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What suggestion do you have if my lawyers are refusing to forward the proceeds of the sale of my property?

Property Law

Antonio Flores Vila

20th of May 2002

Q. A firm of Spanish lawyers in Fuengirola, Spain, is holding on to a sum of money belonging to me as a result of the sale of my house in Marbella. As far as I am concerned that firm is entitled to deduct its fees (a pre-arranged sum) plus an amount of money for re-registering my property in The Land Registry and an amount for the removal from the deeds of an old mortgage which had been paid off. This still leaves monies due to me and the Firm is ignoring my demands that those monies be paid. Can you offer any comment or advice ? Yours faithfully


    A. Dear Mr. Hart,

    It strikes me that a legal professional is doing what you are mentioning. However, it is not first time I come accross such a complaint from foreign investors in Spain, who have sold a property, the proceeds of which are being uncomprehensibly retained.

    The only possible explanation is that if you are subject to a retention of 5% of the purchase due to you having the consideration of non-resident for tax purposes, and the gain made is no more than that amount plus the other costs, there is no profit. However, as this possible situation must have already been assesed by you, I would have to rule it out.

    The normal procedure would be for the firm to deduct a lump sum in concept of a provision of funds for expenses, and their legal fees, and forward you the rest of the funds, with inmediate effect.

    If in your next attempt to recover your funds you are unsuccesful, let us know.

    Yours sincerely

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