Can a debtor’s data be cancelled once the debt has been paid off?
This doubt arises recurrently in those situations in which the data of certain people are included in registers or files of defaulters, such as ASNEF (National Association of Financial Credit Establishments) or EQUIFAX, due to outstanding payments in favor of their creditors by individuals and legal entities.
In this sense, being registered in this type of registers is a problem for the interested party as it is a determining factor when it comes to achieving certain economic objectives or benefits, such as, for example, the granting of credit. A person registered in this type of registry will have more difficulties in accessing financing since it is assumed that he/she is not a good payer.
Requirements to include a person in a file of debtors
Notwithstanding the foregoing, in order to include a person in a file of defaulters, the following conditions must be met, in accordance with Article 20 of Organic Law 3/2018, of December 5, on the Protection of Personal Data and Guarantee of Digital Rights:
- That the data has been provided by the creditor or by anyone acting on his behalf or in his interest.
- That the data refers to certain debts, due and payable, the existence or amount of which has not been the subject of an administrative or judicial claim by the debtor or through an alternative dispute resolution procedure binding between the parties.
- That the creditor has informed the affected party in the contract or at the time of requesting payment of the possibility of inclusion in such systems, indicating those in which it participates. The entity that maintains the credit information system with data relating to non-compliance with monetary, financial or credit obligations shall notify the affected party of the inclusion of such data and inform him/her of the possibility of exercising the rights set forth in Articles 15 to 22 of Regulation (EU) 2016/679 within thirty (30) days following the notification of the debt to the system, with the data remaining blocked during that period.
- That the data shall only be kept in the system in question for as long as the default persists, with a maximum limit of five (5) years from the expiration date of the monetary, financial or credit obligation.
- That the data referring to a specific debtor may only be consulted when the person consulting the system maintains a contractual relationship with the affected party that involves the payment of a monetary amount, or the latter has requested the conclusion of a contract involving financing, deferred payment or periodic billing.
Request for cancellation of data after debt settlement
As explained in the previous point, the data of a natural or legal person may be included in registers or files of debtors, provided that certain requirements are met. Therefore, in the same way, the user will have the right to exercise his/her right of cancellation once the debt in question has been settled or, as the case may be, when the maximum period of five (5) years established by law has expired.
For this purpose, the interested party may of course request the cancellation of his data before the controller or person/entity in charge of the file, providing the documentation proving the non-existence of the debt, as well as a photocopy of his/her ID card and the request on which the request is based.
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