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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sale houses is part of a notaire’s duty, and I understand that French notaires became more and more focused on real estate, and survival studies on the turnover. But what about notaire’s ethics ? I just helped a British citizen (I am French) having problems with a notaire in La Haye du Puits (50) in the Manche department. I must say that I had confidence in our French notaires, but I'm st...arting to doubt. Being French, I can tell you that the difficulties that this English man encountered, compounded by the fact that he does not speak French, should not be. I managed primarily the case with him, and I was shocked. What bothered me the most, and something that we customers hate, is to be treated with condescension, or worse. The French notaire I am referring to did not respond to post or mails for general inquiries about the money held for my client.
She gave phone appointments and when we phoned she was out of the office. What is the reason for avoiding me and her client ? Laxity ? Incompetence, ? other problem ? Not even the smallest information about her client rights were given to him. I suppose that French system is a jungle for English people, but with that degree of withholding legal information there was no way this English person could get his money back. For example : 2 months, 2 letters, ten calls after the first mail I discovered that he needed a specific document to get his money paid. This information was not given by the notaire, but by a court that I contacted... Will we meet more and more cases where you have to hire a lawyer or a bailiff to recover amounts held by a notaire ? Or is it only because, obsessed with their sales turnover, and reinforced by the ease with which one can "work" English people, and a massive amount of English clients, ethics of notaires in Normandy, is getting slippery ?
 

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Herbechantal: Thanks for the info.

What is the best way for an English speaking person to avoid problems with the Notaire? Is it best to hire an English speaking French solicitor to interact with the Notaire on ones behalf?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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You, normally should never have to use a lawyer or a bailiff in order to pressure a notaire. The notaire takes huge fees to work for you and should serve you and your interests. This is an exceptional problem that I am exposing here : due to the fact that my client faced a young notaire, probably coming from a little provincial local notaire background, which gives her a feeling of omnipotence. Besides the client is living in the south which is very convenient for the notaire : he his not gonna come knocking on the door the next morning and she knows it. However if you encounter a payment problem :
- There is free lawyer advices in your language every week through the tribunal d'instance of your department or the Chamber of Commerce. First submit your case to free lawyer advice.
- You can also choose to see a bailiff (huissier de justice) speaking English. He will inform you about the legal deadlines for your notaire to pay a house sell, for example, if you suspect illegal delayed payments.
- If the notaire is illegally delaying a payment, the bailiff can deliver an order to pay in your behalf. If the notaire is delaying without legal reasons, do not hesitate, ask for a bailiff intervention. You will have to pay fees (from 100 to 200 €). But you can also make an official complain to the Chamber of Notaire of your department (Chambre des notaires). If your notaire is faulty and the bailiff order to pay justified (which is always the case : French bailiffs actions are on legal grounds, or they refuse to do it), the Chamber of Notaire will require the offender to reimburse the expenses you have incurred.
 

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I've noticed that people are often recommended to find an "English speaking" notaire or attorney - and now an English speaking hussier. Good luck with that. At least in my little corner of Ile de France, there are very few professionals of any kind who admit to speaking English.

The other issue is that you really need someone who has some knowledge of English or US (or just "anglo-saxon") law so that they know what needs to be explained and how to explain it. I ran into this in reverse when I was trying to help a German national who had been named executor of his uncle's Florida estate. It was necessary to find a legal translator for the documents he was being asked to sign, as without some understanding of both legal systems, it was very difficult explaining what was going on.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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I've been dealing with notaires for the last 20 years, for inheritance issues, estate issues etc. I've met and worked with around 20 or 30 of them now. I'm not a lawyer but have a very large family that rely on me for all this stuff as it seems I have the mind for it, being almost obsessive. In all that time I have only found one that I could rely on, and I was the last case he delt with before his retirement. For all the others, I litterally have to be following, guiding or pushing to get things done. It may be because I do my best to know all the regulation involved in my cases and I want the things done my way and no other's. Sometimes they do deal with complicated stuff. One of the inheritance was fot a family of 10 brothers and sisters + 3 grandkids representing a deceased sister, all of them living in each corner of France and 1 in Canada. The estate took something like two years to deal with and most of the complications were due to our family, not to the notaire. Having said that, most of the time now I deal with the "clerc" (the notaire's assistant), usually much more receptive and efficient, for all the paperwork, and see the notaire only for the actual signing.
But the saying is "when you find a good notaire, keep it". My Dad had what we would call a family notaire, and was willing to go and see him for everything even when the notaire moved 200 km away. Unfortunately he retired shortly afterwards.
Marianne
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My notaire, maitre Dubuisson in Brantome Dordogne is quite bad too. Not really incompetent but big laxity problem also. He is making plenty of money with English community, so why bother ? Fortunately I do not need him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My notaire, maitre Dubuisson in Brantome Dordogne is quite bad too. Not really incompetent but big laxity problem also. He is making plenty of money with English community, so why bother ? Fortunately I do not need him.
In the case of the normandy notaire of la Haye du Puits, the case has been fowarded to a bailiff.
 
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