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13 Feb 2011 00:00 by Suzie Star rating in England. 121 posts Send private message

Apologies for the length of this...

Petitions have been a fantastic way of gathering information & evidence to present to the British & Spanish governments but I fear they have been counter-productive. The Spanish Property Scandal Petition which was also translated into Spanish (for the Spanish Government, & the King of Spain etc) contained hundreds of pages of facts, appx 75% of which related to Brits going through the Spanish legal system to try & get the justice they deserve. This dossier not only contained names of developments, agents & lawyers concerned, but also the amount of money involved. It was fully comprehensive. One person who received a copy of this huge dossier was the Spanish Housing Minister, the man who is now promoting Spanish property road shows in the U.K.

Instead of petitions having the effect we all hoped for, my personal view is that they merely highlight to the Spanish government the vast amount of money being legitimately claimed. On another thread Faro said '...if you think about it what would happen to the Spanish economy if banks were told to hand back money to all the Brits robbed - it would break the bank/country!..' . I've had similar thoughts myself with regard to the petition, and that this must be the main reason for the inordinate delays in the courts. Not to mention the fact that developers who are ordered by Judges after lengthy trials & appeals simply refuse to honour these rulings, without any recourse whatsoever. The legal system is being deliberately slowed-down to stop this money being drained from the Spanish economy for as long as possible in my opinion but does anyone else agree?

There are people who have finally 'won' cases well over a year ago and paid for embargoes to try & reclaim their money, but the courts are still sitting on their request, still 'gathering' information on the relevant properties embargoed. This is just the first stage. Then there are those who have at last got past this hurdle but now wait for a surveyor to value these properties - a job these surveyors appear to be allowed to do whenever they feel like it - how about two + years later!!!!! Then there are those who have 'won' cases but a year later still wait to hear when the date of the developer's appeal will be. There is of course a reason for this.

Although it is still good to gather information & facts, petitions are not working in our favour as far as I can see. Spanish Laws are in place that should have protected us, but they are not being implemented, and foreigners demanding that they are, fall on deaf ears. The Spanish (& British) governments already have more facts than they need, but rather than helping to bring justice the only result seems to be more effort to get people to buy Spanish property - hence the road shows to bring in more money.

There is so much apathy around & people are walking away from their claims. The effect on relationships & health is unacceptable to them. I've lost count of the amount of people who write to me to say they will never step on Spanish soil again, & refuse to buy any products exported from Spain. It's very sad to hear, but this, I fear, is the only message that may make any difference to the attitude of the Spanish government. Bad publicity that reaches the general public continuously, not just those involved, via demonstrations at these property road shows & other places, highlighting the corruption & huge injustices to all prospective buyers could be very effective, but it would need hundreds of people to take part. One problem is that we are all scattered so far afield. Just before I took our petition to Downing Street I wrote to all petitioners (appx 800 at that time) asking if they would take part in a peaceful protest (possibly Spanish Embassy). Eight people answered to say they would consider this. Three (including myself) said definitely yes.

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13 Feb 2011 13:25 by normansands Star rating in Kent. 1281 posts Send private message

Dear Suzie,

it can take over your life no doubt but count me in, if only there had been some warnings at Excel and what about a stand at the shows?

would we be bullied out?

do we know yet when and where?



N. Sands

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13 Feb 2011 13:32 by Faro Star rating in London. 1139 posts Send private message

Suzanne - excellent post.

I have always questioed petitions becuase it's all too easy to sign and then sit back.

I very much favour protest and where better than any Spanish trade show or exhibition.

That fact everyone is scattered should mean it should be  possible to get a decent number together in any city in UK or Ireland.

It woud be far better than venting their spleens on forums preaching to the conveted!

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13 Feb 2011 23:22 by Suzie Star rating in England. 121 posts Send private message

Thanks for your comments, Norman & Faro.  I haven't seen any dates for these road shows as yet but no doubt they will be published in the press soon.

There are some interesting comments in this piece in the Telegraph:,0


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14 Feb 2011 08:32 by Faro Star rating in London. 1139 posts Send private message

A key difference being anyone taking up the offer will be able to see what they are buying. Those buying off-plan did not have this option or protection.

For those buying who do their homework and use a reputable lawyer they will end up with good title and Spain has good laws in that regard.

Spain will brush what happened in the past under the carpet.


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14 Feb 2011 09:47 by Keith110 Star rating in the UK and I am lead.... 685 posts Send private message

Hi Suzanne, Faro & Norman

You all make excellent points.

