Top-Rated Debt Collection Agency in Spain
Fast and reliable debt collection in Spain - no upfront costs, only pay for success. Request a FREE Consultation or upload your claim today.
Recovering your debt in Spain is easiest through this method.
Debitura is a specialist in debt recovery services in Spain, offering a wide range of services, including accounts receivables management, debt collection notices, pre-legal and legal debt collection, and enforcement court proceedings. Our experienced professionals have extensive knowledge of the debt collection laws and regulations in Spain, which enables us to provide efficient and effective solutions for businesses to recover outstanding debts.
Unwavering assistance throughout the entire process.
Tailored debt recovery plan.
We have an extensive team of over 500 experts specialized in international debt collection.
At the lowest cost, our success rate stands at 87%.
BBM ABOGADOS INTERNATIONAL COLLECTION (BBMAIC) is an Spanish Law firm funded in Spain. Our high qualification and professional experience are focused on the management of commercial and financial debt, either by amicable or judicial proceedings, both at the national and international levels.
Office directed to individuals and companies. We help and advise the client to solve all kinds of legal problems in various areas. Lawyers come from big recovery companies like Intrum or Lexer.
The ultimate guide about debt collection in Spain
Do you have a financial claim against a business or customer in Spain? Then you have come to the right place! We have helped hundreds of other businesses recover debt in Spain.
Collecting a debt in Spain can seem impossible. Language and cultural barriers, foreign laws and customs, and sheer distance all impose serious challenges.
Debt recovery is simpler when you use a collection agency fluent in the laws and customs of the country where the debtor resides.
At Debitura, we always put people first. This means that we will try to get your money back, but also still have a good relationship with the person who owes you money. Our PR efforts are always fair and firm-which means that your reputation is very important to us! If you want to learn more about how to collect debt yourself in Spain, keep reading this guide. But if you would rather work with a law firm that specializes in this kind of thing, we can help you with that too.
At Debitura, we make it easy for you to collect money that someone owes you in Spain. To get started, upload your claim today. We will review your case within 24 hours and provide you with free quotes from local debt collection lawyers in Spain. Our method of working combines tech-driven solutions with a people-oriented approach. This means that we use the latest technology to get results, but we also focus on customer relationships. We have a network of people who work with us to collect debts, provide legal services, and supply us with what we need. We value all of these relationships equally, no matter how big or small they are.
Begin the process of debt collection in Spain today without any cost. Simply create a free profile and upload your case in under 2 minutes.
Our pre-legal recovery process has a proven track record, and we'll work to collect your claim during the first 3 months. Our approach is no-cure-no-pay, meaning you only pay if we're successful.
If your claim remains unpaid in the initial phase, we offer you three quotes from our nearby debt collection lawyers.
You get access to our online portal where you can track your case in real-time
Introduction to collecting debt in Spain
Do you have trouble getting paid by your Spanish customers? Do not worry; we can help you collect the money they owe you.
In Spain, the person who owes a debt is called "the debtor." The person who gave the debt or invoice is called "the creditor." If the original creditor collects the debt himself, this is called "first-party collection." If the creditor outsources the collection process to a third party, this is called "third-party collections."
- The payment behaviour of Spanish companies is poor. This means that on average, companies take 70 to 80 days to pay for something. When you buy something from a company in Spain, it is common for the company to not pay you right away.
- The legal process in Spain is very slow, so it is usually better to try to collect the debt yourself before going to court.
- If the debtor cannot pay, collecting debt becomes harder, especially for creditors who are not secured.
Days Sales Outstanding (DSO)
Spanish companies often do not pay their bills on time. This is a problem because it makes it hard for other companies to do business with them. According to a recent study, 57% of companies take longer than 60 days to pay their bills, and sometimes it takes up to 80 days. Usually, the bigger the company, the longer they take to pay.
