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30 Jul 2014 15:30 by sandra Star rating in . 810 posts Send private message

sandra´s avatar

It was nine years ago in April that we paid a deposit for an off plan property in Spain.

The lawyers we used (private message me for their names) who made a point, more than once at our meeting, of saying that our money was safe because  of the 'Bank Guarantee'  that accompanies all off plan sales. To provide extra assurances for me he even had an English trainee lawyer sit in at the meeting.

In all we paid over 104 thousand euros in deposits and stage payments. When it became clear the development was not going to be completed within the eight months we had been told, I asked our lawyer to cancel the contract but  he persuaded me that everything was fine and the development would soon be completed. In a subsequent request to cancel he   said that Banco Pastor who took my deposit   said I would have to sue them to get my money back. After another two years of various delays and a lawyer who seemed reluctant to cancel I decided to seek out another lawyer.

In June 2008 I engaged another lawyer who requested my file from my first lawyer. There was no Bank Guarantee in the file and when the lawyer was asked why, his reply was, 'The developer failed in his duty to provide one'.

At the initial appointed meeting with my new lawyer I asked if we could sue the first lawyer for negligence since I understood that the provision of a Bank Guarantee was written in law. The lawyer said yes they could because all lawyers are insured for this eventuality  but first negligence must be proved.

To start this action we first of all cancelled the contract. We then sued the developer for return of my money, I won the case. The developer appealed. They have not repaid me. That was in November 2010.

In the mean-time, because it was a flipped property, the courts have tried to find the vendor and he has been declared 'In default'.

All this has taken time and in excess of 7000 euros in lawyers,court and various other fees.   My lawyer says that my next course of action is to sue Banco Pastor who took my deposit.

Unfortunately, because I do not have a Bank Guarantee the chances of my ever seeing my money again seems doubtful. My solicitor has just asked if I want to proceed with suing the bank but this is going to cost me another 7 or 8 thouand euros with court fees etc.,. If I also want to try and recoup the 6% interest  (for late or non-delivery of property) that is written into my contract I will need another court case to get it and another 7 or 8 thousand euros.

 Surely the fact the first solicitor never obtained the, legally required, Bank Guarantee is evidence   enough of his negligence  without all this rigamarole of suing all and sundry.

I have now been retired for ten years and interest rates being what they are I simply do not have the funds to, in effect, line a lawyers pocket

I think the lawyer also  feels there is little chance of me getting anywhere with my case, despite their initial assurances I had a good case, because they have given me a month to stump up the money or they will close the case and send me an invoice. An invoice for what I do not know as I thought  that I had paid in advance for everything they have done for me but perhaps it is the charge for returning or cancelleing the 'power of attorney' I gave them.

 

What would you do?

 

 

 



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30 Jul 2014 16:46 by xetog Star rating in Wiltshire/holiday ap.... 514 posts Send private message

Sandra, I am so sorry to hear about the way you have been treated. By coincidence we also put down a(small) deposit on an apartment 9 years ago. Ours WAS completed 7 years ago, just 6 months later than scheduled. At the time we didn't know of problems with off plan developments so had no worries (we had bought the same way in the UK with no problems). Obviously it's not something to be recommended today.

TBH and I hate to say this but I wouldn't throw any more money at it. I'm sure that it was your life savings and you are loath to allow these crooks to get away with it, but it seems unlikely to me that you will ever see your money back.So many people have tried and failed. It has taken over their lives and in some cases ruined their health.

If it's any consolation to you, although we have our apartment, we and thousands more have also lost a great deal of money. A lot of people would like to sell and cannot. Many would also like to return to the Uk and cannot. Fortunately(for many reasons) we never moved to Spain but still live in the UK. It was never our intention to run two homes on a permanent basis but we have downsized in the UK just so we can. We are also retired and now in our early 70's.

I am sorry that I don't have any constructive advice for you. Perhaps someone will let us know if they have actually got their money back from a bank guarentee and how they did it. Perhaps you could consider a class action (if that's possible in Spain) against the bank. There must be many more people in the same boat on your development.

Good luck with whatever you decide.





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30 Jul 2014 17:11 by sandra Star rating in . 810 posts Send private message

sandra´s avatar

Thank you xetog.

