Thanks to both Sami and Guest for your responses, the following is a bit long but sets the picture for you:
The bankrupt developer is Promociones Bonita Hills SL. The company is German-owned. They have built two phases of this development in Calahonda and also built the Albaicin complex nearby.
I bought through the so-called Awful Estates in April 2002 and my lawyer is one of their favoured providers. I do not have the original bank guarantee, just a copy – and have only just received that. It was dated 27 March 2003 and has a ‘vencimiento’ date of 1 March 2004 (i.e. six months after I should have received the keys!) Although it is apparently expired, I understand that it remains in force until the certficate of first occupation is granted – and this has not yet happened, although there are people living in some of the apartments.
My lawyer is hard to contact although I saw them a couple of weeks ago and they told me that they are “90% certain” that I will get my money back eventually, via one route or another – i.e. very vague. However, I have been made aware that my apartment and others are back on the market via one specific agency, presumably because I have notified that I wish to exercise the bank guarantee, following disclosure of bankruptcy. This makes me very nervous – my lawyer tells me that my apartment is NOT for sale but I have been into the agency and seen the plans and know that it IS for sale. The agency told me that the orignal buyer did not have sufficient funds to complete the purchase!!! The other choice I was given recently, in order to receive the keys, was to pay an extra €15.000 in excess of that agreed in the orginal contract – I believe this is illegal (but others have accepted it).
My most immediate concern is that the Bank Guarantee is with a company called Compagnie des Garanties SA of Luxembourg. I found out through another source that this company appears on a list of companies not authorised to operate in Spain. Importantly, my lawyer was not aware of this until very recently – although I find it hard to believe why not. This has all made me very nervous.
My plan is to consult another lawyer asap, but I would really appreciate your thoughts. I do speak reasonably good Spanish (but would struggle with legal jargon). I appreciate your interest!