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Thegonnec, Judge
Category: French Law
Satisfied Customers: 1419
Experience:  15 years experience as judge at Paris Industrial Tribunal
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I was given a "pret" by Credit Agricole bank of 50,000 € to

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I was given a "pret" by Credit Agricole bank of 50,000 € to refurbish a house I bought recently. The bank is keeping all the money as a "guarantee" for the so-called vloan. I have to pay back nearly 6,000 € each year for 10 years at the end of which I will receive the 50,000 €. This is a nonsensical arrangement, I get no money to refurbish my house AND I have to pay monthly payments, the complete opposite of what a loan should be! It is not a loan as no money is being loaned to me. I clearly did not understand when I signed. The bank says I cannot cancel. How can I cancel this ridiculous arrangement? Thank you.

I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Nicola. When I signed up and posted this question, I was given the distinct impression that there was an expert called 'Thegonnec', a French judge, working on my question straightaway (7 minutes was actually quoted for an answer response time). If he can't provide me with a response by the weekend, will you cancel the question and refund my fee?


Thank you.



Hello Peter,

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The site system allocates a a likely Expert immediately, but when the Expert looks at the question in detail they may find it is not for them.

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Thank you for your patience,
You only have 7 days to cancel a loan agreement from the date you sign it. You should have received the loan proposal "offre préalable de crédit" by registered mail at home at least ten days before you signed it. If this cooling off period was not respected, you may request that the loan be cancelled. However you may have to take the bank to court to make it comply.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your reply. I know full well that I had a 7-day period to cancel, so your telling me that is not of any help, sorry. I signed the agreement in the bank, and don't recall receiving a registered copy at my home 10 days before.


I signed the document but because my French is not very good, I didn't realise the implications of the whole arrangement. So because this is not a loan, I want to cancel it.


The bank calls it a 'pret' but the bank is keeping the money as security (50,000 €), a completely useless arrangement and incorrect name. I have to pay nearly 500 € each month in repayment instalments for a loan which I have NOT received!


The bank will give me part of the loan but only to the value of the instalments which I pay them beforehand.


This is totally stupid, the only benefit the bank offers me is the 50k is earning interest at 3.15% while I pay interest on the loan at 2.85%.


However, I have to pay for 10 years, I don't get to use the 50,000 for work on my house, which was the whole reason for taking it.


I know the clerk at the bank explained that they would keep the loan money as security, but I guess I was confused with all the technical language, and simply did not realise the full meaning.


In England, I would be able to cancel this on the basis of bad advice and an totally inappropriate product. I want to do the same here in France, ie cancel on the bais that it is NOT a loan but a savings arrangement.


If I can't cancel I will default, ie not pay the instalments, and the bank can take the 50k back but I imagine I will be penalised for defaulting.


I would really like to go to court and get the judge to agree that this is a stupid arrangment and is NOT a loan, as I have not received any money. How can it be a loan if the bank keeps the money? It's totally against logic.


Thank you.

It is worth checking whether you had the 10 days waiting period between provable receipt of loan offer and signature. This could help you have the whole thing voided.

Unfortunately, under French law you cannot have it cancelled otherwise. It is technically a loan and no court is likely to agree with you. Unless you can prove that you signed this under duress.

If you default you are indeed likely to have to pay penalties. These must be detailed in the loan contract you signed. Besides, if you default, you will likely be listed as a credit risk and will have a very hard time obtaining another loan towards refurbishing your house.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. It seems the 10-day period is my only option to cancel. As I said, I don't remember receiving the loan offer in the post, I will look through my papers.

I presume that the bank would have sent me the offer by post by registered post so that I had to sign for it. If I didn't sign then they have no proof that I received it and, as you indicate, this will be a good reason for voiding the loan.

I will assume that I didn't sign, I will tell the bank this and wait for them to produce proof that I signed. If they can't prove., then I will ask for the loan to be voided. If they do show me my signature, then I will check closely the date I signed for the letter and the date I signed the agreement, if that is less than 10 days, then I assume this will be a good reason to void the loan.

I hope what I've written above is correct, if you could finally verify this, then I will give you a (positive!) rating.

Thank you!


Peter Hoare

Yes indeed this the correct reasoning. In this process, you may seek assistance from the AFUB, which helps consumers in dispute with their bank over these matters.

Banks resist strongly the implementation of this measure and their customers usually have to battle and threaten to sue. Be ready.

This will be applicable if the credit offer was specifically done to purchase or improve real estate.

Code de la consommation : articles L312-7 à L312-14-2
Code de la consommation : article R312-1
Thegonnec, Judge
Category: French Law
Satisfied Customers: 1419
Experience: 15 years experience as judge at Paris Industrial Tribunal
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