A procedure for obtaining a debt settlement


For any sum due, less than 4000 €, the creditor of a sum of money can now simply seize his bailiff to obtain a title (said executory) allowing the settlement of the debt.

Invoice unpaid, sale not settled … When a debtor owed you money and the raises (verbal or written) did not give anything, you only had to go to court to obtain the forced recovery of the debt.

Simplified procedure

Simplified procedure

The so-called Macron law of 6 August 2015 introduced a simplified procedure for the recovery of small claims. Applicable since 1 June 2016 for any amount (principal and interest included) less than 4000 €, this procedure allows a creditor to seize the bailiff to obtain an enforceable title allowing the settlement of the debt.

Its course

Its course

This procedure can be implemented for any contractual claim (unpaid rent, service delivery bill, works invoice …) or resulting from a statutory obligation (contribution due to a pension fund, co-ownership …).

The creditor seizes a bailiff to obtain an enforceable title. This initiative can be carried out electronically, by completing a form describing the nature of the dispute and the amount of the unpaid sums, accompanied by supporting documents. The territorially competent usher is:

  • until 31 December 2016, the bailiff of the jurisdiction of the district court where the debtor has his domicile or his residence;
  • as from 1 January 2017, the bailiff of the jurisdiction of the court of appeal where the debtor has his domicile or his residence.

The bailiff then invites the debtor, by registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt request (LRAR), to participate in the procedure. The latter then has one month to:

  • accept the proposal of the bailiff. In this case, the bailiff proposes to him an agreement on the amount and the modalities of the payment of his debt. Once the agreement of the creditor and the debtor is obtained on the amount and the terms of the payment, it delivers an enforceable title. This title then allows the creditor to proceed to the forced execution of the agreement in case the debtor does not honor its commitments.
  • either express a refusal to participate in the procedure OR remain silent for the period of one month OR indicate that they do not agree on the amount or the terms of payment proposed. In this case, the simplified recovery procedure will end.

To recover his claim, the creditor will then necessarily have to go to the competent court.

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