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I've found out that the property I purchased has 2 "embargos". What must I do?

Property Law

Antonio Flores Vila

10th of September 2000

Q. In 1987 I bought a villa in an urbanization in Spain through a local estate agent. Recently I have discovered that my property has one or possibly two embargo's on it which were in place prior to my purchase. I did not see the escritura or a nota simple before paying for the property. The Italian estate agent has since been deported from Spain. Please could you explain what an embargo is and how the bank who I believe benefits from the embargo would go about enforcing it. Can somebody now pay the bank the value of the embargo and become the owner of my property. Are there any time limits or other important factors which may invalidate the embargo. Would there be any reason why the bank has done nothing about the embargo for the 13 years I have owned the property?


    A. An embargo is a charge on your property used for ensuring the payment of a debt. You can have many of these charges on your property, and they are normally not associated to banks but to private business operators. The creditor applies to the Court for an embargo to be registered against the property of the debtor, thus ensuring that the property answers with its value for the amount of the debt. If your property has not been already auctioned off by the courts to satisfy the debt, I doubt the debt is still owed. I assume the creditor´s debt was entirely satified and quite simply the debtor forgot to file an application to the courts to cancel the charge.

    However, I recommend you engage a lawyer to find out the exact situation of these debts and apply, as the case may be, for a cancellation of the debt, either through the courts or via Land registry procedure.

    Let me know if you need more help

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