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This editorial is deboted to explain how to proceed in order to claim Community Fees to debtors within a Community. 

One of the most common proceedings nowadays is the claim of Community Fees to debtors. 

With regards to the possition the Community should adopt when facing default of payment on the part of one or various members of the community, we should refer to two different phases: the first one is to be focussed in reaching an amicable agreement between the community and the owner, in other words, to try to get an out- of-cout settlement, by claiming the owner to pay the debts which are still outstanding and warning him about the effects the non-payment situation may have. 

Should this attempt fail, there will be a calling for an Extraordinary Community Meeting to fix the debt in question with respect to the debtor owner and to authorize the Community to start the necessary arrangements for the settlement of the debt. 

Only then, there will be a further communication with the debtor,  this time sending him a certified communication, by means of a BUROFAX, claiming him to pay the debt within a certain term allowed to him in the letter. 

If he does not compile with this requirement, Court proceedings start, by lodging a Claim, generally a small debts proceedings, presented by the President on behalf of the Community, and before the First Intance Court of the municipality where the Community is located. 

Once the Claim has been granted the permission of the Court to go ahead, the Court appointed to deal with it will claim the debtor to settle the debt within the maximum term of twenty days or to allegate the reasons for him not to compile with his obligation. 

If the debtor does not respond within the allowed term, the door is open for the Enforcement of the debt against the debtor´s assets (firstly the property in Spain), for the amount claimed plus interests and legal fees. 

On the other hand, in case the debtor refuses to pay the debt, the Court will authorice the continuation of proceedings, this time through an Action for a Declaratory Judgement, if the amount claimed is no more than 6.000 euros.  If it is a higher amount, the Community will have one month to start a Full Trial. 

Nothwithstanding the above, and in any case, if the defendant presents an appeal against the Judge decission, he should previously transfer the amount in question into the bank account provided by the Courts to that effect. 

Regarding the need for a Procurator and Lawyer to take part in the mentioned proceedings, we should say that it is always advisable to use them, since the presentation of the Claim and follow up of proceedings requires to meet time, paperwork and procedural requirements for such Claim to be feasible, or for the enforcement in case there is no objection on the part of the debtor, since both Procurators and Lawyers perfectly know how to deal with these matters, avoiding unnecessary delays or mistakes that may fustrate the proceedings. 

In addition to the foregoing, the initial petition of Small debts Proceedings (where the participation of Procurator and Lawyer is not required) will be the base for the proceedings that will continue in case of refusal to pay the debt and in this case, there is a requirement for these professionals to take part in proceedings as long as the amount to claim is higher than 900 euros. 

Should you require further information regarding this or other matters, please feel free to contact us either at our offices located at the COMMERCIAL CENTRE TORREGROSA, Avenida Jorge Martinez Aspar Number 73, on the telephone: 966731353 or sending an e-mail to us on: info@fontanals-solicitors.com. 

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