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PRESS / MEDIA RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 15 MAY 2013
FINCA PARCS ACTION GROUP vs CAJA DE AHORROS DEL MEDITERRÁNEO (CAM BANK) & SPANISH PROPERTY DEVELOPER, CLEYTON GES SL
FINCA PARCS – LAWSUIT 1 – CASE CLOSED
FIRST INSTANCE & APPEAL COURT SENTENCES NOW FIRM AGAINST CAM BANK & CLEYTON GES
NO SUPREME COURT APPEAL FROM CAM BANK – CASE CLOSED
Disgraced CAM Bank once described by the Governor of the Bank of Spain as the ‘worst of the worst’ has not filed an Appeal to the Supreme Court in the Finca Parcs case. Therefore, the Sentence issued by the First Instance Court in Hellín on 8 June 2012 and confirmed by the Albacete Provincial Appeal Court on 11 April 2013 is now FIRM and FINAL against both CAM Bank (now SabadellCAM) & the property developer, Cleyton GES SL.
The First Instance Sentence that was ratified by the Provincial Appeal Court concluded that both the developer and Bank failed to fulfil their legal obligations according to Spanish Law, LEY 57/1968 and that CAM Bank was guilty of malpractice and a complete dereliction of its duties.
The Court convicted jointly and severally both defendants to return off-plan deposits paid by the 47 buyers totalling almost 1.5 million Euros for houses that were never built at the abandoned Las Higuericas, Finca Parcs development close to Agramón, Albacete.
As the Sentence is now firm the Court has released the principal amount of the group member’s deposits which was paid by CAM Bank to the Court following the provisional enforcement of the First Instance Sentence in July 2012.
In due course the 47 group members will each receive a refund of their off-plan deposits less costs.
Interest and Costs will be calculated, agreed by the Court, and then paid to group members in approximately 2 to 3 months.
Finca Parcs Action Group Co-ordinator, Keith Rule says:
“This is a momentous day, one that many of the group members thought they would never see. We were elated in June 2012 when we won in the First Instance Court and again in April 2013 when we won in the Appeal Court. However, today is probably more significant as it marks the end of the case with a firm and final Sentence against both the Bank & Developer.
We provisionally enforced the First Instance Sentence in July 2012 and this resulted in CAM Bank paying the principal amount of the deposits to the Court. As the decision is now final the Court has released the funds payment to each group member.
Since paying my off-plan deposit in 2006 I always believed that the banks have liabilities and obligations according to Spanish Law, LEY 57/1968. One of my biggest hurdles in 2008 and 2009 was finding a Lawyer who also shared my view.
The fact that we now have a firm and final decision in this case is evidence that there has always been substance to my views and opinions in cases such as this.
The true measure of success in the legal process is to obtain the refund of the off-plan deposits. We have now achieved that.
I would like to thank María de Castro, director of Costa Luz Lawyers, for trusting my views back in 2008 and having the confidence to support and assist me in building such a strong case against both the developer and bank. Also we are truly grateful to Jaime de Castro, our litigator who at all times worked in such a professional, efficient and determined manner on behalf of the whole group.
Thanks also the group members for believing and joining me on this momentous journey. Final success has been a long time coming but all concerned can be rightfully very proud of what we have achieved.
One thing is for sure, LEY 57/1968 may have been introduced 45 years ago but never before has it been the centre of so much public and legal attention”
María de Castro, Director of Costa Luz Lawyers comments:
“This case is an excellent example of how Judges in Spain are teaching Banks to treat people.
It is a magnificent result in favour of the consumer”
Group Lawyer, Jaime de Castro comments:
“Spanish legislation protects off-plan house buyers with protective rules that do not exist in other European countries. LEY 57/1968 is an old Law that is still in force and makes the banks and developers jointly responsible for the amounts paid in advance by buyers when the housing is not delivered or is completed after the deadline agreed in the contract. The Spanish Courts are applying this Law strictly and categorically”
LANDMARK CASE LAW
Lawyers representing other buyers of off-plan property in Spain who were not issued with the legally required Bank Guarantees to protect their deposits can now use the Finca Parcs decision as Case Law to strengthen legal arguments in their own cases.
“The Finca Parcs case will no doubt help to strengthen the Lawsuits of other off-plan buyers who did not receive the legally required Bank Guarantees, many of whom still have their life savings at risk.
Together with our legal team at Costa Luz / De Castro we have worked tirelessly since 2008 to highlight this issue in the media and to the Spanish & British Governments. That belief and hard work is now backed up by two very strong sentences from the Hellín First Instance Court and the Albacete Appeal Court that are now firm and final.
To those off-plan buyers still affected by these issues I would say, never give up. Stay strong, keep believing and always focus on getting your money back. Much against the odds, we in the Finca Parcs Action Group have succeeded in winning against a big financial entity and I am sure others will now achieve similar success in the future. We have proved that it is possible”
FINCA PARCS ACTION GROUP – TIMELINE OF THE LEGAL ACTION – LAWSUIT 1
● 2006 – No legally required Bank Guarantees for Off-Plan deposits totalling 1.5 million
● February 2011 – Lawsuit 1 against CAM Bank & developer Cleyton GES SL filed to Court
● 12 January 2012 – First Instance Court Preliminary Hearing
● 21 & 22 May 2012 – Trial held in First Instance Court – Hellín
● 8 June 2012 – Judgment released in favour of Finca Parcs Action Group
● CAM Bank and Cleyton GES SL sentenced to return deposits amounting to almost 1.5
million Euros to the buyers with the addition of legal interest and costs
● July 2012 – CAM Bank appeals the First Instance Court Judgment
● July 2012 – Finca Parcs Action Group submits Opposition to the CAM Appeal
● July 2012 – Finca Parcs Action Group file Provisional Enforcement Order to the Court
● August 2012 – CAM Bank pays full amount of deposits plus legal interest and costs
to the Court
● Appeal to be heard by the Albacete Appeal Court
● 4 March 2013 – Appeal Magistrates to meet for deliberation & voting on the CAM Bank Appeal
● 11 April 2013 – Appeal court dismisses the CAM Bank Appeal and confirms First Instance
Sentence in full and imposes costs of Appeal on CAM Bank
● 14 May 2013 – CAM Bank do NOT appeal to the Supreme Court
● 14 May 2013 – FIRST INSTANCE & APPEAL COURT SENTENCE NOW FIRM AND FINAL
● Court releases Principal Amount of buyers off-plan deposits amounting to almost 1.5 million
Euros to the Finca Parcs Action Group Legal Team
● As per the Sentence, interest and legal costs will now be calculated and paid to the buyers in