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The Spanish Lawyer Online
The Spanish Lawyer Online

Antonio Flores’ Blog

Thoughts about laws and regulations which affect foreigners in Spain


Archive for July, 2011

CAM Bank: The Worst Bank Ever?

July 27th, 2011

I have an American client, Ray, who happens to be a CAM Bank client. Several months ago, Ray got caught up by this bank’s disastrous decision-making processes and stuck in what seems an unresolvable legal quagmire.

Ray bought from a developer off-plan, back in 2005. In 2008 the properties were finished and licensed but, because the developer was running into problems, there were court cases being filed, and potentially embargoes being registered against the units, including his. So to protect him, on our advice he chose to complete on the property assuming the existing mortgage, without qualifying with the CAM as the application had not been submitted.

On a property valued at €900,000, he had paid more than half of it, during the course of the construction.

The situation was that he owned the property but the mortgage was in the developer’s name, although he kept his payments up to date. Twelve months ago, his loan fell behind by €300 during 3 days, and the CAM, because it coincided in time that they had just foreclosed on the loans on the other unsold units, seized the opportunity and did the same with his. Two days after this he had €20k in his account to cover several installments, but CAM refused point blank to reinstate. No other bank will lend him now, even though is not in a bad creditors list, because of this unusual situation.

This is an example that shows that some banks choose to be where they are: they are just bad banks with bad people running them, no more, and the CAM, the fourth largest savings bank in Spain, epitomises this.

Ray is not alone, as there seems to be a large number of clients who have had to deal with branch managers lacking the minimum common sense you expect from someone in their position. If you are one of those affected, we would love to here you story.

Today on Talk Radio Europe

For those of you interested, I will be today around 4.00 PM on the Life At Five with Allan Tee Show on Talk Radio Europe, to discuss this matter.

You can tune in directly through their website (internet stream), or through the FM frequency assigned in your area.

Mortgages , , ,

Spanish Developer Used Bogus Certificates to Win Court Cases

July 15th, 2011

The title is very unsettling and surely, libel action material by anyone’s standards. But sadly, it is exactly what is being done by Inmobiliaria Peñarroya, developer for La Reserva de Marbella, to uphold the legality of these properties in courts.

The story, in short, involves licenses of first occupancy issued by administrative silence that were granted, supposedly and according to Peñarroya, for a number of buildings completed at La Reserva de Marbella. These licenses were granted by Leopoldo Barrantes Conde, currently indicted in the Malaya Operation, on behalf of the Marbella Town Hall, and the certificates are there to prove it.

However, my colleague Luis got suspicious because these certificates lacked the classic stamp issued by the documentation registrar of any Town Hall to evidence the date of notification of the administrative act. So we wrote to the Town Hall to enquire whether these certificates were actually part of the file stored with the Planning Department ,and, to our surprise, we were advised they were not, there is simply no trace of the original document supporting the photocopies in file.

The seriousness of this situation is shocking: already, the Supreme Court has ruled in favour of the developer on the basis of these fraudulent ghost licenses, perpetuating this deliberate legal anomaly based on fake official document.

Mr. Barrantes issued the licenses on the 16th of December 2005 and was arrested on the 29th of March 2006.

In our opinion, one of the following has happened:

  1. The documents have been drawn up for the occasion, using Photo Shop or another less sophisticated method, leaving the registrar stamp out.
  2. The documents were, at some point, officially issued by the Town Hall but the originals were removed by someone, either before or after the arrest of Mr. Barrantes.
  3. The originals existed but have been carelessly lost, or inadvertently misplaced

Whichever the case, the use of the documents by La Reserva de Marbella constitutes “procedural swindle” (estafa procesal), an action entailing deliberately deceiving a Judge or court into issuing a ruling that would have not been otherwise reached.


Litigation, Scams , , ,

Buying Property in Spain: Corporate vs. Personal Ownership

July 7th, 2011

Last week I was approached by a professional real estate agent with a requirement for legal representation for property purchasers, on newly built “residential” for commercial (rental) purposes property, in the Marbella region. Among the queries he had the choice of investment vehicle, that is, personal vs. corporate, was of the utmost importance for his clients, and so I decided to put some ideas on paper in respect of the pros and cons of one or the other, as I saw them. The article is titled Buying Property in Spain: In my Own Name or Using a Company?

It is worth noting that I have not included offshore companies in this article, for they are less in demand, and also I have never been too keen on them anyway.

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