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What are my rights with a collection agency? Can a collection agency in France collect from me in the United States?

Providence, NC |

In 2010 I rented a car from Avis in France. When I returned the car, they said I had scratched the rear view mirror. (I had not, but that probably doesn't matter here.) I contacted by credit card and they said they would pay the claim, but they had to have a separate bill for it. I requested two bills from Avis, but they never sent them to me; they wanted payment for everything at once. I was willing to pay them for the rental but not the damage. They never sent me the two bills I requested and I declined to pay them. Now a collection agency in France has requested the money. Again, I feel I owe them for the rental but not the damage. It is long past the time I can collect on a claim from my credit card.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

US courts are open to everyone & this entity can sue you either in France,then bring the judgment to the US to be enforced under treaty, or may sue you in your hometown. The chance of either scenarios happening is speculative. I hope this perspective helps!

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Posted

Unless you scratched the rear view mirror of a Pagani Huarya, it is unlikely that the collection agency will sue you. Litigation against a foreign defendant is very costly. Enforcing a US judgment in France, or vice versa is tedious and complicated. If the collection agency sues you in France and gets a judgment against you, it will most likely have to try the case again in the US. To sue you here, the collection agency would have to prove personal and subject matter jurisdiction. A motion to dismiss on the basis of jurisdiction would likely end the case on the basis that responding would cost more than the mirror.

However, the collection agency may have the ability to report you to one or all of the three major credit bureaus, so non-payment could affect your credit score.

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1 comment

Kenneth Love Jr.

Kenneth Love Jr.

Posted

All of the answers are correct, this one is the most practically accurate

Posted

Yes, the French collection agency can collect from you here in the US.

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