Provisional Seizure of Bank Accounts without Judicial Authorization
It is possible to block all of your debtor’s bank accounts without prior authorization from the enforcement judge if certain conditions are met. These conditions relate to the nature of the debt and the debtor’s situation.
Conditions for Provisional Seizure
- Certain debt: undisputed invoice or not seriously contestable
- Liquid debt: assessable in money, such as an invoice
- Due debt: invoice payment deadline exceeded
- Debt recovery in peril: risk of insolvency or difficulty recovering the debt
Procedure and Contestation of Provisional Seizure
The debtor may contest the provisional seizure by initiating a judicial procedure before the enforcement judge. The seized funds remain blocked by the bank until the judge renders a decision.
Strategic Use of Provisional Seizure
- Paralyze the debtor’s operations
- Encourage the debtor to voluntarily pay the invoice
- Reach an amicable settlement in exchange for lifting the seizure
Optimization of Costs and Practical Considerations
If you plan to carry out a provisional seizure with several banks in the same judicial district, you can optimize costs. However, banking secrecy prevents knowing the account balances before the seizure.
Risks Associated with Provisional Seizure
The decision to seize must be made with sufficient discernment, as provisional seizure carries risks. If the debtor proves that the debt is not certain, they may obtain the lifting of the seizure and your condemnation to legal costs.
Liability for Reckless and Vexatious Seizure
Furthermore, carrying out a seizure carelessly or with malicious intent may result in paying damages, the amount of which will be determined by the seizure judge.