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Spanish Off-Plan Property - Bank Guarantees - LEY 57/68

This blog is for all those Off-Plan property purchasers in Spain who have not received Bank Guarantees for their deposit funds as required by Spanish Law, in particular LEY 57/68 Article 1.1 and 1.2 and are now at risk of losing their money.

In addition many purchasers who did receive Bank Guarantees are now finding that the Spanish Banks are refusing to honour them without legal action being taken by the purchaser.

LAS HIGUERICAS FINCA PARCS SENTENCE
22 June 2012

You can now download a PDF copy of the Las Higuericas Finca Parcs Full Sentence or a PDF copy of the Summary version of the Sentence by clicking the links below:

CASO LAS HIGUERICAS - FULL SENTENCE - IN SPANISH

http://www.fincaparcsactiongroup.com/Sentencia.pdf


CASO LAS HIGUERICAS - SUMMARY SENTENCE - IN SPANISH

http://www.fincaparcsactiongroup.com/Resumen.pdf
 



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Daily Telegraph Article - 19 June 2012
19 June 2012

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/9333798/British-expats-beat-Spanish-bank-in-six-year-property-feud.html

Daily Telegraph

British expats beat Spanish bank in six-year property feud

A Spanish bank that refused to return off-plan deposits belonging to 47 British expats who invested in a failed Spanish property development has been ordered to repay €1.5million, following a six-year legal battle.

3:27PM BST 19 Jun 2012

Known collectively as the Finca Parcs Action Group, the expats each paid between €10,000-70-000 in deposits for off-plan homes on a 'luxury development' near Murcia, only for the developer to disappear and Spain's fourth biggest savings bank, Caja de Ahorros del Mediterraneo (CAM), to withold their downpayments.

Keith Rule who has headed the action group and fought for the return of his €53,000, said: "For far too long Spain has alienated the very people who once helped the country prosper.

"Now the Spanish Government must learn important lessons from this case.

"If these types of cases are dealt with in a fair and speedy manner then maybe some of those people who have been the victims of negligence and malpractice may once again have the confidence to invest in Spanish property.

"After all that is what Spain wants and more importantly, desperately needs."

CAM bank was the sole financial entity in the project, responsible for financing the development, accepting the off-plan deposits and issuing the corresponding, legally required, bank guarantee certificates to buyers.

In 2009, four years after the first deposits were handed over, the developer abandoned the development and disappeared, having built only a fraction of the homes, while the expats were still without the required bank guarantees, despite repeated requests.

"We did everything by the book before buying into these properties so felt particularly let down when the bank pulled the rug from under our feet, said Mr Rule.

"The development was advertised in Easy Jet magazine, the sales agent was British, the developer even stated on the reservation forms that it was represented by a UK lawyer, the project was launched with a champagne reception at Chelsea Football Club surrounded by sporting celebrities - we didn't think for a minute it would all go so disastrously wrong", said Keith.

When investors realised their holiday homes would never be built, Cam bank replied that it was not obliged to return their money because they were not in receipt of the very certificates it was supposed to issue.

At the court hearing in Hellín, Spain, the judge ruled against developer Cleyton GES SL and CAM bank, referring to 'serious breaches' on behalf of the developer and an 'absolute disregard by CAM bank to the obligations imposed on financial institutions by Spanish law.'

CAM bank was nationalised by the Spanish government in 2011 and then sold to Banco Sabadell for the sum of 1€, with all future losses underwritten by the government for the following five years.

Banco Sabadell declined to comment on the ruling.

The ruling gives hope to other expats, believed to run into the thousands, who have suffered at the hands of unscrupulous Spanish banks and developers after investing in Spanish property.

There are estimated to be 700,000 unsold holiday homes in Spain, the majority of which are located along the southern coastlines, where property prices have dropped by as much as 60 per cent in certain regions.

A spokesman for the British Embassy in Spain said: "The government and British Embassy in Madrid continue to urge the Spanish authorities to seek solutions to the problems facing property owners".



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THANK YOU
17 June 2012

Thanks to all who those have sent congratulatory messages to the Finca Parcs Action Group via Facebook, Email, Eye on Spain and the EOS Ley 57/1968 blog page.

I have been overwhelmed by all the messages of support - and I have been struggling to keep up with all the work in the last few days!!

