Residency in Spain for UK nationals: Can a lawyer fix application problems and speed up the process?

Residency in Spain for UK nationals: Can a lawyer fix application problems and speed up the process?

Diego Echavarria of Fairway Lawyers in Marbella has recently been interviewed by The Local Spain after several of their British readers have contacted them to say they’re having problems getting their residency in Spain, and questioning why there are so many delays. The reporter spoke to several lawyers to find out what most the common residency issues are, how to correct them and why getting legal help might speed up the process. Gerard Martínez from Balcells Group in Barcelona explained to The Local that the vast majority of residency problems they are seeing now involve foreigners not knowing the best path to residency and not being sure about what their options are. Most […]

How to buy a home in Spain as a foreigner

How to buy a home in Spain as a foreigner

By www.thedeliciousday.com Diego Echavarría has practised real estate and immigration law in Malaga and throughout Andalucía for 20 years. I chatted with him via Zoom to learn the ins and outs of home buying in Spain for foreigners and why a real estate attorney is an absolute must. Here is a little of what he had to say… Why is a lawyer required when buying a home in Spain? Basically, you always need an attorney when you’re a foreign person investing in Spain. There are a lot of legal requirements and issues that most people do not know about. Lawyers check if the property has any debts and if the mortgages have […]

Do you have a mortgage in Spain? Take our two-minute test to see if you’re owed money by your lender

Do you have a mortgage in Spain? Take our two-minute test to see if you’re owed money by your lender

Forget the coronavirus… there is something almost as bad for many homeowners in Spain. Let’s call it the BANKING PANDEMIA, or the Floor Clause illness, also known as the ‘Clausula Suelo’ or ‘Suelo Hipotecario’. This was simply a clause that was inserted into variable rate mortgage agreements in Spain during the last 20 years that affects the interest rate payable on the mortgage. And it means that mortgage holders are being conned and do not benefit from the fall in the EURIBOR as there will be a minimum rate of interest payable on the mortgage (this floor, also known as a ‘suelo’ is often 3- 4% depending on the bank). […]

Expat buyers in Spain are scooping €50,000 and more after Fairway Lawyers crack compensation route in floor clause mortgages

Expat buyers in Spain are scooping €50,000 and more after Fairway Lawyers crack compensation route in floor clause mortgages

‘ABUSIVE’ MORTGAGE FLOOR CLAUSES SPAIN: Are you entitled to compensation plus interest – even if you have sold your property and paid off the mortgage? They had taken out the mortgage through Bankia in 2004. The villa in Mojacar, Almeria, was the home they had always dreamed of buying for their regular trips south for the weather. With its sizable garden and sea views, it was the perfect place to unwind during the hard winters of northern England. But the Thompsons, like so many buyers who took out mortgages in the happy days between 2002 and 2009, soon found out that their mortgage was not fairly setup. While initially the […]

Decision day for the one million floor clause mortgages in Spain that may have paid an average of €25,000 too much

Decision day for the one million floor clause mortgages in Spain that may have paid an average of €25,000 too much

This week, finally, Spain’s Supreme Court will rule on mortgages that were linked to an IRPH rate, more than six months after Europe left it to the Spanish judges to rule on their legality or lack of transparency. While the standard Euribor rate has been negative since February 2016, the mortgages linked to the IRPH have been paying interest at around 2%. It is estimated that the average cost of overpaid interest payments to these clients could be around 25,000 euros each. The Supreme Court validated the use of the IRPH in 2017, but Court number 38 of Barcelona raised a preliminary question to Europe to enquire about the control […]

Do you have a mortgage in Spain? Find out if you are owed money by your bank…

Do you have a mortgage in Spain? Find out if you are owed money by your bank…

‘Abusive’ IRPH floor clause mortgages in Spain: A Costa del Sol court ruling obliges the banks to return everything overcharged – before the national Supreme Court rules on the matter. A judgment of the Provincial Court of Malaga has declared the IRPH mortgage rate null for ‘lack of transparency’, replace it with Euribor and orders the banks to refund the difference between the cancelled rate and the new one plus interest. The recent ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) regarding the IRPH rate mortgages in Spain is so clear that many provincial courts and hearings have decided not to wait for the Supreme Court to […]

Top European court says homeowners in Spain can claim against banks if mortgage interest rates weren’t properly explained

Top European court says homeowners in Spain can claim against banks if mortgage interest rates weren’t properly explained

The European Court of Justice has given the green light to Spanish courts to rule against lenders if mortgages were sold using the ‘more complicated’ IRPH rate rather than the more usual Euribor. Around one million mortgage holders could benefit from the top court’s ruling as the IRPH rate (an average of market rates) didn’t drop as dramatically as the Euribor in recent years. The ECJ has upheld earlier judgements that say using the IRPH is only valid if the different way of calculating it is clearly explained in the contract. Spanish courts will now have to decide on a case by case basis if compensation is due from banks. FIND OUT […]

Mortgage floor clauses in Spain: Key aspects of the Supreme Court ruling

Mortgage floor clauses in Spain: Key aspects of the Supreme Court ruling

Spain’s Supreme Court, in a Judgment of May 9, declared the nullity of the floor clauses in the mortgages of certain banking entities due to lack of transparency. What is a floor clause? When you go to a bank to apply for a mortgage loan, you tend to analyse what interest rate (fixed or variable) is the one that may be most convenient when paying the bank for the different instalments. In the fixed-rate, the same instalment will always be paid from month to month. In the variable rate, the instalments to be paid usually consist of the application of a reference index set by the European Central Bank (normally […]

Door opened for a million ‘floor clause’ mortgages in Spain on ‘abusive’ IRPH rate to be cancelled

Door opened for a million ‘floor clause’ mortgages in Spain on ‘abusive’ IRPH rate to be cancelled

One of the top legal advisers in the European Union has said that about one million mortgages sold in Spain on a different type of rate to the standard Euribor can be subject to judicial review. The rate being questioned is known as the IRPH (mortgage loan reference index) and is an alternative offered to customers of banks when buying their property. It is a national average of the cost of mortgages over a period up to three years, meaning it is less variable than the standard Euribor. However, homeowners complain that while Euribor rates plummeted in recent years, the different way of calculating IRPH keeps their loans higher. Many […]

Spanish mortgage victory leaves British couple with €15,000 in their pockets thanks to bank compensation payout

Spanish mortgage victory leaves British couple with €15,000 in their pockets thanks to bank compensation payout

Once upon a time a happy English couple (let’s call them the Smiths) who worked very hard in Birmingham all their lives dreamed of buying a property in Spain. One day they decided they had ‘had enough of rain, beer and fish and chips’ and decided to come to Spain to change it for sun, sangria and paella. But they were not 100% sure about it… it was, after all, a big move in their lives, but you only live once, so they booked their flights to Spain. They fell in love with Spain at first glance and their people and agreed to go ahead with the purchase of a […]