FOLLOWING on from last week’s revelations with regards to the financial issues at Polaris World, the EWN approached a Solicitor involved in the saga to try to find out what the best course of action might be for the hundreds of investors that have been affected by its downfall.
According to reports, Murcian Real Estate giant, Polaris World, has accumulated debts of over 100 million euros, for which it now has to recompense its principle creditors, Bancaja, CAM, Banco Popular, Banco de Valencia and CajaMurcia. However, what is worse than this are the consequences to the innumerable house buyers who put their faith in Polaris’ sound reputation, pledging thousands of euros in ‘off-plan’ property investments.
The group was founded in 2001, and has since developed to encompass 60 separate companies and 6 prestigious residential complexes, sprawling over 30 million square metres of residential or commercial land. After two years of declining sales and spiraling running costs, Polaris World has acknowledged that 4 of the urbanizations (El Valle Golf, Alhama Golf, Hacienda Riquelme and Hacienda Verde), and15 subsidiary companies, including two hotels (Mar Menor Golf and La Torre Polaris), Nicklaus Golf Trail, and El Oasis de Alhama commercial centre are among its assets that have fallen into a state of “insolvencia actual”.
The EWN spoke to Oscar Ricor of ‘Ricor Abogados’ in Torrevieja, who is representing a number of expats who are in fear of losing investments pledged against properties in Polaris World. His first words of advice were that anyone who thinks that they might be affected by the company’s financial struggle must take action immediately as once bankruptcy has been filed it can take more than 5 years to reach a solution.
He claimed that “If investors are to stand any chance of getting their money back then they should file a complaint before the company hands over to its creditors, otherwise the amount owing will be swallowed with the mass of other debts”, emphasizing that “time is of the essence”. He went on to describe the bankruptcy process whereby assets are sold and the first portion of profit is paid to the Government to allay tax and Social Security debts, then the principal financiers, with the remainder being offered to major suppliers and employees, before a thought is spared for house-buyers.
Mr Ricor introduced the question of what substitutes a “completed” property, in the eyes of the authorities, as even those that appear finished and have water and electricity supplies must be officially approved and issued with habitation certificates, which does not usually happen until an entire urbanization or phase is complete, including adequate road links and lighting. This petition must be submitted by the Constructor, who is at present in no position to fulfill this obligation.
Mr Ricor stated that several people who have paid deposits have already began court proceedings in the hope of gaining compensation, or at least assurance that the contract will be seen through to completion, accounting for fluctuation in the market price since the contract was agreed. He said that by acting now their cases will take priority and are more likely to end in a satisfactory conclusion, and urged anyone who is in a similar position to follow suit.
It is worth noting that by approaching a Solicitor who is already dealing with Polaris cases or those of Trampolin Hills, the ground work has already been done, and you are guaranteed the support of others in the same situation. Relying on the “Strength in numbers” philosophy, Mr Ricor concluded that “The more people who file complaints against the company the stronger their case for redress”.
Taken from the Euro Weekly News.