At one point the developer told me to get my funds in place ( I was taking out a loan against my UK home to finance it, with a view to downsizing to a UK flat) because they would be ready in  three to four weeks. Well ,to me, they looked ready and so I went ahead with organising the finance.

I moved the balance of the funds to Spain and put my UK home on the market and went over to Spain. I had emailed ahead with a request to view my apartment but when I got there was told it was not possible to view because it was being decorated. I became suspicious and asked other questions which prompted me to visit the local Town hall.

The Occupation licence had not been granted and was unlikely to be in the near future because of problems with the roads and electricity installations. It had recently also been flooded. That was the last straw. the developer knew all this when they told me to get my funds in place.

 

 

 

 


This message was last edited by sandra on 30/07/2014.


This message was last edited by sandra on 30/07/2014.

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30 Jul 2014 18:55 by xetog Star rating in Wiltshire/holiday ap.... 514 posts Send private message

It beggers belief Sandra. Lies, lies and more lies. We have found that the Spanish like to tell you they think you want to hear, whether true or not.

Have you tried to find out if others are in the same position as yourself? I can't believe that you are the only one robbed of their life savings. If you can find others and get together, hopefully it would mitigate some of the costs, allowing you all to go forward with yet another legal case.

Also, have you contacted Maria(on this site) for a bit of free advice?





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30 Jul 2014 19:29 by sandra Star rating in . 810 posts Send private message

sandra´s avatar

I've sent you a private message.



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30 Jul 2014 20:12 by Pilgrim Star rating in Costa Calida. 234 posts Send private message

Pilgrim´s avatar

I have read many cases of the poor souls that have lost their life savings in many cases, because of lies, empty promises, endemic corruption and just common swindling and theft by people and that includes banks in this country.

It is heartbreaking to think that maybe it is not just the extranjeros that are the victims. It would make sense to assume that the natives could just as easily and probably have been bamboozled.

I love this country, its rugged beauty always takes my breath away. We were fortunate, although niaive, by buying offplan (big sucking in of breath). We new no better but all went reasonably well for some unaccountable reason?

I wholeheartedly hope that someday Spain will get its dignity back and not flounder in the abyss it is in now.



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30 Jul 2014 22:37 by broph Star rating. 147 posts Send private message

Hi, we to have encountered a similar episode and have taken a claim against the bank BBVA under law 57/68. This law relates to off plan developments and bank guarantees. We await a final judgement  but I know some similar cases have been successful over past 12 months. So we wait for our result whenever that may come.

I have copy pasted latest post by one of the Spanish legal firms specialising in this law suit. We are using this particular lawer in our case. And There is another specialist firm called Costa Luz Lawers. They advertise here on eye on Spain.  I have no business connection to either of these legal firms except as previously mentioned .

I suggest you run your individual case by one or both of these firms and then make your mind up about what is best for you.

good luck.

7.30.2014 UPDATE: BANKRUPTCY COURT ACCEPTS REQUEST AND CALLS HDT FOR LIQUIDATION

Following our last thread, we can confirm that today the bankruptcy court from Alicante has called Herrada del Tollo (Santa Ana del Monte), for liquidation.

To learn more about how this new court statement affects to purchasers, please check our latest post on blog:

http://gmlegalexperts.blogspot.com.es/2014/07/gm-legal-experts-legal-news-noticias.html

We would like to remind you that we are organizing new "low cost" class actions against the Banks to recover deposits (plus legal interest), because the new company's scenario shows that this is the only realistic way to get deposits back.

Should you require further information, please do not hesitate to contact us (info@gmlegalexperts.com or through the contact form available on our website, www.gmlegalexperts.com)

Kind Regards,

Guadalupe Sánchez

GM LEGAL EXPERTS

 

 


This message was last edited by broph on 30/07/2014.


This message was last edited by broph on 30/07/2014.


This message was last edited by broph on 30/07/2014.



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07 Aug 2014 01:16 by sandra Star rating in . 810 posts Send private message

sandra´s avatar

Thank you  all for taking the time to reply and for the private messages too.

It was very kind of you all and some of the replies were truly heart wrenching.

 I still have a decision to make but I am afraid it will be based on my financial position rather than my previous

resolve to seek justice within the Spanish legal system.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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