatifs’;

The time-limit for filing claims is two months from the date the Receivership Order is published. Such publishing normally takes place around three weeks following the date of the Order. The time limit is extended to 4 months for overseas-based creditors.

Fabien Cordiez is a licensed, dual-qualified French lawyer and solicitor with over 10 years of experience.  His law firm is a registered French law firm which focuses on property law and inheritance.  His small niche law firm offers non-resident clients a fully personalized service throughout France.  Mr. Cordiez is also a member of the LawGuru Attorney Network.

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