How to Reclaim Payments made to Banks due to Abusive Mortgage Terms in Spain

  • Erardo
    Erardo is an experienced English-speaking lawyer in Lanzarote. For over 10 years he has provided expert legal advice to English-speakers in matters relating to Property Law & Conveyances, Contract Law, Business Formation, Negligence and Family Law.


Recent rulings by European and Spanish courts mean that, if you’ve taken out a mortgage, you could be entitled to reclaim considerable amounts of money. To find out how, read on…

There are two basic areas in which payments may be reclaimed;

  1. mortgage constitution costs, and
  2. abusive floor clauses in mortgage contracts.

Abusive Mortgage Terms Relating to Costs

A Spanish Supreme Court decision of 23rd December 2015 ruled that it is the banks, and not the client, who are liable to pay for various costs relating to the setting-up of a mortgage. This applies to items such as notary fees, registration costs, court document taxes and associated administration costs, and can amount to a total of around €2,000 on an average mortgage. The ruling means that any mortgage holder who paid these costs on the instruction of their bank may now be compensated.

 

‘Clausulas Suelo’ (Floor Clauses)

It’s highly probable that the European Court will soon confirm the statement made in July by its Advocate General that permits victims of abusive floor clauses to reclaim these payments from May 2013. In any case, regardless of what the European Court decides, this can amount to a considerable sum, and it is obvious that many victims aren’t even aware they were bound to an abusive floor clause. They believe their banks when they tell them they’ve got rid of the clause, which may be true, but doesn´t remove the bank’s liability before that date.

 

How to find out if you are entitled to reclaim money?

The banks have no obligation to contact clients to give them their money back, so you have to start the legal process.

We urge all clients with a mortgage to bring us their documents, because we can ensure that your bank pays back excess interest payments, as well as the costs incurred when you signed the mortgage. We’ll study your documents free of charge to ascertain whether a claim can be made. And there are many claims to be made – abusive floor clauses were applied by several banks in the Canaries.

We continue to achieve excellent results and considerable awards for our clients, especially against entities such as Banco Sabadell, SolBank, Banca March, Banco Popular, Bankia, Credifimo, Abanca and Caixa. It doesn’t matter whether the floor clause was hidden in the small print or whether it was printed in bold capital letters – the important issue is that, in almost all cases, the bank failed to explain the implications of the clause to clients, what it exactly meant and what the financial consequences could be.

We also encourage those clients who may not be subject to a floor clause, but who did not sign at the time confirming that the Euribor would be the reference for interest rates; but instead signed up for other references such as the IRPH or multidivisa. In fact, these types of interest rate can also be annulled with huge economic advantages for the client.

Finally, anyone who has signed a mortgage contract, including those who repaid it in full less than four years ago,  as the right to reclaim the majority of the expenses that they paid for the constitution of the mortgage. In other words: the notary fees, registry costs, administration and taxation fees etc. All of this is permitted due to the abusive practice of attributing all the costs to one party when both parties – bank and client – are beneficiaries of the mortgage contract given that the buyer not only obtains finance for his or her property purchase, but the bank also gains from the interest rates on the mortgage.

For this reason, the fact that clients have paid all costs without having been given the opportunity to negotiate this has been ruled as abusive by Spanish courts, and clients have the right to reclaim. For all of these reasons, it makes sense to contact us with your mortgage agreement. We’ll provide you with further information and assess your claim.

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