I agree with Faro & Norman that some kind of representation at the 'road shows' would be good.  We can go there 'calmy' like Sra Corredor requests.  She even says we will 'find what we are looking for'!!  Well to start with I would like to find my Bank Guarantee and hard earned money that has been stolen by the developer and CAM Bank - under the supervision of the Banco de Espana - the government appointed supervisor of the Spanish Banking System.

It is easy to get negative because this whole issue has taken over many peoples lives, including my own for the past 4 years.  Also it is detrimental to your health due to the stress etc.  So we have to put our life, family and health first - but at the same time try not to allow this massive corruption to be brushed under the carpet.

Suzanne has done a massive amount of work and I respect her for that, because I know just how hard it is.

I want to try and remain positive and think we should continue with our petitions, protest, legal action according to LEY 57/68 etc.....  The difference I see now is that over the last couple of years, albeit very slowly, the tide is changing.  There are now a few court judgements going in favour of purchasers against the banks - the Cantabria case being the most significant as this was an appeal court decision.  So the Judges are beginning to apply LEY 57/68 in the correct way.  This has to be a move in the right direction.

Also and I think significantly the Spanish Government by their own admission are now embarking on a period of promotion for the Spanish Housing Market.  This has to be good for us as they will not want negative press etc during this year.

Over the past few years they have done nothing to promote the market or address the problems.  But I feel a change is in the air.  The Spanish housing minister - Sra Corredor - has to back up her words:


Kind regards



LEY 57/1968


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14 Feb 2011 11:39 by ruth Star rating in on a hill in rural L.... 117 posts Send private message

Hi Suzanne,

I made reference to this Telegraph article on another EOS thread on 6 Feb. ‘Banks and Bank Guarantees...Is this another step in the right direction?’ I wrote:
Housing Minister Beatriz Corredor’s statement reported in our Telegraph today (but it doesn’t say when it was made) And as for this quote from the article, “Nick Stuart, a British estate agent who runs the website Spanish Hot Property, said: "There are huge bargains to be had there, such as villas in Marbella that are almost at half their previous prices.  "Get a decent independent lawyer and make sure that the property rights and bank guarantees are in place. Ninety five per cent of these horror stories could have been avoided." “
That’s exactly what we did and 8 years later what have we got? Headaches and penury. And absolutely no chance of a place in the sun for us. So please, don’t mind him.
The Telegraph points to other articles written previously. There is this:
British government intervenes to help expats caught in Spanish property scams
And I quote, “The situation is so severe that the government recently appointed a special overseas property advisor to help deal with it and to better understand the problems of those involved.” 
Who is this person? And where do we find her/him?’
It is now 14 February and I’m still asking the same question.
Suzanne, I don’t believe that yours and Keith’s (and my small) efforts have been in vain or counterproductive. There is movement – it’s very incremental – but we have to show as much persistence as the crooks - whoever they are, agents, developers, town hall officials, lawyers, ad infinitum. If we don’t believe that, we might as well throw in the towel now, today. There are many of us who are still very active in verbal and written protest. The demonstrations that have taken place in Spain through SOHA, AUN and ALAUN etc are possible because they have organised themselves. They bus people to actions they take. We could do the same.  In England we are fragmented. Any group work has been centered round a specific development rather than a concerted and full-on all-round blast.
I agree, petitions do make it easy to sign and then think that’s all there is to it. A protest needs a lot of organising. It needs a core of committed workers. It needs a name. It needs a spokesperson. It needs skills that can be accessed quickly and easily. It needs advertising. It needs finance.  It needs imagination. 
You’ve done the most terrific job, Suzanne – but you’ve done it largely alone. Keith, too, is working alone. And that’s not good enough from the rest of us. Signatures are not enough. Words are not enough.  If we want action then we, collectively, have to act. Historically, any successful campaign has been started with a mere handful of people – sometimes with less than a handful – who have seized the moment and run with it. Evidence is vital and the petitions are providing that. So, please don’t give up now. Stay angry, y’all, and don’t get depressed.


This message was last edited by ruth on 14/02/2011.

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14 Feb 2011 11:45 by ads Star rating. 3299 posts Send private message

Faro stated "Those buying off-plan did not have this option or protection. "

Faro you are not correct to suggest this, and this is the "excuse" that many have used falsely to try and dismiss our claims for justice. That protection through the Ley 57/68 law was in place and was specifically designed to protect the consumer against the scenario we find ourselves in. Many were relying upon this reassurance, and for many this reassurance was actually reinforced within marketing literature (that forms part of the contract). Many would NEVER have gone down this route had we not been given reassurance (false reassurance) from Spanish conveyancing lawyers and the marketing literature (which again I stress forms part of the contract) which specifically stated that a Bank Guarantee would be provided. Many had written into their contract that a guarantee would be provided, which subsequently they found to their horror had not been made available. Some were even provided with a guarantee that turned out to be from a company not recognised in Spain!

