Debtor in Spain


Our company must be paid by a company based in La Rioja Region. The amount of 25,000 € is regularly invoiced (3 invoices issued to two different plants of the group) and there are written evidences we asked for payment many times. The company seems unable to honour its debt. After one year of wait we want to end the issue and have money and interests.

Please advise the following:

Range actions to be and evolution of proceedings in case of negative answer of the debtor; standard time in Spain.


I.-If you have the invoices and complementary documents  referring to the deal, according to Spanish law, you may use the following legal procedures:

a) “Monitory procedure“. This is a simple and quick procedure in which you present your case in front o the court corresponding to the debtors domicile, joining to it the documents that initially gives evidence of the debt, and the court will give the defendant a term of twenty days so that he could accept the debt or discuss it. If there is not any answer of the debtor within this term, the court will issue an order of execution against  the assets of the debtor for the amount claimed plus interests.

If the debtor discusses the debt, then in one month term it must be formalized the procedure described in paragraph b) below.

b) “Ordinary procedure“. This is the procedure normally followed to claim debts above 6.000,00 €.

It starts with the claim which is a more reasoned claim that the one corresponding to a “monitory ” procedure.

The debtor shall have a 20 days term to answer the claim; in his answer the defendant can not use different arguments than the ones used to discuss the debt in the Monitory Procedure. After the answer of the claim, or once finished the twenty days term if there is none, the Court shall fix a date to have a “Previous Audience” in front of the judge in wich are discussed the procedimental questions, also an agreement between the parties is intended by the judge. If such agreement is not reached the judge will ask the parties to define the evidences they pretend to present  in the case in order to prove and defend their rights. Also a date for the “Final Audience” shall be fixed.In such “Final Audience” witnesses and parties are interrogated and lawyers make their final allegation for the defence of the client´s rights.

You can go directly to the Ordinary Procedure and avoid the Monitory one, but we recommend not to do so because the Monitory Procedure is a much quicker procedure, not expensive, it obliges to the defendant to define his position from the very first moment and always there is a chance to go directly to execution without discussing in deep the rights.


II.- In regard with he time envolved in such procedures, only an estimation can be given since at the end depends  of the amount of work  of each court. However in normal conditions the estimated time is as follows:

a) Monitory procedure. 2 or 3 months from presentation of the claim, having in mind that that the month of august is a holiday month for civil courts in Spain. In such time we should have a court resolution for execution of the debt or free way to formalice the claim in an Ordinary procedure.

The execution itself is very difficult to estimate since it will depend of the type of assets seized ( bank accounts, real state, etc) since each one of them should follow different steps in the execution.

b) Ordinary procedure. Previous Audience 3 or 4 months after the answer of the claim and Final Audience some 3 or 5 months from the previous one. A sentence in first instance could take some one year, or one a half year, from his start.

Please have in mind that in Spain the month of August is a holiday month for civil courts.


In case of execution of the Monitory procedure and if all our claims are accepted by the judge in the Ordinary procedure, all legal costs (lawyer and procurador) can be recovered by your company.

Looking forward to hear from you,

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