Suspension of payment of claims during a judicial liquidation

In judicial liquidation, a company escapes the direct claims of its creditors concerning the settlement of its debts. This suspension of payment of claims takes effect from the start of the procedure.

Suspension of individual lawsuits in the event of collective proceedings

In a recent case, a private individual contacted a window and door installation company to carry out work on his home. When the work was never completed, the individual sued the company for damages. The judges dismissed his claim, as the company was in receivership at the time the legal action was launched.

By law, individual legal action against a debtor is suspended as soon as collective proceedings, such as judicial liquidation, reorganization or safeguard, are initiated.

This principle has far-reaching consequences for the rights of creditors to recover their debts. The opening of bankruptcy proceedings suspends all legal action, whether to demand payment of a sum of money or to terminate a contract for non-payment.

However, if cancellation of a contract is requested for a reason other than non-payment of a debt, judges may deem the creditor's action admissible. Similarly, a resolutory clause in a contract may be applied ipso jure, even after proceedings have been initiated.


Challenges for creditors and strategies to adopt

In most cases, creditors, including those with business accounts, have no choice but to declare their claims to the liquidator or other body in charge of the proceedings. They will need to be able to prove the veracity of the claim, and determine its exact amount. After that, they will have to wait for the sale of the company's available assets, which is often not enough to repay all debts.

To maximize your chances of being reimbursed by the liquidator, it is essential to declare your claim on time, although this does not guarantee reimbursement. The law distinguishes between two types of creditors: preferred creditors and unsecured creditors. The former have priority, including those with pledges, collateral or mortgages, as well as employees, the Treasury and social security bodies. In other words, it's very difficult to get your money back from a company in liquidation.