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Enforcement of a Court Decision in Spain

Enforcement of a Court Decision in Spain

When a party has won his right in court to receive payment from a debtor, and that said debtor has failed to make the due payment, this is when the enforcement procedure can be requested.  When a court decision is not voluntarily observed by the debtor, seeking judicial enforcement is the manner in which the creditor can make sure that the decision is observed.

The enforcement of a court decision in Spain means that the debtor will need to comply with the judgment that has been issued, his obligation to return a certain amount of money to the claimant. 

A local judgment issued in Spain is enforced by the same court that issued it. For this to take place, the court will need to examine the requirements of the initial judgment and then issue the enforcement order. Our team of agents who specialize in debt collection in Spain can help claimants who have been wronged and are owed certain amounts of money recover their due payments. 

The enforcement procedure in Spain 

In most cases, the enforcement procedure commences when there is a final court decision that allows for the commencement of the procedure of debt collection. The following types of instruments are enforceable and can be used to commence the procedure:

  1. Court decision: this is the final judgment issued after a trial and it is based on depositions and a record.
  2. Final judgments: these can arbitration decisions as well as mediation agreements; the latter must be attested by a notary.
  3. Authenticated public documents: these need to prove the nature of the debt and they must be first copies.
  4. Instruments of commercial agreements: these need to be signed by the parties and by a commercial broker.
  5. Bearer or registered securities: these need to be lawfully issued and need to represent the due obligations.

The Court of First Instance in Spain is the one that issues the judgment and the application for enforcement is submitted to the Judge of the Court of First Instance. This changes when the enforceable instrument is not a court decision. One of our debt collection lawyers in Spain can offer more details on how a Court is assigned when the instrument is an authenticated public document, based on the residence of the defendant. 

Not all types of assets can be subject to enforcement in Spain. Some of those that cannot be attached are listed below:

  • inalienable assets;
  • ancillary rights;
  • assets with no value
  • sacred items used for practicing registered religions.
  • salaries, wages, and pensions that do not exceed the minimum wage in Spain.

In those cases where the salary or pension exceeds the minimum wage, it can be seized according to a scale. For example, the first category is when the additional amount is equivalent to twice the minimum wage and the seized percentage, in this case, is 30%. When the debtor has dependents, the due percentages when the salary is above the minimum wage can be reduced by 10 to 15%. We recommend talking to one of our experts in debt collection for complete and up to date information about these percentages, according to the yearly minimum wage in Spain. 

For the purpose of enforcement, cash is confiscated and wages are subject to a retention order. The active accounts of the debtor are subject to a preservation order to the bank. Other movable property can be confiscated and immovable property can also be seized. 

Additional issues regarding enforcement in Spain

Some of the other issues that need to be taken into consideration when discussing enforcement in Spain include the following:

  • time limits: the validity of these measures is not pre-determined; they remain valid until the enforcement is completed.
  • appeal: the debtor should know that there is no possibility to appeal against the enforcement instrument.
  • limitations: there can be certain waiting periods before the enforcement is instituted (for the defendant to have the time to comply voluntarily).
  • settlement: in some cases, the enforcement can be subject to a different type of opposition, namely a settlement, which is to be set down in a public document.

Requesting the services of the enforcement authorities in Spain is a common course of action for those creditors who have won their case in court but still have not received any payment from the debtor. This is the only manner in which the debtor can be legally and formally forced to make the payment. During this process, our team specialized in debt collection in Spain can help you with more details about the steps that need to be observed as well as the overall process.

Contact us if you need more information on how to recover a debt in Spain. We can provide professional and personalized assistance.