Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category

Dear readers, clients and friends,

We hope you are all well. A few months ago, we posted an article on Facebook and several other social networks, regarding the abusive FLOOR CLAUSE and how Banks have been forced to repay to their clients all earnings charged in excess from “abusive” mortgages. On May 9, 2013, the Supreme Court analyzed in its ruling No. 241/2013, (in the context of a class action brought by a consumer association against several banks), the abusive character of the floor clause, declaring it null and void. However, the declaration of nullity would not affect those cases already decided by the Courts before 9 May 2013. In other words, the Supreme Court (wrongly) declared the non-retroactivity of its decision, because it would basically cause a “serious disruption to the public economic order” (in other words it was a ruling made to protect the Spanish banking sector). This erratic interpretation of the EU Law was further confirmed by another Supreme Court’s judgment of March 25, 2015.

In a nutshell, what the Supreme Court said in their two mentioned obscure Judgments was that in those cases where the existence of a floor clause had been confirmed by the Court, the Banks would be obliged to refund any interest charged in excess ONLY FROM 9 May 2013, but not retroactively to the year in which the banks began to apply floor clauses.

Luckily, a number of Spanish courts challenged before the Court of Justice of the European Union again the interpretation of the EU law made by the Supreme Court, and finally, on 21 December 2016, the Court of Justice of the European Union has recently handed down a landmark ruling (Cases C-154/15, C-307/15 and C-308/15), confirming that the Spanish Supreme Court’s 2013 decision to limit refunds to the period from May 2013 on, “failed to provide complete protection” to consumers” and subsequently, The ECJ has ordered Spain’s banks to repay all earnings from “abusive” mortgages from the year in which the banks began to apply those illegal floor clauses.

As a consequence of this recent ECJ DECISION, last 20th January 2017, the Spanish Government has finally approved a Royal Decree 1/2017, basically giving banks three months to reach agreements with customers who were offered mortgages with an abusive floor interest rate clause. As a result, the Royal Decree 1/2017 has approved several measures aimed at reaching possible out of court settlements, thereby preventing thousands of new litigants from reaching the already overloaded courts.

Subsequently, once the bank has received a letter before claim from the client’s Solicitor, it will have three months to make an offer. If an agreement is not reached within this deadline, the negotiation process will be understood to have concluded, and the client will be then able to sue the bank in Court.

However, according to the provisions of the Royal Decree-Law 1/2017, if the customer might reject the offer made by the bank and later on, he might decide to sue the bank, costs will be imposed on the bank, only if the compensation finally granted by the Court might be higher than the initial offer received from the bank.

Therefore, as litigators Solicitors, we are always mindful of alternative ways of settling disputes if possible, as it will be in our client’s best interests to pursue a satisfactory out of court settlement without litigation if possible. However, if despite all efforts, legal proceedings might have to be finally issued as a step of last resort, (if for instance the bank is intransigently opposed, we would continue to bear in mind the benefits of reaching a satisfactory out of court settlement before trial).

Our honest opinion is that the new law is very lenient with the banks. We believe that stronger penalties should be imposed on those banks that might intransigently be opposed to reach settlements. ( i.e double costs).

On the other hand, in addition to the Floor clause, we would like- if we may- to take this opportunity to inform you that the Supreme Court in its Ruling 705/2015 (dated 23th December 2015) has also declared abusive those clauses which impose on the borrower the payment of all fees, taxes and commissions associated with the mortgage loan.

Subsequently, if you are currently paying a mortgage in Spain or even if you have already paid it off up to four years ago, you may be entitled to claim, among others, a refund of the following concepts related to the Mortgage (not to the purchase of the property):

NOTARY AND LAND REGISTRY FEES, PROPERTY VALUATION COSTS, ABUSIVE COMMISSIONS, AS WELL AS THE STAMP DUTY TAX. (In total, perhaps around 2.500 Euros or more). However, bear in mind that time is of the essence, as the limitation period on order to claim these costs will expire on December 24th 2019.

In conclusion, remember if you have a mortgage and you have the suspicion that you might have serious abusive clauses in your mortgage contract, please follow the following instructions:

The first step would be to send us by e-mail your mortgage Deed as well as your latest mortgage’s monthly receipt, which will show the amount of pending capital as well as the current interest rate applied to your mortgage.

The best way to illustrate this is by giving you an example. Please see the attached photograph of a real receipt issued on-line by the bank. (Due to confidential reasons, we have obviously removed the bank’s name and our client’s personal details). However, you can clearly see highlighted in yellow, how our client has been charged last month with an outrageously high interest rate of 4,25%. Considering that the Euribor now is -0,070 %, the impact of this abusive floor clause in our client’s case is VERY SIGNIFICANT. The other attached document is an extract of a real mortgage Deed, containing a very abusive ceiling-floor clause.

In the second place, should you be affected by any of these above mentioned abusive clauses in your mortgage, – as a prior step, – we always recommend entering into correspondence or friendly negotiation with the bank. The negotiation process will aim to reach a satisfactory out of court settlement, saving the time and costs involved in protracted litigation. However, it is important that you DO NOT ACCEPT ANY PRESSURE FROM THE BANK. All banks are losing the court cases, so it is in their best interest to reach an amicable agreement with you, offering the best possible financial terms and conditions. Likewise, remember NEVER TO NEGOTIATE WITH OUR BANK ON YOUR OWN AND DO NOT SIGN ANY AGREEMENT, unless an independent qualified Solicitor-like our Firm-has already verified very carefully the content as well as the legal and financial implications of the proposed agreement in the long term.

In conclusion, there is very little that is “standard” in these kinds of mortgage contracts and agreements signed with banks, making it especially important that you know exactly what you’re agreeing to. That’s why, in matters of such complexity and importance where a lot of money is at stake, it is vital that you seek the right professional, – only a qualified registered Lawyer, – in order to give you the most adequate professional advice.

