We are specialists in helping people to recover deposits made on failed property developments in Spain.
If you have paid a deposit towards a property which never materialised, please contact us and we will help you to get your money back.
Many property developers went into bankruptcy, taking customer deposits with them. Recent changes in Spanish law mean that it may now be possible to recover your deposit.
The vast majority of Spanish mortgage loans are offered at a variable rate of interest linked to the Euro interbank rate, also known as the EURIBOR. In recent years, the EURIBOR interest rate has fallen below zero to aid central banks, and this drop in interest could and should have had massive benefits for mortgage borrowers, bringing their monthly payments down considerably. However, the widespread practice of offering borrowers mortgages with ground clauses, meaning that their payments could not fall below a certain amount or capped bottom limit, has meant that the Spanish banks have been cashing in whilst borrowers have been losing out.
Floor Clause deemed “abusive” by Spanish Supreme Court
A ruling from the Supreme Court in Spain has now deemed the ground clause as “null and void, “lacking in transparency” and “abusive” stating that Spanish lenders must reimburse borrowers who signed confusing mortgage contracts which prevented them from benefiting from a drop in interest rates. Claims for reimbursements were ruled by the Supreme Court to be retroactive to May 2013, however, a subsequent EU Court Judgment has ruled that this retroactivity will now take effect from the date if its inception.
So far, Bankia, Caixabank and Banco Popular Español have all stopped applying these ground clauses and have made substantial provisions (hundreds of millions of Euros) to offset the loss in profit arising from the removal of these interest-rate floors and also in anticipation of the many legal claims which will undoubtedly be filed against them. Banco Sabadell has not yet removed this clause and has not made any decisions with regard to the court ruling, but has said that there is money in place to pay back mortgage borrowers.
We can help get your money back
If you signed, or think you may have signed, a Spanish mortgage contract with a ground clause, you may be entitled to reimbursement from your lender. Please contact us and we will be only too happy to advise you and help you get your money back.
The ECJ ruled last 21st of December 2016 that ‘floor clauses’ are null and void. This ruling is final and cannot be appealed. It is estimated mortgage borrowers are owed €3,000-4,000 for every year as from 2008 onwards. On average borrowers, can expect an average payment of €15,000-20,000 after the ECJ ruling. So the Spanish banks will potentially pay between four to five billion euros to honour the High Court’s decision.
In reality, these clauses only came into effect when the Euribor dropped hugely in 2008. It was only then that consumers did not notice decreasing in their mortgage payments. Spain´s Supreme Court in 2013, ruled against them limiting their effects as from the 9th of May 2013 onwards
These clauses had been signed in the boom times; almost none were signed as from 2013 onwards.
Therefore, after a clause is declared null and void by a judge the effects should be retroactive. The ECJs ruling corrects the Spain’s Supreme Court and sets the record straight for consumers at large.
Consumers that are entitled to payouts require the assistance of a lawyer as Banks will be reluctant to pay back those large sums.
Spanish Tax Man
It should be noted that the Spanish Tax Office will be owed tax on these payouts. They can only claim back the last 4 years. This is still unclear.
Who can claim?
Not all mortgages signed over the last decade included ground clauses; a case-by-case approach must be taken.
If you signed a mortgage over the last decade in Spain, chances are high a ground clause was worded into your mortgage contract. In which case, you would be entitled to an average payout exceeding £12,000 following this new ECJ ruling which binds Spanish Banks.
Thousands of non-residents that bought second homes in Spain during the boom times are now entitled to these massive refunds.
Do I need to appoint a lawyer?
You do need to appoint a specialist Lawyer if you want your money back quickly.
Deadline to claim?
If your mortgage was fully paid up, you only have 4 years to claim as from the last instalment.
In other cases, it is not time-limited.
Mediation, Out-of-Court-Agreements or Court actions
We, as your Spanish Lawyers can negotiate a quick and favourable deal that most of the times will be reach at Court (preliminary hearing expected to avoid paying Cost of the Court) at a NO WIN NO FEE.
Lawyers will need at least the Mortgage Title Deeds (not confuse with the Purchase) or/and the last 3 last receipts of their Spanish mortgage to do the necessary checkings.
