In October 2017 my son’s father, English but domiciled in France, died. He left a property that was to be shared between my son and his friend’s daughter (who, unsurprisingly as it turns out, didn’t want the place). The English solicitor failed to keep my son informed of anything to the extent that my son even had to ask to see a copy of the Will; the solicitor then renounced their role in administering the Will. In October my son received an email from an international debt collector, the result of his father not paying insurance on a car. My son could not have known this and doesn’t drive anyway but, as is the law in France, he had to pay it. He’s a low wage earner and, to their credit, the DC allowed him to pay in instalments and were quite sympathetic. We visited the property in February to assess the situation only to find a house heaving with all sorts of detritus and in an appalling state of disrepair and incomplete renovations. My son had hoped to take this on and still, somewhat unrealistically, wants to. I’d been intending to move to France for several years and have recently sold my house, the plan being to live in this property while I look for one of my own (and in order to help my son out by paying every day bills but no more than that as I couldn’t afford it). However, it is barely habitable (although I could exist there during a warm summer) and there are several outstanding bills, the most recent one being from EDF.Fr. for over 600€ (even though no-one has been in the house for over fifteen months). It would seem that my son’s father, who failed to support him after we separated in 1985, also failed to register meter readings and so all previous bills were based on estimates. And, of course, there will be others, not least the Taxe Fonciere. One of the problems we’ve encountered is that EDF.Fr haven’t provided an IBAN number, i.e. they’ve sent a TIP/SEPA for a DD and his bank (and mine) don’t seem to understand how these work. What I’m asking is, and apologies for this being so long-winded but it needed context, is a) is there any means of help in such circumstances (I do know that according to EU law debts shouldn’t result in hardship) and b) why is it so difficult to get hold of an IBAN number for EDF.Fr? Also, my son doesn’t want to pay by Direct Debit at this stage as he is concerned that EDF will take what they please and that he will incur charges and so further debts.
Selling the house? Sadly, not in its current state and I can’t imagine that anyone other than a builder would want to take it on. Oh - and he doesn’t even have the the deeds yet.
Thank you for your time and in anticipation of any advice.