Article L. 6145-11 of the Public Health Code makes provision for a direct action that allows public healthcare facilities to take action to recover unpaid housing costs against resident maintenance debtors. It is not often applied in the Finistère department in the same way that it is in the rest of France. When it is applied, it occurs very late in the collection process, which often leads to an accumulation of large arrearages, hence the occurrence of high-value litigation has been observed. Various explanations can be supplied, some of which are judicial and some of which result from public health care establishments’ practice of employing various amicable means of collection prior to taking legal action; this is considered to be the last step. The strict application of the maxim “aliments ne s’arréragent pas” by the judicial process blocks the collection of arrearages and evolves into the actual objectives of the public health establishments’ actions; being unable to recuperate the arrearages, they are prompted to limit the costs of providing benefits to the person in the future. The direct action recourse thus transforms itself into an action to limit the future maintenance debt for which this article is inadequate, given the limitations of direct action.
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