Is it valid to be notified by e-mail or SMS to the telephone number provided in the contract before being included in a debt collection register?
The request for payment prior to the communication of the data to the common file on financial solvency is not a simple formality, it is a requirement that responds to the very purpose of the file. It is not simply an automated register of non-compliance with monetary obligations, but of data on persons who fail to meet payment obligations because they are unable or unjustifiably unwilling to do so.
The purpose of this prior requirement is to prevent the inclusion in these registers of persons who, due to a simple oversight, a banking error to which they are not related, or any other similar circumstance, have failed to meet a monetary obligation that is due and payable without this information being relevant to assess their solvency.
This is the criterion that the Supreme Court has been maintaining in this respect, and which it has reiterated in a recent ruling that has put an end to a lawsuit brought against a financial services company by one of its clients, for including and maintaining his data in the file for a debt, which according to him did not exist, without having issued a prior request for payment.
The courts rejected the client’s claim, holding that the financial services company had not been requested by the client to remove the data and had issued the payment request by SMS, e-mail and post to the client’s home address. Moreover, the debt existed, based on an electronic contract in accordance with the law that recognised these means of notification as valid.
The Supreme Court has now definitively rejected the client’s claims, stating that the contract signed by the parties did indeed provide for the aforementioned forms of notification, which the institution did to the telephone number provided by the client in the contract and to the postal address indicated therein.
Consequently, the prior request, required by the Data Protection Regulation, was complied with by the financial services company.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, our professionals will be able to advise you in the defence of your rights.