Our fight is not yet over - we are realistic - there may well be an appeal from the Bank and/or Developer.  But we could not have had a better result from the First Instance Court - it was a very strong Judgment.

We hope that our success will help other people with Bank Guarantee issues on other Off-Plan developments in Spain.

Lets 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. It is of little use just winning a case against a developer who is bankrupt, has asset stripped or is in Administration - in most cases this will not result in a return of your money as it will be almost impossible to enforce the Judgment.

If you have a strong case with evidence to back it up then file a joint Lawsuit against the Developer and Bank.
 
As we have shown the Banks do have liabilities and obligations according to LEY 57/1968.

Good Luck and Kind regards,

Keith


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FINCA PARCS GRUPO DE ACCIÓN - NOTA DE PRENSA TRAS LA SENTENCIA
11 June 2012

NOTA DE PRENSA-   PARA PUBLICACIÓN INMEDIATA

 

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

VICTORIA DEL FINCA PARCS GRUPO DE ACCIÓN EN EL JUZGADO DE PRIMERA INSTANCIA

LA SENTENCIA CONDENA A LA CAM  & CLEYTON GES SL,  SOLIDARIAMENTE A DEVOLVER LAS CANTIDADES ENTREGADAS A TODOS LOS MIEMBROS DEL GRUPO CON INTERESES Y COSTAS

 

 

GRUPO DE ACCIÓN FINCA PARCS – CRONOLOGÍA DEL JUICIO

  No se emitieron las garantías que la Ley establece en un total de 1.5 millones de     
    Euros
  La demanda contra la CAM y la promotora Cleyton GES SL se interpuso en Febrero de
    2011

  La Audiencia Previa se celebró el 12 de Enero de 2012
  El juicio se celebró los días 21 y 22 de Mayo de  2012

  La Sentencia a favor de Finca Parcs Grupo de Acción se dictó el viernes 8 de Junio de
    2012
  CAM y Cleyton GES SL  deben devolver cantidades que suman 1,5 millones de euros
    más intereses y costas.

JUSTICIA

Victoria aplastante para los miembros del Grupo de Acción Finca Parcs este pasado viernes 8 de Junio de 2012. La juez del Juzgado de Primera Instancia de Hellín dictó Sentencia a favor de estos 47 demandantes.

El Juzgado condena de forma solidaria a los dos codemandados, la promotora Cleyton GES SL y la única entidad financiera del proyecto  Caja de Ahorros del Mediterráneo (CAM),  a devolver las cantidades adelantadas en compraventas sobre plano de estos demandantes que juntas hacen un total de 1,5 millones de euros. Estas cantidades se entregaron en la compra de viviendas que nunca fueron construidas en la promoción Las Higuericas, Finca Parcs, cerca de Agramón, Albacete, promoción que se encuentra hoy en día en estado de abandono.  Junto a esto, la Sentencia condena al pago de intereses y costas.


El Juez declare resueltos los 55 contratos debido a “importantes incumplimientos” por el promotor, en particular, “el largo e indefinido retraso en la entrega de las propiedades, la falta de licencia de primera ocupación y la falta de avales bancarios en relación con las cantidades entregadas por los compradores”. La juez también sentenció que la CAM “incumplió sus obligaciones legales de controlar el uso de los cantidades entregadas por adelantado por los compradores en esta promoción”.

FUERTE SENTENCIA

La Sentencia es fuerte y completamente a favor de los compradores.

La Sentencia de Consuelo Romero, Juez de Primera Instancia del Juzgado número 2 de Hellín se notificó a las partes el 8 de Junio de 2012 y concluye que tanto en promotor como la entidad financiera incumplieron sus obligaciones legales.


La Sentencia pido a la CAM y a Cleyton GES SL, de forma solidaria, que devuelvan los 1,494,710 Euros in depósitos sobre plano pagados por los 47 miembros del grupo Finca Parcs, más intereses, más costas.

Las costas puedes representar una cantidad importante teniendo en cuenta que el caso comenzó en 2011 y tiene más de 5000 páginas. Además, los miembros del Grupo Finca Parcs tuvieron que viajar a España a petición de la CAM para comparecer en persona en el juicio.

