Over €2,000,000 already won in 2017 against 6 Spanish banks by CostaLuz Lawyers

Over €2,000,000 already won in 2017 against 6 Spanish banks by CostaLuz Lawyers

Spain United Kingdom World

· 13 court cases already won to date in 2017

· British and Irish property buyers queuing up to reclaim lost deposits

· The highest payout in any one case was €958,000 plus interest

· Spanish judiciary working to restore faith in Spanish property market

2017 has been a busy year for the team at CostaLuz Lawyers. After successfully supporting Keith Rule in his quest for justice over the €54,000 deposit payment he made to a Spanish developer who never built the home Keith had paid towards, CostaLuz Lawyers has been inundated with requests for help.

Now working for CostaLuz Lawyers alongside legal eagle Maria de Castro, Keith and his colleagues have so far supported 13 British and Irish claimants to victory in 2017. The cases focus on reclaiming lost deposits from Spanish banks.

“The wording of Spanish law LEY 57/1968 and the ruling made in respect of my own case opened the doors for those in similar situations to come forward and try to recoup their lost investment. It’s not a quick process, but it is possible to beat the banks and reclaim funds that were handed over in good faith, even if the transaction dates back many years.”

Keith Rule, CostaLuz Lawyers

So far, 6 banks have been ordered to make payments to CostaLuz Lawyers’ British and Irish clients this year: SGR, BBVA, Banco de Sabadell, Caixabank, Banco Popular and Caja Rural.

The amount awarded across all 13 cases totaled €2,155,072, plus an amount of interest that is still being calculated. The highest payout in any one case was €958,000 plus interest.

Those being represented hailed from all over the UK and Ireland, while their investment locations were spread out across Spain. The only thing they had in common was that they had paid out money for a dream home, only for their dream to turn into a nightmare.

The reasons for the clients’ legal wrangling were varied. In one case, at La Reserva de Marbella, the homes had been built illegally. Another related to the Malaya political and planning corruption saga at Marbella’s local council. Yet another was due to the developer’s descent into insolvency when Spain’s economy crumbled following the global financial crisis.

Whatever the reason, CostaLuz Lawyers has been fighting to gain back the money that British and Irish property buyers lost.

“These successful judgements are making a huge difference to people’s lives. The stress associated with going through the process of losing so much money can never be taken away, but at least a ruling that the bank is required to pay back the money (plus interest) finally draws a line under the matter.

“However, there’s more to it than simply getting people’s money back. The evolution of Spanish case law that we’re seeing is going a long way to restore faith in the Spanish property market. The Spanish judiciary is working hard to ensure that a system exists in which individuals’ rights are respected and that Spain is one of the safest countries in the world for the purchase of off plan property.”

Keith Rule, CostaLuz Lawyers

For more information, please contact CostaLuz Lawyers’ UK office on +44 1908 635 111 and speak with Keith. To speak with Maria in the Spanish office, please call +34 956 092 687 or you can visit www.costaluzlawyers.es 

10 year ‘David & Goliath’ crusade finally sees justice for off-plan Spanish property buyers

10 year ‘David & Goliath’ crusade finally sees justice for off-plan Spanish property buyers

Spain United Kingdom
  • Keith Rule’s victory over the Spanish banks gives hope to those who lost deposits
  • CostaLuz Lawyers representing hundreds of off-plan buyers who lost money
  • All those who lost deposits before 1 January 2016 are eligible to claim

 

2006

When Keith Rule paid the €54,000 deposit for his dream property in Spain back in 2006, he had no idea that it would be the start of more than a decade of legal wrangling and, ultimately, a whole new career path.

Keith thought that he was taking the first step in buying a dream second home when he paid his deposit. However, things began to go wrong almost as soon as he had handed over the money. He wasn’t given a bank guarantee. Then the developer began falling behind with the build schedule.

2007

In 2007, while chasing the bank for the much-needed guarantee, Keith came across Spanish law LEY 57/1968. Keith’s interpretation of the words ‘bajo su responsibilidad’ (‘under its responsibility) in that law was that the developer’s bank was obliged to issue or confirm the existence of the guarantee, as it had received the off-plan deposit.

2008

With the developer falling further and further behind, Keith appointed Maria de Castro of CostaLuz Lawyers in 2008 and set up the Finca Parcs Action Group, along with 46 other claimants who were in the same position as him.

2009

He continued gathering evidence into 2009, when the developer finally abandoned the construction project entirely. Keith held several meetings with the developer’s bank, travelling between London and Murcia in order to speak to those in a position to help. However, his guarantee was still not forthcoming.

