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It is sometimes difficult to establish an  acknowledgment  of debt , especially if the debtor is a relative or a member of his family… However, it is an act which can greatly facilitate the recovery of the sums lent. What are the mandatory information and the formalities to be respected to ensure its legal validity?

The usefulness of recognition

The acknowledgment of debt is equivalent  to  an act of loan from a bank. It makes it possible to formalize the existence of a debt, and therefore to avoid certain difficulties, such as, for example, if the debtor refuses to reimburse the sums due, or dies. The existence of an acknowledgment of debt requires the debtor who refuses to pay the amounts due, either to demonstrate that the acknowledgment of debt is false, or to provide proof that the reimbursement of the amounts due has been made. This accounting therefore greatly facilitates the collection of amounts due.

What particulars must it include at least?

The signature of the debtor and the sums mentioned in numbers and in words must be indicated. The handwritten mention “by itself” must also appear. If these formalities are not respected, the acknowledgment of debt will only be considered as a simple beginning of proof in writing.

Ensuring legal certainty

Your acknowledgment of debt now includes all the mandatory information. Note that you can have this document signed by one or more lawyers, which gives it greater legal certainty. It is indeed the guarantee that the parties have been enlightened by the council of lawyers, and that the consent of the parties was real. It will be more difficult to contest later, in the event of a dispute. Only downside, unlike the notarial deed, the lawyer’s deed does not make it possible to obtain the forced settlement of the sums. It will be necessary to obtain a court decision, then entrust the execution of the forced settlement to a bailiff, in the event that the debtor decides not to pay the sums.

Recording of the acknowledgment of receipt

Once the acknowledgment has been duly completed and signed, you are advised, but not required, to have it registered with the tax authorities. All you have to do is go to a tax center which will ask you for two copies of the document and the sum of 125 euros. This formality gives a certain date to the acknowledgment of debt, and materializes it, since a copy will be kept at the tax office.
DAMY law firm , Nice, Acknowledgment of debts, Update 2022.