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El blog de Maria

Your daily Spanish Law reporter. Have it with a cafe con leche.

Legal tip 204. Oportunity to sell your house in Spain IV. What is a protected house?
30 December 2009

 The Legal definition of Public Protected Housing contained in provision 1 of the Legislative Royal Decree 31/1978 dated the 31st of October 1978 and provision 1 of Royal Decree 3148/1978 dated the 10th in November of 1978, remarks four main characteristics: 

- Destination to regular and permanent home.
- Maximum area of 90 square meters. ( There are exceptions in regional Laws with maximum areas up to 120 and 150 m2 for disabled people, their family carers and large families) 
- Compliance of  applicable Law
- Have been classified as such by the competent public administration

I will write on final requirements of the programm for 2010 once the Royal Decree is out.
And what about your grapes? Do you already have them?
Grapes Splashing  in Water por AHMED....

 Grapes splashing in water by AHMED at


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Legal tip 203. Oportunity to sell your house in Spain III. Size requirements
29 December 2009

Size is the most important legal requirement to take into consideration if you are thinking of applying for your  Spanish house to have the character of  "protected".

As mentioned in previous, related posts, the Government is determined on trying to mobilize the market by classifiation of free houses into protected, so buyer can be more easily found - among lists of applicants of regional and local governemnts- and financiation is assisted and controlled by the administration: 

The maximum usable area is defined by each region ( Comunidades Autónomas) in Spain. 

The maximum usable area for the purposes of funding under the National Plan is of 90 square meters. When the corresponding program allows attached  elements to the house or apartment, the maximum usable areas  will be of 8  usable square meters for storage and 25 for the attached garage or for the storage room of tools necessary for the development of productive activities in rural areas.
Maximum usable are by Comunidad Autonoma: 

In Andalucía:

Up to 90 m2 
Up to 120 m2 for people with a situation of dependency or  families with 3 or more kids.
So, you can apply if your house is up to 120 m2. If the house is between 90-120 m2, your buyers can only be large families or dependants.
In Murcia: 

Up to 90m2 
Up to 120 m2 in the case of  families with 3 or more kids or people with reduced mobility, permanent disability or dependents and families in charge of these. 
Again, you can apply if your house is up to 120 m2. If the house is between 90-120 m2, your buyers can only be large families or disabled, dependant and their family carers.
In Comunidad Valenciana: 

a) General scheme: 120 m². 
b) Public-private and and existing homes :150 m²
In every case, please take into consideration that ONCE THE HOUSE IS CLASSIFIED AS PROTECTED, YOU CANNOT SELL IT IN THE FREE MARKET.It is true that there is no such thing as free market right now but, once Banks open credits again...
I will post about maximum prices you can ask for your house in a next post. 
I certainly  see these measure as very suitable for  property stocks of Banks, result of Banks past insanity, a real good remedy for their disorders, a way to fulfill, even by force of necessity, the social feature that finantial institutions need to meet, but, if you are an individual owner I would better go for the offering of a safe free rental with option to purchase. There is more legitimate possibilities for you this way: that is my humble opinion.
Do you already have your Champagne bottle ?
Champagne bottle por oskay.
Champagne bottle by Oskay at

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Legal tip 202. Oportunity to sell your house in Spain II
28 December 2009


The government will control financial institutions in lending for  social houses purchases through the Financial Monitoring Committee, which was formed on the 21st in December.

This is the first time this type of control exists in the history of state housing plans whose objective is to analyze the evolution of the financing of those actions protected by the Housing Plan.


The minister says that its goal is that the credit crunch, especially severe in the property sector, is not a barrier for solvent families to obtain their mortgage to access protected housing.

Two important measures are:

1. - Up to 48,900 yearly revenue families will receive a direct aid to pay the entry in subsidized housing.

2. - Individuals and financial institutions may also qualify to have their houses classified as “protected”.

The Financial Monitoring Committee will meet every six months, chaired by Minister of Housing.  The formation of the Committee was attended by representatives of the following financial institutions: BBVA,
La Caixa, Caja Madrid, IberCaja and CAM.

See part I of this article serie here

Navidad20081225_003 por Alotor.

Christmas lights by Alotor at



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Legal tip 201. Oportunity to sell your house in Spain I
26 December 2009

  If you have been trying to sale your house without success during the last couple of years, this may be of your interest: throughout 2010,  individual owners can request conversion of  their units from free to protected housing (VPO). The Minister of Housing, Beatriz Corredor, believes this will facilitates the sale of houses in a  100% rate, since there is a register of applicants for VPO and more guarantees in obtaining financing.

