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Debt Collection in Spain

When navigating the process of debt collection in Spain, certain terms such as Burofax or ASNEF may become familiar to you. Moreover, should the situation call for the intervention of a bailiff or legal action, you’ll find that the debt collection regulations in Spain are quite different from what you might be accustomed to. However, with our team of seasoned Spanish debt collection attorneys, we can successfully bridge the gaps in language, cultural understanding, and legal nuances that often present themselves in Spanish debt collection cases. Our expert team, fluent in local customs and language, is equipped to provide you with comprehensive insights, ensuring maximum potential for successful debt recovery in Spain.

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This expertise extends across all major cities in Spain including Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Zaragoza, Málaga, Murcia, Palma, Las Palmas, Bilbao, and Alicante. With our strong presence and local know-how, we offer unparalleled support in debt collection across these key Spanish cities.

Friendly Recovery Phase: Streamlined Debt Collection in Spain in 8 Straightforward Steps Without Court Intervention

Step 1: Initiate your Spanish debt collection process in just two minutes. You will be asked to provide your details, your debtor’s information, and specifics regarding your unsettled invoice in Spain. You can accomplish this here.

Step 2: Your case will be entrusted to our most suitable Spanish debt collection specialist. We make sure that the appointed professional has experience in debt recovery within your company’s specific industry. Our first step involves carrying out an exhaustive investigation that includes international credit reports and local databases, thus helping us comprehend the reasons behind the non-payment of the invoice and shape our strategy accordingly.

Step 3: Utilizing the data gathered on your Spanish debtor, along with our investigation results, our Spanish debt collection expert will formulate a ‘requerimiento de pago’. This is essentially a formal notice or demand letter, notifying your Spanish debtor about the outstanding sum and urging them to pay. This letter, written in Spanish and personalized to your case, can also be sent via a registered mail system known as a Burofax if necessary.

Step 4: The Spanish caseworker handling your case will establish contact with you. This allows you to decide the manner in which your debtor should be approached, such as a lenient or stringent strategy, and we adapt our approach accordingly. Additionally, you can monitor the status of your case anytime via our online portal.

Step 5: If the requiremiento de pago goes unanswered by your Spanish debtor, our efforts won’t cease there. We will directly engage your debtor through phone calls and written communication. Based on our expertise, this approach often catches your Spanish debtor off-guard, leaving no room for fabrications. This method ensures clear communication and agreements.

Step 6: In certain cases, we might opt for a visit to your Spanish debtor. With our extensive network across Spain and access to private investigators, we can delve deeper into your debtor’s situation to collect additional information.

Step 7: If your debtor continues to evade payment, we have the authority to list your Spanish debtor on a blacklist known as ASNEF. Being enlisted here makes it exceedingly challenging for the debtor to secure finances or forge new business relationships.

Step 8: A significant 95% of our cases are resolved during the extrajudicial phase, avoiding the need for court intervention. Backed by our native in-house experts’ proficiency and the resources at our disposal for your Spanish debtor, we can recover your claim. If your debtor continues to refuse payment or disputes the case, we can proceed to the legal phase after discussing your options and potential costs with you.


Avail of a ‘No Win, No Fee’ Debt Collection Service in Spain

Choosing a ‘No Win, No Fee’ debt collection service in Spain places you in a much better position compared to opting for traditional debt collection agencies or collectors in Spain. A regular Spanish debt collection agency may not offer any unique advantages that you couldn’t manage independently. However, with our firm, you receive the services of a debt collection lawyer for the costs equivalent to those of a standard debt collector in Spain. We charge an initial fee of €165 for administrative expenses. Our goal is to recover as much as possible of the principal amount, along with the interest and costs, from your debtor; the exact amount, though, is subject to the case’s outcome. If you decide to take legal action against your debtor, we then switch to an hourly or a fixed fee model.


Understanding Spanish Debt Collection Laws

Compared to other countries, debt collection proceedings in Spain may entail a longer process. The Spanish legal system is characterized by various formalities that both creditors and debtors must adhere to. One such requirement is the granting of power of attorney by the client to their lawyer or bailiff in order to represent them in court.

At our debt collection agency in Spain, we have a deep understanding of the intricacies of Spanish debt collection laws. Our team of experts is well-versed in the legal procedures and can provide invaluable guidance tailored to your specific case. With our extensive knowledge of the legal landscape, we can navigate through the complexities and initiate appropriate legal actions on your behalf.

Proceso Monitorio: Efficient Payment Order Procedure

The proceso monitorio, also known as the payment order procedure, is a legal mechanism through which a lawyer can submit an application to the court. This application seeks to obtain an order for immediate payment from the debtor. To support the application, the lawyer must provide relevant documents that prove the existence of an outstanding invoice.

Application Submission and Payment Request

Once the application is filed, the court initiates the proceso monitorio by sending a payment request to the debtor. The debtor is given a period of 20 business days to respond to the request. During this time, the debtor has two options: they can either make the payment or reject the claim.

Non-Response and Enforceable Title

If the Spanish debtor fails to respond within the specified 20-day period, the court proceeds to issue an enforceable title in favor of the creditor. This enforceable title grants the creditor the right to pursue legal enforcement measures to recover the amount specified in the payment request.

Dispute Resolution

However, if the debtor chooses to dispute the claim, the procedure moves forward to either the juicio verbal (oral proceedings) or juicio ordinario (ordinary proceedings), depending on the amount being claimed.

Understanding the proceso monitorio provides creditors with an efficient means of obtaining a payment order and, if necessary, initiating further legal actions to secure the owed amount.