Now we know that many law firms were negligent in their due diligence, and many clients were denied the requirement for the Banking detail to be written into their contracts (clients were not lawyers themselves so how could they possibly have known that this was a requirement). Many, ironically, are still fighting to gain this information from their law firms, who in some cases are being obstructive.

Many who have won their cases for breach of contract against developers are being denied justice via the exact scenario that Suzanne has described i.e. "The legal system is being deliberately slowed-down to stop this money being drained from the Spanish economy for as long as possible in my opinion ". We are a classic case in point as we are still waiting some three years after our first instance win for a resolution to the developer's appeal. How obscene is that?  And in the interim the developer illegally asset stripped (after the petition for preliminary enforcement)........ And so the deception relating to so-called lawful protection goes on and on and on.......

If anyone thinks that they are safe to buy in Spain given the lack of consumer protection that exists right now in Spain, they are living (sadly) in cloud cuckoo land! "To see what they re buying" is no reassurance whatsoever. We all know that there are hidden problems relating to all manner of other issues within the Spanish real estate system. And without a decent justice system in place to protect consumers and follow through legal judgements within reasonable timeframes, then everyone is ultimately at risk.

Faro perhaps this reassuarance is not what you intended with your statement " A key difference being anyone taking up the offer will be able to see what they are buying. Those buying off-plan did not have this option or protection."  But it is sadly statements like this that give a false impression of the true situation in Spain relating to previous off plan purchase. Isn't it ironic that the very law that was introduced back in 1968 to "protect" the consumer of off plan purchase, now turns out to be the tool by which many have been duped of their monies? And even sadder is the fact that when these laws are challenged, the justice system, by it's lack of regulation and controls, with no timescale contraints in place (other than to ironically protect those against whom a complaint is placed), is failing miserably to enforce judgements and is consistently compromising the consumer at every twist and turn.

In fact I would go further and state that these delays that Suzanne refers to (and that I have been highlighting for ages now), is the ultimate cover up of all. We have to make everyone aware of this complete disregard by the Spanish government to effect justice, which is a polite way of saying, so long as the government does nothing to speedily address this abuse and protect consumers from further abusive practices,  (as of NOW Keith), then we can only conclude that they are ultimately complicit in denial of consumer rights according to their own Spanish laws!!!!!!

Having given the Spanish Government years to get their act together, after presenting Suzanne's petition evidence (and hopefully very soon Keith's essential petition evidence relating to the abuse of Law 57/68), it is hardly surprising that we are now saying enough is enough.

I'm with you Suzanne and Keith and Ruth and all who bring attention to these obscene ongoing abuses of consumer rights and lack of justice. We need protecting NOW (as per the detail laid out in Keith's petition), not in the years to come. That will be far too late for many innocent consumers. Now, according to Keith, it’s in the hands of those who are suggesting to trust in the system they provide and transparency…….

Well how often have we been provided with this rhetoric? It’s time to see the Government actually enact the rhetoric. No more false protection claims please. We need actual protection of our rights in the form of recompense as per existing  legal judgements, actual protection as per existing laws of the land. Actual protection by an immediate statement that as of now they will establish a fund to protect those caught up in this malaise, to protect against these abhorrent delays that are compromising consumers each and every day that goes by.

Trust in the system that we have is missing the point, Keith. The system that we have, as we all know, is not providing consumers with any protection whatsoever I’m afraid. How many more of those innocent offplan purchasers who have been denied BG’s as per my description above will see their judgements not enacted, as more and more developers hide away their assets or declare insolvency in the interim? How many more will be compromised? Those who, without protection in place, or a Spanish legal firm willing and able to ensure that they can follow through negligence claims and regain their monies against law firms who compromised them from the outset (where they have been denied evidence of where their monies were placed and thereby unable to make a claim against the bank), will have no means of recompense? Protection for many has to start immediately.And we need to know that those who are having to deal with these complex issues will be protected.

Unless this is forthcoming, there will be many who suggest that this is yet another stalling tactic on the Government’s part. There are many who cannot afford to wait and see their judgements destroyed Keith.




This message was last edited by ads on 14/02/2011.

