European Court of Justice on the IRPH clause in Mortgage Loans

A new hope for thousands of people affected.

Dear Readers,

The CJEU has been asked to clarify whether the judgment of the Supreme Court is adjusted to European community law, as it stated in the Directive 93/13. The Supreme Court’s decision dated 14 December 2017, exempted the IRPH clause from any transparency control.

A very unfair decision which basically protected the bank’s interests, as millions of euros are at stake.

After a three-hour hearing, Attorney General Maciej Szpunar announced that he will publish his conclusions on June 24 2019.

The full CJEU, – 15 judges, – has asked questions related to transparency, consumer’s rights and the consequences of nullity.

We hope that the Opinion of Advocate General will be favourable to consumers, as it also happened with the floor clause.

The CJEU’s Judgment will be the final hope of hundreds of thousands of people affected by this abusive interest rate.

In fact, this index, known as the ‘Index of Reference of Mortgage Loans’, (IRPH), affected 1.3 million mortgages. In those mortgages the interest rate was linked to the IRPH and not to the Euribor. The consequence is a much higher interest rate and a more expensive mortgage.

Once the CJEU renders its Decision, please kindly contact us for a free evaluation of your case. In adittion, we will also advice you about the possibility to claim the mortgage costs from your bank.

Therefore, should you be affected by this (or any other problem), please kindly visit our website www.bestsolicitorsinspain.com for further information and advice.

Thank you very much for your attention, and we look forward to helping you.

With kindest of regards

Mr Oscar Ricor
“NON-PRACTISING ENGLISH SOLICITOR IN ENGLAND AND WALES”, under the “Solicitors Regulation Authority” (SRA) SRA number 519196 and practicing Spanish Solicitor.

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Legal Tip of the day

Dear Readers,

Remember that any important contract in Spain should be signed before the Spanish Notary. The notary is a professional within the Spanish law system and his/ her main function is to certify Spanish documents ensuring that private agreements fulfill certain legal criteria.

This is applicable whether you might be considering buying or selling a property, setting up a business or commercial agreement, making a Will, etc

Our advice do not simply sign a private agreement and in a foreign language, like we have seen in many cases. Remember that at the event of dispute, it will be much more difficult and expensive to claim your legal rights in Court!

Therefore, – whether you are an individual or a company, – should you need any legal assistance in Spain, please kindly visit our website www.bestsolicitorsinspain.com for further information and advice.

Thank you very much for your attention, and we look forward to helping you.

With kindest of regards

Mr Oscar Ricor
“NON-PRACTISING ENGLISH SOLICITOR IN ENGLAND AND WALES”, under the “Solicitors Regulation Authority” (SRA) SRA number 519196 and practicing Spanish Solicitor.


ABUSIVE MORTGAGE EXPENSES SPAIN

A brave Judge from Ceuta brings to Europe the controversial distribution of mortgage expenses.


The court of first instance nº 6 of Ceuta has recently filed before the ECJ a question for a preliminary ruling, regarding the payment of the mortgage costs.


The court of first instance questions the criterion of the Spanish Supreme Court, regarding the distribution of mortgage expenses.

In a nutshell, the situation at present is the following:

1.  The Supreme Court declared at first, that the notary, land registry, and accountant’s fees (“gestor”) should be paid by the bank in full.

2. However, just a few months later, the Supreme Court has completely changed its former sound opinion. (Judgment Nº 49/2019 rendered on 23.02.19).

3. According to its new Decision, the notary&gestor should be paid now by both parties 50% each. On the other hand, the bank will pay the land registry fees 100%.

We suspect the Supreme Court has reversed its own previous rulings simply due to undue pressures received from Spanish banks, as millions of euros are at stake.

4. Therefore, we hope the ECJ will reverse this unfair Ruling rendered by the Supreme Court, and it will declare that once the clause on mortgage expenses is declared null and void, the bank will have to pay for ALL the above mentioned expenses, and not the consumer.  

5. Finally, should you be affected by this or any other legal problem in Spain, please kindly contact us by visiting our website www.bestsolicitorsinspain.com

We’ll be delighted to give you further information and advice.


