What Does The Future Hold?

10 Mar

Blogging our experiences has caused us grief, there’s no doubt in my mind about that! Quite simply, living the experiences put us on a roller-coaster that hadn’t stopped since July 2007. Being able to take time out from that constant movement during the past eight weeks gave us a false sense of security. My menfolk and I are tired, so very tired, and our emotions are raw. If that reads as dramatic or weak, I make no apology, we had long forgotten how to feel angry, disappointed, frustrated, betrayed and defrauded. All those emotions have returned, in force since I started writing this blog. But, we are well aware that we must keep going, there’s no way back, that’s reality.

On Wednesday this week, we ‘celebrated’ 5 years of living in France. But, we didn’t really celebrate, we just spent time recalling events of the past five years! Wednesday was a very solemn day in this household! I think our recent recollections, for this blog, had dragged all our emotions to the surface, emotions that we have constantly strived to keep under lock and key, metaphorically speaking.

So, on Thursday, to get us back on track, to buoy up our spirits without setting ourselves up for a fall, we talked about our future. Obviously, our plans are subject to that old adage, all things being equal!

We are fully aware that even an emphatic Cour de Cassation judgement in our favour will not immediately have a practical effect on our lives. Although our sellers would not be able to appeal the Court’s decision, they could use ‘accepted’ delaying tactics for up to six months, and force us to return to the Appeal Court to obtain legal enforcement. We firmly believe our sellers would do that. The only way that would be scuppered by the Cour de Cassation is if the Judge orders all arrangements to be finalised within 28 days. Such an Order can’t be undermined in any way, within the French justice system, that would be the final word. However, 28 days Orders are extremely rare in the French Supreme Court!

If we are awarded that 28 days Order, our sellers could then state that they have bequeathed all their assets to family members; our sellers are, like Tom and me, over State retirement age, they may already have done that, hoping to avoid giving us back our money! In that event, we would need to take our Case back to the Cour de Cassation for further consideration and judgement! The Judge could then place an Order on the family members to pay us. Although, that’s not likely to happen! Most likely, the Judge would make an Order for the sellers’ bequeathed assets to be sold by auction, and for us to be paid out of the profit. That would take time, estimated at 3 to 5 months.

Prior to bringing the lawsuit to the first Tribunal, our (then) avocat, Monsieur MA, ran checks to ensure our sellers had the funds or assets to use for settling repayment to us. The outcomes of those checks revealed that our sellers were property €millionaires. Had they not been in a position to refund us for the house purchase, it would not have been in our best interests to bring the lawsuit. We were assured by Monsieur MA that our sellers had the assets, even if not the ready funds, to refund us for the fraudulent sale.

Yet another aspect for us to consider is the fact that the Courts now know our sellers also defrauded the State, through tax evasion. It is possible that the more recent charges will take precedence over our Case. We have no way of knowing if the tax evasion charges are being dealt with even as we wait for a Cour de Cassation hearing date. If the tax evasion Case is under way, we may yet discover that the State will be paid before us!

But, all things being equal, we plan to purchase building land in France, and to have a property built, a ‘pukka  log cabin’, in our grandson’s words!


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11 responses to “What Does The Future Hold?

  1. fly in the web

    March 10, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    I can see how blogging has brought it all back to you in all too sharp a fashion….so it was brave of you to put all this public with the aim of helping others.

    Many people stay quiet, either from fear of being thought fools or from a – very real – fear of retaliation, and thus others fall into the pit of problems that can be caused by having dealings with dishonest people and a system of justice which leaves a great deal to be desired.

    Hats off to you and your indomitable family.

    • hobosinfrance

      March 10, 2012 at 2:27 pm

      Hello, you’re absolutely right, it took us two years to build sufficient courage to go public via an ex-patriots forum here! The reason why we went public was because I was reading so many heartbreaking posts, submitted by people who were having to return to the UK (predominantly) after being defrauded and losing just about everything! A wonderful couple, Pat and Bob, fought like lions to make the French judiciary see that they had been defrauded and misled by a French accountant. But, no matter how much hard evidence they presented, they were persistently told, ‘A French accountant cannot be held accountable, they are too well protected.’!! Pat and Bob returned to rented accommodation in the UK after struggling and fighting for justice for 2 years, they returned with nothing but clothing and personal family possessions. Every cent of their life savings, and the money from the sale of their property in France, was taken by the State, legal fees, Tribunal costs, interest costs and fines! Warmest regards, Chrissie

  2. Perpetua

    March 10, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Chrissie, reliving such painful experiences and emotions is always hard, but can eventually be therapeutic, if it has been done, as you have done it, to benefit others as well as yourselves. As Helen says, it was very brave of you and I admire your courage and determination to see things through to the end. Hopefully that end won’t be too far off now and will give you your lives back.

