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How can I get legal protection against late payment?

The delinquency has always been a serious problem for businesses, especially for SMEs. Entrepreneurs have to anticipate the costs of the product or service sold without receiving the corresponding income, which can generate cash strains and higher financial costs.

For this reason, the  rise in non-performing loans in recent months worries companies, as reflected in the report of the analysis of the behavior of business payments for 2019 by Informa, which establishes that  55% of companies have defaulted in the last 12 months.

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According to the study, in the fourth quarter of 2018, the Average Payment Term (PMP) reached 88.16 days and the proportion of punctual payments fell, now being less than 50%, something that had not happened since the end of 2016.

Taking these data into account, it is important to take the necessary measures to prevent non-payment, such as, for example, analyzing the solvency of the company that we are going to hire, requesting an advance payment or requesting guarantees.

It is worth highlighting the toughening of the legislation against delinquency. On the one hand, the European Union established on March 16, 2013 measures to combat late payment in commercial operations in Directive 2011/7 / EU.

Later, Spain adopted this directive in Royal Decree Law 4/2013 of February 22, where it set, for example, a standard term of 30 days for Administrations and 60 for companies.

What is the specific term for paying an invoice?

Remember that, if a specific payment term is not agreed to pay an invoice, it will be 30 calendar days (counting Saturdays, Sundays and holidays), in addition, this term may be extended by agreement, but it may not exceed 60 days. . Therefore, if the term to pay elapses and the invoice is still pending, it will be a case of non-payment.

Before initiating a claim, it is necessary to ensure that there really is a default and, in addition, to confirm the amount that is owed. To do this, you must contact the debtor through a phone call and thus find out if he has received the invoice and what is the cause of non-payment. Once this is done, a written payment agreement will be reached and signed by both parties, deferring the debt or even reducing its amount if it is paid quickly.

In the event that the deadline you have agreed to pay arrives and the invoice is still pending payment, you can send a burofax with acknowledgment of receipt and content certification, for which you claim the debt amicably. The notification must contain: the amount and concept of the debt, the form and term of payment and the possibility of filing a lawsuit in the event of non-payment. In the case of an unpaid invoice, you have five years to claim payment from issuance.

In the event that amicable collection is not achieved and as long as your debtor is solvent and the debt is well documented, it is recommended to speak with a lawyer and thus advise you on the possibility of filing a lawsuit to claim the debt through of the order for payment procedure.

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