We present a model that combines interface debonding and frictional contact. The onset of fracture is explicitly modeled using the well-known cohesive approach. Whereas the debonding process is controlled by a new extrinsic traction separation law, which accounts for mode mixity, and yields two separate values for energy dissipation in mode I and mode II loading, the impenetrability condition is enforced with a contact algorithm. We resort to the classical law of unilateral contact and Coulomb friction. The contact algorithm is coupled together to the cohesive approach in order to have a continuous transition from crack nucleation to the pure frictional state after complete decohesion. We validate our model by simulating a shear test on a masonry wallette and by reproducing an experimental test on a masonry wall loaded in compression and shear. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.