“Ricor Abogados&Solicitors” has a strong legal team with proven extensive experience in all areas of law. We run an independent and cost effective Law Firm helping hundreds of clients across a range of legal services in Spain, from corporate and individual civil and criminal litigation, and we are proficient in dealing with banks with regards to the removal of abusive clauses from mortgage contracts.

Our high rate of success is subsequently explained by the fact that we continually provide complete and “home-made” tailored solutions to individuals and businesses alike. If you kindly check our testimonials section of our website www.ricorabogados.com, you will find plenty of testimonials from real clients who put their trust in our Firm and they are all now all extremely grateful to our Firm for the excellent work and legal protection offered, which fills us with a lot of professional pride.

Therefore, should be interested in receiving specific advice regarding this matter (or any other legal issue), please do not hesitate to send us an e-mail to: ricorsolicitors@yahoo.co.uk, and we will be most delighted to be of assistance to you. Alternatively, you can also know more about our services by logging to our website www.ricorabogados.com.

Thank you very much again for your attention and we look forward to giving you a personalized service and the benefit of a high quality and cost effective advice.

Kindest regards

Mr. Oscar Ricor Morales

“NON-PRACTISING ENGLISH SOLICITOR IN ENGLAND AND WALES”, under the “Solicitors Regulation Authority” (SRA) SRA number 519196 and practicing Spanish Solicitor.

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Dear friends, clients and readers,

As the Holiday Season is upon us, and after a very busy year helping clients, I must say that one of the true privileges of working as a Solicitor, is to receive testimonials like the ones below, which fills me with a lot of professional pride and sincere gratitude. Subsequently, I would like-if we may- to take this opportunity once more to thank you and wish you all a very Happy Holiday Season and the very best for the new year. We sincerely look forward to keep helping you in the years to come. Warmest regards to all.

Mr. Oscar Ricor Morales.

“NON-PRACTISING ENGLISH SOLICITOR IN ENGLAND AND WALES”, under the “Solicitors Regulation Authority” (SRA) SRA number 519196 and practicing Spanish Solicitor under the “Colegio de Abogados de Orihuela“.

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Real testimonials received from three very good clients:

  • Testimonial 1:

“Thank you for explaining so eloquently and precise the process of purchasing Villa in Pilar de la Horadada, I really appreciated you protecting John and myself. I felt very happy that you have our interests at heart. I will most certainly recommend both yourself in the future, as I have some friends whom are looking to purchase a property in Spain. Once again thank you. Mary C. and John F.”.- (SEE PHOTOGRAPH BELOW)

  • Testimonial 2:

I recently consulted Oscar Ricor regarding a lease to purchase contract I needed on a property in Murcia. I found his service to be knowledgeable, efficient and good value for money. He enabled the whole process to be carried out smoothly and within a tight timeframe and was readily available to offer advice and reassurance when necessary.  I would certainly recommend Oscar Ricor to friends and other ex-pats as it was refreshing to find a solicitor with such a client cantered approach. I am certainly one very satisfied customer! David B.

  • Testimonial 3:

  “I have complete confidence in Oscar Ricor, who has now helped me to buy two properties in Orihuela Costa, Spain.  The transactions have proceeded smoothly due to Oscar’s diligence and professionalism. The fact that he is fluent in English and holds an English legal qualification, alongside his Spanish ones, together with his extensive experience has given me ‘peace of mind’ throughout. Oscar has also assisted us to obtain our N.I.E. numbers, advised us with preparing our Spanish wills and submitting our annual tax declarations. Furthermore, he is able to offer very competitive insurance quotes. I therefore have no hesitation in recommending his services to everyone. Susan J. Chichester, UK. (SEE PHOTOGRAPH BELOW).

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Brexit: A few thoughts. What does it mean for future British buyers or expats already living in Spain?

Dear friends, clients and readers,

Following the aftermath of the recent UK’s decision to leave the European Union, we have been receiving hundred of enquiries from people who are becoming increasingly concerned and anxious about how their rights as British expats will be affected by The Brexit.
Consequently, this article aims to provide some useful advice to new private or business investors, as well as to the almost one million Expats Brits estimated to be living in Spain, who are now affected by this unexpected situation.

1) In the first place, what does the referendum in practice means?

Bear in mind that this referendum is advisory and non-binding, and British politicians will now enter a protracted period of negotiations over what to do next. Subsequently, it is not a foregone conclusion that Britain will completely leave, because there must first be primary legislation, and if it does, it is likely to take at least two years, and many more years to settle the resulting changes in trade agreements.
At the end of the day, I totally agree with the view expressed by 120 Barristers in the UK, who correctly consider that the referendum did not concern the negotiating position of the UK following the triggering of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, nor the possibility that no agreement could be reached within the stipulated two year period for negotiation, nor the emerging reality that the Article 50, negotiations will concern only the manner of exit from the EU and not future economic relationships. In other words, all of these matters should need to be fully explored and understood prior to the Parliamentary vote.

I strongly recommend reading the full text of the Barrister’s opinion at the following link: http://thejusticegap.com/2016/07/barristers-call-parliamentary-vote-brexit/

2) What does the decline in The Pound involve?

I am of the opinion that it is still early to predict whether the fall in the value of the Pound will continue in the long run, but worst-case scenarios had the Pound falling by as much as 20-25%, it is likely that the Bank of England and European Central bank might intervene in order to prevent a worsening of the situation.
On the other hand, it is undeniable that Europe without the beneficial influence of the UK will be weakened, so it remains to be seen whether the situation might also affect negatively the Euro currency, since other European countries could also start considering the possibility to follow now the English example and leave the EU as well. (the so-called “domino effect”).
It is true that the fall in sterling together with the menace of an economic downturn in the UK plus uncertainty over British rights to live abroad might have a negative impact on Spain’s property market, in the short term, at least.

