Criminal Actions For Debt Claims


Posted and filed under Criminal Law, Legal Issues in Spain.

criminal actions for debt claims

We will explain everything you need to know about criminal actions for debt claims.

When you can you use criminal actions for debt claims?

Usually in Spain the law states that claiming debts from someone or a company is a civil issue. This usually originates from a breach of contract.

However, many people do not realise that there are incidences that a breach of contract could be considered a fraud. If there is a fraud, then criminal actions for debt claims could be used.

What are examples?

criminal actions for debt claims

Examples of criminal actions for debt claims could be if the debtor never intended to complete the contract and was stringing the other party alone. Or if an Estate Agent keeps the money from a buyer or seller that really they are not entitled to. In addition, if a promotor receives a deposit or further payments but the property is never built.

Criminal Actions

It is true that generally, a criminal action might take longer than a civil action in the Courts. But sometimes it can be the best way. It can also sometimes be the only way to get paid if the debtor does not have any money.

Sometimes, however, it is the case that the debtor does have money. But they do not pay when they receive the news of a legal action against them in the Courts. They may decide to wait and by the time the Action comes to Court, they will have hidden their assets. It is a big difference though if they are accused of fraud, find out there is a criminal action against them and their lawyer says they are looking at potentially being in a Spanish prison for several years. Many times we have known a client get an offer of money then.

We cannot always claim debts by using criminal actions but do let us know whether you have a situation we can help with especially now when debtors could try to avoid payments.


  • Usama Ali Rana

    Hello my name is usama and j live in spain
    In 2017 i came from Pakistan to spain because my father had a business over here in spain.
    But in 2018 he named all the business on my name when i was 18 years old and i did not know anything he ever did my fake signs on the papers after that he did not payed any tax and bank money and electric and gas bills because it was on my name.Now in 2019 he left us and divorced my mother and he ran away . And now i have debt of 7000 euro to pay to the tax office. 7000 euros to the bank and 8 thousand for the gas and electric and im still 21 years old and dont know what to do .Please help me please tell me something this was a big fraud .Thankyou

    • Amanda Thomas

      Dear Usama, What a terrible situation, we are sorry. Well our advice is that you can try with the local Guardia Civil to do a denuncia against your father as identity fraud. It may be that, if you could demonstrate that you did not know anything, you will have some advantage against the debt claim. You can then send that denuncia to both the Tax Office (or maybe better to arrange a meeting) and with the utility companies. You can also ask for a bankruptcy as a fiscal person in the Courts. I am not sure we are going to be able to help you, you may need an asesor local to you, but we wish you all the best. You could also contact the Citizens Advice Spain for free advice on this matter. Kind regards

      Anyway, he can ask for a bancrupcy as a fisical person, in Court.

  • Ian

    Hi. I am getting a works pension from uk
    I am living in Spain. I did not know I have to pay tax on it. I was made redundant in January. I got a lump sum of 14000 in 2017. I also get a small monthly amount every month under 200 pounds. I got a letter from the tax office. Saying I did not declare 2256 euros in 2018. So I took my fiscal and one years bank statements to show my pension was paid in. Now I have another letter saying they want 2017 fiscal. I only got two payments of pension in 2017. November and December. That when it started. So do I just give them two months statements. The statements will take three weeks to get from England because 2017 is not in the archive so they cannot email them to me. They have to send. The other thing is I’m leaving Spain in 7 weeks to live back in uk. Can you help me with a solution. Do I have to show the statement on my lump sum. Thanks.

    • Nicola Ryan

      Thank you for your enquiry Ian,

      This has been passed to Ana who deals with the taxes, we are certain we can help.

      Kind regards

  • Tammy

    Hello. The man I love traveled to Spain on business in July of 2017. He got in trouble by and owed debt that he was unable to pay. I could not get him enough money to help him out of this debt. He was placed in prison in 2019. He is still there. With the help of a friend there we have managed to pay over 60000. He was given bail. 8000. I took loans, he got sick and needed surgery, he got it I paid for it. He got more sick and was sent to the hospital ICU. And had a bill for over 12000 I took on more debt and managed to pay that to. He was sent back to jail to await seeing the Judge and have him sign his release. Then just before he was released. They said no he owes another 8000 for his cell over the last 2 Years. I took more loans and got it paid, then he got sick again but rather than send him to the hospital they kept him in the jail infirmary 1 week. I was given a bill for 3200. It was paid. Just before he was let out. They came back and said. No he still owes 3100. I have given closed to 40 grand in a month. I am ruined financially. The friend there has sold his belongings and worked some outside labor jobs. I have sent what I could to help but we are 550 from our goal. Thus has been a complete nightmare. There is zero mercy for him and they botched his surgery and made him more sick. Yet they keep him in jail. Won’t allow him to make a phone call for help. Spain is not a third world country, yet my man has been held for ransom for over 2 years. I am so disgusted and distraught over the way we have been treated. I just want some justice for him. They are planning to send him back to prison for owing 550. What do I do?

    • Amanda Thomas

      Dear Tammy, I am sorry about the situation. But no one has to pay for prison, only for any fines related to the problem. You need to talk with the solicitor who has been dealing with the case.We wish you the best but we cannot help. With kind regards,

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