The debt exoneration mechanism approved by decree law in 2015 for cases of over-indebtedness of families and self-employed workers is opening up in the courts throughout Spain, and it is foreseen that the cumulative number of favorable resolutions will amount to 900 by the end of the year. majority in Catalonia.
This figure is a calculation of Repara Tu Deuda, a company specialized in filing lawsuits to obtain debt forgiveness, which has taken into account both the data from the National Institute of Statistics and its own forecasts.
The so-called "Second Chance Act" allows individuals and self-employed individuals to be exempted from paying debt to creditors provided that it is proven that the debtor has previously acted in good faith and that he has tried without agreement to postpone the debt or pay through the transfer of goods.
The norm, which was born as a ball of oxygen for the self-employed and individuals who caught their fingers with the crisis, came into force in August 2015 and has been slow to apply in a "standardized" manner due to its complexity and ignorance of the courts , as Elvira Castañón, head of the Legal Department of Repara Tu Deuda, explained to Efe.
Thus, the number of files initiated in 2016 was very small and it was not until 2017 when a significant number of proceedings of this type began to be opened in the courts of first instance and commercial courts, a total of 2,500, according to the INE.
These are the ones that are now closing, giving rise to resolutions in favor of exemption in different parts of the peninsula.
Repairs Your Debt, a pioneer in Spain in this matter and that concentrates 80% of the demands that are presented, provides that of the 900 debt cancellation resolutions that will have been issued at the end of 2018, a total of 650 correspond to Catalonia.
The great majority of the resolutions respond to the demands of individuals (between 70 and 80%), which are presented before courts of first instance, while the rest have been seen in commercial courts.
Despite the fact that debts are being issued more frequently, Elvira Castañón says that the second-chance mechanism is still "very little used". "Little is known, more disclosure is needed," he said.
Among the latest resolutions made public highlights that of the commercial court number 10 of Barcelona, which has exonerated a marriage of Terrassa (Barcelona), with two daughters and very low income, to pay a debt of 340,000 euros accumulated by an unsuccessful business activity.
The marriage, formed by Isabel Valero and Eduardo Lores, has thus obtained that the court granted him the so-called Benefit of Exoneration of Unsatisfied Liability (BEPI).
In another case, the court of first instance number 2 of Girona exonerated a married couple living in the city of a debt of more than 24,000 euros that had contracted with various banks and financial institutions, which has allowed them to start from scratch.
Costel and Ionela María Moldovan, of Romanian origin, arrived in Spain in 2012 and both found work, but soon she was unemployed and had to ask for small loans to survive until accumulating debts with more than fifteen banks and financial institutions.
A few days ago, the Provincial Court of Barcelona admitted for the first time a case of exemption of debt with a single creditor, which opens the possibility of accessing the cancellation of the debt although there are not several creditors.