Recovery of Community Debts

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27 Apr 2012 01:10 by hugh_man Star rating in Kent/Roda . 1418 posts Send private message

hugh_man´s avatar

 Surprisingly, there has been little discussion on this contentious subject for some time. I accept that well managed and established Communities probably do not suffer the same problems as newer communities where many buyers were investors/gamblers rather than lifestylers.

We have been told our local Spanish Courts are taking up to 3 years to hear demands for debt recovery, has anyone any positive advice to help recover local debts and anyone any experience of how effective Kettlewells are in recovering UK or European debt.

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27 Apr 2012 15:54 by Fighter2 Star rating. 237 posts Send private message


We ( Mazarron Country Club) have dealt with Steve Kettlewell and we had good success... the threat is that the debt will be chased in the country in which they live, failure to pay and subsequent court action means a CCJ against them in their country of residence...not welcome.

Go for it and make the non payers sweat, we had private owner debt in excess of 25% which is now down below 5% as a result of a mixture of personal contact and threat of court action in country of residence.


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27 Apr 2012 16:29 by Jacksonsadmin Star rating in Marbella , Malaga. 78 posts Send private message

  Communities are like a business they need monthly or budgeted income to meet their out goings there is nothing complicated about this equation.

I use debt collectors ( in fact Steve Kettleworth )ahead of lawyers as the results time to gaining funds into cashflow are much quicker than the court sytem in Spain & invariably free to the community in terms of costs.

The biggest challenge in administrating communities is trying to keep up the level of services & maintenance without  members paying on time.All too often it is the member who has not payed who complains the most about repairs outstanding.

There is a tendency by other administrators to use only the legal system as they are lawyers themselves & can earn substantial fees for this seperate work. Ultimately this leads to increased community fees to comensate for lack of cash flow in the community.


F.Parkinson Jacksons Administradores


f.parkinson @

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27 Apr 2012 17:11 by arranlee Star rating. 5 posts Send private message

You mention Steve Kettleworth on this thread.

Could you please display his contact details in order that I may alert our community President that this may be someone who can actually recover some, if not all, of our outstanding community fees debts?

Thank You.

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27 Apr 2012 22:44 by hugh_man Star rating in Kent/Roda . 1418 posts Send private message

hugh_man´s avatar

 Thanks for your input guys, good to hear Kettleworths are having success outside Spain.

PS Google Kettleworth Solutions for web page

Still not sure if there is an alternative or quicker approach for chasing Spanish debts as previously mentioned we have been advised our local courts are taking 3 years, not very helpful as any new buyer or return to bank are only liable for 2 years debts, which potentially means a lot of write offs in some communities.

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28 Apr 2012 12:00 by Karensun Star rating in Orihuela Costa. 1476 posts Send private message

Karensun´s avatar

Over a year after placing debtors with the company mentioned below we have had nothing except invoices from them for monies not agreed prior to them taking on the debts.

  ' Do unto others as you would be done by'
         Now a non-smoker !  

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28 Apr 2012 13:40 by juandos Star rating. 26 posts Send private message

 I assume Kettleworth were challenged about these invoices!

It would be interesting to know their reason for them, before we sign up with them.

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28 Apr 2012 16:46 by Karensun Star rating in Orihuela Costa. 1476 posts Send private message

Karensun´s avatar

When the list of debtors was handed over there were no up front fees. Any fees were to be charged to the debtor and collected by the recovery agents.

Over the past year their business has expanded rapidly ( presumably ) and they can not afford not to charge fees so are charging 50€ initially per debtor ( which will/may be recovered from the debtor ( if they pay ) but the Community must pay this upfront and the cost of any fees from the Court plus interest.

That is all very well had it been agreed at the outset but to spend this kind of money necessitates agreement from the Community of Owners. It was agreed by the Owners to use this debt collector but at that time there were no up front fees so the Community had not agreed them..

  ' Do unto others as you would be done by'
         Now a non-smoker !  

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03 May 2012 17:52 by MostUnhappy Star rating. 1 posts Send private message

**Edited - Against forum rules **

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04 May 2012 14:04 by carlosfandango Star rating. 1 posts Send private message

** Edited - Spam **

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04 May 2012 18:05 by ads Star rating. 3305 posts Send private message


Is Stephen Kettlewell as stated below, the same fellow who suggested in the comments section that he was the MD of that appeared in the following article titled “Recovering Community Fee Debts From Overseas Owners”

Just wondered if this might be some cause for concern or not?


This message was last edited by ads on 04/05/2012.

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04 May 2012 18:36 by GuyT Star rating. 457 posts Send private message

 ads, the page you refer to has diappeared. was it this chap?

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04 May 2012 18:46 by ads Star rating. 3305 posts Send private message

Perhaps Justin can clarify as I have no idea and was just wondering if there was some cause for concern with this individual, especially as the EOS article brought attention to this company.

This message was last edited by ads on 04/05/2012.

