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This topic contains 22 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Anonymous Anonymous 9 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #52710
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Having received our money back from the developers of Green Hills our lawyer is now pursuing a refund from our original lawyer who signed the purchase contract. We paid them over 7,000 euros as an upfront fee to cover ALL costs to completion as per their terms. As the building was not even started we asked for a refund of a percentage of the 7,000+ euros. They refused and would not answer any emails, calls etc, from either us or our lawyer.!!!!

    We took our case, through our lawyer, to the Collegio de Abogados. They said that DLM should refund us some money and summoned the senior partner into their office for a meeting with them and our lawyer. He did not respond to their letter OR turn up for the meeting.

    The senior partner has now been summoned to a conciliation meeting to be heard before a judge in the Marbella Court in May. We are not holding our breath for a resolution, but it will be another experience of the judicial system in Spain.

  • #69966
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Claire

    We paid them over 7,000 euros as an upfront fee to cover ALL costs to completion as per their terms.

    Is this the norm as we got a bill at the end once completed and paid nothing up front?

    Regards

    Paul

  • #69967
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Thanks for keeping us informed..very interesting 🙂

  • #69969
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Paul.

    Yes we had to pay upfront a sum of 7412.83 euros. We queried it at the time but we were told that was their” terms.” After it evolved that we had a no build, we asked for a return of the balance of our deposit. They said no problem. They paid us 134.50 euros. 😯 You can see a breakdown here:

    http://www.spanishpropertyinsight.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=767&highlight=#767

    We personally went to the Notary to do our wills!!!!

  • #69974
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Claire
    Never heard of anyone paying up front and it seems that your lawyer has a lot to answer for (Did he or she ensure you had a bank guarantee)
    To pay up front and then to find there was no property must have been very embarassing .
    As with the situation with regards to simply getting you deposit back for the non build I am sure that this will prove as straight forward.
    Wish you well and please let us know how you get on and hopefully your experience has not put you off considering actually purchasing in Spain in the future

  • #69975
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @glassman wrote:

    To pay up front and then to find there was no property must have been very embarassing

    .

    We were not embarrassed at all, just extremely disappointed and then very, very, annoyed when we discovered the extent of the lies we had been told.

    We now have 100% faith in our current Lawyer, and know he will do his best for us.

  • #69977
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    The problem is that when you have been taken for a ride like you have its understandable to look for revenge.
    The problem in cases like this is that while your solicitors may or may not get you fees back the costs involved may outway the result
    Thankfully my solicitor ensured that all of her clients have Bank guarantees and fully gives an honest and open apraisal of any facts so as to enable us all to make informed decisions should the need arise.
    Wish you well with your pursuit of that solicitor

  • #69978
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @Claire wrote:

    We took our case, through our lawyer, to the Collegio de Abogados. They said that DLM should refund us some money and summoned the senior partner into their office for a meeting with them and our lawyer. He did not respond to their letter OR turn up for the meeting.

    Considering that this lawyer/firm has been complained about before at the Colegio, I am surprised that he did not make the effort to respond. OR…is this another indication of the regulatory body’s inability to effectively discipline their membership without having to resort to the courts themselves?

    It cost me a large fee to find this out.

    My experience of both that firm and the Colegio leaves me cold.

    Some advice for potential purchasers:
    1) Make sure you know who your INDEPENDANT lawyer really is
    2) Make sure that the lawyer you deal with is personally a member of the local colegio de abogados, not some other person in the firm who is a member (i.e. don’t be fobbed off with ‘the firm is a member of the colegio’)
    3) Check all the time that your lawyer is still with the firm/ not retired/ not moved away/ not dead. In these circumstances start again at (1)
    4) For off plan purchases ALWAYS ensure that you do not pay instalments until you have verifiable evidence of an aval or bank guarantee – not just one stated to be available but one actually citing you as the beneficiary. Demand this evidence.
    5) Make sure you know what is in the contract…if the lawyer won’t provide an english translation be suspicious
    6) Keep copies of all correspondence, meeting notes, emails, brochures, advertising blurb etc

    (I am sure that many of you will add to this)

    and you may stand a chance.

    (Up front payments were stated to be the norm to me as well)
    Jon

  • #69979
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Off plan norm is 50% of fee on signing up and the other 50% on completion from my experience
    The last solicitor charged nothing up front and the total on completion
    Excellent advice Jon and everyone looking to purchase take note

  • #69980
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Good advice Jon. I know that you too have had a really bad experience with this law firm.
    It will not cost us more than we stand to gain. As I said , our current lawyer is very good. At the end of the day, my husband & I will be satisfied to see these rogue lawyers bought to account. They have s*****d too many people.

  • #69981
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @jon wrote:

    4) For off plan purchases ALWAYS ensure that you do not pay instalments until you have verifiable evidence of an aval or bank guarantee – not just one stated to be available but one actually citing you as the beneficiary. Demand this evidence.

    Good advice in general except this quoted part.

    All off-plan are paid through stage payments and the bank guarantees or insurance policies are only given, as it’s logical, after the stage payments have been paid.

