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Résumé/Sommaire :

SUMMARY

Legal systems provide reasonably modern protections for creditors and credit recovery means in Morocco. While court enforcement proceedings tend to be relatively inefficient, recent reforms are resulting in some improvements. Creditor rights are based on a contract and procedural system inspired by French law and provide for a wide range of security and collateral devices. The system is somewhat complex as regards the priority ranking classes and liens. Constraints in the system and illiquid markets typically result in low recoveries, even for secured creditors. All kinds of security are provided for under the Code of Obligations and Contracts and the Code of Commerce allow for many types of collateral, although notably pledges and mortgages are preferred by banks along with the use of debt discount, factoring and assignment of claims techniques. Reliable as these devices are, secured creditors are still plagued by inefficiencies in the judiciary that hinder efficient enforcement and recovery, but this problem is decreasing. The Moroccan legal framework for commercial insolvency was overhauled in 1996 with the adoption of a new legal framework. This new system provides for pre-insolvency, rehabilitation and liquidation procedures. New commercial courts (at first instance and appellate level), with jurisdiction over insolvency matters, were created in 1997 and facilitate the application of the new insolvency law in a consistent manner. Rehabilitation and liquidation procedures are governed by a unified procedure leading to one or the other solution. The effectiveness of the new system is restricted by abusive filings by debtors who benefit from the stay of proceedings, in certain instances for an undue period of time, and by a lack of adequately trained and qualified professionals (syndics). The establishment of new commercial courts has considerably improved the resolution of commercial matters and has contributed to more consistent and efficient processing of cases by the judiciary. Conversely, the absence of court performance standards and judicial training are counterbalancing factors that hinder the systems overall efficiency. Similarly, the absence of a regulatory body and of competency requirements for insolvency administrators and liquidators is a major impediment to the effective functioning of the insolvency system. Nearly all corporate lending in Morocco is secured, with unsecured lending accounting for minority of total corporate advances. Large domestic and foreign banks maintain advanced procedures for managing credit defaults, and use a wide-range of techniques for recovery and resolution. While workout procedures have not been formalized, banks and financial institutions routinely employ workout techniques to reach amicable arrangements to reschedule debts and restructure businesses. Still banks complain about low recoveries, slow and inefficient court processes, encumbered by the excessive use of experts whose mission is not always justified and properly handled.

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