Therefore at Enrique Sanchez Spanish Lawyers based in both countries Spain and the UK will be more than happy to help you out to recover your compensation back in cash.
Spanish Supreme Court ruling provides golden opportunity for investors to claim back the fortunes lost in the Spanish property crash - 22nd August 2016
Over the last 15 years, thousands of Brits bought into the Spanish dream of owning a holiday home in the sun. Unfortunately, the financial crisis of 2008 hit Spain’s property industry hard and many developers went bankrupt and disappeared overnight, leaving buildings un-started or unfinished and leaving buyers out-of-pocket and empty-handed.
The chances of claiming any money back from the developers was, at the time, virtually impossible, as buyers found themselves at the end of a very long line of creditors. The property developers should have secured the buyer’s deposits in accounts which were protected by bank guarantees, but the reality was that hardly any of them actually did this. UK buyers essentially had to kiss their investments goodbye. However, a landmark ruling issued by the Supreme Court in Madrid last year has set an exciting new precedent: any banks holding deposits for failed developers will now be obliged to repay those buyers.
Enrique Sanchez Spanish Lawyer is a law firm with head offices in Liverpool and Marbella and satellite offices all over Spain. It comprises a team of highly experienced lawyers, barristers, paralegals and translators with a collective track record of proven results. Enrique Sanchez, Head of the firm and Honorary Consul of Spain, encourages all potential claimants to come forward and contact his team so that each individual case can be assessed. So, if you have lost money in a property deal gone wrong in Spain, please call us on 0151 734 1444, or e-mail us at email@example.com.
LEGAL OPINION RECENT SUPREME COURT RULING
Regarding the matter at hand, it is indeed true that the Supreme Court has established that any Bank intervening in a building development is liable when the developer opened an account with the bank to receive the deposits paid by the buyers for these properties.
In accordance with the Building Development Act which repealed Act 57/1968 of 27th July, on the receipt of deposit payments for the construction and sale of property developments (in force until 1st January 2016), the developer was obliged by law to grant a bank guarantee or insurance policy to ensure the return of the deposits paid. However, as you know, few developers in Spain did this, and as a result, no guarantees or insurance covers were put in place to ensure the return of these monies.
The interpretation of the Supreme Court is that the obligation of the developer must also be the obligation of the bank where these deposits were paid in, and if they did not fulfil this obligation and the development was not completed or the property was not delivered to the buyer, then the Bank where these payments were made is liable. It is necessary, therefore, that in addition to the property not being delivered to the buyer, that the buyer paid the deposit into the relevant bank and that their deposit was not returned.
This means that from a legal and jurisprudential perspective, that it is possible to claim back these deposits from the banks, but let me just add that, surely as know and can envisage, the banks will differ from us in their criteria and will, of course, defend their own interests to the bitter end in the numerous potential lawsuits which will be filed against them, and the end is a way away.
"I appreciate so much the work done for me by Enrique Sanchez Spanish Lawyers, they managed the whole process on my behalf with great efficiency, I didn´t have to worry about anything, as they work only to succeed. I would really recommend the work of these guys 100%."
"Many thanks to Enrique Sanchez Spanish Lawyers as I was completely lost on the Ground Clause process, and did not know what to do, but they made everything smooth from beginning to end. It was easy to claim and the success was guaranteed. I was able to recover 100% of my money without paying anything. Excellent work!
"I would define Enrique Sanchez Spanish Lawyers as an extremely transparent law firm with a reliable team. Their professionalism, seriousness and close working ethic with clients make complicated matters, such as the Ground Clause in my own case, so much easier and the outcome was excellent. I would recommend them in a heartbeat.”
"Words are not enough to thank the team of Enrique Sanchez Spanish Lawyers for helping me to recover monies paid since I took my mortgage out due to the ground clause. They explain everything to you, how much you are entitled to claim back and then they help you get as much back as you can by law. I particularly liked their approachability and professionalism, and I must say that their fees are very reasonable."
"I did not know where to turn and then someone recommended Enrique Sánchez Spanish Lawyers to me because they have a 99% success rate of decisions going in favour of their clients in courts of first and second instance against financial institutions. I have to say how satisfied I am with this law firm, with their dedication, professionalism and approach. They kept me informed at every stage and before I knew it, I’d already won my claim against the bank on the ground clause.”