If you have heard about the concept of
unseizable salary
but you do not know in which cases it is not possible to use the entire salary of a debtor to face the non-payment of debts, today we help you clarify the doubts.

According to the Civil Code,if you have debts, you must respond to them with all your assets, both present and future.

In this sense, the salary (or, where appropriate, the pension) is also an asset; and, therefore, you must also face your debts to him.

However, the legal system takes into account that, in most cases, a person’s salary or pension is their only income.

Therefore, this principle of universal responsibility of the debtor, which, in principle, would oblige your entire salary to be used to pay the debts, has exceptions.

The concept of an unseizable salary comes into play.

Seizure of debtor’s assets

Although debts are not a dish of good taste for anyone, if each of the installments is paid on time and their fulfillment is assumed, they do not have to become real problems.

Now, if, for whatever reason, you have not made the correct payment of the amount due (whether this is the result of a mortgage, a personal loan or a maintenance allowance), the creditor will be able to go to court and you will be forced to pay by seized your assets.

Priority order in the event of attachment

Seizure is a concept that refers to retaining and confiscating, that is, to removing property.

Basically, if you have a debt and do not pay it, through a judgment, they can snatch your assets to meet their payment.

In this sense, the Code of Civil Procedure establishes an order of priority and what will be seized first and then:

  1. Cash or bank accounts.
  2. Short-term loans, securities, instruments or financial securities.
  3. Jewelry, antiques, art objects and jewelry.
  4. Interest, income and fruits of any kind.
  5. Movable property, in general.
  6. Real estate, in general.
  7. Pensions, salaries or income for the exercise of the professional or commercial activity (in the case of being self-employed).
  8. Credits, securities, instruments or financial securities that can be realized in the medium term.

The salary as an seized good

As you have observed, among the assets that can be seized in case of debt, is, in seventh place, the salary.

The conviction may include a notice addressed to the company for which you work, ordering the attachment of your salary; something to which it will be obliged, under penalty of incurring subsidiary liability for your debt.

Now, is your entire salary garnishable or is there an unseizable minimum wage? If so, how much salary is unseizable?

Calculation of the unseizable salary: The general rule


As a general rule, the Code of Civil Procedure states that the Minimum Interprofessional Wage (SMI) cannot be garnished.

That is, the amount that corresponds to the Minimum Interprofessional Wage may not be confiscated in any case,except for exceptions that we will see later.

However, any amount of money that exceeds said SMI may be seized,in a certain percentage.

The issue is analyzed according to the SMI of 2018:

  1. For the amount of the SMI (up to € 735.90), 0%.
  2. For the first additional amount up to the amount of double the SMI (from € 735.90 to € 1,471.80), 30%.
  3. For the additional amount up to the amount equivalent to a third SMI (from € 1,471.80 to € 2,207.70), 50%.
  4. For the additional amount up to the amount equivalent to a fourth SMI (from € 2,207.70 to € 2,943.60), 60%.
  5. For the additional amount up to the amount equivalent to a fifth SMI (from € 2,943.60 to € 3,679.50), 75%.
  6. For any amount that exceeds the previous amount (more than € 3,679.50), 90%.

In the case of part-time work,the same rules shall apply, but taking into account 50 % of the SMI.

Main exceptions to the non-seizable salary

However, with respect to the general rule noted above, there are certain exceptions:

  • If you have family responsibilities, it can be reduced between 10 and 15%,in each of the percentages of the numbers insigned above.
  • Where the debt is relating to maintenance, the general rule shall not apply. It will be the Court itself that decides the amount to be seized, with total freedom.
  • In the event that the debt is related to the payment of the mortgage of the habitual residence, the unseizable amount (the SMI) will be increased by 10%; and, in another 20%, for each member of the family nucleus who does not have an income.


If you have an unpaid debt, the Courts may order the attachment of your salary, but they must respect the Unseizable Interprofessional Minimum Wage.

In this way, you can never be seized the amount of your salary that corresponds to the SMI in force,unless the debts are related to the payment of alimony.

For the amount of salary that exceeds the SMI, certain percentages, included in this article, will be applied.