Although the number of bankruptcy cases continues to rise this year, it was in 2009 that the number of cases skyrocketed, mainly due to the collapse of construction and the industries directly or indirectly related to it. As of December 31, the increase was 79.6% compared to 2008. In absolute terms, 5,922 competitions. By type of business, SMEs were hit the hardestnamely companies with less than two million euros turnover (62.3%) and between 10 and 19 employees. The bulk of the tenders focused on construction and real estate development (1,671 procedures), However, the bankruptcy also brought 1,201 industrial and energy companies, 863 trading companies and 188 from the hotel and catering industry to court.

Beyond the alert, a close look at these numbers helps us get a picture of the nature of the problem.

paralysis of ignorance

Of the 5,922 open procedures, 5,614 were voluntary (81.7% more than in the previous year) and only 308 required competition. This mismatch has to do with fear of competition, which is understood to mean bankruptcy. This causes debtors to wait longer than necessary before applying for it, but also causes their creditors to be reluctant to ask for it. It is true that, given the situation, the businessmen to whom they owe “move more and more before the debtors do,” recalls David Magdalena. Nevertheless, they are still a long way from the figures for the rest of Europe, where recourse to bankruptcy is common practice, preventing the snowball effect from worsening the situation for creditors and debtors.


Suppose another believer comes before you push for a necessary procedure, or it is the debtor who requests voluntary avoidance. In such cases, however, your rights remain Once bankruptcy has been declared and a receiver appointed, you must be careful to notify your loan within one month, indicating the qualification you seek for it: privileged, ordinary, or inferior. According to the Lexland expert, “It is highly recommended to appear with a lawyer and attorney in the event of a dispute, because if communication is not made in a timely and appropriate manner, the loan may be classified as subordinated (without preferential treatment in collection). or not available at all”.

Administrators have two months from the date of declaration to prepare a report. in which both the goods and rights of the company as well as the list of creditors with their creditworthiness are listed. This list is provisional. “If one has declared his credit for a value of 10, and he appears collected for five, he will contest”. For this reason, David Magdalena points out that “the main slowdown in a dispute is the challenges of the creditors”.

Agreement vs. Settlement

According to the order of the procedure, after solving the challenges, the competition goes into the solution phase. This can be done in two ways:

* approval. In the event that there is an offer of agreement, the law allows the proposal of a reduction (partial debt waiver) of up to 50% and payment periods (so-called waiting period) of a maximum of five years. In addition to collecting enough adhesions, “there has to be a payment schedule.

* settlement. If agreement is not possible, the liquidation phase begins, in which the collection options are based on the (unencumbered) assets of the company.

Processing Deadlines

– To submit the competition: within two months after the date when the insolvency situation was known or should have been known.

– Notification of creditors about their loans: one month from the day after the publication of the bankruptcy order in the BOE.

– For the bankruptcy trustee commissioned by the judge to draw up their report: two months from the acceptance of the post. At the request of the insolvency administration, the period can be extended by one month.

– Disputing the inventory or list of creditors in the report: 10 days from delivery.


A recent reform of insolvency law has paved the way for this Insolvent companies have the opportunity to try to reach an agreement with their creditors before filing for bankruptcy, so tell the court. This time of negotiations includes a four-month extension before judicial intervention. If the parties are ready, according to Dimas Cuesta, an agreement at this stage is “the fastest way to solve the debtor’s insolvency situation and for the creditors to collect part of it”.

Don’t dramatize. That needs to be clarified Bankruptcy does not necessarily mean bankruptcy. Sometimes the bankruptcy of a company can only indicate a lack of liquidity“Inability to make immediate payments even though the debtor has sufficient assets to pay the creditor their debt within a specified period of time,” says Magdalena, a bankruptcy specialist.

However, most competitions today end with the closure of the company. According to the expert, the reason lies in the stigmatization that still surrounds the competition today. An objection that causes employers to wait too long before requesting judicial intervention. If they do, the situation is already very bad, “so the amount they can propose for an agreement is very small and unacceptable.”

company management