3) Will the property market be affected in general?

NOT LIKELY IN THE LONG TERM. British buyers are unlikely to feel the impact for some years. Perhaps by then, the Pound might be stronger than the Euro. Subsequently, as indicated before, I am convinced that at some point, new beneficial trade agreements between Spain and England will be reached that will reactivate the property market, allowing many Britons again to pursue their dreams of buying a property in Spain. In fact Britain will most likely become part of the European Economic Area (EEA) in a similar way to Norway and Switzerland. (Iceland wants UK to join Nordic alliance of non-EU countries).
At the moment, many Norwegians are buying properties in Spain.

4) Is it still possible and advisable to buy a property in Spain?

YES. You can buy a property as a non-resident, like any other European or Non European citizen. I firmly believe that Spain will remain the most popular destination for British second-home buyers in the foreseeable future, due to the high risk, geographical distance and culture barriers of investing in other countries like Turkey or Greece for example. Spanish property remains and will always excellent value basically due to its fantastic weather and geographical proximity to the UK.

As a matter of fact, we are currently helping new clients absolutely determined to pursue their dream of having a property in the Costa Blanca, as they wish to become fiscal residents as soon as possible, and so far, we are not encountering any difficulties at all with the Spanish authorities. Likewise, we are dealing with other two property conveyance cases where both the buyers and Sellers have agreed to pay the purchase price in Pounds instead of Euros,- which is totally legally accepted way of payment,- in order to avoid the fluctuation of the Pound.
Subsequently, according to our recent experience, we are able to confirm that buying a property in Spain, (either as an investment or second residence), still remains an attractive option for both non-residents and/or residents alike.

On the other hand, if we consider The Brexit from the aspect of fundamental rights of Brits already living and working in Spain, I am of the opinion that expats in Spain will retain their “acquired right” to live in Spain and own property here and not to have their work contract terminated. (Despite the fact that the application of art 70 of the Vienna Convention of 1969 is highly questionable and it has been rejected by some Lawyers and Jurists).
In any case, the Spanish Government has not made any pronouncement yet, with regards to other rights, such as healthcare, pension, fiscal rights or benefits. Subsequently, your EHIC card will still be valid, as The European Health Insurance Card provides reciprocal health cover for travellers in the EEA. Likewise, if you move to Spain now, you will get full healthcare, as reciprocal healthcare arrangements will remain in place for at least two years while Brexit negotiations are in motion.
In fact, European countries are keen to ensure that their citizens enjoy healthcare while travelling, so it’s entirely possible an EHIC agreement (or something similar) will remain in place even after Brexit.
Another important issue to consider will be a potential change in inheritance and tax laws. Nevertheless, the double-taxation treaties are NOT made in the EU. As a result, Brexit has no effect on the existing tax agreements between the UK and Spain, and Britons will continue to enjoy the benefits of European citizenship for some years, and can expect a broadly similar deal once Brexit is complete.

In short, what happens next? What would be the most recommended precautionary measures aimed to mitigate the negative financial effects of The Brexit?

First, the most visible effect will be exchange rate fluctuations at least in the short term. Nevertheless, buying in Pounds would be an excellent way to avoid this problem.
Second, it would be highly advisable that property owners might reduce the prices of their properties in around 15-20%. That measure would be an excellent counterbalance to the negative effects of a possible continuous fall of the Pound.
Therefore, if you wish to buy a property in Spain, negotiate hard the price.
Third, in order to keep attracting British investors, the Spanish Government should seriously consider reducing the stamp duty tax at least to 7-6% ( currently at 10% in the Valencian Region)
Fourth, if you already own a property and you live in Spain on a permanent basis, it might be beneficial for you to apply for Spanish residency or even Spanish nationality.

In conclusion, if you are an UK investor, be reassured that we’ll advice you about the best way to acquire a property in Spain, with the most favourable financial conditions.
Likewise, if you are already one of the thousands of expats living in Spain, who is worried about how the Brexit is going to impact your rights and finances, you might want to get in contact also with a reputable law Firm-like “Ricor Abogados&Solicitors”,- to discuss through the most suitable options available to you. Considering that this situation of uncertainty will likely continue in the weeks or months ahead, analysing all the options and seeking expert advice in advance, before making any major financial decisions may prove advantageous. We will be most delighted to advise you where you have the correct paperwork and where you stand on getting Spanish residency or nationality.

Finally, I firmly believe that the UK is one of the greatest countries of the world, not only in terms of its economy, but also from a legal and cultural point of view as well. The economy always fluctuates but we must never forget that despite this recent setback with the referendum, the UK is the country that probably best upholds the Rule of Law without parallel in any other European (or non European) country, so I am of the opinion that as long as the British insight and the vitality of its culture remain, I am convinced that things will work out okay in the end.

Thank you very much again for your attention and should you have any more specific question or enquiry about this important matter, (remember that this article is intended to give just a general overview of the situation and not specific advice), please do not hesitate to visit our website (www.ricorabogados.com) or contact us by E-mail to ricorsolicitors@yahoo.co.uk, and we will be glad to be of assistance to you.

We look forward to giving you a personalized service and the benefit of our “know how”, with a totally proficient and always cost effective advice.

Yours sincerely,

Mr. Oscar Ricor Morales.
“NON-PRACTISING ENGLISH SOLICITOR IN ENGLAND AND WALES”, under the “Solicitors Regulation Authority” (SRA) SRA number 519196 and practicing Spanish SolicitorPostiguet-Beach-51116

Thank you so much for your kind words and for putting your trust in our Firm. It has been a real privilege working for you and we look forward to keep helping you in the future, not only as our client but also as our friend. Mr. Oscar Ricor. Solicitor
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“Hi Oscar
Thank you for explaining so eloquently and precise the process of purchasing Villa in Pilar de la Horadada, I really appreciated you protecting John and myself. I felt very happy that you have our interests at heart.
I will most certainly recommend both yourself in the future, as I have some friends whom are looking to purchase a property in Spain.
Once again thank you.
Mary C. and John F.”
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farrer2

Dear Readers, clients and friends,

Last month, we posted an article about the landmark Supreme Court’s decision that will force Spanish banks to return millions of Euros to EU Consumers.

