Unable to pay your mortgage on your Spanish property through no fault of your own?
- Negative equity?
- Mortgage arrears?
- Finances affected by the global economic slump?
- Access to funds constrained by limited retirement income?
- Spanish mortgage floor clauses
If you find yourself in this situation, it is important not to ignore the issue as it will not go away on its own and if you leave it too long it may become too late to salvage.
Unfortunately, ‘foreign debt’, no matter how old or how it arose can follow you back home. UK nationals who have arrears on their Spanish mortgage can be pursued in the UK through EU cross-border cooperation directives and also through funders who have bought the debts of lenders to pursue themselves.
We can help you if you need someone to advise you on negotiations with a Spanish bank or mortgage lender regarding financial or legal issues. We have acted for many English nationals who have found themselves in a similar situation to you. We are experienced in negotiating with Spanish mortgage lenders to achieve the best solution for you. We work from both UK and Spanish locations.
Spanish property in negative equity
A decline in the value of property in Spain since the height of the market pre-2008 has caused many people to find they are in negative equity, when the value of the mortgage they have is higher than its current market value of their property.
This can leave people feeling they are in a desperate position, as even if they sell their property, they will be left with a debt to repay. The alternative is to continue mortgage payments for a property whose value may continue to decline and never return to the price they paid at the outset.
We have advised foreign owners of Spanish property for many years and have good connections with mortgage lenders and banks. Contact us to see if we can find a solution to your negative equity problem.
Spanish mortgage arrears
If you own a property in Spain and fall behind on your mortgage payments, as in the UK, your mortgage lender can begin the repossession process. Then they can sell the property at auction to cover the mortgage arrears. Unfortunately, properties sold at auction often do not achieve full market price, or even if they do, depending on whether you are in negative equity or not you may still have a debt to repay.
If you find yourself in this situation, we can
- act on your behalf to try and mitigate claims
- argue against any case brought against you
- protect your assets and credit history
- stop legal action against you
Spanish property deposit reclaims
Unfortunately, when the property crash of 2008 hit, many Spanish property developers went out of business despite taking deposits for properties that were never built and/or completed. This resulted in many unwitting people losing a sizeable amount of money and not knowing how to recover their lost property deposit.
Legislation passed by the Spanish Supreme Court has created an opportunity to reclaim these lost deposits and pursue the Spanish Banks for the deposit amount plus interest. We can help you make a legal claim against the bank to recover your deposit money.
Spanish Mortgage Floor clauses
Spanish Floor Clauses to calculate the interest due were incorporated by some banks into mortgage agreements and set a minimum interest rate to be paid in monthly instalments, irrespective of the market interest rates. These Floor Clauses enabled the banks to guarantee minimum payments, even if the Euribor (European benchmark interest rate) fell below this minimum interest rate.
However, in 2016 the European Union Supreme Tribunal declared that the Spanish banks must repay the excessive interest paid by customers affected by bank floor clauses dating from when the mortgage was first signed. So, what does this mean for you?
- any person who signed a Spanish mortgage between 2001 and 2012, whose mortgage payments did not track the Euribor interest rate can claim
- the interest paid to the bank is calculated as if the floor clause never existed and any excess interest that was paid to the bank, since the mortgage was first signed, can be claimed back.
- You can also claim associated mortgage expenses such as notary fees, tax etc
We are experienced in acting for people whose mortgages included Spanish Bank Floor clauses, negotiating with the banks to get the maximum amount due. Be careful if you try to approach your bank directly, without legal representation, as many of the banks offer a reduced settlement, and often only pay the full amount due if threatened with legal action.
How we can help
Spanish legal representation is fundamental when negotiating with Spanish banks or mortgage lenders. With offices in both the UK and Spain, we provide legal representation and advice to private individuals and their families and can organise and advise on arrangements relating to property and mortgages in Spain. Our aim is to simplify matters for our clients, reduce costs, and help resolve their problems. Contact us to see how we can help.