 

En la Sentencia el Juez afirma que, “no se trata de un simpe retraso en la entrega de las viviendas sino que se puede concluir que en este caso concreto, el excesivo retraso ha hecho caer el interés el contrato y ha roto la confianza mutua”


La Juez recoge literalmente la declaración de Keith Rule, quien reclamaba más de 53.000 euros. En dicha declaración Rule, respondiendo a Cleyton GES SL, dijo que bajo ninguna circunstancia los compradores aceptarían ninguna de las propiedades de las 50 que están construidas, todas en Fase Uno y sin licencia de primera ocupación, ya que el retraso es de 5 a 7 años desde la firma de cada contrato y que la fecha de entrega no se puede dejar a elección del promotor de forma indefinida.

 

LA Sentencia recoge de forma expresa que “la falta de Licencia Primera Ocupación se atribuye de forma exclusive al Promotor” y que la falta de Aval Bancario también se considera “causa de resolución del contrato ya que es una obligación legal”

GESTIÓN IRREGULAR, NEGLIGENCIA Y MALAS PRÁCTICAS

En relación a la participación de la CAM, que defendía no tener relación alguna con los compradores, la Sentencia también se manifiesta de la siguiente forma. La Juez recoge afirmaciones de la Exposición de Motivos de la Ley 57/68 y del articulado de la Ley: “no podemos ignorar la declaración del demandante que dijo que los compradores se decidieron al pago de cantidades por adelantado en este promoción debido a la promesa de Avales Bancarios de la CAM y  debido a la fuerte participación de la CAM como entidad financiante tanto en la publicidad como en el contrato”

 

CAM afirmó en su defensa que era ajena a las transferencias en las dos “cuentas corrientes” en las que los compradores hicieron sus pagos. Sin embargo, a la vista de la documentación que se aportó como prueba y de las manifestaciones de aquellos que gestionaron dichas transferencias, la Sentencia afirma que, “ Es un hecho probado que la CAM conocía que los pagos hechos a las cuentas de Cleyton GES abiertas en las sucursales de la CAM eran pagos de cantidades adelantadas por compradores en compraventas sobre plano y la CAM incumplió su obligación, como entidad financiera y de acurdo a lo establecido en la Ley 57/68 y que este comportamiento se puede considerar mala práctica”. La Juez añadió que “está claro que las cantidades adelantadas se usaron de forma contraria a lo establecido por la Ley española, Ley 57/68”

 

La Sentencia también hacer referencia a la “cuenta especial” y afirma que, “los documentos presentados corroboran que el valor de las garantías que la Cam emitió a favor de otros compradores, que no son parte en este procedimiento, hacen un total de unos 6.5 millones de euros, sin embargo la cantidad total de pagos hechos en la “cuenta especial” es de una cantidad significativamente inferior”. Además, la Juez señala que “otros documentos aportados a lo largo del juicio son de gran importancia y en concreto las copias de avales de la CAM emitidos a favor de otros compradores, que no son parte en este procedimiento, en los que se señala como especiales las dos cuentas que la CAM ha venido manteniendo a lo largo del juicio que son ordinarias”

CONCLUSION

La Juez concluye:

“La verdad es que la CAM conocía que los pagos hechos por compradores en las cuentas de sus sucursales eran cantidades adelantadas en compraventas sobre plano y sin embargo eludió completamente las obligaciones que la Ley impone a la entidades financieras en la ley 57/68”


No debemos olvidar que la obligación de depositar las cantidades en cuenta especial es de la entidad financiera que no solo recibe contraprestación por la emisión de garantías sino que se beneficia del proyecto. De hecho la CAM fue la única entidad financiera involucrada en este proyecto ya que ella misma pidió “exclusividad”.


El demandante que respondió a las preguntas en juicio demostró claramente que los compradores contactaron no solo a la CAM sino también al promotor de formas diferentes pidiéndoles la entrega del correspondiente Aval para la garantía de sus cantidades”


Apelación

Como toda Sentencia de Primera Instancia, los demandados puedes recurrirla en apelación.

