Diciembre 14, 2016

Sublimation of creativity

Archivado en: English, bancos — Etiquetas: , — legisconsulting @ 10:25

Spanish are a creative people, but Spanish banks creating abusive clauses represent the sublimation of creativity. Perhaps in not so poetic but definitely more effective terms,  the Spanish Supreme Court expressed its decision to void clauses that are now being claimed by clients under Consumers Protection Rules.

These clause that have been standardly used by financial banks and institutions in the mortgage market, have recently brought massive actions of consumers against banks that have made the Supreme Court limit the retroactivity of what these banks and institutions have to pay back under the excuse that to pay back all that money could jeopardize the stability of banks.

These clauses are still considered null and void by the Spanish Supreme Court, but when null and void means that every amount perceived unduly by banks should be returned with interests to the consumers, the Spanish Supreme Court created a limitation when it decided that in abusive clauses containing interest rates with ground limit, the period to return the money paid will be from May 9, 2013 onwards, and not any amount unduly paid before that date.

But even with the refund limit in this specific clause, the consumers claims mean a lot of money for them and a lot of money to be paid by the banks, especially when most “common” Judges at street level are considering with their decisions on this field that, after being ‘recued’ by the State,  it is now fair that the banks pay back to the consumers all the money they unduly collected due to abusive clauses (plus interests).

In a standard mortgage from last years can be found over 10 or 12 abusive clauses. Most of them have no direct economic implications until something goes wrong, but some others do even before the mortgage loan. There are many different ones, but these are the most common and harmful ones:

  • Obligation to pay all constitution expenses clause: Notary (notario), Registration Office (Registro) and part of the taxes (Impuesto sobre Actos Jurídicos Documentados) every consumer paid should have been paid by the bank
  • Rounding-up clause: the bank is entitled to always round up an interest rate to the nearest full percentage point.
  • Ground Clause: In mortgages at variable interest rates this interest rate have always has to stay within preset margins (minimum and maximum) always too high to be equitable and fair.
  • Default interest rate clause: specifies a default interest rate more than three times the (official) legal interest rate, which is a legal limit in Spain.
  • Early termination clause: triggers the early termination of a loan for failure to pay less than three installments.

All these clauses are going to be declared abusive, and this is a big concern for the consumers, but that does not mean the end of the contract: the contract lives on without the “abusive” provision as if it never existed. The same contract with a lower cost.

Let us study your mortgage and get a free legal opinion on your mortgage conditions.

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