Help! Bank taking 120 euros due to mistake at the Tresor Public

A couple of weeks ago we received an OTD due to an unpaid rubbish bill, which came with a “bank charge” of 120 euros. The bill was supposed to have been cancelled by the Pyrenees Audoises (the people who issued it) in March, and I have proof of such. As soon as we received it, we took the OTD to the finance office and asked them what was going on, and they cancelled the bill. However, we have still been hit with a 120 euro fine from the OTD that the bank are insisting we pay, regardless of who is at fault. What are our options here?

Thanks very much in advance.

Hi there,

This is a huge sum thus have you tried to go back to the finance office, get written proof you don’t have to pay, take that to the bank manager, and ideally change banks if that’s not too much a prob for you.


I have a feeling that in such cases it is supposed to be down to the Trésor to pay the charge because they were the ones at fault (as usual the proper procedure is that you pay Peter first and then reclaim it from Paul). The bank was not at fault and is entitled to charge for putting in place a process it was instructed to put in place, It’s not a fine as such, it’s a fee for a certain process. Have you asked the Trésor to reimburse this fee?

Thank you both for responding. We had previously asked the Trésor about ATD charges having been through the same thing a few months ago (which was also not our fault but which we paid because nobody would own up to it and we had no proof), and they told us they were not liable. Do you know if we have any legal rights regarding this money?

You did say you have proof this time?
If you contest it and provide solid proof that it was their fault they should refund it. Was the bill issued and then supposedly cancelled by the Trésor or by the tax office? Whoever’s fault it is, I would send a letter AR setting out exactly what happened, with dates and copies of all the documents, and request reimbursement. There is always a papertrail and the more paperwork you can provide, the better.
Without knowing the circumstances of what happened on both occasions, can’t say more than that. If it’s 100% their fault they should reimburse, but if it’s mostly their fault but a bit yours or if there was some kind of misunderstanding they will probably try and wriggle out of it. You do seem to be getting at cross purposes with your Trésor. Bonne chance.

As far as I was aware, what we had was proof that there had been some admin errors along the way, however when we went into the Tresor today, they flat out refused to take any responsibility, told us that it’s a shame we ended up with the fine, but “C’est la vie”. They told us to deal with the Commaunité de communes (who also bear some of the blame for this “mix up”, but who also told us they also weren’t able to do anything about it. So we’re going to attempt to contact the bank again and see what they can do.

Thank you very much for the advice, although I have a feeling we’re not going to get a positive outcome here.

Hi Amy,

Here is a letter model for use for writing to your bank and you send it registered.

Persevere and good luck,


Thanks Anna, that’s really helpful, I’ll send it off to them as soon as I can.

Thanks everybody for your help, we got a call yesterday from the bank to say that they would be reimbursing the charges due to exceptional circumstances. Result!