COMENTARIOS DEL GRUPO FINCA PARCS

JAIME DE CASTRO - ABOGADO


Jaime de Castro,  el abogado del Grupo Finca Parcs manifestó ayer que estaba muy contento con la Sentencia y recalcó que:

"La Sentencia es técnicamente impecable; analiza todos los puntos, sin dejar lagunas y recoge argumentos de fuerte consistencia que ve difíciles de rebatir en apelación. Por lo que creo que mis clientes recibirán la devolución de sus cantidades”

Afirmó que es una Sentencia que, por la importancia del caso, será un precedente importante para casos parecidos, y que también:

 

"Es buena para la imagen de España, y de su sistema judicial e incluso su sistema financiero. Debido a la sensibilidad que hay hacia este tipo de problemas en el Reino Unido, y la situación que atraviesa España en la actualidad, es bueno que se transmita el mensaje de que el sistema funciona y resuelve los problemas de una forma bastante rápida”

 

KEITH RULE – COORDINADOR – GRUPO DE ACCIÓN FINCA PARCS

Después de que el coordinador del grupo, Keith Rule, fuese informado de la Sentencia, este manifestó que los miembros del grupo estaba entusiasmados, pero comentó que había sido un  “proceso muy estresante y que habían soportado muchos años de lucha y esfuerzo para defender sus derechos”

 

Keith continua: “Para nosotros es una Sentencia estupenda. Es un premio al esfuerzo y determinación de todos los que hemos trabajado juntos. Es una Sentencia importante ya que ninguno de los demandantes recibió el aval que establece la Ley 57/68. La gran relevancia de esta Sentencia no se debe desestimar”


Creo que el caso y su Sentencia se estudiarán mucho en el futuro. Tan pronto como las noticias se difundan aparecerán más y más personas interesadas.


Por desgracia, esta Sentencia no implica que todo comprador sobre plano que carezca de las garantías que establece la Ley pueda usar esta misma acción. Hay ciertas notas específicas en este caso que y una cantidad de pruebas aportadas, en nuestra opinión sin precedentes. Sin embargo se pueden establecer paralelismos ente este caso y el de otras promociones y sin duda esta Sentencia de Primera Instancia se usará, no como precedente, ya que este lo forman las Audiencias Provinciales o el Supremo, pero si como argumento en muchas otras Sentencias futuras” 


COMENTARIOS DE KEITH RULE SOBRE LA REPONSABILIDAD DE LOS BANCOS SEGÚN LA LEY 57/68.

El Grupo de Acción Finca Parcs tiene como representantes legales a Costa Luz Lawyers y a De Castro Gabinete Jurídico. Estamos profundamente agradecidos a la profesionalidad, dedicación, esfuerzo y apoyo de nuestro equipo jurídico durante los últimos cuatro años. Gracias de forma especial a María de Castro, con quien tuve mi primer contacto en el año 2008 y a Jaime de Castro, nuestro abogado en Juzgados, con el que he tenido el placer de trabajar sobre el caso durante los últimos dos años.


Parece extraño pensar ahora que en 2007, cuando nos dimos cuenta por primera vez de que había un problema con la promoción fui incapaz de encontrar a un solo abogado que compartiese conmigo la idea de que los Bancos tenían responsabilidad en este tipo de asuntos. Esto fue hasta el año 2008 cuando contacté con María de Castro y Costa Luz Lawyers a través de EyeonSpain (foro de internet). Aunque un poco escéptica al principio, María pronto se dio cuenta de que yo no iba a parar hasta encontrar lo que quería y de que solo había una forma de defender mi caso- acción frente al promotor y el Banco. Encontramos muchas dificultades a lo largo del camino, siendo no menos importantes la de otros abogados que, por distintas razones, no compartían nuestra filosofía.


JUSTICIA RÁPIDA

Como he dicho anteriormente en muchas ocasiones, el hecho de que el Derecho Español establece derechos irrenunciables para proteger a los compradores sobre plano, no es nada nuevo.  La Ley que los consagra es de 1968; el problema es que esta Ley ha sido siempre incumplida por promotores y Bancos en la última década. El Banco de España y el Gobierno Español no fueron lo suficientemente diligentes a la hora de velar por el cumplimiento de esta Ley, incluso muchos juzgados la han interpretado de forma incorrecta a lo largo de los últimos años. El “espíritu” de la Ley 57/68 y su exposición de motives son de una importancia vital si se quiere entender correctamente su sentido y las razones que motivaron su promulgación. La Sentencia Finca Parcs ha mencionado de forma amplia no solamente la Ley en sí sino también su exposición de motives y demuestra que cuando la Ley se aplica correctamente, el sistema judicial español funciona y que la Justicia se hace de forma rápida y eficaz.

 

España ha perjudicado durante demasiado tiempo a aquellos que ayudaron a su prosperidad.


