My Fraud in Spain

Published on 10/05/2011 in Real Life Stories

Three years ago I was subjected to a serious fraud in Spain. I have a holiday home in La Nucia which is mortgaged by the Cam Bank but payments were supplimented by summer rentals.

It originally started in 2005.  Without going into too much detail, serious cracks appared in our pool terrace. My husband and I even appeared on the TV series "House Trapped in the Sun". We hired a Spanish lawyer to take the builder to court which cost us loans and credit card debt but we lost the case.

Then in October 2007 the well known gota fria hit the area causing damage to houses and roads. The result was that the lower terrace finally collapsed sending the pool, grounds etc., down the side of the cliff. At this time, my husband was ill with heart failure so I had to fly to Spain alone to speak to the bank as we could not maintain the mortgage on a house we could not rent out and we also had to repay clients for cancelled holidays.

The then Bank Manager, Antonio, told me we had to continue paying the mortgage but because we lived in England and my husband was ill, he recommended someone to take over the responsibilties. He suggested we give Gaspar Borra, the director of a local Multi Services Company "Full Power of Attorney" so he could sign for the loan on my behalf, obtain permissions from the town hall, instruct the builders and although the mortgage would double in size, he could claim some of it from the Consorcio insurance to, in part, repay the bank.

The building work started 3 months later in February 2008 but the builders stopped work in the July after all the loan had been withdrawn from the bank. I was trying to find out via Gaspa's English speaking secretary about the delay at the same time as my husband's health was detiorating and I was nursing him and continuing to work to pay the hugely increased mortgage.

I eventually returned to speak to an English lawyer in Alfaz. She told me there was no point in going to the police because it was considered a civil matter to be dealt with in court. I could not afford to do this so she did have a meeting with Gaspar who promised to repay but then he stoped contact and she could't trace him.

He spoke no English so I emailed his secreatary via email. She told me she no longer worked for him but told me what he had told her. He knew he had done wrong but he had been conned by the bank director and his brother (I still have these emails). The lawyer stopped trying to contact him after receiving fees from me and time passed.

By March 2009 I decided to leave my husband being cared for by family whilst I made a four day trip to Spain to find out what was happening. The day after I arrived I received the heartbreaking phone call, my husband had died !!

I continued to pay the mortgage and utility bills on credit until I went back to Spain, a couple of months later but discovered that the The Multi Services company had closed down. Therfore I went to talk to Antonio at the bank in Benissa

It was no surprise to the lady clerk who told me that Antonio, because of mis deeds, had been demoted to the simple role of clerk at a different branch. She went on to tell me that he was a friend of Gaspar and the builder was in fact Antonio's brother ! She said the bank knew of Gaspar Borra and she even gave me the address of his wife's photo shop in Calpe. I went straight there but it was closed for siesta and I was too distressed to go back.

Finally, I managed to speak to an English speaking member of the Consorcio to discove that in December 2008, prior to his death, Gaspar had claimed the 83,000 Euro's in my husbands name.

I later discovered from the new lady bank director that Antonio had since been dismissed but they take no responsibility for his actions because it was my fault for giving Gaspar full power of attorney. I told her that she and every member of staff know the truth but she explained that there is no paper trail to support Antonio's actions. Therfore, I have no alternative but to continue to pay the now extortionate mortgage.

Eventually she offered to take the house back, leaving me debt free but I would have to pay to have my husbands name removed from the deeds but I refused having suffered enough.

Eventually they offered to pay. It broke my heart but I had no choice but by the time I returned to sign papers they told me that the time limit since the valuation had expired so the deal was off.

I have paid a mortgage for 10 years, which doubled after the additional loan and now I will be in debt to the bank for the rest of my life as the interest will rise with each missed payment.

I cannot afford to pay for another solicicitor. Incidently, the British lawyer who took my case and wasted approx 15 months, I later discovered is not a registered lawyer at all.

I was signed off work for 7 months with severe stress and delayed grief. However, even now I am back at work I am having councilling.

If anyone can offer any advice it would be extremely appreciated.

Written by: Jeanette Whelan

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Comments:

Chris said:
27 May 2012 @ 10:20

Maybe you should consider simply stopping the payments and offer them £1 a month.

Open a Natwest Account specially for the purpose and start paying the £1 into ut each month by standing order to show good faith, and when it's built up to enough to make it worthwhile send it online to the bank account in Spain or direct to the mortgage company.

Do the same with the spanish credit card lender.

This works very well. Why live in hardship, the banks should share the pain, it's their fault this all happened anyway.

Once you've done that it's no longer your problem, it's now their problem - and you can get on with grieving for your loss.

I wish you well.



Chris said:
27 May 2012 @ 10:20

Maybe you should consider simply stopping the payments and offer them £1 a month.

Open a Natwest Account specially for the purpose and start paying the £1 into ut each month by standing order to show good faith, and when it's built up to enough to make it worthwhile send it online to the bank account in Spain or direct to the mortgage company.

Do the same with the spanish credit card lender.

This works very well. Why live in hardship, the banks should share the pain, it's their fault this all happened anyway.

Once you've done that it's no longer your problem, it's now their problem - and you can get on with grieving for your loss.