Due to the significant number of enquiries received over the past few weeks from people who missed the opportunity to read this article, we are glad to post it again for those who didn’t have the opportunity to read it the first time.

In a landmark Judgment of December 21st 2015, (STS 5263/2015), the Spanish Supreme Court,- taking as a reference point the important 57/1968 Act,- has set a new legal precedent, by ordering banks to refund all the large deposits paid in advance mainly by UK Buyers to developers, in order to buy off-plan properties in Spain that were never built.

Until now, the usual procedure available for the victim in order to claim the deposit back was to sue the developer or Builder. However, in practice, the majority of Spanish Builders went into liquidation or filed for bankruptcy, which made an almost impossible task to recover any money back.

However, the Supreme Court’s decision judgment gives now a new hope to those thousand of off-plan property buyers who have failed to get their money back from the Builder.

The “ratio decidendi” of the Supreme Court’s Judgment can be summarized as follows:

Regarding Off-plan properties governed by the Act 57/1968, the Banks or credit institutions that might accept any income deposits paid by buyers into the Developer’s account, but without requiring for the establishment of a special separate account and the corresponding bank guarantee, will be liable to reimburse to the buyers, the full amount of the off-plan deposits paid.

The Court decision affirms that Off-plan deposits should be guaranteed in any event and regardless of private conventions agreed between developer and bank.

Likewise, the ruling confirms that it is abusive and contrary to the Act 57/68, to make conditional the validity of a “collective guarantee” granted to the builder, to the issuing of a specific individual bank guarantee certificate given to the Buyer.

Otherwise, the bank could easily deny liability at the event of payment’s default by the negligent builder.

In other words, Off-plan property buyers are bestowed with an “inalienable right” to have their off-plan deposit underwritten, and this right that cannot be waived by banks that failed to grant individual bank guarantee policies to buyers, under the pretense of having issued a collective insurance cover.

To sum up, the essential requirements in order to be able to claim against the bank would be the following:

1º) The lawsuit must be initiated against the bank that financed the construction building process and received the deposits paid by the buyers. It is irrelevant if the bank might have actually opened a separate account for the deposits paid or not. (see the Supreme Court decision, 16th January 2015. No Rec. 2336/2013)

2º) The bank must have failed its duty to request confirmation from the developer about the granting of the bank guarantee certificates to the buyers

3º) The buyer must prove that it has been impossible to claim the money back from the developer, due to the situation of insolvency of the developer (i.e. the builder has gone into liquidation).

4º) Lastly, the dwelling must NOT be physically or legally completed (i.e, no licence of first occupation). Those cases where the developer received the deposits and never built anything on the land, are the ones that stand a higher chance of success.

“Ricor Abogados&Solicitors” has a strong legal team with proven extensive experience in all areas of law. We run an independent and cost effective Law Firm helping clients across a range of legal services in Spain, from corporate and individual civil&criminal litigation, and we are proficient in conducting successful civil claims against developers and banks.

Our high rate of success is subsequently explained by the fact that we continually provide complete and “home-made” tailored solutions to individuals and businesses alike. If you kindly check our testimonials section of our website www.ricorbogados.com, you will find plenty of testimonials form real clients who put their trust in our Firm and they are all now all extremely grateful to our Firm for the excellent work and protection offered, which fills us with a lot of professional pride.

We hope that this information is useful for you.

Thank you very much again for your attention and should you be affected by this serious problem (or by any other legal need or problem in Spain), please do not hesitate to contact our Firm and we will be delighted to help you.

We look forward to giving you a personalized service and the benefit of a high quality and cost effective advice.

Yours sincerely,

Mr. Oscar Ricor Morales.

“NON-PRACTISING ENGLISH SOLICITOR IN ENGLAND AND WALES”, under the “Solicitors Regulation Authority” (SRA) SRA number 519196 and practicing Spanish Solicitor under the “Colegio de Abogados de Orihuela”.

 

Please note the information provided in this article is of general interest only and is not to be construed or intended as substitute for professional legal advice. This article may be posted freely in websites or other social media so long as the author Mr Ricor is duly credited. Plagiarizing, whether in whole or in part, this article without crediting the author may result in legal action.

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Dear Readers, clients and friends,

You might have probably read on the news that Spain’s property market is in good shape and it continues to recover fast, amidst continuous amelioration in economic conditions. In fact, house prices are moderately falling, (Spanish house prices dropped 3.56% during the year to end-June 2015), and property demand has already picked up, thanks primarily to UK homebuyers.
After a period of poor sales in 2007 and 2010, it is undoubtedly excellent news that foreign investors have started to return again to the Spanish property market since the crisis hit in 2008. In fact, all indicators confirm that UK property buyers will be leading the way in 2016. However, we are detecting that some developers and estate agents, are still using the same dubious tricks and bad practices, that ultimately lead to all those horrible cases of land grab, demolition orders, illegal properties never built, etc, that have sadly taken place in Spain over the past few years.
As a matter of fact, we are dealing with several court cases where some unscrupulous builders and developers have tried to rip off innocent foreign buyers. Likewise, we keep noticing that many UK buyers still blindly pay high deposits up front to the agents, but without double checking carefully the legal situation of the property in advance, and without signing a proper and well-written purchase agreement.
Buying off-plan property in Spain, has undoubtedly significant advantages (i.e., important discounts or premiums compared to a key-ready resale dwelling), but it also involves potential risks.
Therefore, please find below some useful tips that will prevent that your dream of living in Spain might turn into a real nightmare:

I.- Check the ownership and any charges, encumbrances or liens registered on the “land registry certificate” of the property as well as planning permission. Searches will determine whether there might be any hidden charges or encumbrances over the title of the property that might need to be addressed prior to signing any purchase contract. All the property searches and investigations must be thoroughly performed to identify potential legal property issues, before any deposit is paid in advance to the Developer or agent.

