Author: Abogada Belén Lopez Morata
You might have noticed that recovering your claim in the south of Europe has recently become more and more difficult due to the financial crisis. Obtaining credit with the bank is now a lot more complicated, causing companies to hang on to their own funds for much longer. Especially foreign business partners draw the short end of the stick, as debtors might feel that there is a safe distance from your company. Fortunately for you, this is far from the truth.
At Bierens Debt Recovery Lawyers, we continue to look for better ways to efficiently recover your claim, despite any difficult economic circumstances. In Spain, there is now a new possibility which enables us to apply more pressure on your debtor during the extrajudicial phase.
Registers for debtors in business to business trading have been available in Spain for a while now. These were created by financial institutions and telecom companies in order for them to exchange information about their debtors and improve their credit management policies. All this is within the rules of the law. In fact, these registers are already quite common and well known among debtors in Spain.
The register shows the number of unpaid claims, the total balance due by the debtor, and the date of the last unpaid claim.
To be able to register your claim, it has to meet a few criteria:
- A registered claim must be proven, existing, overdue and payable
- Invoices that are not yet overdue cannot be registered in the claim
- Invoices cannot be over 6 years old
- The debtor has to have been summoned to voluntarily pay the claim extrajudicially prior to the registration
- Debtors must receive a written warning (in the contract and/or demand letter) which states that the claim will be registered in the event of non payment
- The claim has to be at least 3 months old
- Privacy laws dictate that the debtor has to be notified of the registration within 30 days, so that they are enabled to exercise their rights
Registration has to be done very accurately and must be supported by evidence, as it is closely connected to Spanish legislation regarding both privacy and liability. The consequences of a wrongful registration can, therefore, be very serious.
Once the registration is completed, it is important that the register’s administrator is immediately notified of (partial) payments, so that the register continues to be up to date. This is legally obligated.
Bierens Debt Recovery Lawyers now has an agreement with ASNEF which enables us to register your debtor on their list. The threat alone of such registration can be used as the ultimate leverage, because banks and other financial authorities consult these registers before providing credit. Your debtor knows this as well and knows, therefore, that a registration could seriously harm their future business.
Obviously, we will only register your debtor on the ASNEF list after obtaining your express and written permission. Furthermore, sufficient evidence in support of your claim must be available. If these conditions are met, then we are able to register your debtor on the ASNEF list, the largest and most well known register for debtors in Spain.
We expect, however, that in the majority of cases, simply threatening to add companies to the ASNEF register, will have the desired effect.
The costs of an ASNEF registration are low: we charge an amount of just €75.00 excluding VAT for each registration, and another €75.00 to remove your debtor from the register once you claim has been paid. If you would like to know more about the ASNEF registration, then please do not hesitate to contact us.