    A building plot and a house built to suit your own needs would be the perfect solution. I do hope it can happen soon.

    • hobosinfrance

      March 10, 2012 at 6:19 pm

      Thank you, Kathy, we hope so too. But, however long it takes, we will see it through to the bitter end! We have had our mad moment of self-doubt and self-pity, phew! Back on track now. 🙂 Chrissie xx

  3. helenthemadex

    March 10, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    reliving a horrific ordeal in any way brings back all the memories, and they are as hard to deal with as the experience itself, and this can leave you feeling incredibly low and sad especially when the issues have not been resolved, I speak from experience.

    Sometimes it does help to look at where you have come from, the lowest point of the whole disgraceful situation.

    From reading you story it sounds like you like me have huge support from wonderful friends. I had this and I found their support literally dragged me through my darkest hours and days, times that I can not even remember they were so very bad.

    I am not a religious person at all, some so called Christians were more evil to me than anything you can imagine, but these two pieces helped me greatly;

    Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

    and this;

    some beliefs describe grief (or depression) as a thick grey blanket which is thrown over the bereft. Friends and family and time all lift up the blanket with their love and support, centimetre by centrimetre, until one realises that one can see again, rather than being blinded by sadness.

    I really wish you well, and hope that you achieve justice

  4. helenthemadex

    March 10, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Just a quick follow up to add that during my bad times I also met some truely wonderful Christians who restored my faith that not all of them are hypocrites, they helped my family and I with emotional, practical and financial support. I will be forever grateful to those wonderful people and dont want people to think that I am bashing religion

    • hobosinfrance

      March 10, 2012 at 6:13 pm

      Hello Helen, you are quite right! When I didn’t make an appearance on Facebook on Wednesday, I found a number of emails on Thursday morning. They were all from good friends who were genuinely concerned about us. I explained about how low I had felt on Wednesday, ie our 5th anniversary of arriving to live permanently in France, and the messages of support came in so quickly, I was shocked and very tearful! There were also messages that gave me the kick up the backside that I needed to get me back on track!! Putting me back on the right road helped me to get my menfolk on the same positive route! As you have described, we also have friends who are there for us, any time of day or night. Whatever the outcomes of our house Case, we know our friends are the most valuable assets we have gained out of this entire sorry situation. We are not religious either, Helen, we follow the philosophical teachings of Buddha, those teachings and the related philosophy of life have helped us more than I can put into words. The two sentences you posted here make perfect sense to us, and I’m certain that you do not bash religion! Warmest regards, Chrissie and Family

  5. Sue

    March 10, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    Hello Chrissie,

    In your own way you’ve told me that what matters in the journey of life is how you live, reflect, learn, develop, balance stoicism and reaction, savour every little joy and give as much as you can.

    Voilà! That’s the Hobos!!

    Sue xxxx

    • hobosinfrance

      March 10, 2012 at 10:25 pm

      Bless you, Sue, I was thinking about you earlier this evening, and reminded myself that I needed to email you. As always, your telepathic link was switched on and in place! I have just signed into my email and found the email to say you had posted here! 🙂 We will be travelling to your neck of the woods next weekend, will be up there for 4 days. I will email you now. Thank you, Sue, for reminding me about what makes the hobo family tick. Love from us all, Chrissie and menfolk xxxx

  6. merewoman

    March 12, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    Hi Chrissie

    What a painful “anniversary” for you. And what very strong people you are to have come through this indescribable nightmare. What shines through is your determination not to be beaten, and your support and love for each other. Many couples would have fallen apart with all the stress that you have had to bear.

    It’s only when you are in desperate circumstances that you find out who your real friends are, and you obviously have many.

    I am sure all of us share a sense of outrage, impotence and frustration at your treatment by these shameless crooks and bureaucrats.

    Karma, we’re calling on you.

    At least spring is on its way. 🙂


    • hobosinfrance

      March 13, 2012 at 10:35 am

      Lol, yes Susie, spring is definitely making her presence felt, we have seen several rather large hornets during the past 2 days! We went out woodland walking yesterday, taking photos along the way, it’s a pleasure we didn’t take up until we became hobos! So, that’s a positive among the negatives of living as we must. 🙂 Sadly, Tom is no longer able to accompany us, his breathing difficulties are now too intense; however, he makes the tea when we get back to him, and then we all look at the photos together. Family quality time is essential and we ensure we make time for that, no matter where or how we are living. Thank you, Susie, for your constant support and encouragement. Chrissie and menfolk xx


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