II. Verify that the purchase agreement is 100% legal. Many unscrupulous Builders might try to mislead you into signing a purchase contract containing abusive clauses. Do not fall into the trap! Likewise, the contract must include a comprehensive description of the property, land registry details, vendor’s details, plans of the property as well as an accurate outline description of the materials, fixtures and fittings, etc.
On the other hand, time is of the essence when buying off-plan. Consequently, the contract must state a clear and specific completion’s date, not a generic or vague one. This must always be considered as an essential term or condition of the purchase contract, in case the Builder might fail to deliver the dwelling in the stipulated deadline.

III. Keep a careful record of all advanced stage payments, and verify that all the money paid to the Developer is allocated in a special bank account, which is mandatory in accordance to the Act 57/68.

IV. Request for ORIGINAL BANK GUARANTEE CERTIFICATES on all the deposits paid, including the initial reservation deposit as well. A bank guarantee is truly a document of crucial relevance for off-plan purchasers, (they are not however applicable to resale or self-Built Properties). Its basic aim is to secure the stage payments in off-plan properties, should the developer for example, fail to complete the development on time, or might file for bankruptcy, etc.
We cannot sufficiently emphasize the importance of attaining a bank guarantee by all off-plan purchasers. In fact our Firm has managed to successfully recover for many clients, their deposits in full plus legal interests, thanks to the fact that the bank issued bank guarantees to each single individual buyer, securing the full amount of deposits paid to the developers. Consequently, do never accept a “generic collective bank guarantee document”, because at the event of dispute, it will be much more difficult to claim the money back from the bank.
On the other hand, the bank guarantees should only be issued by a Spanish bank, or alternatively by a Spanish insurance company fully registered and regulated under the Spanish law. Be extremely careful with this requirement, because we have recently detected a real case of a new luxury off-plan development in Alicante, where a well-known developer is currently issuing guarantee’s documents issued by an unregulated Canadian company. This is extremely risky, because if at the worst scenario, the developer might default, it will be highly unlikely for the off-plan purchasers to get their money back, from a dubious scam investment scheme or “fly-by-night” operation.
Also, the bank guarantees will be valid until the town hall grants the dwelling the Licence of First Occupation. This is explained more fully in the next paragraph.

V. Do not sign the title Deed at the Notary, until the Developer gives you the 10-year Building Guarantee as well as the Licence of First occupation. Some developers might exert pressure on you by compelling you to sign the title deed upon reception of the Certificate of End of Construction (CEC) instead of the Licence of First Occupation. (LFO)
Beware of this illegal practice, as it might have dire consequences for you in the future. (Impossibility to hire the utility bills, planning permission’s infractions, pending unpaid urbanization charges, etc, etc). Bear in mind that the CEC, is just a private certificate produced by the own architect’s developer, which does not imply that the development might be deemed as legal. Remember, only the LFO does, because it is always issued “officially” by the local town hall’s Planning Department.
In conclusion, for clients buying off-plan (or resale property) in Spain, it is absolutely crucial to put your trust only in an independent Solicitor, like our Firm, fully conversant on all aspects of the property conveyancing’s process.
“Ricor Abogados&Solicitors” has a strong legal team with proven extensive experience in all areas of law. We run an independent and cost effective Law Firm helping clients across a range of legal services in Spain, from corporate and individual civil&criminal litigation, property conveyance, inheritance, to business transactions, we continually provide complete and “home-made” tailored solutions to individuals and businesses alike.
Our high rate of success is subsequently explained by the fact that after conducting a background legal investigation about the property, we invariably prepare for our clients a written comprehensive LEGAL REPORT, which will contain accurate legal information about the legal situation of the dwelling. Our Legal Reports offer independent and transparent advice, and we ensure that relevant searches are rigorously carried out at the local town hall and land registry, tracking all property records and investigating any possible local urbanization plans affecting the property. In short, our Reports will confirm whether the property might be subject to any current or known future urbanization plans or licenses issued by government, or affected by any hidden charges or encumbrances. Likewise, we can also provide advice on contracts and Spanish Wills, and/or assist with the transfer of the funds to your new Spanish account. How taxes operate and property registration will also be covered in our services.
To sum up, our fully comprehensive legal reports have fortunately saved many of our clients from being the victims of frauds and as a result, our clients have been able to save thousand of euros in protracted litigation. If you kindly check our testimonials section of our website www.ricorbogados.com, you will find plenty of testimonials form real clients who put their trust in our Firm and they are all now all extremely grateful to our Firm for the excellent work and protection offered, which fills us with a lot of professional proud.

Finally, we would like-if we may- to stress the point that buying a property is a serious matter. Considering how much is at stake (all the life savings of many private investors) and the huge number of swindles and frauds committed by unreliable builders and agents in Spain over the past few years, do not be rushed into paying a deposit up front, just because the agent or developer is exerting a huge pressure on you. Bear in mind that when purchasing a property in Spain, you are granted with inalienable rights that cannot be waived by the vendor party in any circumstance.
Remember that time is on your side and to protect yourself adequately, ALWAYS seek the help provided by a bilingual regulated Lawyer, who should be totally independent of the local vendor or property developer, like Ricor Solicitors&Abogados!

Thank you very much again for your attention and we look forward to giving you a personalized service and the benefit of a high quality and cost effective advice.
Yours sincerely,

Mr. Oscar Ricor Morales.
“NON-PRACTISING ENGLISH SOLICITOR IN ENGLAND AND WALES”, under the “Solicitors Regulation Authority” (SRA) SRA number 519196 and practicing Spanish Solicitor under the “Colegio de Abogados de Orihuela”.