Thank you very much for your attention, and we look forward to helping you.

With kindest of regards

Mr Oscar Ricor
“NON-PRACTISING ENGLISH SOLICITOR IN ENGLAND AND WALES”, under the “Solicitors Regulation Authority” (SRA) SRA number 519196 and practicing Spanish Solicitor

SPANISH RESIDENCY: PRIVATE MEDICAL INSURANCE 

As the Brexit deadline of the 29th March approaches rapidly, we are helping a significant number of UK citizens to apply for Spanish Residency.

Many clients have expressed their concern about the medical insurance. Therefore, please find below some useful information regarding this important document.

Remember that it is compulsory required to provide the foreign office with a comprehensive private Health insurance, which must cover all the health risks in Spain.

1. To that end the insurance company must produce a Certificate specifying the type of insurance hired.

2. The insurance policy must expressly indicate that it includes primary assistance, medical specialties, hospital admissions and surgical interventions.

Very Important: A simple generic mention referring to some particular and general terms & conditions will not be acceptable.

3. A Receipt or proof of payment as being paid will also be required.

We hope this information is useful. Should you be interested in discussing in more detail about your particular situation, please kindly contact us by visiting our website www.bestsolicitorsinspain.com

We’ll be delighted to give you further information and advice.

Thank you very much for your attention, and we look forward to helping you.

With kindest of regards

Mr Oscar Ricor
“NON-PRACTISING ENGLISH SOLICITOR IN ENGLAND AND WALES”, under the “Solicitors Regulation Authority” (SRA) SRA number 519196 and practicing Spanish Solicitor.

Can you sue for a defamatory Facebook or Tweeter post?

Bottom line YES. However, in order to increase your chances of successfully sue for defamatory content from a social network, each case must be individually analyzed.

Bear in mind that not all offensive posts are actionable.

First, defamation is usually divided into two categories; libel and slander:

a. Libel is actually the correct term for any harmful and defamatory content posted on Facebook, as it involves a false written statement damaging a person’s reputation and published to a third party.

b. Slander, on the other hand, is a false spoken statement damaging a person’s reputation and made to a third party.

Second, to prove defamation of character, the victim has to prove the following:

1. That the person made a FALSE STATEMENT that was published mainly publicly. (That means to show that someone saw the comment)

2. INJURY. It means that the statement must be damaging to the individual, including to his or her reputation. This may require that the victim shows how he or she was damaged from the statement, such as being ostracized from a social group or losing business. (i.e.  statements that a person is professionally incompetent, a “con artist” etc)

Third. However, there is possible defense to a defamation lawsuit. Subsequently, it is NOT libellous for a person for example:

1. To express a negative opinion or feedback about a person or business. Provided obviously that it is respectful and not insulting.

2. To repeat a truthful statement about someone, even if the statement may damage that person’s reputation.

Fourth, depending on the seriousness of the libel, it would be possible to claim a financial compensation as well.

Nevertheless, there can be mitigating circumstances if the person publicly apologizes and quickly removes the post or tweet.


Finally, what would be the recommended course of action?

If the statement is definitely libelous, – before taking the matter to Court, – we would recommend sending a strong letter before claim. The letter would give the opportunity to discontinue the illegal conduct by demanding:

1. For the immediate cease of the unlawful defamation, providing us with prompt written assurance of this cease within ten (10) days. 

2. For a public apology to the victim

3. Furthermore, in case of noncompliance, the client would be entitled to seek in Court monetary damages, an equitable relief for the defamation. Plus, court costs and Lawyer’s fees.

We hope you find this information useful. Thank you very much for your attention. Should you be affected by this or any other legal matter, please kindly contact us. Our website is http://www.bestsolicitorsinspain.com

We look forward to helping you and the benefit of our “know-how”.

Kindest regards

Mr Oscar Ricor

 “NON-PRACTISING ENGLISH SOLICITOR IN ENGLAND AND WALES”, under the “Solicitors Regulation Authority” (SRA) SRA number 519196 and practicing Spanish Solicitor.