Main corporate structures
Who is responsible for business debts? The legal structures below describe this:
- If you are the only person running a small business, you can be a Sole Proprietorship. This means that you will be held responsible for any debts the business owes. If two or more people want to run a business together, they can form a Partnership. In this case, the partners may be held responsible for each other's actions. Another option is to form a Limited Liability Partnership, which offers limited liability to the partners.
- Private Limited Liability Companies (Sociedades de Responsabilidad Limitada, SL or SRL) and their simplified version New Enterprise Limited Companies (Sociedades Limitadas Nuevas Empresas) require a small amount of money to start (EUR 3,000) while the shareholders’ liability is limited to their contribution. Public Limited Liability Companies (Sociedades Anónimas, SA) are used for larger structures that want to divide their capital (at least EUR 60,000) into tradable shares. In these entities, the shareholders’ liability is limited to the value of their shares. Finally, Cooperative Companies are common in the farming sector: the workers are the shareholders, and this type of company must be registered in a special register depending on the Regional Government.
- Foreign companies may also choose to settle in Spain by setting up a Branch Office. This means that the foreign parent company will not have any liability limitations. Joint Ventures may take any legal form, but it is not necessary to incorporate them. This can be done by drafting a contract for this purpose.
The debt collection process in Spain
The debt collection process in Spain is typically conducted in multiple steps. The image below explains our standard process for collecting debt in the Spain:
1 Upload your claim:
If you want someone to help you get money that people owe you, find a debt collection partner. Upload your claim to their website. If you use Debitura, we will give you 3 quotes from local partners in the European country where the person who owes you money lives. This is free - no strings attached.
2 Amicable collection:
Debitura will try to contact the person who owes you money. They will do this by sending emails, texts, and letters. Debitura will only get paid if they are successful in getting the person to pay you back. If Debitura is not successful, then you don't have to pay anything.
If the person you loaned money to has not paid you back after you talked to them, it is time to decide what to do next. We will look at how much money you are owed, the chance of getting paid back, and other things to help you decide what to do. There are three typical next steps:
If your claim is for less than 2,000-5,000 Euros, it is often not worth taking further legal action. In this case, we recommend "debt surveillance." This means that we will keep trying to contact your debtor and try to reach an agreement.
B: Legal collections:
When you have a big demand or complaint, it's best to start a legal process. This is a series of steps that you go through in order to get what you're asking for. The steps will vary depending on what you're claiming and how big the claim is. However, it usually takes about 12-18 months for the whole process to be completed.
C: Debt enforcement:
If the person you think owes you money has said that they do, or if there is a court order, you can use the bailiff's court to get the money.
Debitura can help you with all three steps of the process in Spain.
Amicable collection in Spain
At Debitura, we offer a 100% risk-free and efficient process for Amicable collections. This means that you can submit your claim to us, and we will get started within 24 hours.
We will try to contact your debtor through different ways in Spain. This might include email, text messages, letters, phone calls, or social media.
The goal of this process is to either:
A) get the person who owes you money to pay the full amount or
B) get the person who owes you money to agree that they owe you money and start a plan to pay some of it back each month.
If the person you are trying to collect money from has disputed your claim, you cannot try to resolve the issue amicably. You must start with legal collections right away.
Late Payment Interest
Spain has a law that says people in the EU must be paid within 60 days. This law started in February 2013. The law says that people can agree to pay up to 60 days later, but usually people only have 30 days. If someone does not pay on time, they owe money for being late. The amount of money owed is either what was agreed upon in a contract or calculated using a special formula.
Interest on late payments is a way to try to get the money back in a friendly way, but it can also be claimed in court even though it would rarely be recovered.
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amicable debt collection
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Legal collection in Spain
If the other person has not paid you during the first part or if they disagree that they owe you money, we will give you 3 free quotes from local attorneys. During the legal phase, our attorney will reach out to the other person and try to negotiate a payment. Our partners can also go to court and get an order that says the other person owes you money. This order can be used to make the other person pay you.