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Dear Readers, clients and friends,

I wonder if you remember the article posted a few months ago regarding the intolerable abuses committed by some Telecom providers in Spain, and more specifically, the problems that several of our clients –including myself- have experienced with the company “Orange” in particular.
In my own case, Orange incurred in blatant breach of contract, as they failed to install the ADSL in my office, after more than two months of persistent phone calls, personal visits to the shop as well as strong legal letters. Despite all my efforts, all the attempts to reach an out of court settlement failed due to the stubbornness and arrogance of Orange, which gave me no other alternative than to take them to Court last July 2015.
Anyway, the good news is that just before Christmas, I have received a favourable Court’s decision (please see below), which obliges Orange to pay me a financial compensation of 1.000 Euros plus legal interests, for all the damaged caused.
This recent landmark decision (as well as some other recent ones) prove that at the event of dispute,- as an European Consumer, – it will be easier to seek compensation in Court, for the damages that the infringement or failure may have caused you.
The problem is that some well- known Telecoms companies usually take advantage of their predominant position in the market, and also from the fact that for most people it is really a nuisance to file a complaint. As a result, they will not hesitate to put as much as obstacles in your path in order to discourage you to exercise your rights (like for instance their unbearable and useless call centres!)
Nevertheless, you must never surrender to the abusive practices frequently employed by these arrogant telecom companies, and you must never allow them to abuse your legitimate rights!
Remember that being European citizen grant you with fundamental inalienable rights and consequently all these dubious practices are totally abusive and contrary to the European and Spanish Consumer’s legislation.
Therefore, in conclusion, at the event of a dispute with a telephone company, we are glad to give you the following useful preliminary advice:

First: Keep track of all your phone calls and/or e-mails sent to the Telecom Company.

Second: Complaint written letters are always more effective than phone calls, as they will be stronger evidence at the event of a Court dispute.

Third: Double check that your personal details are not unlawfully included in a Debt Registry. The High Court considers that including the personal details of a customer in a bad debtor list without fulfilling all the requirements (or alternatively the failure to remove the records once the debt is paid), can be considered as a serious illegitimate intrusion in the rights to honour, privacy and image, (according to art. 9.3 of the law 1/1982, May 5), empowering you to claim substantial damages against the telecom company.

Fourth: Make sure to keep a safe record of all your invoices and preferably try keeping all your payments are up to date, in order to avoid a possible counter-claim from the company against you.
Finally and more importantly, at the event of dispute, do not despair. Please, at the first sign of trouble, do not hesitate to contact us and we will be delighted to help you. We are experts in dealing with all kind of consumer’s complaints, so we will be very glad to give you accurate advice about the most advisable ways of preventing those abuses and claiming compensation.

We hope this information is useful and should you have any additional question, please visit our website: www.ricorabogados.com
Remember that you can also follow us in Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ricorabogados),
Linkdin and our google business page: (https://plus.google.com/…/10169…/101699650134478147323/posts)
Alternatively, you can also contact us by e-mail at ricorsolicitors@yahoo.co.uk and we will reply back to you as matter of urgency.

Thank you very much for your attention and permanent support and we look forward to helping you!

ORANGEMr Oscar Ricor “NON-PRACTISING ENGLISH SOLICITOR IN ENGLAND AND WALES”, under the “Solicitors Regulation Authority” (SRA) SRA number 519196 and practicing Spanish Solicitor.

Dear friends, clients and readers,

As the Holiday Season is upon us, one of the true privileges of working as a Solicitor is to receive testimonials like the ones below, (especially when received on Christmas), which fills me with a lot of professional proud and profound gratitude.
I must say that with all your permanent interest and support, you have greatly helped us shape our business, and I am subsequently very grateful for that.
Therefore, I would like-if we may- to take this opportunity to wish all of you a very Happy Holiday Season and a New Year filled with Peace and Prosperity.
We sincerely look forward to helping you in the years to come.
With kindest regards to all.
Mr. Oscar Ricor Morales.
“NON-PRACTISING ENGLISH SOLICITOR IN ENGLAND AND WALES”, under the “Solicitors Regulation Authority” (SRA) SRA number 519196 and practicing Spanish Solicitor under the “Colegio de Abogados de Orihuela”.

Real testimonials received from three very good clients:

.- Testimonial 1: “Dear Oscar, I hope you and all your family are keeping well. Oscar just to thank you so very much for all your support, guidance, compassion and professionalism you have showed myself and my family during the past two years. Life has been very hard since Joanne sadly passed away but your support and help has been very overwhelming. Thank you again for your assistance in selling Joanne’s property and the dealing of the finances.

With love and best wishes. Joanne’s family”

.- Testimonial 2: “Thank you Oscar, your help is very much appreciated I would be very happy to recommended your company, you have been most helpful. John and Jackie O’Brien”.

.- Testimonial 3: “I am a UK resident who recently purchased a home in Spain. Oscar Ricor was recommended to me and I am very glad that we chose to go with him and his team. I was particularly impressed by his attention to detail and high level of customer care. The fact that he is English law qualified and fully bilingual makes him an excellent choice for any ex-pat who requires legal assistance in Spain. M. C” (see photograph below).