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14 Feb 2011 12:52 by normansands Star rating in Kent. 1281 posts Send private message

Dear All,

as you know it really was my life savings that were stolen and I do not have enough left to employ Maria, but am still saving a little each week until our teenage millionaires in Downing street make further cuts to my pension and lifestyle.

However if anyone needs some time put in I am available for the cause.

Time is rather like money to me and I have none to waste.

I am keen to encourage and assist those younger and fitter to press for change but maintain my conviction that Spain does not yet show any intent on real change.

The housing minister/secretary's.............


is itself fraud and deception, no more.

Maria spells it out convincingly and recent judgements are indeed encouraging, but the worrying thing is that "Lawbird" who Goodstitch once described as "brilliant" advises the bank guarantee route is a no-hoper.

He perhaps should be asked to spell out his reasons?

Perhaps he believes , as Faro does, that the Government and the Justice system are themselves in conspiracy to complete the fraud against us.

Keith is not correct to suggest that it is easy to give up, it is hard and painful, but as Faro says, a line has to be drawn especially when all funds are exhausted.



N. Sands

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14 Feb 2011 12:58 by Faro Star rating in London. 1139 posts Send private message

ads - you are correct in everything you say.

all I was really saying was Spains laws on property ownership are quite good and if you engage a reputable lawyer and do proper searches and avoid any property with a question mark as to how it obtained its building licence then you will end up with good title. In other countries that in itslef can be a real problem.

But as we all know now with the benefit of hindsight buying off-plan is extremely high risk for any number of reasons. No one should buy off-plan.

So anyone who decides to buy now will be able to see the completed unit and know exactly what they are buying etc and proceed swiftly to notary so no risk of anyone stealing their money.

But if the govt really want to do something they shouldregulate the whole area - developers/promoters/estate agents - becuase don't forget half the problems exist becuase of agents. Tighten up on the use of the word solicitor/lawyer/abogada. The number of cowboys operating and all claiming to have a legal background or legally trained and they have absolutely nothing only certificates printed off the internet. Lawyers should not be allowed trade through basic SL structures. But the Spanish law societies are unable or unwilling to even regulate their members. Being a member of a Spanish colegio makes no differnce to how you conduct business. No Spanish lawyers fears the weak disciplinary committtee. To me they are an absolute joke.

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14 Feb 2011 13:34 by ads Star rating. 3299 posts Send private message


We need to bring that evidence you speak of forward to our MEP's, alongside all the other evidence. And make sure that all future potential purchasers are made aware of lack of regulation as well as all the other abuses we have identified. This is yet another nail in the coffin of the Spanish legal system as things stand now.


Is there any liklihood that the Auken report and it's recommendations can be re-opened? A compensation fund taken from Spain's EU contribution is looking like the only possible way forward in the interim (whilst the test cases are ongoing), if Faro's suggestion of collusion between the government and banks is occuring, alongside your observation of manipulation of the court system.

 Suzanne is right to suggest the need to take direct action if the government are planning to paper over the issues without any substantive action to ensure that judgements are adhered to within a reasonable timescale. All else will be worthless rhetoric I'm afraid.

This message was last edited by ads on 14/02/2011.

This message was last edited by ads on 14/02/2011.

This message was last edited by ads on 14/02/2011.

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14 Feb 2011 22:17 by Suzie Star rating in England. 121 posts Send private message

Hello Ruth,

I want to make sure you haven't misunderstood my first post on this thread. In no way am I suggesting that the efforts that go behind petitions are or have been in vain. To the contrary, they are absolutely vital and invaluable in collating the facts & information needed. But it seems to me that the information already presented has alerted the Spanish authorities to the enormous amount of money being legitimately claimed through the court system, rather than helping us all with our fight for the justice we deserve. I don't want to repeat myself again but hope this clarifies some of the points you raise.

You also mention the AUN et al. I keep in regular contact with them. But remember that the situation of their members is quite different to that of you & me, Ads, Goodstitch etc etc. The majority of the AUN members are living in the houses they are fighting to save. They also live in many different close communities & are able to meet up regularly face-to-face which must strengthen their activity, their will & commitment. They also pay a membership fee which helps organise the meetings, marches etc that you mention.

And yes, protests need all the things you list but most of all they need protestors. When I was trying to arrange this in London some time ago I spent a lot of time discussing details with the Metropolitan Police. But without enough people willing to commit some time & effort - protestors - this turned out to be a fruitless task, albeit an interesting one!

