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El blog de Maria

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

Legal tip 1256. NEW! Galicia Economic Crimes Public Attorney punishing banks in 57/68 developments
26 January 2015

Different angles of the protection law 57/68 is for off plan buyers in Spain is being exposed and applied. So very good news.

In relation to  recent Court Decision by the Supreme Court by which a bank is condemned to refund full mortgage payments and related interests paid by an off plan buyer whose unit was remortgaged by the Bank in favor of the developer, knowing there were buyers of these; now, in Galicia, this  Economic Crimes Attorney, Augusto Santaló, just speaks up for those affected by the collapse of developments along these crisis years and state the bank should be ultimately responsible and accountable to the dozens of  deposit payers in these scenarios, based on Case Law of the Appeal Court of Burgos who ruled in three judgments in favor of those affected and against financial institutions.

Developer proceeded to sell homes receiving all or a significant part of the price of these without a guarantee required by law. Later on sales and after price perception by buyers, developer created mortgage securities with Caixa Galicia and Caixanova, "seriously damaging the rights of buyers who were unable to get their money back,"

For the Economic Crimes Attorney, such liability is deducted from the knowledge they had when they provided mortgage loans, knowing of the existence of private contracts of sale and payments made in advance. It also warns that banks did not require or found that the developer constituted the guarantees established by law 57/68 and, being aware of the crisis of the company, decided to refinance with redistribution of liabilities on property units so that the amount of these exceeded the sales price.

If this thesis of the Economic Crimes succeed (and there is already a precedent by the Supreme Court), hundreds of people affected in this and other developments which were unfinished due to the bursting of the bubble or passed to the SAREB could undertake civil and even criminal proceedings to recover the advanced payments which in many cases exceeded 50,000 Euros.

 Judicial sources interpret the general timeframe for presenting a lawsuit will be 15 years from date of payment.

Mondoñedo, Lugo, north of Galice, North western Spain

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Legal tip 1255- NEW! Madrid Appeal Court Decission against Lawyer who did not provide 57/68 Bank Guarantee to client
23 January 2015

This other route to obtain refunds in off plan disasters is starting to have a voice.

Now it is section 21 of Madrid Appeal Court which is condemning a lawyer who made payments into the developers´account without the previous obtaining of the necessary Bank Guarantees, according to Law 57/68.

The claimant was basing his lawsuit in two breaches: Lack of licenses and Lack of Guarantees.

Court estimated that as the buyer had paid the initial reservation deposit voluntarily and previous to the intervention of the lawyer, he freely chosen the object of the purchase so Lawyer cannot be liable in regards to planning irregularities.

As lawyer was working for the client when payments were made to the developer´s special account, liability of this professional in regards to the lack of Guarantees is uncontestable

New way open now by Case Law!

Have a restful weekend!


Madrid in Winter


Like 1        Published at 14:21   Comments (2)

Legal tip 1254. When do I need to grant a new will then ?
16 January 2015


After EU 650/2012, also knows as Brussels IV)if you are a UK National but you live permanently in Spain and have no estate assets in the UK, make sure that you choose law of Nationality in your will as on the contrary, your inheritance will be governed by Spanish rules and its obligatory heirs at your death


These rules will apply to all persons dying after 17th of August 2015 so it is important that you make the necessary preventive changes in your will before that date. 

Residency status is determined by facts: duration and regularity of the deceased´s presence in the country. Residency requires close and stable connection with the specific country.

UK, Denmark and Ireland did not sign the regulation but any UK, Denmark or Irish national having habitual residency in Spain are under the force of this regulation and if they want their national succession Law to be applied they need to grant a new will in Spain . If they had assets in the UK, Ireland or Denmark a grant of probate will be necessary to administer the Uk, Ireland or Denmark assets.


The Regulation is not applicable to persons residing in the UK who just own Spanish assets. Private international law rules of English law would apply Spanish law to any property situated in Spain and therefore Spanish law will always apply to Spanish property (when this is the only asset) owned by UK residents.

Apartment in La Alcaidesa, Cádiz, South of Spain

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Legal tip 1253. No need of new will if you are a UK national and UK resident
15 January 2015

As a UK resident owning property in Spain you do not need to grant a new will to have the transmission-by-death of your Spain assets made in accordance to the will in the Uk.

It  was never necessary. Although many people made and still makes specific Spanish wills to avoid burocratic complications to their heirs. These " instrumental wills" for naming them in a way you will better undestand, had always to be in full accordance to the National Inheritance Law. They still have to if you grant them. They were... just an instrument to the real UK ones.

It will not be necessary after August 2015 as UK is not under these regulations. So your old UK will, will still be fully valid .

Even if the UK were under this new regulation, as you want your residency- same as nationality Inheritance Law to be applied, you would not have to make a new will.

This new Law is of special importance to foreign people, residents in Spain who dies after August 2015. If not granted/stated otherwise, all their inheritance affairs after death will be submitted to Courts and Legislation of Spain ( with some special features and exceptions) 

If you want to avoid this, you can --- from now, you do not need to wait till August--- make a will in Spain by which you choose your nationality Law to regulate the whole inheritance.

If you are intersted on knowing a bit more on how Spain Inheritance Law operates, you can click here

A farmhouse closed Andujar, Jaen, South eastern Spain

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Legal tip 1252. NEW! Nullity of mortgage contracts by the SUPREME COURT
13 January 2015

Supreme Court has recently passed a Decission by which those loan mortgages which were granted by Banks to developers, after these had sold  off plan units to buyers are NULL and VOID. Specially if this same bank was guaranteeing the on-time and free of charges and encumbrances completion.

Therefore, if you have been paying for these mortgages of developers, a full refund with full interests and legal costs need to be granted to you.



Mijas, Malaga, South eastern Spain



Like 1        Published at 14:18   Comments (12)

Regal-o tip 1251. Nice site with Maria
12 January 2015

Would you fancy a nice site with Maria to talk about your retirement? Legals and lifestyle matters...

How to plan the retirement? How to improve your financial resources while in Spain? How to choose housing? Buying? Renting? Community? Inland? Coast?

No paying extra Taxes? Do the right will ? Deal with Community of owners problems? Avoiding double taxation? Get some incomes while renting other properties? Have the right rental contract?

What else you want to stop worrying about?



Aguadulce, Almería, South eastern Spain

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Regal-o tip 1250. Clients care suggestions
03 January 2015

2015 is going to be the year of our definitive consolidation as number one Law Firm on clients care passion ;)

Please help us so by sending both positive suggestions and harsh criticism if you need ;). We are ready and grateful for them both :)

Please have them coming!


Snowing in Granada, South east Spain

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