Reply To: When Your Lawyer Lets You Down


I may tell you I have reviewed this issue lately after a phone conversation with Mark regarding his last published column, to be sincere I had to review the 57/1968 Law, I wasn’t very familiar with it as here (Asturias) providing a BG in off plan purchases is not as common as It should be. Most of times the builder would use a simple insurance policy, something, by the way, allowed in that 57/1968 Law, and will only provide you a BG if you specifically ask for it. (but by your E-mail I guess the policy you were shown doesn’t cover the deposits made by purchasers)

The BG or insurance guaranties wont end till the builder gives you your house and he provides the LFO. This documents must be attached to the contracts and the money has always to be deposited in special accounts that can be only used in the related promotion. I may add that the rights granted to consumers by this law are considered non-renounceable

The sentence saying your money is now granted by the construction may be true but legally speaking is pure crap

Initial consequences ruled in this law to promoters/builders who fail to provide this guaranties have been revoked by the 1995 Spanish Criminal Code and 1999 LOE or General Building Act. Now, Everyone failing to provide the BG or insurance may be imposed fines up to the 25% of the non-assured amounts (LOE) also, if they don’t give you your house and fail to refund your money they could be sentenced from one to six years of prison (this may sound simple but it’s not… you have to prove they used the money for other purposes)

About your lawyer… if you think he has ‘let you down’, and as for what you are describing I wont deny it, yes, go to his Bar Association (Colegio) and report him. Keeping brutally sincere you will find very, very, very difficult to meet a lawyer willing to sue a colleague (I do directly admit I personally wouldn’t) but every Colegio has a special procedure for this cases with lawyers appointed to do this work. Additionally we do have our insurance policies (I’ve never had a claiming demand in my 12 year professional live as a practitioner but I keep my 650.000 € yearly insurance up to date 8) )