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El blog de Maria

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

Legal tip 804. Appeal by Cam on Keith Rule´s case
19 July 2012 @ 17:07

PRESS RELEASE - CAM BANK APPEAL
19 July 2012 @ 13:34

PRESS / MEDIA RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

FINCA PARCS ACTION GROUP vs CAJA DE AHORROS DEL MEDITERRÁNEO (CAM BANK) & SPANISH DEVELOPER, CLEYTON GES SL

APPEAL SUBMITTED BY BANCO CAM

BANCO CAM (SabadellCAM) FILES AN APPEAL AGAINST THE FIRST INSTANCE COURT JUDGMENT WHICH SENTENCED IT TO REPAY 1.5 MILLION EUROS OF PURCHASERS DEPOSITS AT FINCA PARCS

FINCA PARCS ACTION GROUP – TIMELINE OF THE LAWSUIT

  No legally required Bank Guarantees for Off-Plan deposits totalling 1.5 million Euros
  Lawsuit against CAM Bank & developer Cleyton GES SL filed in February 2011

  First Instance Court Preliminary Hearing held on 12 January 2012
  Trial held on Monday 21 May 2012 & Tuesday 22 May 2012

  Judgment released in favour of Finca Parcs Action Group on Friday 8 June 2012
  CAM Bank and Cleyton GES SL sentenced to return deposits amounting to almost 1.5   
    million Euros to the buyers with the addition of legal interest and costs
  CAM Bank appeals the First Instance Court Judgment

          

MEMBERS OF THE FINCA PARCS ACTION GROUP OUTSIDE THE FIRST INSTANCE COURT AND CAM BANK IN HELLÍN –MAY 2012

CAM BANK APPEAL

CAM Bank, recently rebranded as SabadellCAM, has filed an appeal against the Judgment of the First Instance Court in Hellín which sentenced it along with the developer Cleyton GES SL to refund buyers deposits in the case of the Las Higuericas Finca Parcs development near Murcia, Spain.

In the First Instance Judgment CAM Bank was sentenced, jointly and severally, with Cleyton GES SL to refund almost 1.5 million Euros plus interest and costs relating to 55 sales contracts for 47 members of the Finca Parcs Action Group.

The deadline for the submission of an appeal and payment of the deposits to the Court was Tuesday 10 July 2012 and the CAM Bank Appeal was dated 9 July.

The developer, Cleyton GES SL, did not appeal the First Instance Court Judgment.

RESPONSE TO THE APPEAL

The Appeal filed by CAM Bank was admitted into the Court system on 13 July and the Finca Parcs Action Group now has 10 working days to file their opposition to the appeal.

Jaime de Castro, Lawyer for the Finca Parcs Action Group, expects a favourable decision from the Albacete Appeal Court considering “the strength of the First Instance Judgment against CAM Bank and the available Case Law relating to Banks liabilities and obligations according to Spanish Law, LEY 57/1968”

 

 


PAYMENT OF 1.5 MILLION EUROS

 

De Castro also announced that payment of 1,494,710 Euros had not been made to the Court by either defendant; therefore he has now “requested the provisional execution of the Judgment while the appeal process continues”.

As for the timescales for reaching a Judgment in the Appeal, De Castro said that the Albacete Appeal Court normally resolves these cases in a reasonable time, which can be between two months and one year depending on the characteristics of each case.

Throughout the trial in May, CAM Bank maintained it was not responsible for the situation and that all irregular actions and illegalities were committed only by the developer.

MISMANAGEMENT, NEGLIGENCE & MALPRACTICE

However, regarding the involvement of CAM Bank, which claimed it has no relationship with the buyers, the judgment of the First Instance Court states that:

“The truth is that CAM knew that the payments made by buyers into accounts at their branches were on account of real estate purchases and CAM showed absolute disregard to the obligations imposed on financial institutions by LEY 57/1968 and this behaviour can be described as banking malpractice.  It is clear the off-plan deposits were used in a manner contrary to the requirements of Spanish Law, LEY 57/1968.

We must not forget that the obligation to deposit the amounts advanced to an account opened specifically for that purpose is that of the financial institution as not only does it receive the premium of the guarantees but also benefits by way of profit from the project”

SabadellCAM



CAM Bank was taken over by the Bank of Spain in July 2011 and then sold to Banco Sabadell for One Euro at the end of 2011.  The report produced for the Bank of Spain by the FROB described the many irregularities committed by the former CAM managers, especially the reckless real estate lending and the granting of annuities and pensions to senior management.