Not just developers and individuals but also any companies an finantial institutions too. The work visa needs to be prior to 1 September 2009. 

The Minister of Housing reminded that those  changing free housing into VPO will have a very high possibilities of selling their houses as there are registries of intersted parties both in the regional and the local level , as well as the assurance that buyers will have access to finance through  the guarantees offered by the Secretary of Housing for the purchase of OPV.
The Housing Ministry wants to achieve a balance between free and protected housing, purchase and rental, and new construction and rehabilitation, to "put the Spanish property sector to the forefront." 

On the other hand, the minister recalled that on 21 December,  has been created a body to control banks and savings banks in their obligations to  finance the purchase of protected  housing (VPO). This body will be formed by the Ministry of Housing, the Official Credit Institute (ICO), the representatives of the various collaborating entities, the Spanish Confederation of Savings Banks, the Association of Banks or the Spanish Mortgage Association.
I will explain tomorrow on the requisites to change from free to protected: This may be your oportunity to sell your house in Spain
See part II of this article serie here
Christmas Stars por Giant Ginkgo.
Christmas stars in Ronda, Spain by  Giant Gingko at

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Maria´s Christmas post
25 December 2009

Those old times are over....

New ones are coming, they are almost here, we just need to be wise and brave enough to fully inmerse us and our projects in this refreshing pool: cooperation, common good.. social character of every institution, of each one of our proffessional projects. Real interest about the human dignity of every one around: that is future, and not just because today is Christmas day.

Healthy, growing, balanced benefits will come out of this: no doubt. Just look to those which were the deeper aspirations of your good grandma heart... those genuily human: the only ulitimate force: how warm, happy and strong we were close to her!

Economy is to serve humans and not the contrary:  what we have been doing for years and are still doing: human serving a wrongly understood economy, which has been sustained by a very purposedly loose leading of the finantial forces.

Yes, let´s celebrate it is time to party, time to new dances, time to look to the future above and beyond the narrow horizons that the old-fashioned finantial system has been keeping for years...

A merry Christmas to you all!

Please, with all my respect towards non believers, non Christian readers, please allow me to post two gifts to you: an article and a Christmas Carol I am enyoying as I write this post.

Let me give also give to you a  warm hug and wish you deep best for the 2010 year:

The Carol here 

The article here

Felices días de Navidad!

Stars por Gertrud K..

Stars by Gertrud K at


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Books for Christmas. Maria recommends...
22 December 2009


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Legal tip 200. Insolvency proceedings final steps IV: the end of proceedings
21 December 2009

 The end of the proccedings can have different causes:

- The opening of it was illegal  (repeal of the order of declaration of  insolvency)
- The procedure reached its end (fulfillment of the agreement, full satisfaction of all creditors). 

- Frustration of the object (lack of assets and rights with which to pay the creditors). 

- Withdrawal or waiver of all known creditors.This cause, by  its nature, can only operate once the common phase of the procedure  is over and it requires the  approval of the judge, after a report of the insolvency administration. 

The administrator will have to show accounts. The approval or disapproval of the accounts does not affect the appropriateness of the action for damages against the administrators . His disapproval will produce for the administrator a  temporary ban  to be appointed in other  insolvency proceedings.

Death of the insolvent wil not be cause for termination of the proceedings. 
 Belen de Roca por molinafoto.
 Belén in Roca, Meliana, Valencia by V. Molina at 

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Costaluz Christmas luncheon
18 December 2009

We are having today our Christmas luncheon and "amigo invisible"  ( Secret Santa) party... I  promise some pics tomorrow.


Christmas pom pom in Duduá by Alicia at

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Legal tip 199. Banks and Charles Dickens´Mr. Scrooge
18 December 2009


 The new housing plan will allow individuals, public companies and financial institutions  to request the conversion of freehouses to protected houses (VPO) provided that the work visa is prior to 1 September 2009.




   As it is Christmas time... I want to imagine Banks and Finantial Institutions as the Charles Dickens´ Mr. Scrooge paying back off plan purchasers to whom they did not  secure to protect with Guarantees according to provision 1.2 of Law 57/68. I also enjoy seeing much of their stock being put as protected housing.....Again... virtue by force, equilibrium out of excess. Banks fulfilling the social mission they need to develop: a new era. The Spanish Legal order is ready to admitt these solutions. Let´s play them. It is not just a Christmas Carol.




