The repercussions from the 2008 Spanish property crash are still being felt by many people, but now there's reason to be much more optimistic.
A landmark legal ruling by the Spanish Supreme Court in December 2015 has paved the way for thousands of people who bought off-plan property in Spain to reclaim their deposits from the banks - the amounts ranging from £10,000 to more than £300,000.
Figures from Spanish Legal Reclaims, specialists with a 98% success rate in recovering off-plan deposits on behalf of their clients, and the Centre for Business and Economic Research, estimate a total bill of £5.3 billion, plus average 42% extra for the interest accrued, that the banks must pay (£7.5 billion including interest).
There are around 130,000 British buyers eligible to reclaim under the new ruling. Many buyers are already getting their money back, plus healthy interest gains. Surprisingly however, research suggests that 86% of Brits remain unaware of the Supreme Court ruling and the opportunity that it now presents.
Here's what you need to know for advising clients on recouping their money:
- Act sooner rather than later. Technically speaking there is a 15-year window to reclaim, but with many buyers having lost money almost a decade ago, and some cases taking a while to complete, experts are urging those affected to act quickly.
- Select the best legal team. Your clients only have one opportunity to make a claim. The rules stipulate that buyers only have one opportunity to make a claim, so it's vital to appoint the right legal experts. Advise them to do their homework and find a specialist lawyer with the experience and resources to take on the powerful banks. Ideally, a team with a demonstrable track record in winning cases and recovering deposits for clients previously.
- Choose a lawyer who is 100% independent There have been situations in the past whereby buyers have mistakenly worked with lawyers who were connected with the banks and developers that they were opposing. Encourage them to do their due diligence and work with a lawyer who is 100% independent.
- Be cautious of ‘no-win, no-fee' and ensure that the firm your client chooses really doesn't charge until you win! Many legal companies promise a ‘no-win, no-fee' payment structure, but this can leave buyers out of pocket if the decision is appealed as many firms will charge to continue the legal process at that stage. Alternatively, firms like Spanish Legal Reclaims cover all costs throughout the entire legal process (including appeals) and only charge a fee upon complete success of a claim, ensuring that buyers only pay once they successfully win in court.
Many had given up hope of ever seeing their deposits again, but with this ruling the tables have turned - people are getting their money back, in full. Spanish Legal Reclaims has already won numerous cases and successfully recovered deposits and interest for its clients. As a result, we are receiving new enquiries on a daily basis - good news travels fast! If you have clients or contacts that lost deposits, why not contact us today for a no obligation assessment on the strength of each case.
Those who lost deposits on off-plan properties following the Spanish property crash can find out if they are eligible to claim by visiting www.spanishlegalreclaims.com or calling 0845 680 3849.