Main stages of a debt collection claim in Spain

Published on 1 June 2023 in Recovery Guidelines

GS has a specialized debt collection in Spain, both nationally and internationally. We have partners all over the world as member of the international SEKUNDI network to help you recover your debts.

As in many European countries, debt collection in Spain consists of two distinct phases. An out-of-court phase known as amicable debt collection. A judicial phase before the courts.

Out of Court claim phase

→ 1 - First approach/contact with the debtor: by means of a first claim sent by mail or certified e-mail.

→ 2 - Once the debtor receives the first claim correctly, we contact the debtor by telephone to open a negotiation channel as soon as possible. The purpose of this action is twofold:

  • To ascertain the debtor's position with respect to our claim and to find out the real reason for the non-payment.
  • Reach an agreement and close a payment schedule

→ 3 - In case we do not receive any reaction: we send a second claim, and even a third one.

→ 4 - Duration of the extrajudicial phase: 30 days from the opening of the file to the sending of the third claim.

→ 5 - No cure no Pay: No cost for the client, except for the following: (i) preparation of solvency reports, (ii) registry searches, etc.

In case the negotiation is unsuccessful for any reason, the next step will be to escalate the claim process to a new level and prepare a lawsuit.

Trial stage for debt recovery in Spain

→ 1 - Previous Phase: Acceptance and payment of the GS quotation and preparation of the lawsuit.

→ 2 - Phase 1, Allegations: We file the lawsuit to the Court. Once admitted for processing, the debtor will be summoned to file his/her statement of defense within 10 (- 6k) or 20 days (+ 6k), depending on the amount of the claim.

→ 3 - Phase 2, Preliminary Hearing: This phase only occurs in those cases where the amount to be recovered is over 6K.

It is a face-to-face hearing in which only the lawyers of the parties attend and in which formal aspects are discussed and resolved:

  • Possible defects of form incurred by the parties that may prevent the continuation of the procedure.
  • Establishment of the disputed facts to be discussed at the Hearing.
  • Propose evidence.
  • Fix the date for the Hearing.

→ 4 - Phase 3, Hearing (- 6K) / Trial (+6K) and Judgment: the parties will be summoned to the trial. After the conclusion of the trial, a written judgment will be issued.

→ 5 - Phase 4, Enforcement/Appeal of Judgment:

Generally, the enforcement procedure falls within the Flat Fee, so no additional payment is required.

In case of an Appeal (by us or by the other party) a new flat fee will be proposed for the 2nd instance. In general, the cost for the appeal will be 50% of the amount invoiced in 1st Instance.

The duration of the trial stage will depend to a great extent on the judicial district in which GS must file the lawsuit.

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