In March 2011 CAM reported profits of 38.9 million Euros, however just 3 months later its accounts showed losses of 1,136 million Euros.

In 2011 the Bank of Spain described CAM as ‘Scandalous’ and called the Bank ‘The Worst of The Worst’.

The CAM senior managers to whom the Finca Parcs Action Group took their complaint in 2009 are currently appearing in the High Court accused of committing corporate crime, price manipulation, embezzlement, fraud and misappropriation.

Last week CAM Bank was liquidated after 137 years as a Savings Bank (Caja) and the CAM business is now incorporated under the Banco Sabadell brand as SabadellCAM.




APPEAL WAS EXPECTED

Keith Rule, coordinator of the Finca Parcs Action Group said:

“We expected an appeal from CAM and were therefore prepared to respond accordingly.  We are in a good position with a high profile case and a very strong First Instance Judgment against both defendants.

Our fight is not yet over; this is just another hurdle that CAM is putting in our way on the long road to Justice.  However, we remain positive and I believe we have one of the strongest cases of its type – that of buyers without Bank Guarantees.

The First Instance Judgment was a landmark ruling and therefore the result of the appeal will be eagerly awaited by many thousands of buyers of off-plan property in Spain.

It is clear from the First Instance Judgment that Banks do have liabilities and obligations according to Spanish Law, LEY 57/1968.  This law was introduced in the public interest in 1968 specifically to protect purchasers’ deposits when purchasing off-plan properties in Spain.  It was even strengthened by the Building Act of 1999 but has been largely ignored by the developers and Banks over the past decade.

If the Law had been adhered to and properly enforced during the real estate boom then the Banks would not have lent so recklessly to builders and developers as they would have been restricted by the liabilities imposed on them by LEY 57/1968.

Let’s hope that many other Lawyers now see that the Courts do recognise that in certain circumstances Banks do have liabilities and obligations according to LEY 57/1968”

BBC RADIO 4 INTERVIEW

Keith Rule, coordinator of the Finca Parcs Action Group was interviewed by Radio 4 on Wednesday 11 July.  You can listen to that interview on the link below:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00vymv3

 

 

Playa de Barbate

"Playa de Barbate", Barbate, Cádiz, South of Spain, by woto at flickr.com



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12 Comments


aventura said:
21 July 2012 @ 22:40

I paid a deposit to aifos for an apartment in Torrox costa del sol and was told by my solicitor all about ley 57/1968 they told me it was automatic that you had a gaurantee. They also told me that aifos was one of the biggest builders in spain. being a very cautious person I trolled through loads of internet sites and every thing seemed to be genuine infact other developers used these facts in their advertising. I feel very angry about a country that has laws they do not enforce and all the way through the process of paying the deposit we were told every thing was normal when they must of known it was not and were willing to go along with this corrupt system in Spain. aventura


Sally said:
23 July 2012 @ 10:08

If the appeal fails, would this set a president for others in the same situation. I paid over 60,000 Euros to Cam Bank and didn't receive a bank guarantee, the developer is still trading but I am unable to get my money, even though I have taken them to court and won.


Sally said:
23 July 2012 @ 10:55

Yes, if the appeal fails, it will add to other existing precedents.


Peter Dawson said:
23 July 2012 @ 11:13

At least you're only fighting the bank. I'm fighting the banks, my (now-ex) solicitor and the Spanish legal 'system'.
You should look into using EU law to sue in your jurisdiction. As a consumer you have this right regardless of any agreements to the contrary.
I've started this process against my ex-solicitor, see www.bcplawfirm.co.uk.


P.J.Ruane. said:
23 July 2012 @ 13:23

23/07/2012
Hi,
I just think that all the solicitors that acted for everyone who bought property off-plan in Spain at any time are the most responsible, as they knew the law in Spain better than any other one, and they should have got the bank guarentee in there hand before they handed over any of there clients hard earned money. They knew very well all about LEY 57/68 at that time and should have acted accordingly. They are the ones who now are getting away scott free and are making more money bringing all these cases into court now for there clients and claiming all these costs again. Could these solicitors not be held responsible for there wrong doings and claim the clients money back off there "solicitors insurance company" through the courts,as it could be a lot faster method of getting the money returned to the clients.After all they knew what they were doing was wrong, handing over money without the "GUARANTEE"


