Letter requesting an injunction to pay

Unlike a dunning letter, which has no real legal value, an injonction de payer is part of a legal procedure. An application for an injonction de payer must be made to the clerk's office of the relevant court. The judge then decides whether to accept or reject the request.

Collecting unpaid bills: what are the different stages?

When a company is faced with an unpaid bill, it must follow a number of steps to recover the sum due. The first step is to initiate an amicable procedure to avoid legal collection.

As soon as the payment due date has passed, the company can start by sending a reminder letter to the customer, reiterating the references of the unpaid invoice, the amount owed and the payment deadline initially set. This reminder letter has no legal value, but it may be enough to remind a careless customer to pay.

If the reminder letter goes unanswered, you can send one or two more, with a reasonable interval between letters.

Still no response from the customer? In this case, it's time to move on to the final stage of amicable debt collection: the letter of formal notice. This letter has a legal value, since it must be sent before considering a request for an injunction to pay.

If the customer still hasn't paid after the formal notice, there's no choice but to take legal action. There are two possible options:

  • If the amount outstanding does not exceed 5,000 euros, the company can call on a bailiff to launch a simplified small claims collection procedure;
  • If the unpaid amount exceeds 5,000 euros, or if the company wishes to take this route, it is necessary to initiate injunctive payment proceedings.

The order for payment procedure begins with the drafting of an application for an order for payment.

How to draft an application for an injunction to pay?

The application for an injunction to pay must be filed with the competent court. It can be drawn up by the company wishing to collect its outstanding debts, or by a bailiff or lawyer appointed by the company.

If the claim is of a commercial nature, whatever the amount, the application for an injunction to pay must be lodged with the commercial court of the debtor's place of residence. If the claim is of a civil nature, it should be addressed to the president of the judicial court.

The application for an injunction to pay can be drawn up on plain paper, or using a dedicated form, which differs according to the competent court. It must include compulsory information and be accompanied by proof of the existence of a debt, i.e. the invoice or the contract binding the two parties.

Download an application for an injunction to pay in a court of law

Download an application for an injunction to pay before the protection litigation judge

Download an application for an injunction to pay to the president of the commercial court

The company drafting the request must mention the surname, first name, profession, address, nationality, date and place of birth of the customer who is the source of the unpaid amount, if this is an individual.

In the case of a legal entity, the application for an injunction to pay must contain its registration number in the Trade and Companies Register, its legal form, its name and the address of its registered office. The same information is required from the applicant.

The claim must state the subject of the dispute, the amount owed with details of the various elements of the claim, and the basis for the claim.

The petitioner may specify that he wishes the case to be brought before the designated court if the debtor customer opposes the order for payment. The petitioner may also request that collection costs be charged to the debtor. These include tax stamps, court registry fees, bailiff's fees and lawyer's fees.

The application for an injunction to pay must then be sent by post, electronically (except to the courts of first instance) or hand-delivered to the judge's clerk's office.

What happens once the application for an injunction to pay has been filed with the court?

The judge then takes note of the petition, and makes his decision solely on the basis of the information provided by the creditor. The debtor customer is not heard at this stage; it is only later, once the order for payment has been received, that he will be able to oppose it, and both parties will then be received by the judge.

The judge may accept the application for an injunction to pay in full or in part, or reject it. If he considers the application unfounded, which is the case if he does not have sufficient evidence or if he lacks information, he can reject it without the creditor having any possibility of opposing his decision. The creditor must then initiate conventional legal proceedings.

The judge may also decide to adjourn his decision, giving the creditor time to provide the missing information.

Finally, the court may accept the application in whole or in part. In the case of partial acceptance, the order for payment covers only part of the sums claimed by the creditor.

Once the judge has accepted the petition, he signs an order for payment. A certified copy of these two documents is sent to the petitioner, who must then notify his debtor client by having the documents delivered by a bailiff, within 6 months of the date of the order. The intervention of a bailiff is compulsory, as the order for payment cannot be sent by registered mail with acknowledgement of receipt.

The notice served by the bailiff on the debtor customer must include a number of compulsory items, starting with a summons to pay the amount of the debt, together with collection costs and interest for late payment. The debtor must also be informed of his right to object to the order, the time limit for doing so, the court to which he must apply, and how to present his objection.

The debtor customer has one month to oppose the payment order.