   Applicants for this type of houses are registered by Regional Governments and Local Councils and they have got also an easier access to  finantiation  through the line of guarantees prepared by the Housing Department to guarantee loans for the purchase of protected houses.




 Companies  and financial institutions will be able to take over  loans agreed by the promoters and these houses, initially intended for seling, will be available for renting too.



 The  Secretary of Housing wants to reach an "equilbrium" (much needed! ) between free and protected housing, purchase and rental,  new construction and rehabilitation.



   The Minister said this will but Spain in the real estate vanguard: good to hear as we are now the real estate shame and.... we do have lots of material to perform the revolution, we do!



 Christmas lights in Diagonal Avenue Barcelonaby Dasoaz at

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Legal tip 198. Insolvency proceedings final steps III. Classification of the proceedings
17 December 2009


Determination of responsibility
The classification of the insolvency proceedings happen in these two situations:
1. - The approval of an agreement that, due to the amount of the arrangements or the length of the compositions is especially burdensome.

2. - The commencement of liquidation.

In these cases, the proceedings will be graded as:


The classification as guilty is reserved for those cases when the generation or aggravation of the insolvency status has been due to the tortious intent or gross negligence of the debtor, or their legal representatives, administrators or liquidators.

Christmas in Madrid by Alotor at

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legal tip 197. For a better matching between Land Registry and Cadastre
17 December 2009


The Minister for Justice, Francisco Caamaño, recognized the purpose of Justice to effectively link the records of the Land Registries with the Cadastre, during the presentation, held yesterday, of the new headquarters of the Land Registry in Madrid.

Francisco Caamaño, Minister for Justice,  asked for a  greater use of new technologies and a most effective tying between the Cadastre and the Land Registry. He also added that  "
Spain needs modernization and future challenges to exit the situation we live in and for this we must overcome concerns about the use of new technologies for preventive legal safety".

 Christmas tree and Picasso Tower, Madrid by Alotor at



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Legal tip 196. Insolvency proceedings final steps II. Liquidation is a last resort
16 December 2009

Liquidation is a last resort. Even though, this poor solution is preferable to the continuation of a company that will only bring more bad debt to the market.

 The liquidation process has these phases:  

1. - Liquidation opening at the request of a party. 
2. - Liquidation opening by the Judge. 
3. - Publicity of the liquidation commencement. 
4. - Liquidation operations.


1. - Liquidation at the request of a party: Either as an alternative to the agreement or, once the agreement fails, once the debtor sees the payment of those credits agreed as impossible, after the agreement has been passed.


 2. - If the liquidation is opened by the Judge or a creditor, this always needs to be a subsidiary solution

 In the liquidation phase, deferred payments are earlier terminated and payments of every nature are transformed into money payments. 

Even when being liquidated, the Act seeks the preservation of firms or productive units of goods or services integrated into the company through its sale as a whole, unless division is more convenient to the interests of the insolvency proceedings 

Payments to creditors are performed in the liquidation phase.  Credits against the estate are paid first, before those specially privileged. 


Christmas in Madrid 2007 by MnGyver at


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Legal tip 195. Insolvency proceedings final steps I: Agreement
15 December 2009


Decisions phase

Final solutions of the Insolvency proceedings under the Act are:

• Agreement.
• Liquidation.

They are alternative but it is possible to start an agreement and to end up in liquidation.

The agreement

This is the outcome which is preferred by the Act. There are
two types of agreement:

1. Anticipated agreement proposal - which can be offered with the initial Lawsuit, when it s the insolvent company who initiates the proceedings.

2.  Agreement proposal - where the procedure has not been initiated by the insolvent company, following the common phase, this company can propose an agreement to prevent the liquidation.

The Act regulates a whole procedure for the processing of the agreement to determine whether the liquidation of the company can be avoided by agreement. Many agreements represent significant remissions and long waits.

If there are more than one agreement, the creditors’ meeting is held for them to approve or reject the proposals.

Once the meeting has approved an agreement, a judicial approval of it is needed, even at this stage, the agreement can be opposed

Ultimately, the judge's subjective belief about the commercial viability of the agreement should determine that this is approved.

With the approval of the agreement, and even though the law considers it within the same stage of the proceedings, in practice, a new phase is opened: compliance of the agreement.  Generally, the insolvent company itself will execute the agreement and will be reporting the execution to the Judge.


