11 Spanish SMEs in insolvency proceedings unable to go any further because computer system inoperable

Companies restructuring Image from page 185 of "Thackerayana;" (1875)

José Carlos González Vázquez (CECA Magán) | Today I found out that not only does the liquidation platform not work but, what is much more serious, that the insolvency platform where the 32 electronic forms of the Third Book of the TRLC (Texto Refundido de la Ley Concursal) (Consolidated Text of the Insolvency Law) are uploaded does not work either.

Yes, yes, you have read correctly: none of the platforms that are essential to be able to implement the special procedure for SMEs actually work.

The forms are there, with their guides and explanations on how to fill them in correctly, but… cannot be sent to the respective court offices! The consequence of this? As of yesterday, only 11 applications for the special procedure had been filed in the whole of Spain!*

And how did those 11 do it if the corresponding application cannot be sent? Well, apparently, by filling in the form, downloading it, and then submitting it via LexNet or similar (just like any other judicial procedure, only with a pre-established form).

And I ask myself, is that admissible or is it something that is an absolute extralegal loophole (not to say, an illegal one)? Because, as far as I know, microenterprises must necessarily and imperatively process their insolvency or pre-insolvency electronically through the insolvency platform by sending the corresponding forms in this way.

But there is more:

  1. The form submitted by the debtor may not be signed by lawyer and solicitor: only one signature is allowed. In other words, it “obliges” the debtor to submit it with a defect that will require it to be rectified. But there are no forms to correct… (?).
  2. Nor does it allow the inventory to be filled in by putting €0, even if the debtor has nothing.
  3. The forms allow an application for continuation proceedings to be filed even if more than 85% of the liabilities are public credit (i.e. only liquidation proceedings would be possible).
  4. Failure to notify the AEAT (Spanish Inland Revenue) and the TGSS (General Treasury of the Social Scurity) can have severe consequences for the debtor, but it turns out that Social Security has not enabled the electronic office to make such a notification.
  5. It seems that the connection with LexNet will be enabled soon but with the rest of the platforms of communities such as The Basque Country, Valencia, etc. that do not use LexNet they are not even trying to prepare this connection.

Would it not have been better to postpone the entry into force of the Third Book for a few months until things are done properly?

A total of 7,272 insolvency proceedings and 30,507 dissolutions were registered during 2022, an increase of 24% and 10% more than in 2021. Eighty-six percent of the insolvency proceedings correspond to microenterprises and the commercial sector was the sector with the highest number of proceedings.

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The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.