While Spain was in a state of emergency (estado de alarma), businesses were allowed to extend the deadline to claim debts from 7 October 2020 to 28 December 2020. In October 2015, legislation reformed Article 1.964 of the Civil Code so that personal claims without a specific term expire after five years instead of 15, as formerly. As a result of this reform, debts without a specific limitation period and which were due by 7 October 2015 (the day after the law came into force) are subject to the 15-year limitation with a deadline of 7 October 2020.
Since the declaration of the estado de alarma, however, these deadlines have been extended by 82 days, so that creditors have until 28 December this year to claim debts and avoid suffering losses due to late payment by debtors. This new deadline will apply to any creditors with uncollected debts, such as community fees, outstanding loans, rent arrears, unpaid bills and invoices, claims in respect of breach of contract or damages, among others.
The new extension for claims is the result of Royal Decree 463/2020 suspending deadlines for limitations and expiry as a result of the declaration of the estado de alarma on 14 March, with economic legal activity almost completely paralysed. The measure, which came into force on 4 June, in accordance with RD 537/2020 of 22 May extending the estado de alarma added 82 days to the period in which claims can be made. It gives businesses, communities of owners, and individuals a last chance to take legal action to ensure that they do not lose the right to claim what they are owed.