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The Statue of Limitations for Claiming a Debt in Spain

Updated: Dec 4, 2022



First of all, for those of you who don't know what a Statue of Limitations is:

A statute of limitations, known in civil law systems as a prescriptive period, is a law passed by a legislative body to set the maximum time after an event within which legal proceedings may be initiated.


Claiming a debt in Spain is subject to a term, so it must be made before its expiration date. Regarding the statute of limitations for claiming an amount, it is established in article 1964 of the Civil Code, it is computed from date to date and is 5 years, although there are some debts that have different statutes of limitations:


When it is due to non-contractual liability, the statute of limitations is only one year.

The payment that corresponds to notaries, lawyers and teachers the prescription is after 3 years.

  • Mortgage debts: prescribed after 20 years.

  • For non-payment of supplies (telephone, water, electricity, etc): they prescribe after 3 years.

  • For non-payment of rent: they prescribe after 5 years.

  • For non-payment of alimony: prescribed after 5 years.

  • Against Social Security: prescribed after 4 years.

  • And against the Tax Agency: they prescribe after 4 years.


The way to interrupt the prescriptive period of a debt is by sending the defendant any reliable notice, preferably issued by a lawyer.


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