WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Until recently the Spanish banks have all challenged the interpretation of an old law that was put in place in 1968 (Law 57/68) to protect local and foreign investors who bought property off-plan in Spain.
Law 57/68 states that banks holding deposit payments must protect them in case the property developer involved ceases trading. As a consequence of recent rulings against the banks and in favour of investors the Spanish Supreme Court has now provided a clear interpretation of this law. It has ruled that banks must pay out on claims made against them for the return of money deposited for failed off-plan, or severely delayed Spanish property developments.
We do not charge any money up-front, but there are a couple of small payments that you may incur:
1.The Notary fee. This usually costs between £50-£150 and is paid directly to the Notary. In order for our Spanish Solicitor to be permitted act on your behalf in Spain you will need to sign a Power Of Attorney witnessed by a Notary. We prepare the documents and make all the arrangements. All you need to do is provide ID, pay the fee and sign the documents.
2. The Spanish court fee. This 500 Euro fee is payable at the point that we apply for a court date and is refundable if your case is successful. We do not apply to the court until or unless our solicitor believes that your case is strong enough to win. To date he has a 100% success rate with more than 100 cases.
We only charge a fee if and when you are awarded a cash settlement. The total amount you will be charged is 35% of the award, which includes the VAT payable in Spain. The fee agreement with you will remain the same regardless of whether we are able to settle directly with the bank, obtain a judgement from the first instance court, or win at appeal stage at the higher court.
As a guide, if you signed a purchase contract and transferred your money prior to 2009, the favourable exchange rates and the amount of interest we can claim for you means you should receive your whole investment back after our fees have been deducted.
This is of course, just a guide and several other factors may affect the amount awarded.
Each claim is individual and has to be lodged and heard on its own merits in the Spanish Courts, even if the details are identical. It is very important that you realise a case can only be heard once. If any mistakes or misrepresentations are made, the claim cannot be presented again by anybody.
Besides, you don’t have to – We take care of everything for you.
We have known of the existence of the law that allows you to claim back deposits following the Spanish property prash for some time and have been preparing for this day with a number of Spanish Law firms who, since 2012, have been achieving success with these claims.
At that time the defending banks were able to delay judgement on a number of key cases, moving them up to the Supreme Court in Madrid in the hope that the law, established in 1968, would be annulled.
It has taken three years for those cases to come to trial. The last of these was heard in March 2016 and unfortunately for the banks, the legal precedent was established in favour of those whose money had been lost.
Now we are able to offer you this chance to reclaim your money in the certainty that the Spanish legal system will support genuine claims. That doesn’t mean that the banks will simply pay up. Their potential losses are huge and they will attempt to stall and reduce their damages in every case. So it is essential that your claim is impeccably prepared and you have the best legal representation.
Even without the recent judgements, the solicitors with whom we have worked hard to build strong relationships have achieved a 100% success rate on these cases and are well prepared to take on this work.
Anyone, regardless of nationality, who can evidence that they deposited money with a developer as part or full payment for an off-plan property in Spain, is eligible to claim.
Yes. Your claim must be made within fifteen years from the time your deposit was paid.
The fifteen-year clock begins for each person from the date the property was due to complete. By way of example, if in 2010, you paid a deposit for a Spanish property that was never built, you must submit your claim by no later than 2025. Any claims made outside of that time limit, even if otherwise eligible, will not be considered.
This fifteen-year ruling was brought to a close for properties purchased after January 2016, meaning everyone must claim by 2031 under this law.
From January 2016 law 57/68 was replaced by one that requires the banks to be responsible for just two years from the date of the initial transaction. However, this new law was not applied retrospectively.
Currently, the courts are taking 12-15 months from when a case is lodged to a final binding decision.
As with any new legal precedence, the early cases may take longer to complete whilst the process is still being refined. However, the Spanish courts do now have a clear interpretation of Law 57/68 and practice in handling these claims. Once several cases have been won against a bank in respect of a specific development, we believe that the banks will seek to begin settling outside of court.
In fact, having won over 40 cases against a particular bank, our Spanish Lawyers have already settled claims out of court – within just 2 months of us submitting the claim to them.