El Gobierno español debe aprender importantes lecciones de este caso y de la Petición sobre Avales Bancarios (www.bankguaranteesinspain.com).  Si este tipo de casos se resuelven de forma rápida, es posible que muchos de los que han sido víctima de las negligencias y de las malas prácticas quizás vuelvan a recuperar la confianza para invertir en España. A fin de cuentas es lo que España quiere y necesita de forma desesperada.


Actualmente, el grupo de Acción Finca Parcs está disfrutando el momento, pero somos conscientes y sabemos que aunque hemos conseguido un adelanto importantísimo en los derechos, no estamos aún en línea de meta. Solicitaremos la ejecución provisional de la Sentencia pero además nos prepararemos por si algunos de los demandados recurren.


Si se promueve apelación, está se conocerá en la Audiencia Provincia de Albacete y esta Sentencia podrá ser utilizada como precedente en otras demandas.


NOTA: AVALES BANCARIOS EN LAS HIGUERICAS, FINCA PARCS

Otros compradores en Las Higuericas, Finca Parcs que sí recibieron sus avales, han ejecutado los mismos a lo largo de los tres últimos años y han recibido sus cantidades. Sin embargo, algunos de estos también tuvieron que enfrentarse a problemas y se vieron en la necesidad de comenzar juicios para la ejecución de las garantías ya que al principio, la CAM incluso se oponía al pago de las mismas en muchas ocasiones.



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FINCA PARCS ACTION GROUP - PRESS RELEASE FOLLOWING JUDGMENT
10 June 2012

PRESS / MEDIA RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

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

VICTORY FOR THE FINCA PARCS ACTION GROUP IN THE FIRST INSTANCE COURT

JUDGMENT CONDEMS CAM BANK & CLEYTON GES SL, JOINTLY AND SEVERALLY, TO RETURN THE DEPOSITS PAID BY THE GROUP MEMBERS WITH INTEREST AND LEGAL COSTS

 

 

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 must return deposits amounting to almost 1.5 million
    euros to the buyers with the addition of legal interest and costs

JUSTICE

Justice was delivered in an overwhelming manner on Friday 8 June 2012 when the Judge in the First Instance Court in Hellín found in favour of 47 buyers who make up the Finca Parcs Action Group.

The court convicted jointly and severally both defendants, the developer Cleyton GES SL and the sole financial entity of the project, Caja de Ahorros del Mediterráneo (CAM), to return the off-plan deposits paid by group members totalling almost 1.5 million euros for houses that were never built at the abandoned Las Higuericas, Finca Parcs development close to Agramón, Albacete.

Furthermore, the judgment orders the payment of interest and costs.

The Judge declared the 55 sales contracts terminated due to “serious breaches” by the developer, in particular, “the long and indefinite delay in delivery of the properties, the failure to obtain the First Occupation Licences and the lack of Bank Guarantees for deposits paid by the buyers”.  The Judge also stated that CAM Bank “failed in its legal obligations to control the use of off-plan deposits paid in advance for this development”.
 

STRONG SENTENCE

The sentence is strong and fully in favour of the buyers.

The decision of Consuelo Romero, Judge of the First Instance Court No.2 in Hellín was announced on Friday 8 June 2012 and concludes that both the developer and financial entity failed to fulfil their legal obligations.

The ruling requires CAM and Cleyton GES, jointly and severally, to return 1,494,710 Euros in off-plan deposits paid by 47 Finca Parcs Action Group members for 55 Sales Contracts, plus interest and costs.

The costs may represent a significant amount considering that the case was started in February 2011 and has accumulated over 5,000 pages in the Courts records.  In addition 70 members of the Finca Parcs Action Group were forced to travel to Spain following the request to the Court by CAM Bank for all buyers to appear in person at the trial.

In the sentence the Judge states that, “this is not just a simple delay in the delivery of the housing but in this case it can be considered as an excessive delay that has obstructed the very purpose of the contract and broken mutual good faith”. 

The Judge quotes the testimony of Keith Rule, who himself paid over 53,000€ in off-plan deposits to CAM Bank, during which Mr Rule when questioned by Cleyton GES said that under no circumstances would the buyers now be willing to accept a property from the 50 completed, but unlicensed houses on Phase 1, as the delay for the buyers already amounted to between 5 and 7 years from the signing of each individual contract and completion cannot be left to the discretion of the developer indefinitely.