malcolmCHRISTMAS-page-001-2

Dear friends, clients and readers,
As you might probably know by now, Volkswagen has recently announced plans to recall and refit up to 11m affected vehicles worldwide. Globally, 11m Volkswagen diesel cars and 2.1m Audis have been identified as carrying the emissions control-manipulating software in their engines. Just how many cars may be affected in Spain is not yet known, but Spanish prosecutors have already called on the National Court to open a probe of Volkswagen for possible fraud and environmental offences in connection with the emissions scandal at the German automaker. The prosecutors were acting on complaints filed by the Spanish anti-corruption group “Manos Limpias” (Clean Hands).Independently from facing criminal responsibility for the offences mentioned, Volkswagen has also seriously breached both Spanish as well as the European consumer law, by fitting vehicles with devices designed to disguise the amount of emissions produced, in order to trick owners into believing the cars were cleaner than they actually were.The scam has left thousands of customers bewildered and upset about the deception. Bear in mind that it is not just the financial impact on the resale value of their vehicles what is at stake, but also the fact that the brand VW has taken unfair advantage of their own clients breaching their trust by misrepresenting the product sold. As a result, it is going to be really difficult for anybody who has bought one of these faulty vehicles to resell it now with such an inherent defect built into it.We are glad to inform all our readers that we are being recently approached by a significant number of people affected by this serious problem, and we are currently preparing to launch several actions in punitive damages against the company, (both class actions as well as individual private lawsuits).Therefore, for those of you who might be interested, we would like-if we may- to kindly take this opportunity to briefly clarify some of the most frequent questions and doubts posed by our clients regarding this important matter:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question 1º) What is the VW defeat device? How much more emissions do these manipulated engines produce?
In a nutshell, the cheat is merely several lines of software code in the computer that controls a Volkswagen’s engine and exhaust systems. It is estimated that affected engines produce in reality around 10 to 40 times more emissions than the cheating software device declare.

Question 2º) how can I find out if my vehicle is affected?
The Group Volkswagen offers a free number in Spain (900 180 361) as well as the following on-line link: http://info.volkswagen.com/es/es/home.html?tab=check-own-car Vehicles must meet the following criteria: It must be a Volkswagen, Audi or Porsche, diesel affected by the faulty software. For the moment, the exact models affected would be the following: Jetta CleanDiesel (model years 2009 – 2015), Jetta Sportswagen (model years 2009 – 2014), Beetle and Beetle convertible CleanDiesel (model years 2012 – 2015), Audi A3 TDI (model years 2010 – 2015), Golf CleanDiesel (model years 2010 – 2015), Golf Sportswagen CleanDiesel (model year 2015) and Passat CleanDiesel (model years 2012 – 2015), VW Touareg (2014), and possibly also the Porsche Cayenne (2015), and the Audi A6-A7 Quattro, A8 and Q5 (all 2016).

Question 3º) Can I keep driving the car? Can the vehicle be confiscated or fined by the traffic authorities? Will the car pass the inspection?
If you own one of these vehicles, you can safely continue driving it and as far as we know, cars will not be confiscated, seized or fined by the authorities. However, the problem lies with the ITV, as one of the main objectives of the ITV inspection is to ensure the vehicle meets the minimum requirements of environmental protection, so it is likely that your car will not pass inspection.

Question 4º) Can I remove the defeat device by myself?
No. The cheating device is inserted deeply into the internal vehicle’s computer framework system that controls both the software and the engine of the car. If you do that, you will also lose all possibility to claim compensation against the company.

Question 5º) If I receive a letter or phone call from my VW dealer, should I take the vehicle to any VW Service centre?We do not advice you to do that. In fact, given the intentional nature of the fraud, it is hard to believe the company’s promise that the problem will be easily mended just by simply removing the cheating device from the car. We gravely doubt it. What kind of credibility can the company offer now to their own betrayed customers?Remember the old saying: “once a cheater, always a cheater”.Moreover, if the emissions failures were easily fixable, Volkswagen would have had no need to install the cheating device and defraud the EPA for the last six years. But supposing just for the sake of the argument that the defeat device could be indeed safely removed, there is not guarantee at all, that possible long-term hidden internal damage to those vehicles might still remain. Finally, remember that if the device is removed, the company will surely ask you to sign a disclaimer letter, losing consequently all possibility to claim compensation against the company.

Question 6º) Do I qualify for compensation? If so, what compensation can I expect?
ABSOLUTELY YES. As a matter of fact, there is a wide variety of Volkswagen’s owners who have indeed a very strong legal case against the company, like for instance; drivers who drive thousands of Km each year (so it is vital to them to choose an eco-friendly car), car dealerships, asthma sufferers, and/or shareholders, who have seen the value of their shares plunged. In short, claims will include compensation for falling values of second-hand VW cars, and refunds for customers who paid extra for cars they thought were better for the environment, etc. Be reassured that in all these cases mentioned, the actual damages to be claimed from the company will be pretty significant and it many instances, the compensation will even amount to the full refund of all the money paid for the faulty vehicle, or alternatively to the delivery of a brand new car.Moreover, do not forget that at the event of a lawsuit, the company has already admitted guilt, so the burden of the proof would be in favour of the affected consumer, increasing dramatically the chances of winning the case.

Question 7º) would it be feasible to try reaching a reasonable “out of court settlement”, that might avoid entering into litigation with the company? (i.e by accepting the so-called “goodwill package” by VW).
Please be very careful to any documents you might be asked to sign with regards to any possible “Goodwill Package” or similar offer made by the company. As litigators Solicitors, we believe that the decision as to engage into litigation must not be taken lightly. Therefore, we are always mindful of alternative ways of settling disputes if possible, as it will be in our client’s best interests to pursue a satisfactory out of court settlement without litigation if possible. Subsequently, we will always be happy to discuss all the available choices with you, and obviously, at the end of the day, the decision whether to accept any offer the company makes to you is entirely yours. However, if despite all efforts, legal proceedings might have to be finally issued as a step of last resort, we would continue to bear in mind the benefits of reaching a satisfactory out of court settlement with Volkswagen before trial.

Question 8º) Is there any statute of limitations applicable on a claim like this?According to the Spanish law, the action for annulment must be initiated within four years the fraud was discovered. This period shall begin to count from Sept. 18, 2015.