jack said:
23 July 2012 @ 22:08

P J Ruane - I agree 100% with what you said. Dereliction of duty on a mass scale. I expressed this point of view years ago but it was suggested to me that it was a 'non starter' by someone who claimed he had tried it, although I now doubt if he did! The solicitors are all in this up to their necks and have clearly quietly colluded to ignore the 1968 ruling which, until reletively recently, has not caused any problems. If my court case should go against me then I will immediately take against the solicitor that I used. As you say, its so ironic that the solicitors we used to buy our properties are making more money off the backs of legal claims against the developers. Agents, developers, solicitors, banks - they all have their snouts in the same trough. I know of course there will be some exceptions, such as the magnificent Maria de Castro and her team who are attempting to put some moral backbone into Spains legal system. Maybe we should all start putting ourselves into groups according to solicitor used, as a backup for potential legal action? Strength in numbers e.g. Keith Rule. Good luck everyone. Jack


Mary said:
24 July 2012 @ 15:58

My husband and I bought off plan in 2004. We are still owed our deposit and the second payment which did not have a bank guarantee. We paid the solicitor to take the developer to court and won the case. The developer was still trading and did not appeal but we still didn't get our money back. We paid the solicitor again to take action but still have had no satisfaction. I certainly agree with everything that has been said. I am eagerly awaiting the result to Finca Parcs Action Group.


jack said:
25 July 2012 @ 13:36

Hello Mary.
Mine is 2004 too.
Yours is another example of the weak kneed system in Spain that means winning court cases and appeals seems to have no relation to being remunerated. Its a game they have been playing with us all for years and the truth is they really dont care, plus its easy money. They tell us what we want to hear and go through the motions, knowing full well its all a waste of (our) time and money. Ironically its only now that LEY 57/68 has been resurrected combined with close scrutiny of the banks that we are being taken seriously by the Spanish legal system.
Fingers Crossed!
Jack


Maria said:
25 July 2012 @ 13:58

Let´s all hope for Keith Rule´s case to be won and therefore many restitutions to come from Banks to people.

Let´s hope too this people will invest in Spain again. WE NEED YOU!


Rowley said:
25 July 2012 @ 14:05

Thankfully ,back in May, our lawyer, after only 4months managed to retrieve our deposits relating to the Almanzora country club fiasco. We did have bank guarantees. The 1st lawyer we had badly advised us and recommended a civil case against the developers Huma,2 1/2 years later and no further along the line with the courts that lawyer left the practice and passed us onto some other lawyer in the practice who was as much use as a chocolate fire guard, We sacked them and decided to ask the lawyer local to us in Motril, who handled our house purchase etc. She went straight to CAM, found the account with the money, which had been sitting there since 2004, simply wrote to CAM orderring them to return our money with the threat of legal action,she phoned them day in and day out, went and sat in the CAM branch pestering the local manager, and after only 4 months we had the money back plus compounded interest. The initial deposit for just over 3k, was not returned, it did not have a guarantee. The lawyer did say she can get it ,it might take another 4months , but in the first instance we are going to the credit card company in the Uk as they are legally bound under section 75 of the consumers credit act 1974 which makes them jointly and severally liable for any breaches committed
By the company Huma, the developers. We are waiting to hear back from them. Not a lot of people know that if you pay for in full or part of a purchase with a credit card and something goes awry ie deposits for cars etc then because you are not using your money but the credit from that company then they are liable if goes tits up ,as they say. It has been tried and tested .So before we go back to the lawyer we are going that route first.
After so much stress since we decided to bail out of the Huma scam, I can't tell you the joy and relief we had when we got our money back. Needless to say we got it all out of Spain as quickly as possible. Good luck to all you other victims ...if you need a good lawyer let us know. Our lawyer is now helping another couple from FP. Any one awaiting civil case court judgements could wait months or years to be told that they can get their money back and then have to start the process all over again to actually get it. This method did not work for us, it would still be going on....if your money is in a bank then they have to give it you back.....but we all know that...we were so lucky that our lawyer was persistent and quick and not everyone is so lucky. Our thoughts are with you. Good luck and keep at it and don't give up.



Jim K said:
15 January 2013 @ 11:53

I have been with CAM Bank in Moraira for 10 years.
I asked on 17 December 2011 for my account to be closed. I have asked for the final balance of over 10,000 euros be transferred to an account in France.
I have telephoned them and have been sending letters and emails ever since but still they have not processed my request. This can't be legal. I'm getting worried. Does anyone know of the best way of to tackle this?



Maria said:
15 January 2013 @ 12:15

Jim:
You possibly need a lawyer to send a letter to them.
Kindest,
Maria


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