    No bank will give you bank guarantee on stage payments which have not been paid. So recommending people not to pay stage payments until evidence of an aval is provided is a surefire way of breaching the contract and losing your deposit. 100 % loss guaranteed.

  • #69982
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Jon
    Excellent advice + the bit that Drakan added as he is the one with the expertise while the rest do their best to help with our experiences.
    In any event anyone looking at this thread will hopefully not get taken in like Claire again.

  • #69983
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @glassman wrote:

    Jon
    …In any event anyone looking at this thread will hopefully not get taken in like Claire again.

    Plenty of others were ‘taken in’ in 2001 – 2005

  • #69984
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Jon
    As well I am aware and there is little we can do about the past.
    Hopefull as most had no reference to forums like this and the advice now put forward will hopefully help others in the future.

  • #69985
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant
    glassman wrote:
    Jon
    In any event anyone looking at this thread will hopefully not get taken in like Claire again.[/quote

    We were not “taken in”

    We are talking, as Jon points out , three & half years ago, before all the corruption was uncovered. People trusted lawyers then.

    Most lawyers require an upfront fee to cover disbursements. even our current one! 😉

  • #69986
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @Drakan wrote:

    @jon wrote:

    4) For off plan purchases ALWAYS ensure that you do not pay instalments until you have verifiable evidence of an aval or bank guarantee – not just one stated to be available but one actually citing you as the beneficiary. Demand this evidence.

    Good advice in general except this quoted part.

    All off-plan are paid through stage payments and the bank guarantees or insurance policies are only given, as it’s logical, after the stage payments have been paid.

    No bank will give you bank guarantee on stage payments which have not been paid. So recommending people not to pay stage payments until evidence of an aval is provided is a surefire way of breaching the contract and losing your deposit. 100 % loss guaranteed.

    Thank you Drakan, I stand corrected, but how does this work? How can a buyer make sure that the instalment will be covered? The risk is that the developer could become insolvent before the guarantee is paid for. It seems that you have to depend on the developer too much. What pressure can the buyer apply to get this guarantee promptly? It appears to me to be an enormous black hole in the entire procedure.

  • #69989
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Claire
    As Jon pointed out that you were amonst thousands and I have simply put forward that hopefully these forums will help people in the future.
    As it happens my solicitor is dealing with another matter for me and has done for over a year now and she hasnt charged a euro yet.
    I think its fair to say that total upfront legal fees to purchase a property seem rare.
    However if others can learn either way then thats fine by me

  • #69990
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Most of them ask for upfront fees, some ask for more than others. Unfortunately how was anyone to know a few years ago that it wasn’t how things were done in spain.

  • #69998
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi John.

    You are correct. There is nothing that guarantees your stage payment until you are granted a bank guarantee or insurance policy by the developer. You usually have to wait between 30-60 days. It’s necessary if the 30 days is worded into the contract that after 30 days of having done a stage payment a BG should be issued. If it’s not worded into the private contract then the developer can take for ages (years at worst) until they grant it.

    Your lawyer must request these from the developer (including the deposit you paid) following law 57/68.

    There are many threads on this matter at SPI and other forums. It is vital your lawyer is trustworthy. You must demand always to be faxed, emailed a copy of said BG or IP, it is much too important to trust anyone on this. Your lawyer once he has obtained them has no problem faxing you a copy. No BG: you are financially exposed to developer’s bankruptcy. This has happened, is happenning and will happen yet again. This is cyclical.

    You must make sure your name, surname is worded in the BG, your passport number as well as the address of the property, the numbers etc,.. the amounts covered etc…the day of expiration of the BG. Very important as the delivery of properties in Spain are always late your lawyer must renew the BGs should they expire, otherwise you are exposed as the BG or IP have elapsed.

    For every stage payment you ought to get one bank guarantee that covers them. This is compulsory by law.

    An independent solicitor will do this, one which is not independent may … forget.

    Katy: I don’t work without upfront fees: 50%. That’s standard. Asking all upfront is suspicious.

  • #70031
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @Drakan wrote:

    Katy: I don’t work without upfront fees: 50%. That’s standard. Asking all upfront is suspicious.

    Ah!, but we are much more aware of how things should be done now Drakan. 😉

  • #70044
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi

    So should you if asked pay anything upfront?

    Mine did not ask and was not paid until I completed. As could be offering advice to a casual reader we should clarify.

    Regards

    Paul

  • #70046
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I don’t work for free, well except here at the SPI.

    In real life I charge 50% upfront fee. The client doesn’t want to pay me an upfront fee ? No hay problema, there’s plenty of lawyers to look around for. Paying an upfront fee is standard and I accept no less and the same applies to my colleagues.

    Obviously a law firm or lawyer who wants to be paid the full legal fee upfront should not be trusted.

  • #70049
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    The vast majority of problems associated with house purchase in Spain could be avoided with one simple step – find an English speaking lawyer before finding an agent or a property.

    This is is normal practice in the UK – but I have only ever met a handful of British buyers who have taken this obvious step in Spain.

    Can anybody suggest why so few buyers find their own lawyer?

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