Question 9º) Is it compulsory to join the claim only through a class action?
Not at all. There are undoubtedly significant benefits of joining our class action, as many claimants will share very related interests in the lawsuit. Subsequently, it can be a cost effective way to secure a suitable remedy for large groups of individuals who suffered similar harms, as they would be able to obtain analogous recoveries in the case. However, regarding this particular case, a lawsuit filed by a private litigant will also be an effective way to obtain redress, because rather than receiving generalized relief, an individual plaintiff can potentially get a higher compensation. Likewise, the individual lawsuit would have the advantage of being uniquely crafted to the circumstances of each particular individual’s case.

Question 10º) If I decide to go ahead, Why should I choose “Ricor Abogados&Solicitors”? What are the next steps?
Firstly, We are probably one the most experienced and reliable Law Firm in the Costa Blanca area, and we are specialized in all kind of consumer legal disputes and secondly, we have indeed won many lawsuits for consumers over the past few years. Be reassured that we will fight for your interests as a consumer in the most professional and strongest way possible. Therefore in case you believe that you might be affected by this serious problem, please do not hesitate to contact us preferably by e-mail at ricorsolicitors@yahoo.co.uk and we will be delighted to inform you in more detail about the paperwork required, as well as the advisable tailored legal strategy in your case, approximate timetable and likely costs involved.

We hope this information is useful and should you have any additional question about this or other legal matter, please visit our website: www.ricorabogados.com Thank you very much for your attention and permanent support and we look forward to helping you!
Mr Oscar Ricor“NON-PRACTISING ENGLISH SOLICITOR IN ENGLAND AND WALES”, under the “Solicitors Regulation Authority” (SRA) SRA number 519196 and practicing Spanish Solicitor.

Si es usted el propietario de un vehículo Volkswagen dotado de motor diesel tipo “ES189”, y si a través de su número de bastidor ha averiguado que se encuentra dentro del listado de vehículos vendidos en España por la marca, trucados fraudulentamente por ella, entonces, le interesa saber lo siguiente:

1º.- Que todos los vehículos afectados, tienen también alterada la “Tarjeta de Inspección Técnica”, que es la que acredita la identidad del vehículo y que el mismo esté homologado para circular por las carreteras de nuestro país.

Porque la marca Volkswagen ha incluido en la tarjeta de su coche (que la ha emitido la propia marca), un “volumen de emisiones de CO2,(apartado V.7-V8), y un “cumplimiento del límite de emisiones impuesto por la Unión Europea mediante su norma EURO 5”(apartado V.9), que son falsas; porque vd, contamina más de lo que dicen.

2º.- Que el fraude en dichos motores, ha consistido en colocarles un chips que altera las mediciones de las emisiones de CO2, para hacerlas coincidir, falsamente, con los límites oficiales exigidos a todos los coches europeos para que puedan circular, por la normativa europea y comunitaria.

3º.- Que su coche, al no cumplir los estándares oficiales de emisión de gases contaminantes, NO PUEDE CIRCULAR por las carreteras europeas, y NO ES SEGURO, porque contamina excesivamente el medio ambiente, dañando la salud de todos, incluida la suya propia, y la de su familia e hijos.

4º.- Que a VOLKSWAGEN ESPAÑA, le exigirán que presente un listado de TODOS los vehículos trucados, y de sus propietarios, ante la Audiencia Nacional, en el sumario que se sigue por el Ministerio Fiscal contra VOLKSWAGEN, por lo que, tarde o temprano, el Ministerio de Industria, y la Dirección General de Tráfico, intervendrán. Pueden retirarle la Tarjeta de Inspección Técnica a su coche.

5º.- Que la opción del arreglo por la marca de su vehículo, deben descartarla, porque, de hacerlo, ello le supondrá: a) una renuncia de sus derechos; b) una falta de garantía del alcance y de las consecuencias de la manipulación; c) unas consecuencias futuras dañosas para su bolsillo, por haber contaminado en exceso desde la fecha de compra del vehículo, aunque no lo supiera, ni lo quisiera, que se pueden traducir en multas por los últimos 4 años; d) una ausencia de garantía futura de nuevas averías de repetición derivadas de la manipulación del motor en tan forzada situación; d) la consecuencia de tener que afrontar una nueva ficha técnica, y una nueva homologación del vehículo; y, e) el tener que soportar un coche que no tendrá la potencia con la que vd, lo adquirió, es decir, irá más lento y sin fuerza alguna.

6º.- Que si Volkswagen no sabe qué es lo que le han hecho a sus motores sus ingenieros – así lo han confesado públicamente – difícilmente le van a poder garantizar una reparación exitosa para sus intereses, aunque si para los de Volkswagen, porque, según el proverbio árabe: “La primera vez que me engañes, será culpa tuya; la segunda vez, la culpa será mía”.

 

Concluimos diciéndoles que tienen perfecto derecho a resolver el contrato de compraventa por vicio de consentimiento obstativo y graveporque si ustedes hubieran sabido lo que le habían hecho al motor, entonces no lo habrían adquirido – Y tienen todo el derecho a exigir al vendedor, que les devuelva el importe íntegro del precio de compra del vehículo, más los intereses legales moratorios (el interés legal más dos puntos, ahora un 6%), más los daños y perjuicios que haya sufrido(multas, gastos, etc), más los daños morales (unos 2.500 € sin justificar); más las costas (que serán, al menos, 1/3 del valor total de reclamación). Y a exigirles que, tras la devolución e indemnización, se queden con el coche, para que hagan con él lo que deseen.

No acepten, ningún arreglo ni componenda, que no sea la devolución del precio de venta. Ese es su derecho. Y lo demás, sepan que no son mas que engaños y espurias interpretaciones divulgadas por la marca, para evitar que les lleven a pleito.

Fdo: Dr. ANTONIO RICOR BEUZON, DOCTOR EN DERECHO por la Univ.Alicante.

Senior Bufete “SOLICITOR RICOR ABOGADOS”

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