On 19 November, the National Debtors Register went into effect, which aims to improve the compliance regime for court-ordered maintenance payments. After three weeks, the Registry already has the first data on its functioning: 1,600 institutions have registered, 650,000 queries to the system and 411 registrations requested by the courts have already been carried out.
“We know that there are many more to be included, because the entry mechanism has to do with the request to the family court – once three continuous or five discontinuous months (of debt) have been completed – to enter it and therefore we are in constant expectation of requests from the Judiciary to reach us to be able to enter it in the registry office”, said the head of the ministry for women and equal opportunities, Antonia Orellana, according to what was reported DNA.
For registration in the Registry there must be a case for alimony before the Courts of Justice, which must evaluate the precedents. The alimony must apply to the competent court, the liquidation of the debt, which will be brought to the attention of the debtor. If the latter has a debt of three continuous months and/or five intermittent months and does not make the payment once the liquidation has been completed; the Court sends the documents to the Civil Status and Identification Service, so that it can register the debtor’s maintenance payments in the Debtor Register.
Among the consequences of enrollment in this registry are: the withholding of money on credit transactions carried out by the debtor (starting from 50 UF, 50% of the credit will be withheld); in the event of the sale of real estate or motor vehicles, the Real Estate Registry or the Civil Status can register the transfer only if it is demonstrated that the monthly payments due will be paid with the proceeds of the sale; repayments of withholding taxes until the debt is extinguished; non-renewal of driving license or passport; the withholding of a percentage of the salary of persons working in any of the three powers of the State, or other public body, both for recruitment and for promotion (also applies to positions of popular election and senior public management); among other penalties.
Parental responsibility law and effective payment of pensions
In May 2023, the Law on Parental Responsibility and the Effective Payment of Debts for Alimony, promoted this year by the Ministry of Women and Gender Equality and approved unanimously by Congress last August, will enter into force. The regulation will be part of a new institutional framework created to improve compliance with the payment of maintenance pensions in the country.
While the National Debtor Registry creates incentives for paying debts through delinquency penalties, the Parental Responsibility Act establishes an effective mechanism for paying alimony owed.
This implies that, if there is at least one monthly maintenance payment due, the court that issued the ruling registering the debt may be asked to order payment of the same through the funds the debtor has in their bank accounts, of investment and financial instruments and in voluntary retirement savings accounts.
In the event that there are three months of checks due, total or partial, continuous or discontinuous, the judge orders the payment using the existing funds in the individual capitalization account of the debtor’s compulsory contributions, if and only if, the debtor does not hold funds in bank accounts, VAP accounts or financial or investment instruments, or if these are insufficient to pay the debt in full.