The Supreme Court has recently found Banco Popular, SGRCV and BBVA responsible to pay the money back to buyers of off-plan resorts, for not issuing the compulsory individual bank guarantees.
Buyers who received a Bank Guarantee or Insurance Policy to cover the payments made towards their property, or even those who never had it due to the developer or Bank failing to comply with the Law, might be in luck today due to a very well expected Judgment from the Supreme Court of Spain.
The Court has ordered these entities to pay back to the buyers of off-plan properties all the money they invested, plus legal interests from the time they made the payments.
The imperative and inalienable rules contained in Law 57/68 are compulsory to developers, banks and insurance companies. The breach of these obligations by professionals -developers and financial institutions- can never be to the detriment of the buyer. This Law 57/68 requires Banks to guarantee all deposited amounts, but its wording was interpreted in different manners.
However, now the Supreme Court has made clear that:
- If other buyers of the same resort received individual bank guarantees, then all buyers should have received them, and the fact of not having an individual bank guarantee would not stop them from claiming the money to the bank.
- If the amount covered by the bank guarantee is lower than the money actually paid to the developer, the bank should pay back the full paid amount plus interests.
- If there is not an individual bank guarantee but there is a general bank guarantee, this should cover all buyers as if they would have received an individual bank guarantee.
- There is no need to sue the developer before suing the bank.
One of the main articles of 57/1968 Law is art. 1: “The bank receiving upfront payments in the developer’s special account must request the existence of those Bank Guarantees under its own responsibility”.
If you bought a property off-plan, you paid a deposit down or even made stage payments, whether you received the compulsory individual bank guarantee or not, you should consult an expert lawyer in order to know if you can claim back your off-plan payments.