2010

In 2010, determined to recoup his investment, Keith set up a website for the Finca Parcs Action Group. He also launched the Bank Guarantees in Spain petition, setting up the Bank Guarantees in Spain website in the process.

2011

A year later, he joined other affected buyers in staging protests against the Spanish Government when they visited London for a property road show. He also joined a delegation that met with Europe Minister David Lidington in London in order to further publicise his cause.

 

“I was determined that – somehow – the other buyers and I would be heard. The stress and frustration that result from so many years of battling an unwilling system were hard at times, but we knew that we had a right to receive our funds back. Giving up was simply not an option.”

Keith Rule, CostaLuz Lawyers

 

Maria de Castro at CostaLuz Lawyers filed a lawsuit on behalf of Keith and the Finca Parcs Action Group against the Spanish developer and the bank.

2012

In 2012, a First Instance Court ruling was made in favour of Keith and his fellow property buyers. However, the bank appealed.

2013

The Provincial Appeal Court considered the case next, ruling once more in favour of Keith and the Finca Parcs Action Group in April 2013. The total pay-out was €1.5 million plus interest.

The success in court and the 7 years it had taken to achieve it had seen strong bonds form between not only the Finca Parcs Action Group but also between Keith and CostaLuz Lawyers. He joined the CostaLuz team and now works fulltime to assist others in their quest for off-plan deposit reclaims, running the UK office since 2013.

2014

In 2014, CostaLuz lawyers filed lawsuits for hundreds of affected off-plan buyers against developers’ banks, relating to properties all over Spain.

2015

In 2015, the law that had led to Keith’s success – LEY 57/1968 – was repealed and replaced by LEY 20/2015, which came into force on 1 January 2016. The new legislation means that only off-plan deposits made before 1 January 2016 are eligible for reclaim under the original LEY 57/1968 law.

2016

2016 saw the Supreme Court confirm its doctrine on liabilities of banks receiving deposits, though a case won by CostaLuz Lawyers/De Castro against Caja Canarias (now Bankia) for an off-plan property in the Canary Islands. The case, which marked a decade since Keith Rule first began his crusade, has given fresh hope to those still awaiting the return of their own deposits.

2017

Keith’s battle continues. Now he fights together with CostaLuz lawyers on behalf of others who were affected by investing in off-plan developments that were subsequently abandoned.

So far in 2017, 12 new cases have been won against off-plan developers’ banks in the First Instance Courts by Keith and CostaLuz Lawyers, for 34 individual buyers, with just over €2 million euros awarded, plus interest of approximately 800,000€ and costs. Around 450 clients’ cases are still in progress.

For more information, please contact CostaLuz Lawyers’ UK office on +44 1908 635 111 and speak with Keith. To speak with Maria in the Spanish office, please call +34 956 092 687 or you can visit www.costaluzlawyers.es

 

Q&A: Am I eligible to recover my lost off-plan funds in Spain?

Q&A: Am I eligible to recover my lost off-plan funds in Spain?

Spain

Thousands of Brits are believed to have lost deposits put down on holiday homes in Spain over the last decade.

Dreams of owning a second property in the sunshine to enjoy holidays with family or retire to have turned sour, leaving many out of pocket by tens of thousands of pounds.

But hope is not lost, CostaLuz Lawyers, together with “the Erin Brockovich” of Spanish property, Keith Rule, are righting these wrongs having been the first to identify Spanish Law LEY 57/1968 and use it to successfully win over £10 million (€12 million) in lost deposits for their clients.

CostaLuz Lawyers has won almost 850 claims in total from Spanish property developers & banks, helping more than 1,500 clients from across the UK and Ireland as well as Spanish and European nationals.

Last week Maria Luisa de Castro, Founder & Director of CostaLuz Lawyers, secured £1 million from Caixabank for nine British families whose homes in Malaga were never delivered. Working alongside DeCastro’s legal team, CostaLuz Lawyers also has around 100 cases still pending outcomes in the Appeal Courts and more than 500 cases still in progress in the First Instance Courts.

If you paid a deposit on an off-plan property in Spain but did not receive a refund, read the below Q&A with Maria Luisa de Castro to see if you can claim:


Q: Am I eligible to recover my lost off-plan funds in Spain?

A: You are if:

  • You have a cancelled purchase contract, either by Court decision or by the Bankruptcy administrators of the developer
  • Your development was never started or finished on time according to the purchase contract and you have a Bank Guarantee

or:
You do not have an individual bank Guarantee, but you do have a General Guarantee contract signed between developer and the bank

or:
You completed on a property with no First Occupation License—in this case mortgage repayments are also recoverable

or:
You have none of the above but you have copies of all off-plan payments made to the developer’s bank account.  Even if you paid your off-plan deposit to a third party i.e. conveyancing Lawyer or Agent, it may be possible to obtain the evidence required on your behalf to enable the Lawsuit to be filed against the developer’s bank.


