Royal Decree-Law 16/2020, of 28 April, on procedural and organisational measures to deal with COVID-19 in the area of the Administration of Justice, published in the Official State Gazette (BOE) no. 119 of 29 April 2020, contains significant amendments on civil procedural and bankruptcy matters, of which we highlight the following

1. The days 11 to 31 August, except Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, are enabled for urgent procedural actions.

2. The procedural periods that have been suspended – by virtue of the 2nd A.D. of the RD 463/2020 – will be recalculated from the beginning of the period from the working day following the loss of force of the aforementioned RD 463/2020.

3. Special measures are issued in the area of family procedural law

4. From the lifting of the suspension of the procedural deadlines and until December 31, 2020, the claims related to the lack of application of the legal moratorium on mortgages and leases, as well as the bankruptcy proceedings of natural persons, will be processed with preference.

5. During the year following the declaration of the state of alert, the bankrupt party may present a proposal to modify the agreement that is in the period of compliance. In the event that the proposal is due to the impossibility of complying with the scheduled payments, the debtor will not have the duty to request the liquidation of the active mass.

6. During the year following the declaration of the state of alert, the bankrupt party may notify the Court of the start of negotiations with creditors to modify an approved refinancing agreement.

7. Until 31 December 2020 the debtor who is in a state of insolvency will not be obliged to apply for a declaration of bankruptcy. Until that date, the commercial judges will not admit applications for the necessary insolvency proceedings.

8. In insolvency proceedings declared within two years of the declaration of the state of alert, ordinary credits, loans, credits or similar claims that have been granted to the debtor by persons especially related to him since the declaration of the state of alert, or the credits of third parties to which such persons have been subrogated, shall be considered as insolvency proceedings.

9. The bankruptcy auction shall be out of court except when productive units are sold.

10. Without prejudice to the provisions of article 40 of RDL 8/2020, which exempts company administrators from joint and several liability (article 367 of the LSC) for company debts arising during the state of alarm, in the event that the imbalance has occurred during said period, article 18 of the RDL mentioned above provides that losses for the year 2020 will not be taken into consideration to determine the existence of a cause for dissolution. This is without prejudice to the duty to apply for a declaration of bankruptcy.
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