Our Senior Claims Manager Gareth, has answered many questions over the years relating to Power of Attorney. So here are some of his thoughts on the subject.
If you wish to make a claim against a company, corporate body or individual, in most cases a lawyer will be required, and bank claims are no exception. Any case that is handled by Rapido Claims requires certain legal processes to take place to ensure that it is managed to the letter of the law, and also so that the banks are aware that we are prepared to take claims all the way to their conclusion.
Why do we need power of attorney?
We have an in-house legal team headed up by Rocio Castillo who has been dealing with a multitude of bank claims of all types and sizes. If we have power of attorney we can represent our client in the following ways:
- Contact the bank on the client’s behalf
- Contact Notaries for copies of documentation
- Submit extra judicial claims directly from our legal team (and therefore the bank know the client in question has a lawyer representing them)
- Submit a ‘demanda’ to take the bank to court to reclaim the funds
- Represent the client in a court of law
Power of attorney limitations
Our power of attorney documentation clearly states we can only represent the client in their best interest. While we can represent the client in matters relating to a claim and can obtain documents on their behalf, we are under their instruction at all times. We don’t have the right to open or close accounts, perform transactions in any way or carry out any activity outside our agreed parameters.
Benefits of a lawyer submitting claims
In some cases, extra judicial claims can be sent by us in the client’s name but it stands to reason that these carry less weight than a formal complaint from a lawyer. Put yourself in your bank’s position – would a customer with no representation push this case to the very end? Possibly not. Would a customer with an appointed legal expert that handles bank claims every day (and nothing but bank claims) complete the case in full until the funds are returned? More than likely.
How to provide power of attorney
We provide the documentation in English and Spanish and arrange for it to be notarised to make it legally valid. All the client requires is a valid passport for identification. There are a number of ways to give us power of attorney:
- We use an online provider based in the US in Virginia. The state of Virginia is a member of the Hague Convention and therefore has the relevant Apostilles (proof of document that certifies the validity of the power of attorney in the countries which are in the Hague Convention, such as Spain). This in most cases is the cheapest option at $79 (around €70).
- If the client is in Spain we can arrange an appointment in their local Notary. We understand that some clients like to do things in person and the cost can vary – expect it to be between €60 and €100, but of course we will confirm with the Notary prior to making the appointment.
- For clients in the UK who don’t wish to complete the power of attorney online, a local notary in the UK can be located, however the cost is higher than in Spain– typically around £200 – £300.
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.