Power of attorney

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03 May 2010 00:00 by joekite Star rating. 5 posts Send private message

Hi All,

Does anyone know if a laywer (Spanish) who I have granted power of attorney to can sign and agree to but a property without my consent ? (Written)



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03 May 2010 23:37 by claire T Star rating in Torremendo, Orihuela. 689 posts Send private message

EOS Supporter

Hi John - there are lawyers on the forum who can give their legal opinion, but I believe that a Power of Attorney has to be drawn up stating exactly what it allows the named person to do on your behalf.  Therefore, if you signed a PoA for your lawyer to complete a purchase on your behalf then they do have the power to do just that.

If you do not want the lawyer to proceed on that basis then I don't know what the law says about changing the PoA or even stopping it.  If your lawyer won't take new instructions then maybe you could approach the Notary direct. 

I'm sure someone else on the forum will be able to help here.



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03 May 2010 23:45 by joekite Star rating. 5 posts Send private message

Hi Claire,

Thanks a lot for reply.

THe problem is my parents wanted to buy a property in spain but as they are in there 60's they could not so being the good son I went to spain with them and signed power of attorney to a spainsih lawyer at a notery and also a and the bank for a mortgage.

Then 6 months later I get a call from my parents who inform me that they have bought another place this time in my name. (Nice hey) So then the crash happens they can't rent them either property or afford to keep up on the payments. The lawyer who has power of attorney was able to get the bank with the first property to hand it back. But the second bank will not take back the second one the lawyer is saying we have to wait.

So basiacally my parents bought another place without my consent. Does the lawyer have the power to buy another place without any consent from me ?



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03 May 2010 23:56 by claire T Star rating in Torremendo, Orihuela. 689 posts Send private message

EOS Supporter

Sorry John - really don't know the answer to that one. 

You would think that common sense would have made the lawyer double check with you that the second request to purchase was made with your consent - but then common sense isn't that common in Spanish legal systems.

It does make you think though - when signing a PoA you should be really specific that it only relates to a single event and doesn't give permission for the lawyer to keep buying you properties for ever!

I'm sure there will be a lawyer along shortly who can answer your question - good luck.


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04 May 2010 09:12 by Faro Star rating in London. 1139 posts Send private message

Joekite - although I don't really understand what it is happened it does sound to me you are trying to look for someone to blame or claim from etc.

Is it that you signed a POA and then let your parents give instructions to Spanish lawyer etc?

You say your both your parents and your lawyer bought places without your consent????

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04 May 2010 10:07 by joekite Star rating. 5 posts Send private message

Hi Faro,

THanks for your reply.

I willingly bought the first property for my parents (Which has since been taken back by the bank). For the purchase of the first property I gave POA to a lawyer in Spain while I was there.

But after that another property was bought and I was infomred after the fact. This property was more expensive and the morgate has defaulted cause my parents could not get regular rent on it. But I found out the property has just my name on the mortgage.

What I am trying to find out is can the lawyer (With POA) buy another property without my consent. (My parents basicallly gave him the go ahead).


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04 May 2010 10:07 by joanmalaga Star rating in Costa del Sol. 420 posts Send private message

Unfortunately John i think you are in a bad situation.  A power of attorney authorises someone to act on your behalf, they do not need further written instructions as that is what the power of attorney is for.

This is why people normally limit the power of attorney to a particular property or cancel it after the purchase.

Im afraid i do not think there is much you can do here.


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04 May 2010 10:43 by Faro Star rating in London. 1139 posts Send private message

I think Joanmalaga is pretty much on the right track. In UK we have the concept of duty of care or even implied duty of care but I think not in Spain and if you gave a general power of attorney then you have no real comeback.

A year ago a very nasty character called Jose Luis Maseda who always had every client sign a very broad general power of attorney set about in their absence mortgaging their properties. This man ran a business for over 25 years in Benalmadena under the names of CPS International/Eurolaw/Eurobrokers and claimed to be the most highly qualified and respected lawyer and businessman in the area. Of course he was not a lawyer and merely filled his walls with bogus certificates. But what was most surprising he played the long game.

The point of all this is that there is no need at all to execute a power of attorney and certainly not a general power and if one is executed then it should be formally revoked once used and not left lying around. So anyone reading this thread should formally revoke any executed power.

Below is an extract of a story on the great Jose Luis Maseda from the Olive Press. This is one of many such real life stories I could tell you on fraud involving powers of attorney. Sadly some face losing everything or spending money they haven't got trring to defend their position.


