Estate agent abuses POA to steal 100k

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This topic contains 17 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Anonymous Anonymous 7 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #55147
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Another sad story came across my desk yesterday.

    Someone who owned a flat on the Costa del Sol decides to sell up and gives a POA to an estate agent to arrange the sale (same agent owner used to buy 10 years before).

    Owner now contacted out of blue by a mortgage lender asking why behind on payments. Turns out the agent used the POA to take an equity release mortgage out on the property and pocketed close to 100k Euros. Also took out life insurance and house insurance in owner’s name (don’t ask me why). Owner can’t afford to pay so looks like mortgage lender will foreclose, owner loses property and gets nothing.

    Owner has reported the crime but police not interested. Agent believed to have ripped off other expats to the tune of millions. Agent continues to live and trade with impunity on the Costa del Sol.

    Moral of this story is be very careful who you give a POA, and make sure the powers are limited to the job in hand.

    Mark

  • #93795
    Profile photo of Fuengi (Andrew)
    Fuengi (Andrew)
    Participant

    I am sorry for the property owner.

    But who in their right mind would give anyone such an ‘open’ Power of Attorney.
    We still meet vendors who gave their lawyers a POA when they bought, and never cancelled it. So the lawyer still has far too much access.

  • #93796
    Profile photo of Fuengi (Andrew)
    Fuengi (Andrew)
    Participant

    MArk,

    is the agent still operating? can you name then?

    EDIT: or please pm me.

  • #93797
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    That is terrible. Words fail me. What crooks there are here (and everywhere)

    I guess you cannot name and shame.

    Hopefully people will be careful about their POAs. I have had to advise buyers to cancell theirs as they do assume it finishes after they have bought / sold.

  • #93799
    Profile photo of Fuengi (Andrew)
    Fuengi (Andrew)
    Participant

    @inez wrote:

    Hopefully people will be careful about their POAs. I have had to advise buyers to cancell theirs as they do assume it finishes after they have bought / sold.

    EXACTLY!

    The ignorance is quite scary

  • #93800
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Best to have POA drawn up to sell, receive money only for the named property. Wouldn’t have made any difference in this case though 🙁

    I am suprised the notary wouldn’t have queried the above transaction!

  • #93801
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    No reason to query it if there is a poa! The onus is on the giver of the poa to ensure its restrictive or all empowering and is cancelled, not on the notary to check.

    He only has to ensure whatever is happening is within the remit of the poa!

    Ive had a couple of completions where the lawyers of the sellers had to get the poa redone as they only had power to purchase and not to sell!

    Also if the poa is done in front of the same notary as the sale then the notary hardly checks it as its his own doing!!

  • #93802
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Surely it is a public duty to name these thieving crooks if they are still trading.

  • #93803
    Profile photo of Fuengi (Andrew)
    Fuengi (Andrew)
    Participant

    @Claire wrote:

    Surely it is a public duty to name these thieving crooks if they are still trading.

    If the person who was wronged wants to give his story to mark, or whomever then yes. But look what happened with a certain company that should not be named.

  • #93804
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Please forgive my ignorance but what is the procedure for cancelling a POA?

  • #93805
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @fuengi wrote:

    @Claire wrote:
    Surely it is a public duty to name these thieving crooks if they are still trading.

    If the person who was wronged wants to give his story to mark, or whomever then yes. But look what happened with a certain company that should not be named.

    I realise that Fuengi, but this is why these scumbags get away with blue murder. If anyone dares to name them, they threaten legal action. Where is the justice in that? It just allows the “merry-go-round” of corruption to continue.

  • #93806
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    Yes they should be named and shamed

    To cancell a poa you need to go to the notario in which it was signed, with the document or your id. The notary will draw up the cancellation, you sign and pay a small fee and then thats it. Anything further the original poa is used for is null and void and you have no liability

  • #93807
    Profile photo of Fuengi (Andrew)
    Fuengi (Andrew)
    Participant

    @Claire wrote:

    @fuengi wrote:
    @Claire wrote:
    Surely it is a public duty to name these thieving crooks if they are still trading.

    If the person who was wronged wants to give his story to mark, or whomever then yes. But look what happened with a certain company that should not be named.

    I realise that Fuengi, but this is why these scumbags get away with blue murder. If anyone dares to name them, they threaten legal action. Where is the justice in that? It just allows the “merry-go-round” of corruption to continue.

    Hi Claire,

    I agree. But the person should be able to prove how he was harmed. With proof it can be published.

    But maybe the harmed party can take legal action?
    From: http://www.spanishpropertyinsight.com/spain/topics/power-of-attorney.htm

    The attorney must strictly follow the donor’s instructions and is forbidden to act beyond the powers given in the power of attorney. The attorney also has the obligation to render accounts to the donor and to pay to the donor any amounts given to him by virtue of the power of attorney.

    The attorney would be responsible for any damages suffered by the donor as a result of the attorney’s negligence.

    Sometimes powers of attorney include substitution clauses by which the attorney has the power to appoint a replacement to exercise any or all of the powers given to him by the donor. The donor can ask the authorising notary to remove such clause if he wishes, particularly if he wishes the individual attorney to act on his behalf.

  • #93809
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @fuengi wrote:

    I am sorry for the property owner.

    But who in their right mind would give anyone such an ‘open’ Power of Attorney.
    We still meet vendors who gave their lawyers a POA when they bought, and never cancelled it. So the lawyer still has far too much access.

    But thats a lawyer, and whilst no one is ever whiter than white, to give an estate agent a POA as opposed to a lawyer is a completely different matter.

    In all my dealing I have actually never met (or heard of) anyone who has given an estate agent (as opposed to a lawyer) a power of attorney.

  • #93810
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I will not give a POA, to anybody in any Country. I am surprised that Fuengi is suggesting a legal recourse. What good is it in Spain apart from bind ed legislation’s in a library.

  • #93811
    Profile photo of Fuengi (Andrew)
    Fuengi (Andrew)
    Participant

    @Mary Hinge wrote:

    But thats a lawyer, and whilst no one is ever whiter than white, to give an estate agent a POA as opposed to a lawyer is a completely different matter.

    In all my dealing I have actually never met (or heard of) anyone who has given an estate agent (as opposed to a lawyer) a power of attorney.

    I have a few times, even been offered to act as power of attorney in one case (for selling).

    @shakeel wrote:

    I will not give a POA, to anybody in any Country. I am surprised that Fuengi is suggesting a legal recourse. What good is it in Spain apart from bind ed legislation’s in a library.

    Except for legal recourse what legal alternative does the injured party have?

  • #93812
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Inez, thank you for your post regarding the cancellation of POA.

  • #93813
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Legal recourse in Spain is no recourse. Why go down the route & find oneself opening another front to defend ones rights/position.

    I prefer to travel to where ever I need to in order to carry out the deed.

    This also saves me the running around to Embassies, notary offices and the bureaucracy, civil servents slow working practises & associated cost.

    Besides as I will be on the spot in the event that an unforeseen decision has to be taken. I am there & can weigh the pros & cons as the POA holder will not be aware of my immediate or long term plans or intentions.

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