REAL CONSULTATION MADE TO BZN LEX

NATURE OF THE CONSULTATION: BUSINESS LEASE AGREEMENT

THE FACTS:

– Business lease agreement of a 7 year’s duration. Expiry date 2021.

-Monthly rent: 1.000 Euros

– The contract imposes a 12 months’ notice, in case the landlord might wish to rescind the contract. However, it says nothing in the opposite case. That is, if the tenant gives rescission’s notice to the landlord, like in the present case.

– The tenant (client) rescinds the contract on January 2019.

– The tenant gave 1 months’ notice

– Initial Deposit paid: 3.000 Euros

– The landlord finds new tenants very quickly. No financial damage suffered

– Perfect condition of the premises delivered

– Landlord refuses to give 50% of deposit back to the tenant (1.500 Euros)

THE CONSULTATION: Can the tenant legally claim the refund of the deposit back?

The key issue is first to check the content of the contract. Second to see the jurisprudence rendered by the Courts in similar matters.

In this particular case, nothing was said in the contract regarding early termination before the agreed time, by the lessee.

Consequently, two different situations can arise:

I) If specific damages are not proven by the landlord, the Supreme Court understands that there will be an indemnity for early termination of one monthly rent for each year that remains to be fulfilled. So, in this case, the landlord would be legally entitled to keep the full deposit of 3.000 euros, as compensation.

II) In situations of “greater damage” the Supreme Court (judgment 11.02.2016) confirmed an indemnity payment of 5 month’s rent for each year that remained to be fulfilled. Nevertheless, this is not the case, since the landlord found a new tenant immediately.

CONCLUSION

We do not recommend the client, engaging into litigation in order to claim the refund of the remaining 50% deposit. Otherwise, the risk is that the landlord could even counterclaim against the tenant claiming the payment of 1.500 euros.

It is wiser sometimes to leave things as they are, especially when the risks involved would outweigh the benefits.

If the contract had expressly imposed for example 1 months’ notice for the lessee, the situation would be different, as the landlord would indeed be obliged to refund the client the full deposit back.

This is why, it is crucial always to check with a qualified Solicitor, before signing any contract in Spain. A defective contract will be very detrimental, at the event of a possible legal dispute later on.

Therefore, should you be affected by this or any other legal problem in Spain, please kindly contact us by visiting our website www.bestsolicitorsinspain.com

We’ll be delighted to give you further information and advice.


Thank you very much for your attention, and we look forward to helping you.

With kindest of regards

Mr Oscar Ricor. Solicitor

FISCAL REPRESENTATION ANNUAL SERVICE PACKAGE

(Annual tax declaration + Emergency assistance)

In the first place, we would like to take this opportunity to kindly inform you about the Annual tax return. We have indeed detected that this issue is still creating some confusion among our new clients. 

First, if you own a property in Spain, it is automatically considered as a type of income. Consequently, all owners named on the Title Deed must submit an annual declaration. You MUST do it although you might be non-resident, or you might not have any regular income in Spain.

Second, you are liable to pay two totally different kind of taxes. 1) The IBI (“Impuesto Sobre Bienes Inmuebles” in Spanish) or local rate tax. 2) the Non-resident tax or rental tax (in some cases a combination of the two). So, what is the different between the two? The IBI is a council tax that must be paid (usually by standing order-direct debit), around September-October each year. It is collected annually and paid directly to the TOWN HALL or the SUMA offices, (depending on the case). It is based upon the cadastral value of your property.

On the other hand, the Non-Resident Income Tax is paid to the Tax Revenue Office. The deadline is December 31st.

Please find below a sample of the local IBI RATE, for your perusal. 

A) Is it necessary to pay income tax in Spain even if the owner doesn’t live at the property?

Yes. Non-Resident income tax is payable by non-resident property owners who do not rent out their property. It is irrelevant whether you use the dwelling sporadically as a second residence or holiday house. The non-resident tax declaration covers the previous year. Therefore, in 2019, you will have to pay for the previous tax fiscal year, that is 2018.