Q: What am I entitled to claim back?

A: You can claim all amounts paid off plan, plus legal interests normally from the payment dates.  Legal costs may also be recoverable in some cases.


Q: Are banks actually paying this money back?

A: Yes, they are. Banks are solvent entities that must comply with the law.  All banks with a firm court decision against them are refunding the claimants. Even if the developer’s bank no longer exists, action is still possible against the bank that has taken it over.  For example in the Finca Parcs case the developer’s bank was Banco CAM which was taken over by Banco Sabadell so the action is now against Banco Sabadell.


Q: How safe is this action?

A: Supreme Court has already interpreted the full text of law 57/68 in favour of buyers/consumers, so the success rate is very high.


Q: Are banks settling out of court?

A: In a small number of cases Banks do offer settlement out of court, however this is normally only for the principal amount with no interest or costs.


Q: Does this apply if I bought more than one house?

A: It does, as long as you didn’t do so as part of your professional trade. It also applies if the contract mentioned these guarantees explicitly to secure the success of the business.


Q: Does it apply for commercial premises?

A: It does, if the guarantee was offered in the contract


For more information, please contact CostaLuz Lawyers’ UK office on +44 1908 635 111 and speak with Keith Rule. To speak with Maria in the Spanish office, please call +34 956 092 687 or you can visit
www.costaluzlawyers.es.

The ‘Erin Brockovich’ of Spanish property still fighting a decade later

The ‘Erin Brockovich’ of Spanish property still fighting a decade later

Spain United Kingdom
  • Keith Rule uncovered Spanish Law LEY 57/1968 that allows banks to be held accountable for off-plan property deposits
  • In 2012 Finca Parcs Action Group and CostaLuz Lawyers win case against the bank resulting in a pay-out of almost €1.5 million
  • “With Brexit creating uncertainty, now is the time for investors to begin reclaiming what is rightfully theirs” (Keith Rule, CostaLuz Lawyers)

Back in 2006, Keith Rule, an ordinary man from Milton Keynes, decided to take the plunge and buy his dream holiday home in Spain. Like many other Brits at the time, Keith paid a deposit for the off-plan property to a Spanish developer. A substantial sum of €54,000.

However, his dream was short lived as he did not receive a bank guarantee. And when the developer fell behind on the build schedule and ultimately abandoned the project in 2009, Keith’s investment was at serious risk.

Taking matters into his own hands, Keith’s research led him to Spanish Law LEY 57/1968 in which he found what would become a key phrase in his fight for justice. Just three little words, ‘bajo su responsibilidad’, which means ‘under its responsibility’.

Keith believed that according to this law, the developer’s bank which received the off-plan deposits was responsible for issuing or verifying the existence of the guarantee.

In 2008, needing legal assistance in his quest to hold the bank accountable, Keith was turned away by several Spanish lawyers before contacting Maria de Castro of CostaLuz Lawyers.

Keith gathered a group of 46 other buyers who had invested in the same development, in the Spanish province of Albacete, to act against the developer’s bank.  They were known as the Finca Parcs Action Group and in 2012, together with Maria, they won their case against the bank which resulted in a pay-out of almost €1.5 million plus interest & costs.

After this unprecedented success and landmark case, Maria asked Keith to join the CostaLuz Lawyers team in order to help others. Keith now works exclusively with CostaLuz Lawyers, operating the UK office and assisting thousands of other British, Irish and European nationals to recover off-plan deposits.

Dubbed “the Erin Brockovich” of Spanish off-plan property due to his pioneering work, Keith continues to help other buyers who undertake similar legal procedures.

 

“There are still a significant number of people that are yet to have their deposits returned to them. The Spanish legal system has definitely transformed over the last decade, in relation to allowing owners a high level of success with deposit reclaims, as more and more cases are being won and trust is beginning to grow. However, with the Brexit process creating a sense of uncertainty, now is the time for investors to ask for help and begin reclaiming what is rightfully theirs.”

Keith Rule, CostaLuz Lawyers

 

CostaLuz Lawyers has successfully won almost 850 claims in total from Spanish property developers & banks, helping more than 1,500 clients from across the UK and Ireland as well as Spanish and European nationals.

In addition, they have around 100 cases still pending outcomes in the Appeal Courts and more than 500 cases still in progress in the First Instance Courts.

For more information, please contact CostaLuz Lawyers’ UK office on +44 1908 635 111 and speak with Keith. To speak with Maria in the Spanish office, please call +34 956 092 687 or you can visit www.costaluzlawyers.es.