If you know for sure that someone owes you money, there is a way to get the money without going to court. This way is called "Juicio cambiario" and it can help you get your money back if the person owes you money and they have it documented with a promissory note, check, or bill of exchange. The process takes a shorter amount of time than most procedures in Spain (eight months to a year) and it starts with an attachment proceeding against the debtor's goods. The 'Juicio verbal' is a similar (although oral) procedure which can be initiated for claims below EUR 6,000. The 'juicio monitorio' procedure, in addition, only requires common commercial documentation. Since October 2015, the claim for payment can be done through a notary. If the buyer recognizes the debt (or fails to appear within 20 days from the claim notification), the process becomes an attachment proceeding against the debtor's goods. The attachment proceeding must always be done through the court. If the buyer does not think they owe the debt, then it becomes an ordinary process. The Monitorio was created for claims up to EUR 250,000 but this is no longer the case.
If the debtor does not pay or has a reason why they should not have to pay, the case must be turned into a normal lawsuit. If the debtor company has assets in other EU countries, there is a procedure that may be used to help get back undisputed debts. In this case, the demanding party may request a domestic court to issue an Order to Pay. This will then be enforceable in all European Union countries (except Denmark) without exequatur proceedings.
Ordinary legal action would usually start when amicable collection has failed. This means that after friendly methods of asking for payment have not worked, legal dunning would often start with a registered Demand Letter. This is a letter that says the person owes money and must pay it within ten days. If the person who owes money cannot pay it all at once, they can ask to make payments over time. Otherwise, the person they owe money to can go to court and file a claim. The person who owes money would then get a notice to appear in court. They would have 20 days to tell the court why they should not have to pay the money. After hearing both sides, the judge would make a decision.
The courts would give the people what they asked for at the beginning of the proceedings. This might be money (compensatory damages), being able to do something (injunctions), or making someone do something (specific performance). But people cannot ask for punitive damages.
Spain's Civil Law system means that there are rules that have been written down and are supported by decisions made in past cases. The judiciary, or the court system, is divided into different levels including Municipal Courts, which deal with small claims, District Courts, Commercial Courts in bigger cities, Administrative Courts, Appeal Courts at the provincial level, and a Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is the court of final jurisdiction, which means it is the court that makes the final decision in a case.
The amount you will need to pay for a lawyer depends on how difficult your case is and how big your claim is. It is a good idea to ask more than one lawyer for their prices so that you can compare and get the best deal. You can do this easily by using Debitura.
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Debt enforcement in Spain
If you have written proof that someone owes you money, or a court order, you can go to the bailiff's court in Spain to get your money.
A judgment becomes final when all appeal venues have been exhausted. If the debtor does not satisfy the judgment within 20 days, the Court Clerk shall issue an order to move proceedings forward. The Clerk will also contact any financial institutions, public registries and other companies or persons who might know of assets and rights belonging to the debtor. Enforcement proceedings would always be quicker and more efficient when the debtor’s assets can be identified.
The assets should be attached in the following order: (i) Cash or current accounts of any kind; (ii) Credits and rights realizable in the act or in the short term, and entitlements, securities or other financial instruments admitted for negotiation on an official secondary securities market; (iii) Jewels and works of art; (iv) Income in cash, regardless of its source and the reason for its accrual; (v) Interest, income and revenue of any kind; (vi) Moveable property or livestock, shares, titles or securities not admitted to official listing, and company shares; (vii) Real estate; (viii) Wages, salaries, pensions and income from self-employed professionals and commercial activity; (ix) Credits, rights and securities realizable in the medium and long term. If you owe someone money, they may give you papers telling you that you have to pay them. You can talk to the person and try to make a different plan. Or, within five days, you can appeal the papers. But if you appeal, it will not stop the person from trying to get their money from you.
The process and how much it will cost varies depending on your case. You can upload your case to Debitura. They will give you 3 quotes for your claim within 24 hours.
