Overseas property is the Wild West

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This topic contains 12 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Anonymous Anonymous 5 years ago.

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  • #56422
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Buying property abroad is a risky business. Much riskier than most people imagine.

    For a start, it’s an ideal business for fraudsters. High commissions mean big money, and thanks to cross-border jurisdiction issues, the risk of getting caught are very low.

    This article shows how difficult it is to put together a case: http://www.burtonmail.co.uk/News/No-further-action-in-property-probe-25112011.htm

    When you buy property abroad it’s up to you to look after your money because nobody else will. You have to be very sceptical about what you hear, and careful about who you deal with.

    During the boom the British in particular were very naïve. I have a pet theory they are so well protected at home they don’t realise how dangerous the world is beyond the UK’s consumer protection laws. It makes them easy targets.

  • #106717
    Profile photo of Chris McCarthy
    Chris McCarthy
    Participant

    That is just too depressing for words really.

    I have been waiting to hear more reported on another company that operated here on the CdS selling land, parcels of land to people over the telephone, who reportedly took some €90 million of money before disappearing to heaven knows where.

    I understood there were arrests and investigations but then nothing, nothing at all.

    And then how did other companies simply close down with € millions taken for furniture packs or deposits on properties in ’emerging markets’ that did not complete or were transferred.

    Am afraid you are right, just tragically so, some people literally seem able to get away with pure daylight robbery across so many borders that there is no traction or ability to pursue them. It is seemingly open season if you have the mind to set up an elaborate scam. There seems to be no comeback whatsoever.

    It all just beggars belief, it absolutely does, not looking for sympathy, but if you are business that has tried so hard to do the right thing, it leaves you in despair when so many are seen to be doing the wrong thing, and you can never really point the finger either.

  • #106735
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I agree Chris, it is very depressing. There is no justice in this business. Swindlers can made millions with impunity. Naïve investors have been defrauded out of their life savings and there is nothing that can be done about it. Hundreds of millions if not billions of Euros have been swindled. Thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of families are suffering. Lives have been ruined. Swindles within the overseas property business could be one of the biggest frauds of our time but it gets little attention. Why? Because it falls between jurisdictions, and because overseas property investors get little sympathy.

    All we can hope is that people wise up and take more care in future. The best defence against swindlers is scepticism. As far as cross-border property investment goes, consumer protection laws just give a false sense of security (take note anyone now investing in hyped-up places like Brasil)

    And if people start to take more care about who the deal with (it always boils down to the people you deal with) that should be good for your business Chris. So don’t lose heart 🙂

  • #106740
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    What is it with this world now, where Governments allow: swindlers, individual and corporate tax evaders, Liars loans fraudsters, their own MPs and Peers, MEPs, Banks and bankers, the regulators etc etc to keep getting away with it with impunity?

    The UK’s Gov’t has numerous Ministers who avoid/evade tax in offshore havens, now we hear that many homes over £1 million don’t have stamp duty in the UK, and today we hear that no Council Tax is paid on many homes owned by the super rich either (not that they need to save this), and what do Cameron, Clegg, Cable, et al do about it? The same as the previous Labour lot, nada!! 😈 Then you see these Ministers in church, bloody hypocrites 👿

    It’s no wonder the masses are demonstrating everywhere.

  • #106741
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    The system is corroupt to the core. We in our arrogance blame the middle East regimes to be corroupt. Irrespective of political stance. What do you expect when the majority of the cabinet are property millionares ??????????

  • #106743
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    If God is watching all this happen to his jewel in the Universe, wouldn’t you think he’d want to press a button now and end it all, clear the greedy and evil bastards out of the earth? 🙂

    What I can’t understand is, that the more money the greedy make, the more they want 🙄 You’d think another million or two or 100 million more wouldn’t make any difference, do they think either they are immortal or that they can take it with them? Billions didn’t prolong the life of Steve Jobs, you’d think greedy Government ministers, and Corporate b


    s like Philip Green, Branson etc would start to think about their end 😯 Many so called billionaires, Branson is one, actually admit to avoiding/evading tax when they started up as he did when he imported music tapes.

