Revealed – time’s running out to claim thousands lost in Spain’s property crash

31 August 2020 | Investment

Tens of thousands of people in the UK and Ireland who lost out in Spain’s catastrophic property crash are now able to claim their deposits back, but they are being warned that they are entering the last chance saloon.  

In the years leading up to the 2007-2008 crash, thousands of people, attracted by seemingly irresistible real estate projects in Spain, stumped up money for property developments that never came to fruition. 

Over 130,000 people from the UK and Ireland, in fact, saw their dream plans of owning beach-side holiday apartments in Spain left in tatters in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. 

Worse was to come, though, as they also lost the ability to recover their deposits when the Spanish developers went bankrupt, at an estimated average loss of €40,000 per family.  

There is good news, however – these deposits can now be reclaimed. Due to a 2015 Spanish Supreme Court decision ruling, the developers’ banks and insurance companies must now repay the money, whether it was paid in cash or into a bank account.  

It’s suggested that more than 100,000 British and Irish claimants could be entitled to a refund. 

Who can claim? 

If you put down a deposit between 2005 and 2016 on a Spanish property development, you could be eligible. 

But those affected are being warned that this is the last chance for purchasers from the UK and Ireland to recover deposits lost in the Spanish property crash.  

The deadline for claims is October 7 2020, with the cut-off date for new registrations on September 20 2020.  

MySpanishDeposit, set up to help people who lost their deposits when the developers building their off-plan holiday homes went bankrupt during the financial crisis, says it will support any claimants in the Spanish courts, on a risk-free basis with no upfront cost.  

“Many people in Spain have already claimed and received thousands of euros back, but most in the UK, Ireland and other countries outside Spain have not. If they don’t take action very soon, they will unfortunately lose the opportunity to do so,” Lianne Craig, a London-based partner at Hausfeld & Co LLP, one of the two law firms acting for clients who register with MySpanishDeposit, said.  

Claimants are being urged to act fast to avoid experiencing delays in the return of their deposit. Late registrants for the August 2019 deadline for PPI (mis-sold payment protection insurance) experienced delays of up to a year in getting claims processed.  

Lloyds Bank, for example, was hit by up to 800,000 requests for information a week in the final month for PPI claims. This compared with 70,000 a week at the start of the year, with the extra caseload leading to long waits for an answer on PPI claims.  

With this in mind, the MySpanishDeposit team urges anyone who potentially has thousands to reclaim on their lost holiday home dreams to register their claim as soon as possible, to allow the team enough time to successfully assess and process claims before the October deadline.  

To find out more information, and register a claim, you can find the MySpanishDeposit website here

Who are MySpanishDeposit? 

The MySpanishDeposit team is made up of international lawyers from Hausfeld & Co LLP, known for its track record of both bringing large-scale group actions and claims against major banks, and Spanish lawyers from Eskariam, a specialist domestic firm with ‘market-leading experience’ in winning property deposit claims in Spain since the crash. 

Eskariam includes some of the lawyers who won the 2015 landmark Spanish Supreme Court case that made these claims possible in the first place, with their work in Spain leading to thousands of off-plan buyers getting their deposits back.  

Claimants with MySpanishDeposit ‘bring their claims free of risk from any adverse costs’, while there is no need to pay legal costs upfront as fees are only payable on success.  

Those who bring claims through MySpanishDeposit will be represented by specialist Spanish and UK lawyers with a collective track record of successfully recovering deposits on Spanish property, litigating against banks and bringing large group actions.  

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–> This post has originally been featured in Property Investor Today.