success cases 2020

Costaluz Lawyers continue their excellent record of success in obtaining off-plan refunds for clients.

Since they pioneered legal proceedings against banks and developers in 2008, the legal firm has seen one court win after another.

In just the first four months of 2020, Costaluz Lawyers had won 25 cases, which translates to off-plan refunds for 46 clients. 

Unprecedented track record

Costaluz Lawyers were the first legal firm in Spain to initiate court proceedings against banks and developers for off-plan malpractice.

Led by Maria de Castro, the firm has since seen an almost 100% success rate after 12 years of fighting for consumer rights.

“We win all cases in the first instance,” de Castro explains, “and although some of these go to appeal, we expect to win 90% of them. This has been our average since we began helping foreigners with this sort of case.”

Defending consumer rights

Costaluz Lawyers are passionate about helping foreigners understand Spanish law, particularly when it comes to defending their rights against off-plan developers.

“The Spanish property boom brought to light a lot of malpractice,” explains de Castro, “and many foreign buyers were unwitting victims.”

Despite the intricacies of Spanish law against them, the Costaluz Lawyers set to work in 2008 to find a way of legally restituting money paid to developers by owners.

In most cases, this money appeared to be lost and worst still, the buyers had nothing to show for it. 

Thanks to the tireless work of de Castro and her team, dozens of foreign buyers have received a refund from the banks. 

Find out how they can help you here.

Legal grounds 

Costaluz Lawyers were the first to discover how the 57/68 Law, protecting consumer rights, could be applied to off-plan refunds for Spanish property. They worked tirelessly exploring the possibilities of the law until they found a way of using it to their clients’ advantage.

Since then, they have gone from success to success as the 25 cases won in the first four months of this year alone testify. 

“One of the most positive recent developments is that the Spanish Supreme Court has ruled that the guarantor’s responsibility is absolute regardless of where the money was paid in,” says de Castro. 

She adds that this even includes amounts paid in cash because guarantors had a mechanism within the 57/68 Law controlling all the developer’s accounts and contracts that they were guaranteeing for the consumer. 

Latest defence 

Costaluz Lawyers are currently basing their strategy for off-plan refunds on two main pillars of action: 

Maximum due diligence from banks

“We believe that as soon as a developer opens an account, the bank’s due diligence mechanism should go into action,” explains de Castro. In her opinion, the bank should find out what the funds are and where they come from. Furthermore, these funds should be deposited in a separate account.  

Spanish and European consumer concept

Costaluz Lawyers also defend that the concept of the consumer in the 57/68 Law should be the Spanish and European perception. “They both allow for personal or family investment,” explains de Castro, “and as a result, focus on the purchase itself rather the person carrying it out.” This means that if the purchase forms part of professional or commercial activity as property investment, it is no longer protected by the Law. 

Leading the way 

Costaluz Lawyers have been pioneers in this area of Spanish law. Nowadays other legal firms have followed suit, but many of them consult de Castro and her team. 

“We’re right up to date with all legislation regarding the 57/68 Law,” she says, “and not a day goes by without us discovering a new angle or strategy to use to defend our clients.” 

Time limit for new cases

Getting a refund for off-plan payments is time-sensitive in Spain and claimants have until 7 October 2020.

However, as de Castro points out, because of the COVID-19 state of alarm in Spain, this limit has been extended.

It will eventually extend beyond 7 October to a date equivalent to the same number of days as the state of alarm. 

Get your off-plan refund

If you have been a victim of off-plan malpractice and feel that you’re entitled to a refund from the developer’s bank, get in touch for a free consultation. At Costaluz Lawyers, we will be only too happy to help you. 

María Luisa de Castro

DIRECTOR

María founded CostaLuz Lawyers in 2006 and is the Firm’s Director. María is registered Lawyer number 2745 of the Cadiz Bar Association and is licensed to practice in all areas of law throughout Spain. Working closely with her team, María has developed the firm into one of the most highly regarded and trusted Spanish Law Firms acting for English speaking clients with legal problems in Spain.

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