I live in the Scotland. Leaving out the details, I (allegedly) owe some money to a French company under a contract in French law. If I did not pay this money and was taken to court in France and lost, what would happen?

For example, would it be put on my credit record like a county court judgement (CCJ)?

Would the court in France be automatically able to enforce a debt collection against me through the Scottish courts?

Or is there very little they can do as it is a commercial matter and I don't live in France?


To explain why I am asking. I could just pay up and forget about it. That would feel wrong to me, and I think I am in the right to not pay or to pay substantially less. If I take a stand I need to weigh that up against the consequences in terms of time, stress, extra cost and damage to my reputation that may potentially come my way, and decide if it is worth it. The amount in dispute is 850 euros.

  • I'd like to see some more details, it sounds like a setup for a scam. How were you contacted? What does the communication indicate about the company? Are they asking for contact or demanding immediate payment? Contact and payment by what method?
    – Freiheit
    Aug 10, 2017 at 16:15
  • 4
    Its not a scam, it is to do with something I damaged and I am disputing what a resonable cost for the repair is. However, this is not really relevent to the question, the question is what are the consequences of me not paying if a french court were to determine that I am liable.
    – user2800708
    Aug 10, 2017 at 16:51
  • 2
    Got it. Your direct question is good and accurate and answerable. There are so many questions like this that are scams I felt it prudent to ask.
    – Freiheit
    Aug 10, 2017 at 17:03
  • Definitely related Are credit histories/scores international?
    – user5378
    Aug 11, 2017 at 8:09
  • I'm unsure whether this is a better choice for law or here, but I think it's definitely on-topic in law, and it hasn't had any answers here yet. Let me know if you'd like me to migrate it. Aug 11, 2017 at 20:58

1 Answer 1


The court in France would not enforce a debt collection against you; but the person who owed you the money could - very easily.

They would apply to the court in Scotland to enforce the judgement of the French court, the Scottish court would look at it, say "yup, the French court has made a decision", and then tell you to pay up. After that, the French company has the same range of options as a Scottish company would.

I think (but I could be wrong), that the decision of the French court might well not go on your credit record - but the corresponding decision of the Scottish court would. Note that a CCJ doesn't go on your credit record if you pay within a short period (seven days?).

In your case though, the right thing to do is

  1. Pay the amount you don't dispute you owe
  2. Wait for them to sue (they may well not).
  3. Defend the case (probably in writing, not in person).
  4. If you lose, pay up straight away (at this point the court has decided that you were wrong, and you do owe the money. As such you should pay.)

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