When a citizen contracts a debt that he is not able to take care of in its entirety, he can find himself in trouble. One of the assumptions that he risks is to suffer embargoes on assets owned by him or even on the salary that he receives month after month.

This does not mean that, in order to settle a debt, the worker must collect all his salary until those amounts are definitively covered. But it can happen that, on a monthly basis, different percentages are discounted until the debt is finalized.

In Spain, you have to refer to the Civil Procedure Law to find out what amounts can be seized from workers’ salaries to pay off the debts they have contracted. In its article 607, the law explains that in any case there is a limit by which amounts below the Minimum Interprofessional Salary cannot be seizedwhich after the rise at the beginning of the year is 1,000 euros per month.

If the worker, on the other hand, receives a salary higher than the Minimum Interprofessional Salary, he will see how different percentages are seized depending on the amount of that salary to pay the pending debt.

The percentage of salary that can be garnished for a debt

– 30% of the amounts between the SMI and double the SMI will be seized.

-The embargo goes to 50% of the amounts between two and three times the SMI.

-The embargo is 60% on amounts between three and four times the SMI.

-The embargo is 75% of the amounts between four and five times the SMI.

-When it comes to amounts above five times the SMI, the embargo will be 90%.

As indicated, these percentages are applied progressively on the worker’s monthly salary. Thus, a person who earns 2,500 euros per month will not have a 50% embargo because his salary is between two and three times the SMI, only certain amounts will be deducted depending on each section.

Thus, from the range of 0 to 1,000 euros nothing will be deducted as they are amounts lower than the SMI. Then the section that goes from 1,000 to 2,000 euros will be taken, of which 30% (300 euros) will be seized. Subsequently, of the 500 euros that are missing, 50% will be seized, that is, 250 euros. With these calculations, a person who receives 2,500 euros per month will have a garnishment on his salary of 750 euros.

These attachments would not only apply to wages and salaries: in the event that the debtor also received benefits or pensions, they would be added to the global calculation. The salaries, wages, pensions or benefits of the spouses would also be added if they are not married under the regime of separation of property.

In parallel, if the worker accredits family responsibility, he could have a reduction of between 10 and 15% in the embargoes established for each income bracket.

When can you be seized below the SMI

However, there is an exception to everything stated above. Although the limit on wage garnishments is set at the Minimum Interprofessional Salary, if the debts are caused by Non-payment of food benefits to children or spouse that have given rise to a sentence. In these cases, “the court will set the amount that can be seized.”


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