July 27, 2005 at 10:18 am #51174
I am a French citizen, therefore please excuse my English.
Usually living on the Costa Blanca I have very good British friends there who have been and are still being abused by a lawyer in their purchase of a of land they wanted to build on. I am writing on their behalf since they are not familiar with Internet dealing.
Their lawyer, after three years, has still not provided them with any legal papers – not to talk about having registered anything in their name. Which we know is not unusual in Spain, where everything is slow and somehow official departments disconnected from each others when it comes to straighten up administrative situations. But what is horrifying is that my friends have NO PROOF at all of their purchase and the money they paid (alltogether 150 000 euros!). All they have are some bank transfer statements for part of the price … addressed to a third party through the realter and the lawyer! Nothing in their name..
We found this out lately, as they now unfortunately dramatically need to re-sale this land , before even having started to build on it : they never got the permission to build on it ,and never could get “luz” / electrical power (while the said lawyer and realter had confirmed they would get both without problem and which were the condition clause for their completion of the purchase – unfortunatemy they naively trusted the lawyer and signed and paid as they were told the land could be sold to someone else if they did not “pay now”…) .They do not even have the slightest paper in their name showing they ow the land….not a legal receipt for any payment.
Speculation was not their purpose; since they had sold everything they had in England to come to settle in Spain, they needed to have place to live in, and so they invested the rest of their savings left after the purchase of the landmentioned above, in the purchase of an already built house, hoping that they would be able to sell the land in question, even at a lower price than the original purchase price, just to get some money back for their living and improving the house they bought.
To cut it short, they are now the hostages of this lawyer – who does not deliver any legal papers to them that would allow them to do anything regarding this land that they paid for but do not own.
This lawyer – definitely a crook – has his office in Teulada, in the Alicante Province – and does not seem to be registered anywhere. His letterheads do not indicate anything but “abogado”.
My friends do not speak Spanish. Besides, they are now so short of money because of this swindle that they just couldn’t afford to hire another lawyer in a different part of Spain : no local lawyer would accept to take their case against another local lawyer, no more than the British realter who they realized is NOT legally registered in Spain, not even a resident…
How can one check if this man indeed belongs to any Colegio for sure, in order to denounce him to the said Colegio…. or/and check if HE IS A REGISTERED LAWYER AT ALL?
If it was discovered that the man is illegally practicing law advice, may be my friends cound find some help – such as addressing to the Syndic de Greuges, without having to make heavy down payments for legal fees.
Thanks for your help.
July 27, 2005 at 5:32 pm #58546
You must check in the Colegio de Abogados of that province whether that man is registered as a lawyer: if he is there should be an insurance covering his malpractice , In the Colegio de Abogados de Málaga (where I belong to) we have a minimum insurance of 300.000 Euros. That could be a good start.
But that it not all, if he is a lawyer he is also liable for any amounts he might have taken from the client, it would mean then a criminal case (for the offense) and a civil case (for the amounts taken) together. In that case you would need to contact a good lawyer in the area, but be ready to hear: without documents you will not get very far, unless you can also base your case on strong whitness.
If you find out that he is not a lawyer of course you can start the court case aswell but you an add another serious offense: acting as a lawyer without being registered is a criminal offense. Perhaps even the Colegio de Abogados should start legal actions for this offense.
I hope your friends can solve their problem, good luck,
Jose Maria Sánchez Alfonso
Lawyer / Abogado
Málaga, Costa del Sol
July 31, 2005 at 12:05 am #58571
I have my own Law Firm in Moraira. I would be very pleased to help you. I can’t accept anybody acting like this and distroying our colective reputation. Please give me some details of your case and the names of all the people involved in such a fraud. I will attend it as soon as I return from my holidays, first week of September.
Please email this information at firstname.lastname@example.org
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