How to Get Your Name Removed From a Debtor List
Whether you’ve defaulted on a payment, or your name has been included by mistake on a debtor list in Spain, you need to know what to do. Late payment of just one of your bills could put you at risk of being blacklisted, so it’s a good idea to take action as soon as possible.
What is Classed as Non-Payment?
It’s clear that if you have a regular payment (mortgage, credit card repayment, subscription service or similar) if you default on one payment you run the risk of being placed on a debtor list. What you may not know is that if you’ve agreed to a payment by signing a document or contract, if you don’t subsequently pay then it’s also classed as default and could mean you are blacklisted – remember to check the 14-day cooling-off period.
It’s useful to know that receipt of an invoice when no other supporting documentation exists is not classed as a valid payment requirement (judicial sentence from 2007). In this way, fraudsters who send out unrequested invoices cannot claim that recipients have defaulted.
What Details are Included on a Debtor List?
A company that compiles debtor lists must ensure at all times that the details included are correct, up-to-date, not excessive (in other words, they shouldn’t have on file more personal details than those strictly necessary) and that the list is only used for legal purposes.
When you contract goods or services you must be informed that your personal details will be included on a debtor list if you don’t pay the full price or miss any periodic payments.
If you are included on a blacklist, the company that compiles the list must inform you about the following:
- Why you’ve been included – the total amount of your debt and the full details of the creditor.
- Your right to access, correction, cancelation and opposition to any detail included in the file (known in Spanish as Los Derechos ARCO).
- The identification and address of the company that will be responsible for the debtor list.
- A statement that if the file is passed to another company this can only be with your consent.
People can only be included on a debtor list once the debt is at least four months old, even if the debt is only of a partial amount owed. Once included on a list, you must be informed within 30 days.
How Long are my Details Kept on File?
By law when the debt is paid your details must be removed immediately. Additionally when six years have passed all details must be erased in order to remove any possible negative influence regarding future credit, loans or mortgage applications.
Most debtor lists for individual debt in Spain are compiled by the following companies:
ASNEF – normally debts with financial entities
CIRBE – complied by the Banco de España
EQUIFAX – financial, phone and electricity debts
BADEXCUG – debts with banks, credit cooperatives, finance companies
FIJ – traffic fines, municipal debts, social security and tax debts. Debtor names are published in the official gazettes.
FIM – unpaid rental fees
How do I get my Name Removed from a Debtor List?
If you have paid the debt that is shown on the list or there is an error and the debt never existed, you must request in writing that your name be removed from the debtor list. Remember to include as many details as possible in order for the company to take action and remove your name as soon as possible.
Unfortunately many people continue to appear on a debtor list but with a 0 euro debt!
When the company doesn’t remove your name, or doesn’t do so in an acceptable timeframe, then you should make an official complaint via the Spanish Data Protection Agency – you can do this online at the official website.
If you agree that the debt is correct, then it’s up to you to pay it and then request that your details are removed from the list.
Don’t forget that it’s easy to get your name onto a debtor list and a lot harder to get your name removed – it takes time, paperwork and patience.
Not all financial companies have access to all the debtor lists. If your name is included on a list it doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t have access to credit or other financial products.