Meet the man obsessed by money - taken from the Olive Press
BOXED in by a 12-foot high brick wall, grid-iron fence and a thick hedgerow, it is certainly a good place to hide if you owe up to 20 million euros.
Plush Villa Verbena, in Urbanisation Cortijo de Mesa, just a stone’s throw from Ikea, in Malaga, has all the trappings of wealth.
Aside from the 24-hour on-site security guards who survey the spotless suburban streets, the split level villa boasts five bedrooms and a large leafy garden.
But the biggest giveaway perhaps, is the sleek black BMW, which can be seen when looking at the house on Google’s innovative new application Street View.
For this is one of many cars owned by Andalucia’s most wanted Jose Luis Maseda, 67, who has apparently disappeared, as exclusively reported in the Olive Press last month, after wheeling and dealing for more than 25 years.
Claiming to be a lawyer, financial consultant and tax advisor, Maseda wooed hundreds of clients to invest their money from the confines of his Eurobrokers office, in central Benalmadena.
up to 100 former clients, are trying to track him down in a bid to discover what has happened to an estimated 20 million euros invested through him.
But now, the Fraud Squad, and up to 100 former clients, are trying to track him down in a bid to discover what has happened to an estimated 20 million euros invested through him.
Most peoples’ accounts are similar, with smooth-talking Maseda having been recommended to them via a series of third parties, or even local banks.
Billed as the key to getting a licence, buying a house, or successfully investing money, they were usually taken in by his excellent English and confident manner.
The Olive Press has spoken to around two dozen expatriates, some of whom now claim to be facing financial ruin.
A joint action has this week been launched by Fuengirola lawyer Juan Carlos Carrasco, who has signed up at least five clients.
These include Geoff Gales, 59, who claims that he and his family have lost up to 1.5 million euros through Maseda.
The boss of CG Properties Geoff Gales, 59, who worked closely with Maseda for 10 years, invested the money in a number of plots on a failed golf venture in Villanueva del Rosario, near Antequera.
He has spent the best part of the past year investigating the movements and behaviour of Maseda.
“I believe he has a questionable track record dating back some 35 years to when he first ventured down to the coast from Madrid,” he explained.
I discovered that he had taken out a mortgage in my name without my permission
“I spoke to one British doctor, for example, who claims to have lost money in one of his deals 33 years ago.”
Another case involves Fiona Tiernan, 57, from Ireland, who discovered that Maseda had taken out a mortgage in her name without her permission after she gave him her power of attorney.
“The first thing I knew was when I was contacted by Bankinter notifying me of a 92,000 euro mortgage that had received no repayments,” said Tiernan.
She has now filed a report to the National Police fraud squad in Benalmadena, who are investigating her case.
“How Maseda lives with himself confounds me. It would appear he has no conscience,” she added.
Getting his clients’ power of attorney, appears to be one of Maseda’s favourite methods.
Linda Smith, 51, from Bedfordshire, also discovered she had a 95,000 euro mortgage through Bankinter after signing power of attorney over to him.
The mother-of-two had initially been put in touch with Maseda after visiting the Benalmadena branch of Banco Popular.
“I had wanted to sell my house and Banco Popular recommended I spoke to Maseda.
“I went to see him and he told me that he knew people who could take the house off my hands, so I signed over my power of attorney to him and heard nothing.
“Some time later I was notified that I had apparently taken out a 95,000 euro mortgage with Bankinter and the house wasn’t sold.”
It emerged that Bankinter paid off the original 40,000 euro mortgage to Banco Popular and set up a new mortgage in her name.
“I never signed anything,” insists Smith. “No application forms. Maseda handled everything, even disclosing what he thought was my occupation and salary.”
The Olive Press has learned that Maseda was an official bank agent for Banco Popular – a very convenient relationship, especially as his offices were a two-minute walk away.
His website also claimed to be an authorised agent for numerous other banks, such as Halifax and Sol Bank.
At least one of these, Sol Bank, however, insisted to the Olive Press that it had no record of Maseda’s name or company.
Police confirmed the connection between Banco Popular and Maseda, but were quick to quash any suggestions of impropriety.
Detective Juan Martin, who is handling the case, explained: “Although there was definite interaction, I am sure bank employess were equally unaware of the man’s dealings.”
The complicated Eurobrokers saga dates back 27 years, when, in 1982, a youthful Maseda opened his own financial advisory company.
Born and educated in Madrid, the 39-year-old, like many fast young bucks of the time, saw the chance to make serious money on the Costa del Sol, which had become one of Europe’s holiday playgrounds.
His company Eurobrokers aimed to help people looking to invest in the lucrative Spanish property market.
Success soon followed and Maseda embarked on setting up “franchises” across the world in places as far flung as Bolivia and Ecuador.
One affiliate called Ecuacasa – part of the official ‘Eurobrokers Group’ – promises “to do whatever it takes to ensure the seamless purchase, sale or legalisation” of property bought in Ecuador.
The Olive Press did not receive a response from Ecuacasa after trying to make contact.
However, over the past five years, this apparent success only served to mask the mounting debts that Maseda was racking up with clients back in Spain.
Many of these were caught up in the failed golf development in Villanueva del Rosario, which is now mired in controversy and under investigation in the courts.
The Olive Press believes Maseda was involved in the sale of dozens of plots in the scheme, before it was passed by the authorities.
His motivation though seems almost entirely to have been based on one simple thing, money.
“He was absolutely obsessed by money, it was what drove him the whole time,” says a former client allegedly owed 174,000 euros by Maseda, who wishes to remain anonymous.
“The sole purpose of his existence was making cash. He was a spendaholic.”
And the evidence of Maseda’s work was always on display. Aside from his Malaga home, he also owned properties in El Pinar, close to Torremolinos, as well as Madrid and, allegedly, South America.
He carried all the trappings of wealth. He drove a Mercedes and a BMW motorbike
He carried all the trappings of wealth. He drove a black Mercedes, BMW as well as a BMW motorbike.
Appearances meant everything to Maseda. He sported a gold Rolex watch, the latest designer suits and would boast about having two house maids to help his wife Dolores.
“He lived a life of luxury, every Sunday morning he would religiously wash all six of the family cars,” explains Richard Taylor, former partner of Costa Property Services Spain – a company formerly linked with Maseda.
Another client, Victoria Pickles, 36, from Norwich, who bought a 100,000 euro house through Maseda, which, six years later, is still yet to be legalised, was instantly seduced by Maseda.
“He seemed very money-orientated and part of that drew me in. What sticks out in my mind is the big gold bracelet he always wore, as well as the pristine leather jacket.”
When the Olive Press managed to locate one of Maseda’s homes, near Malaga, we got a remarkable insight from his own sister-in-law, Choni – who lives in the other half of the house.
Highly emotional and choking back tears she explained that neither herself or her sister, Dolores, (Maseda’s wife) knew where he was currently living.
She insisted that she had not heard from him for months and her sister had been getting regular medical treatment due to her stress levels. “He is a charming man, but he has ruined us,” she concluded.
If this is indeed the case, they will be joining a large and very long line of disgruntled people.

