By means of Isabelle Villy
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the judicial liquidation of Geoxiagroup behind the Phoenix Homes, Beaver Homes and Family Homesdeclared at the end of June 2022. A blow for the company’s employees, but also for many owners have already started working on their homeswithout knowing when it will be completed.
Constructions are stopped
“It is with great emotion that the last page of the book has just been written… The Commercial Court of Versailles gave his verdict today, ordering the elimination of the Geoxia group. In 76 years, we have accompanied hundreds of thousands of families in building their homes and we have done it with love. Thank you for your trust. We know the story won’t end anytime soon 3,600 customers and we will do everything to facilitate the continuation of the establishment of legal representatives and guarantors. Employees of Maison Familiale, Geoxia group”…
Through this message sent through social networks, on their Facebook page, on June 28, 2022, that customers received confirmation that their construction project failed or that it may be delayed too much… with all that financial problems that it is good.
A first contact through social networks
This is the case of Élise and Damien Votte who were tempted by an offer on Facebook published by the builder Maison Familiale, Geoxia group, for land and a house, in the town of Mesnil-Raoul, near Rouen (Seine-Maritime).
Now, they notice, disappointed, that only the slab of their house has been built and they think about the future of their project. “I just clicked I like, on an ad published on Facebook and immediately, a salesperson got in touch”, recalls Damien.
Things are moving and as they plan to build the building so that their children have space and a garden, they don’t take long. “We are currently renting in Grand-Quevilly. We already have the first project to build, but the loan was not given to us. Suddenly, we said to ourselves that this time it’s good,” continues Élise, who tries to keep smiling but deep down feels worried about the coming months.
Paying off debt while paying rent?
How will they, in fact, in a few months, when it comes to debt repayment real estate, if the house is not (far!) finished and they have to pay the rent too?
To sign a home loan, a deadline discussed for the completion of the work and forward, the people who took this loan, must start paying it.
A deadline that we understand gives insomnia to the couple. Especially since Élise and Damien have started paying, every month, interim paymentthese costs are known to all future building owners and where necessary until the final call for funds from the builder, when the house is finished and the keys are given.
Obviously, this is not the case with this couple who saw, with sadness, all the other houses in the housing estate around their land being built at a rapid pace, even though some are already inhabited.
We were unlucky, we bet on the wrong manufacturer.
The “project of a lifetime”
And furthermore, when the construction site opens in 2021, incidents have occurred with changes in work supervisors. “We had three different ones from the beginning,” said the couple, who then had bad luck when it came to pandemic which slowed down the work, then more recently, the problems with the supply of raw materials, consequences of the war in Ukraine…
As a result, the site was delayed, until the day Émilie and Damien found out, like many other Geoxia customers, that the builder had been placed in receivership. Cold rain for the couple, who put it all together “project of a lifetime”.
The deadline for the couple: 2023
now, they still have a year who hope to finish their construction: 2023, this is exactly the date when the house will be finished and this time they must meet their payment deadlines. “I don’t believe it, time is too short,” the young woman was afraid. Their only hope: that the insurance considers the situation and that they won’t lose much money on the deal.
The insurance commitment…
But once again, they know that they are not alone in this situation and for now, it is the most complete blur.
We no longer have any contact with the manufacturer. We only have the insurer Imhotep.
And where the situation becomes more complicated, so the insurer in question is a subsidiary of the Geoxia group! For Me Guillaume Berton attorney at Strasbourg linked to the law of construction, it adds a particularity (not to say a difficulty) to the case.
Imhotep, a distress insurer
“Typically, construction and insurance are separate activities. That way, if your builder goes bankrupt, an insurer will handle the rest of the work,” the lawyer concluded. “We lose interest if its liquidity depends on the same manufacturer group. In my opinion, Geoxia somewhat avoids the spirit of the legislation, with an in-house insurer that is nevertheless approved. »
However, the financial capacities of Imhotep Assurances raise questions. The company will lose more than 50 million euros to complete the work it was given under the guarantee of completion, the special magazine revealed The Argus of insurancein an article from July 7, 2022.
“There is no reason to doubt the guarantees at this stage”
However, “we shouldn’t worry too much either,” says Me Berton. “There are rumors, but the temporary manager has confirmed his last statements. There is no reason to doubt the guarantees at this stage. »
On its website, Imhotep Assurances wants to assure: “Following the decision to liquidate Geoxia Maisons Individuelles, Imhotep Assurances has done everything possible to guarantee delivery under the best possible conditions”. A reason to hope that things will work out for Émilie and Damien?
Especially since, at the moment, the Geoxia materials manufacturing plants remain open, financed by the State to carry out the works in progress, we know in Le Figaro.
If their site is down, customers will have to “start over.” contact their insurer, giving them a formal notice of intervention by registered letter, that is the most important thing”, Me Berton continued. It is stated in the individual home construction contract, the insurer must “complete the construction at the agreed price and time”.
“If there are additional costs, this is the responsibility of the insurer”, said Me Berton. Although “there is usually a deductible of 5% of the construction cost which customers have to pay for.” In addition, once the deadlines are exceeded, “delay penalties may be requested from the insurer”, says the lawyer.
If the insurer does not approach or refuses to manage, it is necessary to go to court to obtain the performance of services under penalty.
The Votte couple’s fight is far from over, but hope remains to see their house finished and not lose a lot of money. A case we cannot fail to follow…
with Valentin Lebossé
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