(Tomorrow: Liquidation)

Christmas in Compostela by Isidro Cea at


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Legal tip 194. Edict on EveMArina SL insolvency
15 December 2009


Edict published in the National Official Gazette on the 17th of November

Commercial Court No. 1 of Malaga pursuant to Article 23 of the Insolvency Act, announces:

1st-That in proceeding number 1075/2009, by order of 30 October 2009 the debtor Eve Marina SL has been approved as in insolvency status. The company has as tax identification number: 92,222,421 and its centre of main interests is in
Malaga province.

2nd-That the debtor has been suspended to the exercise of faculties to administer and sell its patrimony, being replaced by the Insolvency administrator.

3rd-That creditors of the company need to communicate their credits to the Administrator according to provision 85 of the Insolvency Act.
Deadline for this communication is of a month from the last of the publications that has been ordered to be published in the Official Gazette.

4th-That the creditors and interested parties must appear in the procedure with a Procurator of Tribunals and a Lawyer (provision 184.3. Insolvency Act). Notice is hereby given to interested parties that according to provisions 184 and 185 of the Insolvency Act must attend first section and register their credits in fourth section and advised that they must do it in two different writings. Submitted a single letter stating the credit, will be implied that they are just reporting the same.

Malaga, November 5th, 2009. - The Judicial Secretary

Madrid Christmas lights by Alotor at


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Legal tip 193. Spain money laundering control praised
09 December 2009

The Council of  Notaries of the European Union has highlighted as good practice the experience of collaboration in the fight against money laundering by the Spanish notaries, courts and government bodies involved in this matter.

As explained in the latest issue of its newsletter, Notaries of Europe, the Spanish notarial experience through the implementation of the OCP (Centralized Prevention Authority ), 'has served to channel and optimize the collaboration between Notaries, Courts and Public Authorities with responsibility in this field in Spain, and to assist notaries in meeting their individual duties'.

According to the European publication, the OCP has the task of analyzing and reporting on behalf of the notary in question, on operations where there is evidence or suspicion of money laundering.

Notaries also highlights that the agency's technical staff is responsible for reviewing the information contained in the Notarial Computerized Single Index, which electronically stores and sorts the contents of all the deeds that are signed Spain.

The existence of the index, -says the newsletter of the notaries- can collate information of all notaries in the country, while fully respecting the Spanish data protection legislation.  

(New translated from Financial Journal Five Days, 08-12-2009)

Christmas tree. Paseo de la Castellana, Madrid, SPAIN, by j.labrado at



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Legal tip 192. Rehabilitation works for disabled to be paid by community of owners
04 December 2009

Executive President, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, pledged yesterday to alter the Horizontal Property Law within six months, so that the work necessary to make buildings accessible are supported by the whole community of owners and not by the disabled person who needs it, as it  happens now.

Zapatero, who yesterday met with President of the Spanish Committee of Representatives of Persons with Disabilities, Luis Cayo Pérez, also advanced that the Government is considering new deductions for housing rehabilitation.


Fairy lights in the naranjo, Sevilla por renmus. 

Christmas lights on an orange tree in Sevilla by renmus at

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Legal tip 191. Spanish government revision on Urban Planning insanity
04 December 2009


Secretary of Housing, Beatriz Corredor, has said that if there is an image that has hurt Spain in the European Union has been planning. This has been explained during his speech at the Joint Commission for the European Union in the Senate, where she has ensured that works to guarantee that the urban sprawl of years past "will not happen again" and that "is in the process of being corrected”.

To work on these issues with the other Member States, the Secretary of Housing will organize an informal meeting of Secretaries of Housing of the European Union in
Toledo on the 21st of June of 2010 and another meeting for Secretaries of Urban Development Ministers on the 22nd of same month. These acts will be added to the High Level International Conference on Urban Sustainability and Comprehensive Rehabilitation, to be held in Madrid in April 2010, and the held of the European Forum for Architectural Policies, which will address issues such as architecture and innovation, energy and new models for space usage.


Good and expected news indeed, but let me launch some hopes:


I hope this matter will be addressed in relation to financial excess and lack of regulations and control which drove the real estate operators to insanity.

I hope that realism will make its appearance and they will go to the origins of the orgy: .... the lack of accountability on the part of financial institutions....


I hope they will pay special attention to the necessary reform of Law 57/68.

Have a great weekend! We have a puente (bridge) in Spain, which means we will not return t work till next Wednesday!