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Insolvency proceedings in Spain
If the person you lent money to cannot pay you back, there is a final process you can start called an insolvency procedure. The goal of this is to sell the things the person owns and give the money to the people he owes, following a set order of importance.
- Out-of-court proceedings: The law provides debtors with an opportunity to seek an out-of-court Formal Refinancing Agreement.
- Restructuring the debt: If the debtor has less than 50 creditors, if its estimated liabilities do not exceed EUR 5 million or if the debtor has filed an early composition agreement proposal, insolvency proceedings may be opened. The debtor needs the court’s authorization to write off more than 50% of the debt and to agree to a period of payment longer than five years.
- Winding up proceedings: The common phase (as well as the failure of the restructuration phase) may alternatively lead to opening a liquidation phase, whose purpose is winding up assets and satisfying debts. Creditors must file their claims with court within one month following publication of insolvency declaration in Official Gazette.
- Priority rules and cancellation of suspect transactions (clawback): All creditors are entitled receive similar percentage overall debt value; however, complex priority rules apply while distributing proceeds, including repayment debts incurred because of insolvency situation, privileged debts secured by mortgage or pledge among others ,and finally normal unsecured debts .
European Late Payment Directive in Spain
Spain is part of the European Union (EU); therefore, the Directive 2011/7/EU on combating late payments across Europe in commercial transactions is applicable.
The main provisions of the directive include the following:
- Public authorities cannot require payment terms of more than 30 days.
- Private businesses cannot require payment terms of more than 60 days.
- You can charge a business an extra fee of €40 if they do not pay you on time.
- If you are late on your payments, the interest rates must be at least 8% higher than the European Central Banks reference rate.
The Danish government is part of the EU. This means that the government cannot make rules that are not as good for creditors as the rules that exist in the EU.
Credit risk and payment behaviour in Spain
- The average DSO in Spain is 58 days, impacted by high delinquency rates of 10%
- Trade credit is used less often on the Spanish domestic market than two years ago
- Payment terms are longer for domestic customers (51 days) than foreign customers (43 days)
- 43.8% of invoices remain unpaid after the due date, and payment is received, on average, 27 days late
Our analysis concludes that the risk of conducting business in Spain is low. Based on this low score, You can feel reasonably confident that you will be able to get paid when trading with customers in Spain. Nonetheless, we always recommend doing a specific credit analysis on an individual customer basis before offering any credit. The low risk score is based on the following factors:
The economic risk in Spain
Our analysis shows that the economic risk in Spain is low (2 out of 6). An economic risk of 2 out of 6 is relatively low in Europe.
GDP and economic growth are critical drivers for economic risk.
The GDP of Spain is 1425,28 bn. USD (2021), growing by 5,13% per year.
In terms of the size of its economy, Spain ranks #15 out of 183 countries and has a large economy.
Having a view at the growth rate, it is ranked #77 out of 183 countries and is therefore considered a fast-growing economy.
GDP per capita is 30116 USD, ranking Spain number #32 out of 183 countries. This means the purchasing power of citizens in Spain is high compared to the rest of the world.
You get a more detailed idea of GDP and economic growth in Spain in the table below:
Another critical driver for the economic risk score is the inflation rate and the interest rates. You get a more detailed idea of monetary KPIs in Spain in the table below:
The inflation in Spain was 3,1% in 2021 which is considered a low inflation rate.
The business environment risk in Spain
Our analysis shows that the business environment risk in Spain is very low (1 out of 6), which is a relatively low risk score in Europe.
The business environment risk are determined by the level of economic freedom and rights in a country. You can see the critical facts for Spain in the table below:
As you can see above, the property rights index is 76 in Spain, which is considered pretty average in Europe.
The business freedom index is based on 10 indicators, using data from the World Bank’s Doing Business study. The Index is 66 in Spain, a quite low score for a country in Europe.
Spain's overall economic freedom index is 70 out of 100 and is based on factors such as the rule of law, regulatory efficiency, and market openness.
The political risk in Spain
The political risk in Spain is very low, with a score of 1/6. This is a low political risk score in Europe.