The Judgment states expressly that “the lack of the First Occupation Licence is attributable exclusively to the developer” and that the lack of Bank Guarantees is also “cause for termination of the contract, since it is an obligation of legal and mandatory character”.

MISMANAGEMENT, NEGLIGENCE & MALPRACTICE

Regarding the involvement of CAM Bank, which claimed it has no relationship with the buyers, the detailed and comprehensive judgment also rules in this area.  The Judge quotes extensively from the preamble of LEY 57/1968 and from the Law itself and says in this regard, “we cannot ignore the testimony of the purchaser who when interrogated said that the buyers were encouraged to pay reservation deposits at the development due to the promise of Bank Guarantees from CAM and because of the intense involvement of CAM as a financial partner not only in the promotional material but also in the contract”. 

CAM maintained in their defence that it was oblivious to transactions in the two ‘current accounts’ into which the buyer’s money was paid.  However, in view of the documents submitted as evidence and the testimonies of those who managed the transactions in CAM and Cleyton GES, the judgment states that, “The fact is that CAM knew that the payments into Cleyton GES accounts opened at the CAM branches were payments by buyers on account of off-plan real estate purchases and CAM failed in its obligations as a financial institution under LEY 57/1968 and this behaviour can be described as malpractice”.  The Judge noted that “it is clear the off-plan deposits were used in a manner contrary to the requirements of Spanish Law, LEY 57/1968”.

The Judgment also refers to the ‘special account’ and notes that, “documents submitted corroborate that the value of Bank Guarantees issued by CAM to other buyer,  not party to these proceeding, amounts to approximately 6.5 million Euros, however the total payments into the ‘special account’ amount to significantly less”.  Furthermore, the Judge says that “other documents submitted during the course of the trial are of importance and very interesting items are the copies of CAM Bank Guarantees issued to other buyers, not party to these proceedings, as they describe as ‘Special’  the 2 accounts, that CAM maintained throughout the trial were just ‘ordinary’”.

 

CONCLUSION

The Judgment concludes:

“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.

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.  In fact, CAM was the only financial entity involved in the project as it demanded exclusivity.

The claimant questioned at the trial clearly demonstrated that the buyers contacted both the developer and Bank through multiple means urging them to grant the Bank Guarantees for the deposits paid”
.

APPEAL

As in any First Instance Court decision the defendants have the right of appeal.

COMMENTS FROM FINCA PARCS ACTION GROUP

JAIME DE CASTRO - LAWYER


Jaime de Castro, the lawyer for the Finca Parcs Action Group said he was pleased with the ruling yesterday, and stressed that:

"It is technically flawless; it analyzes all the points, leaving no gaps and has forceful arguments that make it difficult to challenge.  So I think that ultimately my clients will receive their refund in this case”

He noted that it is a decision which because of the significance of the case will be an important precedent for similar cases, and is also:

"Good for the image of Spain, its Justice System and even the financial system.  Given the sensitivity of this type of issue in the United Kingdom, and the situation we are currently facing in Spain, it is good to convey the message that the system works and solves these issues fairly and expeditiously”.

KEITH RULE – COORDINATOR – FINCA PARCS ACTION GROUP

After the group coordinator, Keith Rule was informed of the decision, he said the group members were elated, but commented that "it has been a very stressful process and we have endured many years of struggle and effort to defend our rights"

Keith continues: “For us this is a great judgment.  It is a credit to the work and determination of all those involved.  This is an important judgment as none of the buyers received the Bank Guarantees as required by Spanish Law, LEY 57/1968.  The wider significance of this judgment should not be underestimated.

I really think this case and Judgment will be studied far and wide.  As the news spreads there will be many very interested observers.

Unfortunately it does not mean that every other buyer of off-plan property in Spain without the legally required Bank Guarantees will be able to follow the same course of action against the Bank.  There were several specifics in this case and the volume of evidence gathered, in our opinion, is probably unprecedented.  However, parallels can be drawn between this case and similar cases on other developments and undoubtedly this First Instance Court Judgment will be used, not as a precedent, as Case Law is only established by an Appeal Court or Higher Court, but as an argument in many other future Lawsuits.

