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Over 100 off-plan buyers get their money back

More than 100 people who lost their deposits on properties that were never delivered due to the Spanish property crisis have got their money back with interest.

According to the legal advisory firm Spanish Legal Reclaims, who are handling more than 1,000 such cases, their clients have been refunded more than €8 million to date.

Most of those affected brought on property developments in Andalusia that went to the wall when the Spanish property market collapsed after 2007. Half of them are foreigners who invested an average of €100,000, and 90% of claims handled by the firm have been successful, report Spanish Legal Reclaims. “It’s only fair to get a refund on money you thought you’d lost forever,” said José Luis Antón, a lawyer with Spanish Legal Reclaims.

A sentence passed by the Supreme Court in December 2015 has made refunds possible. It ruled that those affected by bankruptcy of property developers could claim back their deposit from the developer’s banks. Although there are no official figures, it’s estimated that there could be over 600,000 people who never got the home they paid for and lost all the money they invested.

Luis Cuervo, CEO at Spanish Legal Reclaims, points out that all you need to do to start a refund claim is prove three things: your contract with the developer; proof of payment into the developer’s bank account; and proof that the property was never finished in the time stipulated by the contract. However, court cases can take time, according to lawyer Carlos Cómitre, because banks tend to appeal. “All in all, the process can take up to two years.”