12 May There is no bad debtor if not verified, says the Spanish Supreme Court
The verdict concludes that to include a person “in a registry of bad debtors without credibility is an illegitimate attack against one’s reputation since such an accusation of being a defaulting debtor harms the dignity of the person, injures his reputation and impairs the person’s own estimation”. The courts will from now on be able to force banks and companies to compensate the client harmed in cases where third parties are able to access the “false dilatoriness” as this causes “economic consequences to him”, such as the refusal of credits or mortgages.
The verdict confirms a resolution dictated 3rd April by the full session of the First Room of the Spanish Supreme Court and establishes Jurisprudence on the matter.
The verdict dismisses the appeal filed by the bank BBVA against the verdict dictated on December 13th 2001 by the number three Court of First Instance in Tenerife, which gave reason to one client, whose data was communicated to the registries of bad debtors Badex and Asnef-Equifax, after she refused to pay 1,051 Euros charged illegally to her account. The sentence of Tenerife’s court ordered BBVA to pay the plaintiff an indemnity for moral damages of 18,030 Euros plus the legal costs derived from the procedure and to urge the withdrawal of the data made available to the registries of bad debtors. The bank supposedly debited 1,051Euros from the account of the client through her Visa-Classic card. The client asked the bank for the cancellation of the debit on various occasions via telephone, a branch of the bank and through the defender of the client and later issued a charge to the Bank of Spain through the national police. The court dismissed the allegations made by BBVA who claimed that the client was on the bad debtor’s list for only twelve days during which nobody consulted her records. The judge considered that access to the records of the bank and both registries of patrimonial solvency were sufficient to prove damage to her reputation.