When do you prescribe a debt?

Can you prescribe a debt? Do you have debts and do not know if they have prescribed? Throughout this post we explain what the prescription of debts consists of and when they prescribe the debts that you have contracted.

Prescription of debts

The prescription of a debt consists of the extinction of the payment obligation after a period of time has elapsed. After the limitation period, the debt continues to exist, but the creditor loses the right to claim it. There are two possible assumptions or requirements for a debt to prescribe :
  • The creditor does not take any action to claim the collection of the debt.
  • The debtor must not have recognized or admitted the outstanding debt.
If these circumstances occur, the debtor will not be legally obliged to pay his debt.

Limitation periods depending on the type of debt

To know when a debt is prescribed, it is important to consider with whom the payment obligation is incurred. For example, for debts between individuals that do not have a specific statute of limitations, a maximum term of 5 years is set. In any case, it will depend on the type of debt that corresponds. In addition, it is essential to review old debts because the limitation periods have been shortened . There are certain cases in which the statute of limitations has been reduced to 5 years, such as for personal contract debts. Next, we analyze some of the most important specific cases of prescription according to the type of debt that corresponds.

Rental debts

For any type of lease (of rustic, urban, residential or local properties) in which a debt has been contracted for non-payment of rental income, the statute of limitations is 5 years .

Mortgage debts

From the initial expiration date of the mortgage loan, there will be a term of 20 years for the debt to prescribe.

Credit card and personal loan debt

Both credit cards and personal loans contracted as of October 7, 2015, will have a statute of limitations of 5 years . However, if they have been contracted before that date, the debts will lapse after 15 years .

Supply debts

The statute of limitations for a debt for non-payment of any type of supplies (water, electricity, telephone …) is 3 years .

Alimony debts

To demand compliance with the obligation to pay alimony, there is a period of 5 years .

Debts with professionals

In the event of non-payment for certain professional services (doctors, notaries, solicitors, lawyers, etc.) there is a limitation period of 3 years , from the end of the services provided.