A creditor may claim an out standing debt from a debt or through court action.
You may only recover a debt in Spain when it reaches its maturity or once the term of payment has expired, or within a reasonable time-period. Likewise, it must be a debt of a fixed amount and a title legitimating the claim must be provided. This last requirement makes the debt enforceable. A court proceeding is initiated when negotiation fails.
In accordance with the Spanish civil procedure act, there are four ways to claim a debt in court as described below:
- Proceeding for minor claims.
- Oral or ordinary proceeding.
- Collection proceeding .
- Enforcement of non-court orders.
The proceeding for minor claimsis the easiest way to recover a debt. It is indeed the most practical and cost-effective proceeding, allowing you to file a claim forunlimited amounts by providing appropriate evidence (including, delivery notes, invoices, timesheets, agreements and quotations). Following this, the courtwilladmitthe claimand grant the debtor a twenty-day term to extinguish the debt or to plead grounds for non-payment.
The debtor may not acknowledge the debt, and the case then be filed. In such event, the creditor may start one of the following legal proceedings, depending on the amount claimed.
Oral or ordinary procedure
Oral proceedings are applicable in cases where the amount claimed is less than €6,000, and ordinary procedures for those claims where the amount claimed exceeds €6,000. In order to initiate these proceedings, the claim must be filed by a solicitor and a court representative for amounts exceeding €2,000. The Judge must hear both parties, as well as their claims for action, and based on the evidenceprovided by the parties, the Judge will decideas to whether the claimed debt is owed or not.
The collection proceedings are enforceable proceedings applicable for debts evidenced through bills of exchange, cheques or promissory notes.Once evidenced the title of the claimed debt, action will be enforced against the debtor´s assets. Assets may be assigned by the debtor or by the court should the debt not be extinguished within ten days as of requirement of payment.
Enforcement of non-court orders
Debts are at times formalised in a public deed. Non-court order is the applicable proceedingfor such cases and the debtor’s assets are intervened.