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Property Deposit Reclaim In Spain

I am one of the many people who put a deposit on an off plan property in Spain, only to find several years on that I had no property and a very tough fight on my hands to reclaim my deposit. I have joined together with others on the same development who are in a similar situation and together we are working with Spanish Lawyers to take appropriate legal action. Some of the group members simply don't want their property now because it was not what it was supposed to be in the first place (like facilities were not put in place that were promised at the time they paid their deposits). This blog gives snippets of our journey and presents some key lessons learnt. We hope for a positive outcome some day, in fact some have had their money back already! The rest of our group are now taking action. We have learnt a lot of lessons along the way as to how to get your money back (and avoid having the lawyer take most of it from you on success!).

UK Police Involved in Spanish Deposit Alleged Scam Case
15 February 2011 @ 20:33

See the article below that I have just been made aware of. I wonder how many similar cases there are out there. I am involved in one that sounds very familiar to this one! UK agent taking deposits against Spanish off-plan property then money 'disappearing'. Well, we are looking to get a case going too like this one....awaiting a proposal from the lawyer I met in Marbella last week.


Published: 15th February 2011 *Overseas agent speaks out over fraud claims

The agent at the centre of allegations over an alleged £43 million overseas property scam has spoken out for the first time.

Colin Thomas, director of Ocean View Properties is currently being investigated by Staffordshire police and the UK insolvency service following the collapse of his company in 2009.

Ocean View Properties sold off-plan units on a number of developments in Spain, Morocco and the Dominican Republic, most notably on the Estepona Beach and Country Club on the Costa del Sol. However, after taking deposits averaging around £80,000, some of the deposits “disappeared” and the developments were never completed.

Speaking through his lawyers Mr Thomas blamed the developer for the situation currently being faced by investors who lost their money.

“The sooner the truth is out — about the actions of Ricardo Miranda in Spain, the Dominican Republic and Morocco through the actions of lawyers currently suing Ricardo Miranda on behalf of investors who have lost money paid to him — the better.”

Mr Thomas insists he has co-operated fully with the legal team leading representing investors who have lost their deposits.

“In representing Mr Thomas we can say that he has always been happy and willing to assist in all actions that are being taken against developer Ricardo Miranda” his representative said.

Unfortunately this case is an all too familiar one.  Investors’ make deposits in good faith but as the money is not put into an escrow facility, it is not protected.  When some of the money “disappears”, the agent and developer blame each other…

The result is negative publicity for the industry and an erosion of trust that affects future sales for everyone.

A quote from an investor on legal forum, sums up the situation concisely:

“Whatever the final truth is…. I do know never to invest in property I can't see and touch and what a painful lesson that was”.

It is currently not a requirement for membership of the AIPP to insist off-plan property deposits are put into protected client accounts.

Source: Global edge

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