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“Better late than never”, says a very famous Spanish refrain with Words of Wisdom. Effectively and slowly but surely, the Spanish Court´s judicial system is finally providing protection and recognising right of the staggering number of purchasers of real estate in Spain. Many of these who purchased with ‘AIFOS’ resulted in the loss of all the monies paid to the promoters on the premise of buying their “dream” Spanish homes. Many of these were either never built or, were not in a legal condition to hand over to the rightful owners. Furthermore, the banks where the funds were transferred or deposited, likewise did not accept responsibility for the bank guarantees or insurances available to cover the above-indicated risks.

It has been a long hard road for all those customers who saw how, despite having paid to the promoters, and significantly AIFOS, important amounts “on account” to acquire their homes bought “on plan”, were to discover that these houses were never to be built or, those that were constructed were done so with tremendous delays and were illegal lacking in licences of first occupation etc. Frustrated buyers, who then decided to cancel their contracts and ask the promoters for their money to be refunded, found that the promoters often had either disappeared or had been declared bankrupt. Therefore, despite it being their legitimate right, the thousands of purchasers never recovered their funds. The bank Guarantees that covered these risks and that would have allowed them to recuperate the sums paid either by mutual accord or judicial execution was not forthcoming.

Recently, this situation has radically changed, as not only has the Spanish Supreme Court but also many of the High Provincial Courts, are acknowledging by most of their judgments, the right of the purchasers to be refunded their money by making the banks directly responsible for the payments of these sums which were held in their accounts. It was in these holdings that the promoters lodged the advanced payments for the purchase of the properties.

This supposes a significant victory for “justice” at its best and a very relevant progress in the protection of consumer rights by the Courts in Spain. The country where so many foreign buyers with great illusion trusted the property market were harshly let down. These purchasers who have suffered for many years due to the reality of the crisis which resulted in the property crash were not able to enjoy their purchase, are now to discover that their expectations were not entirely in vain, and will at least now find that the possibility is available for them to reclaim their funds, compensations Plus added legal interest annually.

In the particular case of purchasers of AIFOS properties, and as a consequence of the decision of its BANKRUPTCY TRUSTEES of declaring the legal universal cancelling of all the AIFOS purchase contracts, as per the AIFOS BANKRUPTCY COURT approved ORDER of 13-04-2015 for the TRUSTEES LIQUIDATION PLAN REPORT dated 02-02-2014, which is one of the previous procedural requirements to proceed against the banks, the way is now wide open to start with court actions.

We are specialists in real estate law, banking law and litigation. We are also one of the most experienced Spanish law firms in defending such matters representing English speaking clients.


Please note: The information provided is based upon our understanding of current legislation. It is not legal advice but is provided freely to enable you to be properly informed. We recommend that if you are considering taking action, you should seek professional advice.

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