B) What happens if the tax is not paid before the deadline of 31st December? How will the Tax office find out? 

First, should you decide to sell your property, you might not be able to claim the refund of the 3% retention back from the tax office. 

Second, you might be caught out through one of the Tax Authority’s anti-tax fraud campaigns. As a result, you might have to pay late payment interest as well as sanctions between 5% to 20%. In fact, the Spanish Tax Revenue is increasingly cross-referencing information. This includes, monitoring electricity consumption, bank’s accounts and comparing your details as logged on the Land Registry with utility usage. As a result, as a worst scenario, a disciplinary letter could be sent to your Spanish address. Failing torespond to the notification might imply that your bank account might be ultimately embargoed.

Please find below a disciplinary letter received by one client who neglected the annual payment of the Government tax. The tax office imposed a fine for late payment (we have deleted the personal details due to confidential data protection).

C) What paperwork would be required in order to prepare the tax form? What will be the cost?

1. Photocopy in color of your NIE and passport

2. Your address in Spain and abroad

3. Copy of your latest IBI receipt

4. Copy of the title deed (at least the first 4-6 pages)

These documents are required in order to calculate the current cadastral value of your property. Consequently knowing how much tax you should be paying, making sure that your Spanish property taxes are up-to-date.

In conclusion, we strongly recommend that either if you are tax resident or non-resident, you should hire a fiscal representative. A reliable and cost-effective fiscal representative, – like our Law Firm, – will make sure your non-resident taxes are paid on time. Likewise, we will be delighted to answer any queries you might have throughout the year as well. Remember that it is your responsibility to ensure your tax is paid. You will prevent any future unpleasant surprise from the Spanish tax authorities. In fact, for what ends up being only a small annual fee a regulated qualified lawyer is always well worthwhile. Do not wait for the taxman to knock on your door with a penalty proceeding against you!

2. Emergency assistance

In the second place, we are delighted to include in our annual package this service as well. Therefore, should any urgency or unexpected problem arise (i.e. problems with the Utility companies, a letter from the SUMA office, an insurance claim), you will have complete peace of mind, that we will always be there to help you at any given time, and no matter the nature of the situation might be. We are trained to handle your situation, which will help ensure that your request is properly dealt with.

Legal services  

            After this preliminary introduction, please find below the proposedlist of servicesto be provided annually:

I. ANNUAL TAX DECLARATION

1.- To check the required paperwork of your property

2.- To calculate the annual tax and to fill out the required tax forms 

3.-To submit the tax form within the deadline

II. EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE 

1.-Urgent response to your phone call or email request. Free face to face appointments. 

2.-Managing calls and enquiries with public offices or service providers

3.-Free quotation of home, car, life or any other insurance

Transparent prices: Fixed fees

            At BZN Lex, we dislike hourly rates as much as you do. Subsequently, wherever we can, we will offer you fixed fees. That means we will not charge you when we pick up the phone or send an email.

We are consistent on long term relationships with our clients. In fact, we measure the value of your choice largely by whether you come back.

We would like to kindly inform you that we offer the whole package of services for an annual reasonable fixed fee. Just 90 €for two applications and 50 €for just one applicant. (Prices do not include 21% VAT).

Furthermore, in case you might hire our services for this package, we will be most delighted to give you a very special price for other additional services that you might need. For example, home, car, or life insurance, Spanish wills, funeral plan, etc

In short, always put your trust in a trustworthy independent Solicitor, like our Firm. We will always be by your side. Please kindly check our testimonials section in our new website, http://www.bestsolicitorsinspain.com . You will find plenty of testimonials form real clients who put their trust in our Firm. Fortunately, they are extremely grateful for the excellent work offered, which fills us with a lot of professional pride.

We hope this preliminary information is useful for you. Should have any question or enquiry, please contact us and we will be delighted to help you.

Thank you for your attention.

Mr. Oscar Ricor 

“NON-PRACTISING ENGLISH SOLICITOR IN ENGLAND AND WALES”, under the “Solicitors Regulation Authority” (SRA) SRA number 519196 and practicing Spanish Solicitor.