Frequently asked questions
Why is this suddenly happening now?
The law that allows you to claim back deposits following the Spanish property crash was originally introduced in 1968. Law 57/68 states that banks holding deposit payments must protect them in case the property developer involved, ceases trading. However, it was not until after the global financial crash that it was properly tested.
Initially, many of the banks refused to pay out on claims and it wasn’t until 2012 that the law was truly established. During this year, our solicitor and a small number of others, submitted many cases to the courts.
Some were successful, but others were complex and passed up to the Spanish Supreme Court, which took three years to resolve. The outcome on all cases were in favour of the claimants, so early in 2016 The Supreme Court published clarification and created legal precedent that cannot be challenged by the banks. It ruled that banks must pay out on claims made against them, for the return of money deposited for failed off-plan, or severely delayed Spanish property developments.
This has opened the opportunity for tens of thousands of possible claims.
How can Reclaim in Spain help me?
We can now offer you the chance to reclaim your money, with full knowledge that the Spanish legal system will support genuine claims. That doesn’t mean that the banks will simply pay up. Their potential losses are huge, and they will attempt to stall and reduce damages in each case.
Therefore, it is essential that your claim is impeccably prepared, and you have the best legal representation.
Even without the recent judgements, our solicitors have achieved a 100% success rate on these cases and currently represent more than six-hundred more UK residents.
Are there time limits?
Yes. There are two main time limits.
The first is that claims can only go back as far as fifteen years. The clock begins ticking from the date the property was due to complete. By way of example, if in 2002, you paid a deposit for a Spanish property that was due for completion in 2006, but was never built, you can still make a claim. But, if your property was due for completion in 2002, your claim is already time barred.
The second time limit is important to every claimant: Please note that ALL claims which depend on this law, (Law 57/68), MUST be submitted by October 2020. Unfortunately, after this date, no further claims will be accepted.
How much will it cost?
Reclaim in Spain Fee:
We will only deduct our fee if, and when you are awarded a cash settlement. The total amount you will be charged is 35% of the award plus IVA (VAT) payable in Spain. The fee agreement with you will remain the same regardless of whether we are able to settle directly with the bank, obtain a judgement from the first instance court, or win at appeal stage at the higher court. We do not charge any up-front fees, or for the investigation of claims that do not progress.
The two external payments that you will incur are:
1. The Notary payment. This usually costs between £50-£150 and is paid directly to the Notary. In order for our Spanish solicitor to be permitted to act on your behalf in Spain, you will need to sign a Power of Attorney, witnessed by a Notary. We prepare the documentation and make the arrangements for you to do this. You are then only required to provide ID, pay the fee and sign the documents.
2. The Spanish court payment. This 500 Euro fee is payable at the point that we apply for a court date. It is refundable if your case is successful. We do not apply to the court until, or unless our solicitor believes that your case is strong enough to win.
How much could I get back?
If you transferred money to Spain before 2009, the historically favourable exchange rates and amount of interest we can claim for you means you should receive back more than you put down. This is even after the deduction of our Reclaim in Spain fee.
This is of course, only a guide and several other factors may influence the amount awarded, including a reduced offer from a bank prior to court proceedings.
If any such offer is made, you will be asked whether you wish to accept it.
Who is eligible?
Any person, regardless of nationality, who can evidence that they deposited money with a developer as part or full payment for an off-plan property in Spain that was not built, is eligible to claim.
There are some exceptions, but the law (law 57/68) protects the large majority of those who lost money in Spain.
Can I do this myself or with a group who purchased in the same development?
Each claim is individual and must be lodged and heard on its own merits in the Spanish courts, even if the details are identical.
It is important to note that a case can only be heard once.
If any mistakes or misrepresentations are made, the claim cannot be presented again by anybody. We handle the process for you and have excellent knowledge, experience and success in this area, giving you peace of mind.
How long will it take?
Claims take on average 18 – 24 months from when we receive the completed paperwork. We cannot reduce the time that the courts take, which is currently 12-15 months from when a case is lodged, to a final binding decision. However, the time to get a claim into court can be significantly reduced, if you are able to supply us with your contract and full proof of payments. If documentation is missing, we can also apply to the courts to get the banks to release these, on your behalf.
However, on average, this will add roughly six months onto the timescale. The Spanish courts now have a clear interpretation of Law 57/68 and as the number of successful claims increase, they will be dealt with faster. We have already seen evidence that the banks will settle some claims out of court.
I've lost everything, can I still claim?
In a perfect world, you would have the documents and information we request at your fingertips, making it easier for us to process your claim.
However, we realise that you may not have everything, in fact you may have very little – after all it was ten years ago – but don’t worry. We can usually help.
It may take a little longer, but we have other routes to obtain missing documents. In many cases we are already acting on behalf of clients who bought in the same development, or through the same sales agent as you did, so we have the weight of evidence we need. In other instances, we can apply to banks, the bankruptcy court in Spain or other agencies to confirm your proof of payments.
Of course, it will be much quicker if you can provide the proof we need.
If you are concerned that you don’t have any documents or can’t remember the details please call us on 01903 931035 and explain your situation to Sarah or Amy. You’ll be surprised at how much we can help.