Maria L. de Castro


Christmas in Madrid por trinchetto.

 Christmas tree in Madrid by Trinchetto at





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Legal tip 190. Foreign patients in Spanish hospitals
03 December 2009

This week, a group of countries led by Spain has paralyzed Community rules governing the rights of patients to receive healthcare in other member states.

For Spanish Health Minister, Trinidad Jimenez, the directive does not guarantee the quality of care and also involves extra costs for the Spanish health of 2,000 million euros.


 French expert Francis Mountains, president of the Delegation for European and International Affairs of the National Council of Physicians of France, has suggested that 'the Spanish refusal is because  it is afraid to receive many patients from other countries', an argument which is dismantled by him: "Any citizen, by the mere fact of having the EHIC card has access to outpatient medical care. The problem is hospital care, but a system of prior authorization may be established for reimbursement of costs incurred and to regulate the flows of patients for this not to offset the health organization in the country".



The pretext of waiting lists is not valid, according to the French expert; since the new rule contains that no foreign patient will have priority over nationals and must join the waiting list with the same criteria. 
I can draw a great conclusion out of it..... we have an excellent Health System!   Do you agree?
christmas lights por pshab.

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Legal tip 189. Companies related to White Whale free from judicial administration
03 December 2009


Judge Julián Cabrero of Court Numer 5 in  Marbella passed a decission last November the 23rd by which he lifted the judicial administration over some companies related to the White Whale case: 

These are the names of said companies:

Blue Storm SL
Blue Storm Investment SL
White Compass SL
Green and Blue Properties SL
Vistas de Jerez SL 
United Buildings SL
Allerton Holdings SL
Next Century SL.

This means they are trading again as any other company and their Bank accounts have been unfrozen.

Christmas lights by Pollyalida at


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Legal tip 188. Notaries control on corruption
02 December 2009


From now on information requirements to the central Office of Prevention of Money Laundering (OCP) of the General Council of Notaries shall be made by automated means, not in written as it has been being done so far. The chief Prosecutor of the Public Prosecutors National office, Antonio Salinas Casado and President of the General Council of Notaries, Antonio Ojeda Escobar, signed yesterday a cooperation agreement between both institutions to do so.

The agreement is born with the desire to contribute 'with the maximum possible intensity to combat the social evil which represent phenomena such as money laundering, economic crime and corruption', as the president of Notaries said, Antonio Ojeda.

In future dates, the General Council of Notaries will enable a web platform to channel the information requirements made by this office. To provide the system with the maximum guarantees of safety, the Notarial Certification Agency (Ancert), an entity organized in 2002 by the General Council of Notaries, will deliver corporate e-signature certificates for the correct identification of the prosecutors who make a request.

The current rules on money laundering determine that notaries have the status of obligated in preventing and combating money laundering. As a result of this, notaries have increased in recent years the amount of information they give to the authorities.

Free translation by Maria L. de Castro of new posted in business journal Cinco Dias, 2-12-2009

Granada - الحمراء por nikda.

From Alhambra site by Nikda at



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Legal tip 187. Banks breached Law 57/68
01 December 2009


Main ground of Law 57/68 is the protection of money  advanced by individuals before construction work begins or during it, in many cases the savings of a lifetime.

The actual preamble or exposicion de motivos of the said Law establishes that all the "abuses in this type of businesses have made as necessary the establishment of general preventive rules which will guarantee both the real and effective application of money advanced by purchasers and prospective customers to the building of the house and to the refund in the event that the building does not take effect".

One of the preventive, general, inalienable obligations that the Law established was for banks or savings banks,  where money was paid to by buyers, to secure the establishment of Bank Guarantees or insurance UNDER THEIR LIABILITY. Banks were therefore here  established as guardians of legality.

There are therefore two responsibilities of Banks and Savings Banks:

1. - Common due diligence and professional duty.
2. - Special obligation of provision 1.2 of Law 57/68.
The question that really matters here is this one: Can Banks oppose to Consumer the fact that the developer did not deposit the money in a special account?

In my opinion they cannot.
The general, imperative and inalienable character of rights of Act 57/68 as established by the preamble of the Act and Article 7 makes this as non opposable against the consumer.
In any case, if the Bank can argue they did not know? that the money was for off-plan, and after being liable of the lack of Guarantees and pay compensation for it, will have an action against the developer who did not allocate those funds in a “special account”, which they will be able to prove very easily.

Los colores del otoño por guervos.
 Autumn colors by Guervos at

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