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05 May 2012 14:22 by solutions Star rating. 18 posts Send private message

Hello everyone, 

I just thought it would be appropriate for me to answer some of the previous posts and comments that have appeared on this site.
It’s true that when I was a young lawyer, I had advised a client incorrectly regarding a civil litigation case. It is something that I regret terribly. I should have never told them that I won their case but being the youngest partner in a big law firm, I was under intense pressure to perform at the highest level.
As a strong believer in honesty being the best policy, I subsequently admitted to the client I didn’t settle the case in their favour and apologised unreservedly. Although a well experienced criminal lawyer, this particular type of case was way out of my depth and if I am brutally honest, I was naive not to tell the client this from the outset. I felt so strongly about my failings, I contacted the Law Society to confirm the client’s subsequent complaint against me.
During this time, I was under great personal pressure as a sole carer for my Mum who had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She lost her battle with cancer shortly after and as you can imagine it had a profound effect on my personal life and professional career. I just wasn’t thinking straight.
I’m not using this as an excuse but more to give you some background to the pressures I was under. I have been punished for not advising the client correctly in this instance – not just financially but professionally as this will always stay with me. It has been one of the biggest lessons of my life and has shaped my transparent approach to doing business.
I have never hidden from this mistake I made. When I started Community Fees in 2009, I have brought this issue up with clients, granted not all of them but when I’ve mentioned it to them, they have appreciated my honesty and transparency.
Community Fees acts for over 300 clients and we have recovered approximately 10.5 million Euros for many community groups stretching from Alicante to Gibraltar. You can see that we have many satisfied clients, which is apparent from some of the recommendations on this thread and you can see more testimonials on my company’s website
I’ve noticed that there is a complaint on here about our service and I will contact ‘Karensun’ directly to discuss that with her. In the meantime, if you have any further concerns or comments, please contact me via the private message facility on this forum.
Thanks for your time.
Stephen Kettlewell

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06 May 2012 22:04 by Jacksonsadmin Star rating in Marbella , Malaga. 78 posts Send private message

 Thank you Stephen for a very honest & transparent answer to the posts raised on here about your company.

As a administrator of predominently English speaking led communities I have used your company along with other debt collection agents. I have found your company reliable & professional to use.

I would  also point out that to know that you are a qualified solicitor regulated by compliance to the Law Society rules of conduct gives me confidence that I have a properly legal qualified person to act. You must then perform within a strict set of compliance rules with regard to handling client monies & service procedures including making sure clients know what they are to be charged for at the instruction point of each case.

With out condoning your historical matter but speaking as the former senior partner in a firm of property consultants & chartered surveyors regulated by 2 professional bodies. I had to have case management systems employed in my practice to monitor my junior partners performances & work loads with all client cases. It is unfortunate that your previous senior partner did not employ the same diligence for the clients of his practice & well being of his junior partners.

Finally I would be interested to receive any information on the professional bodies of debt collectors both UK and Spain to establish what qualifications they need to operate & what recourse there is on client monies & disciplinary matters with regard to codes of conduct.

F.Parkinson Jacksons Administradores SL


f.parkinson @

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08 May 2012 13:50 by Solutions Star rating. 18 posts Send private message

Thank you for the response and your support Mr Parkinson. It is greatly appreciated.

At present we are going through the process to become members of CIVEA, (Civil Enforcement Association) and the CSA (Credit Services Association).

These organisations have strict codes of practice and standards to adhere to. We work with over 300 clients and have from the outset ensured we work to our own strict guidelines but we feel it is important for us to be part of organisations that can regulate our work and aid the continual development of the people we employ.

We have looked into similar bodies that operate in Spain, and have come into contact with FENCA and the ECA (European Collectors Association) and we will be exploring membership with those bodies. We would be grateful, if anyone could recommend any other professional bodies that operate in Europe.

Hope this helps.



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17 May 2012 22:20 by feerecovery Star rating in Yorkshire. 3 posts Send private message

Hi All,

This thread appeared to have gone off kilter, as the original posting was 'is there a quicker way'. As the economy in Spain gets worse even the 'fast track' is becoming bogged down and we are beginning to see the inevitable slow down. More businesses go under, more people fail to pay their bills and Courts are working at maximum as the case time lengthens. As well as taking an inordinate time the fees are growing ever bigger. This makes the debt ever harder to collect as it grows out of proportion to the fees owed.

There is, however, a faster, cheaper option. It takes weeks not years. It is quick, effective and efficient. It is available right now. Anyone who is interested PM me and I will put you in the picture, or give google a try.

EH       europeancommunityfees

Eoin UK Operations Director

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17 May 2012 23:29 by irenemontague Star rating in liverpool/carvajal . 795 posts Send private message

 Hi is it true that you can only recover community debt up to a few year and not all years that are owed?irene

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17 May 2012 23:56 by Jacksonsadmin Star rating in Marbella , Malaga. 78 posts Send private message

 The Spanish LPH community law provides for the collection of a community debt against a new property owner for the current year they purchase & the previous year before they purchased.The debt to the original owner is joint and several with the new owner for the previous year & up to the date of sale ( hence either party is liable in the periods I quote). The debts if with a existing owner are collectable within the 4 year time bar but would normaly be charged to the property deed on completion of legal proceedings by embargo prior to time bar & hence the debt is secured then on the property until paid.

F.Paarkinson Jacksons Administradores SL


f.parkinson @

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20 Oct 2012 00:21 by lomasmike Star rating. 2 posts Send private message

Our community "enjoys" communial supply of hot water and air con/heating. One service uses gas oil and the other electricity. We also have a number of serious long term debtors (the majority UK based) Recently due to lack poor cash flow and the cost of repairs to the system, the community has been forced to "ration" both services on the basis of those owners who are paying their fees and those who are seriously behind and are indeed currently in the courts.

One long term renter who rents from a serious debtor has contacted the community via his solicitor and advised he will commence legal action as his human rights are being denied through a lack of basic services.

At present we seem to be in a no win situation. Tacking the correct route via the courts to recover the overdue community fees appears to be a waste of time and while this lengthy process continues the debts continue to rise. We cannot withold services that are not being paid for to those apartments whose owners refuse to pay their fees. While the community heads towards a serious financial situation, the owners who really suffer are those who are paying their fees, but who find their quality of life in the community being seriously reduced due to the actions of the debtors.

Our current lawyer seems to lack any alternative suggestions other than to continue through the courts.

We seem to be at a dead end, any suggestions from owners who have experienced these type of issues and who have found a way out of the maze would be very welcome.

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