The governance and political stability indicators are important drivers for political risk. An overview of Spain can be seen in the graphs below:
The rule of law index analyses to which extent agents have confidence in and abide by the rules of society, in particular the quality of contract enforcement, property rights, the quality of the courts, and the police's ability to enforce court orders.
When transacting business in a country, the rule of law index is critical as it describes your ability to enforce commercial contracts.
In Spain, the rule of law index is at 0,88 points, with the score going from -2.5 (weak) to 2.5 (strong). Spain has, therefore, a very high rule of law index, which means you have a very good chance of enforcing your contracts. If your individual customers have good creditworthiness, you should therefore feel relatively safe when providing credit.
Other drivers for the very low political risks are the average control of corruption, the weak political stability index, and the medium-large shadow economy that is 22,01% of Spain's GDP.
The commercial risk in Spain
In Spain, the commercial risk score is 3/4, which in our model is a medium score. This medium commercial risk score is pretty average compared to the average in Europe.
The commercial risk is influenced by a country's international trade relationships. You can see some of the key facts for Spain in the table below:
Spain has a total of foreign exchange reserves of 92.2 bn. USD.
Spain has a positive trade balance of 1,51% of GDP. This means that Spain imports fewer goods and services than the country exports.
The annual growth of exports of goods and services has been growing 14,74% annually - now 34,92% of GDP. Import of goods and services represents 33,41% of the GDP in Spain.
The financing risk in Spain
We have calculated the financing risk to be 1/4, which equals a very low risk. A very low financing risk score is relatively low for countries in Europe.
The country's banking system, efficiency, and stability influence the financing risk. Additional facts and info can be found for Spain in the table below:
In Spain, the credit information sharing index is 7 on a scale from 0 (low) to 8 (high). This means the accessibility and quality of credit information available in Spain is medium-high.
This makes it easy for you to understand the credit risk of your counterpart in Spain. You should therefore be able to find a good local credit rating agency that can help you analyse the creditworthiness of your specific customers.
Your juridical rights as a creditor are 5 out of 12 and, therefore, weak.
Debt Collection in Spain: Frequently Asked Questions
In Spain, debt collection can be conducted by the original creditor (first-party collection) or outsourced to a third party (third-party collection). Spanish companies often take 70-80 days to pay their bills, so it's better to try to collect the debt yourself before going to court. Debt collection in Spain typically includes multiple steps, such as amicable collection, legal collections, and debt enforcement. Debitura can help with all steps of the process in Spain.
The debt collection process in Spain involves three steps: pre-legal collection, legal debt collection, and debt enforcement. Pre-legal collection involves contacting the debtor through various methods. Legal debt collection is recommended for bigger claims and takes about 12-18 months. Debt enforcement involves using the bailiff’s court to get the money owed. Debitura can help with all three steps of the process in Spain. Upload your claim to their website and they will provide you with three quotes from local partners in the European country where the debtor lives - this service is free.
In Spain, if a debt is disputed, a civil lawsuit is required, and legal actions require a local lawyer. Legal options for debt collection also include debt enforcement and insolvency proceedings. Different court levels with specific jurisdictions in Spain handle these proceedings. If a debtor cannot pay the debt, insolvency proceedings can be initiated, with priority rules applying while distributing proceeds. Debitura can help obtain quotes from local attorneys to assist in legal debt collection efforts.
Debt collection costs in Spain vary depending on the specific case and actions needed. At Debitura, we offer a no-cure-no-pay model for pre-legal collection, with a success fee between 10-20%. For legal actions, prices vary based on your case. We can provide you with 3 quotes from the best debt collection lawyers in Spain to help you make an informed decision.
The duration of debt collection in Spain depends on the creditor's case and the debtor's response. If the case is resolved in the pre-legal phase, it usually takes 3-6 months to complete the process. However, if legal action is required to collect the debt, it can take longer, typically 12-18 months.