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Unpaid support: recovery by the Public Treasury

Verified 01 janvier 2020 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

If the person who is to pay you maintenance does not do so, you can use the procedure of recovery by the Public Treasury of maintenance payments, under certain conditions.

This procedure allows the Public Treasury Accountant to recover the unpaid maintenance in your place, with the same procedures as for the collection of taxes.

To do this, the public treasury can have the address of your debtor or his employer by certain bodies, in particular:

  • tax administration,
  • Social Security,
  • departmental gray card services of prefectures.

  Warning : after divorce or legal separation, the debtor of the maintenance is obliged to report to his creditor any change of address under penalty of sanctions.

You can use this procedure with 2 conditions:

  • the recovery procedure you initiated has failed (direct payment, wage attachment or foreclosure)
  • and you have a document (court decision that has become enforceable, or divorce agreement by mutual consent signed by lawyers and filed with a notary).

The recovery by the public treasury can only cover the arrears due for a period of 6 months.

The procedure is free for the creditor. In addition to the amount of the maintenance debt, the debtor will be liable for recovery costs (10%) and prosecution costs to the Treasury.

You have 5 years to initiate a collection procedure through the Public Treasury.

You must send a registered letter with acknowledgement to the public prosecutor the court on which your home depends.

The record must include the following:

  • Copy of divorce judgment or order or agreement fixing the pension with proof of service and certificate of non-appeal
  • Document proving that one of the procedures (garnishment, attachment, direct payment) failed
  • All possible information about debtor :: name, address, occupation, social security number, bank, savings bank, property and income, address of your employer, ...,
  • Letter of request for recovery by the Public Treasury to the duly signed Public Prosecutor, including the amount of the pension and the arrears due.

  FYI : the debtor may contest the proceedings with the public prosecutor by simple letter. The recovery of the pension through the public purse continues until the President of the Court makes his decision.