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Ordre irrevocable de fonds

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My girlfriend and I are in the process of buying a house in France. Because she is French and I speak French to a reasonable level, we've completed most of the process by hand with the branch of BNP Paribas in my girflriend's parents' town.

We are going to have a bridging loan to cover the equity in a flat that I own in the UK, while we wait for it to sell. As part of this, the bank in France requires an "ordre irrevocable de fonds" which acts as a guarantee that the UK solicitor handling the sale of the flat will transfer the required money to clear the bridging loan as soon as the funds are available in the UK.

Can anyone offer any advice or recommendations regarding getting this

"ordre"? At my last meeting with BNP Paribas, I provided a signed letter stating

that I would make the transfer as soon as the funds were available - at the suggestion of the lady in the bank - and while this

seemed to be sufficient for her, we've now found out

that it must come from the solicitor handling the sale of the flat.

This has crept up on us a bit, as the mortgage in France has gone through a lot quicker than expected, while in the UK there hasn't been much interest in the flat (summer isn't a good time to have a property on the market).

I've tried emailing some of the advertisers in Living France Magazine, but so far to no avail - one isn't interested, one is about to go on holiday and wouldn't be able to help us in time, and the others are yet to respond.

To be honest, I'm not sure entirely what I'm asking for in this post - I suppose just hearing the experiences of other people who are/have been in the same position would be useful.

Thanks in advance for any help or advice


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I have recently retired from the law.  For the French term read an 'undertaking' and which is binding upon one Solicitor to another (UK wise that is)  Conventionally for an undertaking you read 'guarantee' that the other party will rely upon the undertaking and thus in the fullness of time those who advanced the monies will be repaid.  However such undertakings are limited and limited to the time when they are in funds from the sale of your flat.

I have seen many UK undertakings and in about 40 years have only seen one go wrong and then the Law Society jumps in and basically sorts it out and the money is indeed guaranteed.

We are now dealing between an undertaking between a UK Solicitor and a French bank and whilst I have no doubt that it can be done and easily what you should remember is that the UK Solicitor is bound by the laws of the UK and his professional body the Law Society.

Thus the undertaking (I would think) would and could only be based on English Law and not the French civil code and your Solicitor in the UK would only be prepared to give the standard UK undertaking and on UK form of words and not what Paribas wants him to sing.

I may be wrong but simplest thing is to ring him (your Solicitor) and ask him or her for their advice.

Hope this helps


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