Please Help - Advise needed on Serious Problem with Spainish Lawyer

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27 Sep 2008 12:00 AM by JOHNNIE_ Star rating. 1 posts Send private message


My father purchased a property in Benalmenda from a Spainish estate agent 4 years ago and at that time in addition to the purchase price of the property €177K was asked to pay a further sum of €7.4K which was what was termed - Approx. Breakdown of Costs: ( Provisions of funds ( Taxes , Notary,Register and administration fees).   Hence a total sum of 184,400 was paid to the estate agent and he was promised by the estate agent that after the sale went through that what ever remained iof the sum of  €7.4 this would would be returned to him.

Unfortunately the Estate Agent never returned the sum set aside of the provision of the purchase 7.4K and never provided a breakdown of the expenditure or commissions etc   My father engaged the services of a local Lawyer based in Funengirola who promised to undertake the task of getting to the bottom of where the €7.4K went.    The Spainish lawyer also recommended that my sister and I also be put on to the title deeds of the property which my father agreed was a wise move.     On engagement of the Spainish Lawyer my father asked him how much this would cost and he told him not to worry that he should have more than enough out of the funds in the provision sum held by the estate agent but would accept a further €200 to cover initial expenses.

Believe me progress was very slow and I had to go to the Spainish Embassay in Dublin to obtain documents to enable the Spainish Lawyer to apply for NI numbers as he said this was needed so that he could put my name and that of my sister and brother on to the title deeds.

I then received an email last July from the lawyer forwarding a 'Breakdown of Correspondance'  on this sheet he had the following :

His own Disbursements  for office costs €52 , Notary fees €124.56 payment of land registry €309.09  

Then a further €1,600 + IVA 16% for his fees which he claims were for the background study and documentation , notary ratification and NIE appliation.

So his total fees came to €2,341.65   - this seems quick just to add us to the deeds and apply for NI  ?

He claims that he only received back from the Estate Agent  €557.36 out of the €7,400.

He was not able to provide any further details - despite our requests so other than his word to say €557.36 we have no further evidence.

We paid the Lawyer a further €1,000 as goodwill and requested a complete breakdown as to the fees and funds actually received back from the estate agent.

My query is it is normal to provide over 4% when buying property in Spain to the estate agent and if they dont provide a breakdown - what is one suppose to do  - you see going dont the local lawyer route has not helped.

Now the Lawyer has demanded that the balance of his fees are paid €784 and unless they are paid into his client account he has threated to go to court and force the judge to sell the property so that he can recover his €784.   He was very aggressive and to be honest did not in my opinion ask professionally in that I feel we were entitled to answers but never go the full answers from him.  Any one can do up a sheet with fees and numbers but you do put trust in a lawyer you would like them to ask on your behalf.

I would be truely grateful for any assistance that you may offer , I dont want to go to court just want satisfactory answers and its difficult being overseas I am from Ireland.










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27 Sep 2008 8:53 PM by Marksfish Star rating in Vera, Almeria. 2582 posts Send private message

Marksfish´s avatar

If you go to the top of the page you will see a Tools button. There is a property purchase price calculator which is pretty accurate in calculating the extra fees when making a purchase, so you can compare. Our solicitor charged us 1% of the purchase price for the purchase, gaining NIE, power of attorney and 12 months legal advice.

Maria may well pop up in this thread to give you some good advice.


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28 Sep 2008 9:31 AM by mariadecastro Star rating in Algeciras (Cadiz). 9349 posts Send private message

Legal Questions? Speak to Maria Direct
Always ask for a detailed budget of legal costs or letter of engagement when hiring a lawyer... as you do in the UK.


Maria L. de Castro, JD, MA



El blog de Maria

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