As far as the 'Special Property Advisor' - I think I know who this relates to, but will have to confirm first. Again, I have a strong feeling that their 'advising' leans more towards the situation of those living in Spain, like the AUN members living in 'irregular' properties. But I will try & get some more up-to-date information on this.


I totally agree with what you say. The words of the Minister '...Trust in the system that we have and the transparency we provide..' are empty and desperate. Trust can only be earnt by deeds, and much of this trust has been destroyed by their own actions.          I think it will take a long time to recover - if ever.

When I went to Brussels I did ask the EU about a 'compensation fund' - indeed this is included in our petition.  But the likelihood of this is very dim - at the moment.  As far as I can make out, the Auken Report has been more or less buried, together with our petition, until stronger pressure emerges from individual MEPs to resurrect it.   And that pressure needs to be sourced from whatever direct action we can muster.

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16 Feb 2011 16:31 by ads Star rating. 3299 posts Send private message

More ammunition for you Suzie?

See the thread titled "capital gains tax".....

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17 Feb 2011 11:03 by goodstich44 Star rating in northampton. 1652 posts Send private message


I  agree with everything said about the importance of the petitions. If as seems to be the case though, that those responsible for acting on them are doing nothing, what is the next move?.  As you found, there is probably not enough people concentrated in one area for a demo' to be taken seriously.  If the roadshows do take place, then I think that would the best place for us to demonstrate. It wouldn't take many of us to be visable at that sort of show. I would be prepared to supply T-Shirts and pin badges at cost price to me for the event. If we also get some leaflets printed with a few hard hitting words, we might get through to the organisers and visitors?

Do you  think we should we all send a copy of your petition or better still yours and Keith's when it's ready, to our MEP's, and try our best to demand a positive response?. The fact we are being ignored, or at best fobbed off with the tired old line '' we can't interfere with Spain's laws etc '', despite all the now available evidence is just not acceptable.  Without any real action from  the Spanish government, our MEP's, the EU etc, I feel that those who's job it is to work on our behalf  are little better than those we were cheated by in the fist place!!

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20 Feb 2011 21:22 by belucky358 Star rating in North Yorkshire. 196 posts Send private message

Hi Goodstich,

Are these the "Road Shows" that you had in mind ?

A PLACE IN THE SUN LIVE       at  EARLS COURT     Friday        11th March 2011      10.00am   to     6.00pm

                                                                                               Saturday  12th  March  2011      10.00am   to    5.00pm

                                                                                               Sunday     13th  March 2011       10.00am   to   5.00pm

Full details on

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21 Feb 2011 10:56 by goodstich44 Star rating in northampton. 1652 posts Send private message


no, I think the road shows mentioned in an earlier post would be more driven by the Spanish government reps', in desperation to kickstart the market, while at the same time completely ignoring all those waiting for justice and compensation from a government who have cheated so many with their corruption, lack of regulation and often hopeless and slow justice system.

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21 Feb 2011 12:05 by Faro Star rating in London. 1139 posts Send private message

But would it not be a good idea for someone to organise a protest and hand out leaflets to all entering warning of the risks of buying in Spain.

These kind of protests always get paper & TV publicity.

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21 Feb 2011 12:40 by belucky358 Star rating in North Yorkshire. 196 posts Send private message

Hi Goodstich,

Does it really matter who is advertising and selling the Spanish property ?

Just a thought, but I would imagine that any form of Spanish Property Road Show whether it be run by Spanish Government Representatives or not, would be an ideal place to do as Faro suggests.

Especially if the persons handing out the leaflets were all wearing "T" shirts advertising our petitions.

I think the name of the game is to try and get our message across to the public and any form of publicity is better that none !

" No Publicity Is Bad Publicity "

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21 Feb 2011 12:52 by Faro Star rating in London. 1139 posts Send private message

A lot of work has been completed on petitions and writing on these forums so now is the time to take the message to the streets and at least educate would be buyers of the risks. Otherwise these people might not find this forum until they have signed on the dotted line and are asking for help or advice.

The British press would eat it up.

If someone like Ads would organise. Some could attend and other give a few pound to prints leaftlets or T-shirts.

I would be willing to attend.

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21 Feb 2011 13:10 by normansands Star rating in Kent. 1281 posts Send private message

Dear All,

am very willing to take part, but must cry off this one, we have to attend a funeral in York that weekend.

but it would be good to track the Spanish government's efforts also.

it is hard to imagine visitors attending not knowing the story so well told by the honest Mail articles.

shame it makes the "happies" uncomfortable.

But the truth needs telling.



N. Sands

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