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04 May 2010 10:54 by joekite Star rating. 5 posts Send private message

Thanks Joan and Faro for your replies.

THe current status is that the lawyer (With POA) has infomred me and my parents that it is a waiting game that he is 99% sure that he will be able to get the bank to take back the property. But it may take time. While in the mean time I am afraid to buy a house for myself (Not in spain) and continue to rent. I am afriad to get a mortgage here with this hanging over my head.

So if I terminate the lawyers POA it may mess up him being able to negotiate with the bank to take it back.

Also if a letter of repossesion is sent by the bank will it always go to the Lawyer ? Or could it go to the property (Which is vacant).

Sorry for the all the questions worried sick about all of this.



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04 May 2010 11:15 by joanmalaga Star rating in Costa del Sol. 420 posts Send private message


If you cancel the power of attorney your lawyer will not be able to act on your behalf, he can still negotiate but you will need to be here to sign any documents.

The bank should send you letters or try to contact you at which ever address they were given, so maybe try and send them a fax or registered letter stating where you can be contacted so that you can make sure nothing escapes you.

Hope it helps.



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07 May 2010 09:26 by amndacatr Star rating. 1 posts Send private message

Hi joekite,

If you cancel the POA now, your lawyer would just not be able to take any decision but would be able to assist you and also do the necessary talking required in this matter. You should contact the bank at the earliest and update them about your current location so that they can contact you when needed. Also, discuss the proceeding with your lawyer and do the needful. The matters of handling the POA should be dealt with very delicately.

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07 Jun 2010 20:38 by sur Star rating. 2 posts Send private message

Dear Joekite, i confirm your lawyer can sign on your behalf as long as he has POA granted by you. your lawyer just can do the things you have authorised him/her to do in the POA. you can revoke it at any moment.

it is normal practice for lawyers to ask for a writing authorisation before using POA

Kind regards,


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07 Jun 2010 20:38 by sur Star rating. 2 posts Send private message

Dear Joekite, i confirm your lawyer can sign on your behalf as long as he has POA granted by you. your lawyer just can do the things you have authorised him/her to do in the POA. you can revoke it at any moment.

it is normal practice for lawyers to ask for a writing authorisation before using POA

Kind regards,


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07 Jun 2010 20:48 by mariadecastro Star rating in Algeciras (Cadiz). 9253 posts Send private message

Legal Questions? Speak to Maria Direct

 Joekite: it depends on the wording of the contract ( how broad or narrow, general or specific, with/without need fpr ratification the power has been granted

but in your case.. and it a more practical sense, it will mostly depend on if you provide or not the funds for completion.


Maria L. de Castro, JD, MA


Director www.costaluzlawyers.es

El blog de Maria

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