Juicio Cambiario: Effective Cheque Enforcement

When it comes to debt collection in Spain, debtors may choose to make payments using a pagaré or bill of exchange, which functions similarly to a cheque. The bill of exchange includes a specified date on which it can be cashed. However, if the cheque is dishonored or bounces, the creditor has the option to initiate a legal process known as juicio cambiario, which is specifically designed for cheque enforcement.

Initiating the Juicio Cambiario Process

To initiate the juicio cambiario process, the creditor can submit a request to the court based on the unpaid cheque and the supporting bank statement. This request seeks to obtain a court order for the seizure of the debtor’s assets as a means of recovering the owed amount.

Debtor Response and Payment Deadline

Upon receiving the court order, the debtor is given a period of 10 days to either make the payment or present a legal objection. However, the possibilities for the debtor to object are limited and specifically outlined in the law.

The juicio cambiario procedure provides creditors with an effective mechanism for cheque enforcement, enabling them to take legal action to recover the unpaid amount and potentially seize the debtor’s assets if necessary.


Debt Collectors in Spain

In Spain Debt collection proceedings may take longer compared to other countries due to the formalities within the Spanish legal system. Both creditors and debtors are required to follow specific procedures. For instance, clients must grant power of attorney to lawyers and bailiffs in order for them to represent them in court.

Debt Collection Enforcement in Spain: Spanish Enforcement Measures

Submission of Request for Enforcement Once a judgment is obtained against a Spanish debtor, the request for enforcement must be submitted to the Spanish Court. If the judgment is from another EU member state, it can be executed directly in Spain without the need for validation by the court. However, due to the absence of independent bailiffs in Spain, different rules apply. The execution of a judgment in Spain is carried out by the Court through a special procedure known as the proceso de ejecución.

Seizure of Assets Under the proceso de ejecución, the Court can order the seizure of the debtor’s assets. This enforcement measure allows the Court to take possession of the debtor’s assets in order to satisfy the outstanding debt.

Public Sale of Goods In cases where the debtor’s assets are to be sold to fulfill the debt, the Court arranges a public sale of goods. This measure ensures that the debtor’s assets are liquidated to generate funds for debt repayment.

Seizure of Tax Refund Another enforcement measure available in Spain is the seizure of the debtor’s tax refund. If the debtor is entitled to a tax refund, the Court can seize the refund amount to offset the outstanding debt.

Role of Civil Servants The servicio de notificaciones y embargos or servicio común de embargos, civil servants within a specific department of the Court, act as the bailiff. They are responsible for implementing the enforcement measures ordered by the Court, such as asset seizure and public sales.

By utilizing these Spanish enforcement measures, the Court ensures that the necessary actions are taken to enforce the judgment and recover the outstanding debt from the debtor.

Limitation Period in Spain: Understanding Time Constraints

Payment Claims and Limitation Period When engaging in debt collection in Spain, payment claims are subject to a limitation period of 5 years. This period begins when the claim becomes due and payable. However, it’s important to note that different contractual agreements may have varying limitation periods.

Specific Limitation Periods Certain areas of law may have specific limitation periods. For example, matters related to transport law often have a limitation period of 1 year. In professional services, such as the legal sector, and for claims following the juicio cambiario (cheque enforcement procedure), the limitation period is 3 years. It’s crucial to be aware of the applicable limitation period based on the specific circumstances of the claim.

Interrupting the Limitation Period To prevent an invoice from expiring, the limitation period can be interrupted. This action stops and resets the limitation period. In Spain, there are three methods to interrupt the limitation period:

  1. Burofax: Sending a registered letter to the debtor confirming the existence of an outstanding invoice, clearly stating the outstanding amount. Other forms of communication that can prove the existence of the debt are also acceptable.
  2. Debt Acknowledgement: Obtaining a debt acknowledgement from the debtor, explicitly acknowledging the debt.
  3. Claim Filed in Court: Initiating legal proceedings by filing a claim in court against the debtor.


Interrupting the limitation period is crucial to ensure that the claim remains valid and enforceable within the prescribed timeframe. It is advisable to consult with legal professionals to determine the most appropriate course of action based on the specific circumstances of the debt.

Debt collection in Spain typically involves sending written notices, making phone calls, and negotiating with debtors to recover the owed amounts. If necessary, legal action can be taken through the Spanish court system.

Under certain circumstances and with the appropriate legal authorization, a debt collection agency in Spain can seize a debtor's assets to satisfy outstanding debts. However, there are specific rules and procedures that must be followed.

Yes, debt collection in Spain is regulated by the Ley de Enjuiciamiento Civil (Spanish Civil Procedure Law) and the Ley General para la Defensa de los Consumidores y Usuarios (General Law for the Defense of Consumers and Users).

Yes, you can hire a debt collection agency in Spain to assist you with the collection of outstanding debts. These agencies have expertise in Spanish debt collection laws and practices.

Debt collection agencies in Spain can charge reasonable fees for their services. However, these fees should be outlined in a clear agreement or contract between the agency and the creditor.

The duration of the debt collection process in Spain can vary depending on the specific circumstances of each case. It can range from a few weeks to several months or even years, especially if legal action is required.

If you believe you are being unfairly pursued for a debt in Spain, you should seek legal advice from a qualified professional. They can help you understand your rights and options for resolving the situation.

Debt collectors in Spain are subject to data protection laws and regulations. They are generally not permitted to share a debtor's personal or debt-related information with third parties without proper authorization or legal grounds.

If a debt collection agency in Spain violates your rights, such as engaging in harassment or using abusive tactics, you can file a complaint with the Spanish Data Protection Agency or take legal action against them. It is important to document any instances of misconduct and seek legal advice to protect your rights.

If you receive a summons or legal notice regarding your debts in Spain, it is crucial to seek legal advice immediately. An attorney experienced in debt collection matters can guide you on how to respond appropriately and protect your rights throughout the legal process.

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