On January 21st 2017 the Spanish government issued a Royal Decree due to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) Ruling on the 21st December 2016, relating to Clausula Suelo (Floor Clause) Claims on Spanish mortgages. The Royal Decree was approved to aid the banks reach out of court settlements on these claims and prevent hundreds of thousands of cases reaching the already overloaded courts in Spain.
The Process – Extra Judicial
Based on this decree, the banks were given 3 months to calculate and make an offer on any claim submitted via this extra judicial process. The banks were also asked to set up specific departments to deal with the claims, and as a result were given a 30-day grace period from the 21st January. So, any extra judicial claim submitted prior to this date will start from the 21st February.
Unfortunately, the reality of the extra judicial process as it stands, is the banks are using the Decree to slow down the claim process and put off their clients from taking the claims any further.
They are also offering either to only remove the floor clause, or some small payment if the customer agrees to not pursue the case any further.
As a result, most claims will either not be resolved or mortgage owners will receive a pittance of what they have overpaid and are due back by law.
How to get your money back
If you are in this situation, it is very important that you keep any communication you have with the bank, this includes:
- The extra judicial letter or claim form
- Emails to and from the bank
It is also very important that you do not sign anything with the bank, unless they have agreed to refund you in full for all overpaid interest. If you do sign something with the bank it is highly likely this will mean you cannot make any further claims, so be careful.
Once the 3-month period is complete, or the bank responds to say you have NO claim then you are free to submit a judicial claim.
A judicial claim begins with a demanda and case file which is submitted to the court, the bank then has 20 working days to respond and confirm if they will agree to pay.
Your case file is very important and must contain all relevant information to ensure the bank knows your claim is serious.
Under what Circumstances might the bank decide to go to court
The floor clause has been deemed abusive by both the Spanish Supreme Court and the European Court of Justice, so if your case is straight forward then you will be paid back in full. If your case is more complicated the bank may decide to challenge your claim in court, reasons for complication are:
- If you bought through an SL, instead of in your own name
- If you signed a document with the bank to say you would not make a judicial claim
- If the bank can prove you were fully aware of the clause before signing the mortgage contract
Next Step – How to get all your money back
Get in touch with us, regardless of your situation we do not charge anything to check your documents and your claim.
If you are nearing the end of the 3 months extra judicial claim then you will need to begin preparing your case file.
If you have signed anything with the bank, then you will need a legal expert to check and translate what you have signed.
Our team of English & Spanish speaking claims managers and legal team are available to offer any help they can. Our fees are the lowest in the industry, and Rapido only deals with Spanish bank claims so we really are the experts.
What is a Clausula Suelo or Floor Clause?
It is a clause in a Spanish tracker mortgage agreement that requires you to pay a minimum interest rate, even when the interest rate that the mortgage is tracking – such as the Euribor – is lower.
This means that you could be paying thousands of Euros more than you should be, and the Supreme Court has agreed that many such clauses can be considered abusive.