I wish you well.



pablo corazón said:
21 June 2011 @ 13:50

Cautionary tales. Just serves to emphasise that you cannot be too careful who you deal with. I think any off-plan or part-completed property in any overseas country represents a substantial risk. I wouldn't quite take the extreme line that Karl Svensson takes but I would take the view I take with all investments I make namely do your due diligence and remember if something looks too good to be true it probably is.

Saludos a todos, PC



jackie said:
23 May 2011 @ 15:23

my husband and l owned an appartment in the costa del sol we done the same payed a mortgage for 8 years and put £90,000 down and then was told it was never ours for we did not have a habbition licence we have tryed to fight this but no lawyer wants to take it to court we have now stopped paying money and the bank has taken it back we have lost a lot of money but no one cares about english people in spain .


Luko said:
18 May 2011 @ 13:23

I have never known a country as racist and courpt as Spain.

I will never set foot into that s*** hole of a country ever again!!!!

Spain is losing tourists by the millions due to its over inflated prices and it's cocky attitude.

Well just like Liverpool at football Spain as a holiday destination has been truly knocked off it's perch!!! ha ha



wes said:
13 May 2011 @ 07:51

1. Write to 'atention al cliente' giving your complaint and ending with ' there has been an infringement on good banking practices and customer relations'.
They are supposed to reply in 2 months
2. If no reply or unsatisfactory reply contact The Bank of Spain, who will investigate and make a rulling.
GOOD LUCK



mo anthony said:
12 May 2011 @ 22:35

I am absolutely appalled by Midas Gold and Bron's comments..There is an old saying "there but for the grace of god go I" most of us are intelligent people who in our own country would cross the t's and dot the i's and would expect when dealing with reputable companies like lawyers and banks, that the same would apply. We have been very lucky but reading on the forum, some have not, they have followed all the advice but the laws and practices here are so different from that in our own country, we all read everything about "black money" and scams etc., but, somewhere along the line you have to place some trust in Banks and Lawyers and to offer scathing advice and no sympathy really tells me that you are not the type of people that any of us would want to know.


bron said:
12 May 2011 @ 22:09

Strikes me Tommy is the moron. Perhaps he should learn to spell,


midasgold said:
12 May 2011 @ 20:09

tommy - Your lack of any reasoned argument and your insult are taken onboard.Thank You.


tommy said:
12 May 2011 @ 17:31

Midasgold. Bet your a real nice person. You MORON. Iam glad your no friend of mine. The lady needs help not your type of comments.


rob madrid said:
12 May 2011 @ 15:08

sadly this kind of thing can happen anywhere, if anything can be learned full power of attorney is a very very dangerous thing to hand out. partial or limited is much much better


Pommers said:
12 May 2011 @ 13:25

Try contacting the European Commission. Don't laugh - they are actually very helpful. When I had a problem with my Spanish Bank (I was being forced to insure the property with them when they could not provide the cover I required) their help was invaluable and cost us nothing.
They threatened to do a full investigation into the bank on the practices and lo and behold our problem was resolved in a matter of days.



Sad said:
12 May 2011 @ 12:23

It is so sad to hear such stories from decent Brits. I´m fed up with hearing about Ecudorians, Africans, Morrocans etc. who took out 120% mortgages, took the cash for ´furniture etc´back home to build a free house and then handed the keys back to the bank after a couple of months. Spanish banks then hit the Brits and young Spanish for their mortgage payments after their own bank staff have acted appallingly (and just as it says, they all knew in the bank!!). Spain must stand up and say SORRY and promise to sort out the corruption which is still rife. Bank workers lining their own pockets whilst decent people suffer. I wish you all the best.


patman said:
12 May 2011 @ 11:45

@midasgold. You're all heart aren't you?



Swerve said:
12 May 2011 @ 11:23

The lady is asking for help not criticism. Have you contacted the bank ombudsmen if they have one also your mep for advice. Hope you get something sorted as you have had enough grief upto now.


Karl Svensson said:
12 May 2011 @ 11:18

The idea of "Owning" a property in the sun makes little sense for anyone other than those with a large surplus of cash earning little in the bank and even then with possible capital losses it still makes no sense! However my advice would be not to pay a penny to the bank. Write formally with the details of the fraud and naming EVERY MEMBER of staff that you spoke to as witnesses to the fact that the bank had knowledge of the employees fraud and state that you will call all as witnesses. If you have the strength to find an interpreter to help you take a direct civil suit against them for damages including stress and health issues caused by these problems I would do so. They may settle, I had an insurance company settle with me on the steps of the court after two years of stress but I was a lot younger then and was "up for a fight". Even if they don't pay you they are unlikely to risk chasing you through British courts to recoup unpaid interest. I am pretty positive that if a GOOD lawyer looked at your mortgage and loans there would be issues with them that made them un-enforceable as well. I cannot believe that the bank didn't cover itself with insurance on you both. Look carefully that there wasn't a life assurance built in!!! All in all Cam Bank would appear to be thieving scum to be avoided, I hope a good hearted lawyer will take up your case and skin them alive.


midasgold said:
12 May 2011 @ 09:28

I think you should look at some of your own actions in this matter, some of your decisions
look crazy and with lack of any good judgement.



andrew said:
12 May 2011 @ 01:48

Sell and use proceeds to redeem the mortgage. If there is a shortfall then hope the bank writes off the debt because of their crooked employee. In any event, I wonder in these circumstances if they would risk going to a Court in the UK to recover any shortfall. I hope you find a way out!

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