KEITH RULE’S COMMENTS ON THE LIABILITES OF THE BANKS ACCORDING TO LEY 57/1968

The Finca Parcs Action Group is represented by Costa Luz Lawyers and De Castro Gabinete Jurídico.  We are truly grateful for the professionalism, dedication, hard work and support of our legal team during the past 4 years.  Special thanks go to María de Castro whom I first contacted in 2008 and to Jaime de Castro, our litigator, with whom I have had the pleasure of working with very closely on this case during the past 2 years.

It now seems strange to think that in 2007 when we first realised there was a problem with the Finca Parcs project I was unable to find a single Lawyer who shared my view that the Banks had a liability in these type of cases.  That was until 2008 when I found María de Castro and Costa Luz Lawyers via the Eye on Spain internet forum.  If a little sceptical at first María soon realised that I was not going give up and there was only one way forward – legal action against the developer and Bank.  We encountered many hurdles along the way, not least from other Lawyers who, for various reasons, did not share our philosophy.

FAIR AND TIMELY JUSTICE

As I have said many times before, the Spanish Law which grants inalienable rights to protect off-plan purchasers is not new.  It was introduced in 1968; the problem is that it has been conveniently ignored by the developers and financial institutions over the past decade.  The Bank of Spain and Spanish Government failed to enforce the Law and many Court Judgments over the past few years have failed to apply LEY 57/1968 correctly.  The ‘spirit’ of LEY 57/1968 and its preamble are of vital importance if one is to truly understand the purpose of the Law and the reasons for its introduction.

The Finca Parcs Judgment quoted extensively not only from the Law itself but from the preamble of LEY 57/1968 and it shows that when the Law is applied correctly the Spanish Justice System works and that fair and timely justice can be delivered.

For far too long Spain has alienated the very people who once helped the country prosper.

Now the Spanish Government must learn important lessons from this case and from the Bank Guarantees in Spain Petition (www.bankguaranteesinspain.com).  If these types of Bank Guarantee cases are dealt with in a fair and speedy manner then maybe some of those people who have been the victims of negligence and malpractice may once again have the confidence to invest in Spanish property.  After all that is what Spain wants and more importantly, desperately needs.

Right now as the Finca Parcs Action Group we are enjoying the moment and focussing on the positives.  But we are realistic and understand that although we have made a massive leap forward in our fight for justice we are not yet over the finishing line.  We will be making a preliminary enforcement of the Judgment but also preparing ourselves for any appeal that may be submitted by either defendant.

Should an appeal be forthcoming then it will be heard by the Appeal Court in Albacete and the decision of that court would then set a precedent and may be used as Case Law in other Lawsuits.



NOTE:  BANK GUARANTEES AT LAS HIGUERICAS, FINCA PARCS

Other buyers at Las Higuericas, Finca Parcs who did receive the legally required Bank Guarantees from CAM, have during the past 3 years been able to execute their Bank Guarantees and receive refunds.  However, some of these buyers also encountered problems and were forced into taking individual legal action to execute their Bank Guarantees as CAM initially refused to honour the Bank Guarantees in many cases.



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VICTORY FOR FINCA PARCS ACTION GROUP IN THE FIRST INSTANCE COURT
09 June 2012

FINCA PARCS ACTION GROUP vs CLEYTON GES SL & CAJA DE AHORROS DEL MEDITERRÁNEO

Today (Friday 8 June) we received the judgment from the First Instance Court In Hellín:

The Judge found the developer Cleyton GES SL and the Bank - Caja de Ahorros del Mediterráneo (CAM) jointly and severally liable for the repayment in full of the deposits paid (1,494,710 Euros) under the 55 Sales Contracts which were the subject of the Lawsuit, together with legal interest and costs.

This is a significant judgment as none of the buyers received the Bank Guarantees as required by Spanish Law, LEY 57/1968.

The Finca Parcs Action Group are represented by Costa Luz Lawyers and De Castro Gabinete Jurídico.  We are truly grateful for their dedication, hard work and support during the past 4 years.  Special thanks go to María de Castro - back in 2008 she was one of the only Lawyers who believed in my view that the Banks had a liability in such cases and to Jaime de Castro, our litigator, with whom I have worked very closely during the past 2 years.

We are currently studying the Judgment in more detail and further information will follow soon.

As in every First Instance Court judgment the defendants have the right of appeal.

Kind regards

Keith
FINCA PARCS ACTION GROUP



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