    As for their charitable work 😆 much of this is threefold, 1st to save even more tax, 2nd to assuage their guilty consciences, and 3rd to milk the love for their philanthropy. 🙄

    Meanwhile, the millions of starving, diseased and poverty stricken populus in the 3rd world is the same as it always was 😡

    An article yesterday shows that Ca-moron and co in the UK are happy to let the elderly in the UK have to choose between Eat or Heat, yet send billions in aid to overseas countries such as India which has it’s own space programme, it really beggars belief 👿

  • #106744
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Oh, Angie. Where sholuld I start. You have raised so many issues with soooooooooo many facets. Have you got a whole evening free to discuss this over a tinto !!!!.

  • #106745
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thanks Angie, I thought I was the only Liberal in a sea of Blue on this forum.

    During many years of living and running a business in Spain, I’ve adopted the native ways and it was often a case of having to, or paying more tax than my Spanish neighbour next door, a lot more.

    When another conservative government was elected last weekend, I wanted to run to the local newsagents before they run out of brown envelopes.

    But over the last eight years or so I have noticed a vast improvement in the ‘honesty’ levels of the Spanish population; it coincided with the large scale arrests of mayors, developers, bankers and other officials, so the country is trying to clean up its image at long last.

    The Malaya corruption trial in Marbella is still running, but with reporting restrictions imposed by the court. The outcome will be important for the whole of Spain.

    I might still get the envelopes tomorrow, just in case.

  • #106747
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Rocker, I hope you are righjt. I have a feeling as there is no cash in the system one can hardly place a letra in the brown envelope

    letra= promisory note.

  • #106753
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    Shakeel, a few bottles of Tinto please with you and anyone who cares to join us.

    Rocker, I was so desperate to see an end to the awful Labour lot that I was pleased for any change of Government in the UK, and I did have hopes for the Conservatives, even the Coalition as I had voted for both these Parties in previous years. However, I’ve come to the conclusion that in reality there’s hardly any distinction between them in terms of both ignoring the public whilst lining their own greedy pockets. They all go gung-ho at various policy decisions without considering large groups that are suffering, they all blame past Governments, and they generally cock things up then get voted out and so the merry-go-round continues.

    What makes it worse then, they all receive Peerages, Knighthoods, Part-Time Directorships with huge incomes, as well as fortunes for round the world speeches. They are nearly all an insiduous bunch of greedy tax evading crooks with jobs for ‘the boys’ ‘or girls’, incompetence and negligence are requirements for their CVs:evil:

    I wouldn’t have confidence in voting for any of the current UK Parties in future. 🙄

  • #106756
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @mark wrote:

    During the boom the British in particular were very naïve. I have a pet theory they are so well protected at home they don’t realise how dangerous the world is beyond the UK’s consumer protection laws. It makes them easy targets.

    The main question would be who created the stupid idea that people can get rich by flipping houses in foreign countries… Was it only A Place in the Sun and other property porn programmes? Was it the UK banks faults because it allowed people to remortgage their UK houses to buy property abroad? Was it foreign banks fault because they offered too much mortgage?

    Most of the people do not need holiday homes, unless they can buy it for a song. I recognise that I almost got dragged into buying by the hype of 2005-2007, but then I woke up before handing any money. Too bad many people were lured by the siren songs and lost fortunes…

  • #106803
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Fraudsters will always be with us; buyers in a foreign country must always find an independent lawyer; ie not tied to the friendly estate agent, developers etc…. i realise most agents don’t have a second agenda when recommending their tame lawyer (apart from a speedy completion and protection of fees) but all over the world the lawyer must be totally independent…………… What is quite sad is that all these fraudsters are still around and have not been prosecuted – even the local English language papers never mentioned the going ons…… there is a great hush up …. too much to lose i guess!!!! 🙁 🙁

  • #106806
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    In Sweden I could honestly tell you that no independent lawyer is needed. It has mostly to do with how our system is set up though. The agent is neutral by law but ofcourse his aim is to maximize the final prize. We don’t have notaries so the agents do their work also. It’s about as tough to get into the university to become an agent as it is to become a dentist, lawyer etc. So different from how it is in most other countries. Since it’s probably one of peoples biggest deals in their life time it’s important that everything works out as it should.

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