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European Enforcement Order - Spanish Bank

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Hi, does anyone have any experience with EEO's?

 

We gave the keys to a Spanish property back to the bank at the height of the crash in 2008, came back to the UK and started to rebuild, and didn't think much about it again - a "live and learn" experience.

 

We have just had a letter from some UK lawyers acting on behalf of Banco Sabadell, with what seems to be a fairly generic letter, with a few details and some slightly strange language like "Banco Sabadell understands that your failure to make payments may have been an oversight on your part" - a 10 year oversight!

 

They are claiming 85,000 euros which we assume is the mortgage, less proceeds of auction, plus various costs and interest.

 

Letter gives us 2 weeks to repay in full, or respond to letter, to avoid "continued legal proceedings".

 

The letter then suggests they may make a charging order against our UK property - "your credit rating will be affected negatively"

 

They also suggest they will report the debt to UK credit agencies. Come to an agreement with Sabadell to repay the debt and they won't report anything to the credit agencies.

 

And lastly they would seek a bankruptcy order to force a sale of any properties in order to recover the debt.

 

I have read some slightly worrying things about European Enforcement Orders and how they can supposedly be used to carry out a judgement in another country in the UK without any appeal or legal intervention in the UK, providing the case in Spain was uncontested. Statutes of limitation don't seem to apply, due to (possibly unfair) contract terms in many Spanish mortgages.

 

So, my understanding is that if the Spanish lender was granted an EEO that was uncontested, they could seek to recover debts originating in Spain by making charges against an individual's assets in the UK, including other property. I read a news clipping from 2010 where it seemed that this was happening to a couple from Wiltshire, but I can't find the result of that case. And I'm struggling to find any more examples since then.

 

The letter seems speculative, and possibly designed to scare people into coming to payment arrangements, particularly if a number of years down the line there are people who have built up some equity again.

 

But, it does mention an ability to make charges against assets, without mentioning any specific legal processes, which must mean an EEO, so it is slightly concerning.

 

The irony of the Spanish banks all being complicit in inflating the property bubble and lending to anyone with a pulse, and then being bailed out is not lost on me.....

 

cheers

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beat me to it...

its statute barred but ofcourse they want to line their pockets with free money as they need to pay for their xmas party drinks.

 

ignore them..


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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Thanks for the replies, but the Scudamore link posted by Andy states :-

 

"Accordingly, the limitation period for actions for breach of contract which arose before 7 October 2015 will still be 15 years, but 5 years for those arising after that date."

 

So if the breach was the default in 2008, wouldn't the limit be 2023?

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Correct...its not statute barred yet


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oh I read I wrong ..

 

though we've never seen one of these here before nor succeed...?

be good if we could see this letter but I think pdf upload is currently not working.


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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urm…

https://www.ukpandi.com/knowledge-publications/publications/article/spain-time-bars-136928/

 

By way of summary, by virtue of this transitional period, any personal action which arose before the entry into force of the reform will be considered time barred by 7th October 2020. For example, if a breach of a contract was committed on 2010, in theory the claimant will have until the year 2025 to exercise his/her right (15 years’ limitation period according to the previous law), but by virtue of the transitional period the claim will be time barred on the 7th of October 2020, which means 5 years less than under the old system


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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I was able to convert the PDf and paste below.

 

 

We act on behalf of Banco de Sabadell S.A. (Banco Sabadell) in relation to the recovery of monies owed by you to Banco Sabadell.

 

On xx.xx.xx you entered into a loan agreement with Banco Sabadell.

 

You have failed to make repayments in respect of the loan.

 

Banco Sabadell has commenced proceedings in Spain to recover the debt of more than xx,xxx owed by you.

 

It is now essential that you take immediate steps to bring your account up to date as a matter of urgency.

 

Whilst Banco Sabadell understands that your failure to make payments may have been an oversight on your part. clearly it is now essential that you take immediate steps to address these outstanding issues as a matter of urgency. It is very important that vou bring your account up to date without delay.

 

You have three options:

 

1. You may repay in full the amount due to Banco Sabadell by contacting Banco Sabadell for an up to date balance and transferring the same to your Banco Sabadell account .

2. Alternatively, you may contact Ms Maria Martin of this office by telephone on +44 (0)1733 888885 and by email at maria.martin@buckles-law.co.uk to discuss how you will be settling your liability to Banco Sabadell. If you are able to show that you cannot repay your total debt at one time but wish to avoid continued legal proceedings and the consequences of such action, Banco Sabadell may be prepared to consider alternative options, to be decided on the basis of your circumstances.

 

Please note that these alternative options will only be made available to you if you are able to satisfy Banco Sabadell that you are not able to bring your account up to date in fully Further and in any event, these options will only be made available to you provided we are contacted with proposals by 28/11/2018 and, as a result of all information available to Banco Sabadell, the option is approved, If we are contacted after that date the options set out above may no longer be available.

 

3, You may take no further action, in the event that by 28/11/2018 you fail either to repay the debt in full, or to respond to this letter, in addition to proceedings that have already been issued against you in Spain. Banco Sabadell will pursue vigorously in the UK all recovery options available to it, which will include a claim for interest and an legal costs incurred in recovery Of the debt and may extend to Banco Sabadell applying for a charging order to be registered against any property that you may own in the UK, or petitioning for your bankruptcy. Any debt may be recovered from you in the UK either by Banco Sabadell, or by any third party who may purchase the debt from Banco Sabadell in the future.

 

 

In the event that a charging order is registered against your UK property your credit rating will be affected negatively, resulting in your successful application for any credit becoming far more difficult.

 

In any event if you do not respond to this letter by 28/11/2018 then Banco Sabadell will report to the UK credit agencies Equifax and Experian your failure to make payments under the terms of your personal loan agreement .Again, this will have a negative effect on your credit rating. Your debt to Banco Sabadell will remain on your credit file until Banco Sabädell provides you with a certificate confirming that your liability to Banco Sabadell has been settled. If you do contact us with a view to settling your liability as set out above, Banco Sabadell will not report the debt to the UK credit agencies immediately. if you are able to reach agreement With Banco Sabadell as to the repayment of your debt then Banco Sabadell will not report your debt the UK credit agencies at all.

 

On the making of a bankruptcy order there are a number of wide ranging consequences. All of your assets will vest in your Trustee in Bankruptcy. In particular your interest in any property in the uk and elsewhere wilt transfer automatically to your Trustee in Bankruptcy and will be realised, by way of sale, for the benefit of your creditors. In the event that you do not cooperate with your Trustee in Bankruptcy to facilitate a voluntary sale of the property, the Trustee will apply to court for an order for possession and sale of your properties, including your home in the UK. In most cases. this will

Page 2 of 3

 

occur upon the expiry of a 12 month period from the date of the making of the bankruptcy order. whereupon the interests of creditors will become paramount and outweigh all other considerations.

 

Clearly there is a considerable amount of information contained within this letter and it would be open to you to seek independent legal advice.

 

If there is any reason why you believe this debt is not payable, we request that you inform us in writing immediately.

 

In the event that by 28/11/2018 you fail either to repay the debt in full, or to respond to this letter, Banco Sabadell will pursue vigourously all recovery options available to it, which will include a claim for interest and all legal costs incurred in recovery of any debt owed.

 

Please contact Ms xxxx xxxxx immediately on xxxxxxx or email xxxxxxxxx to let us know what steps you will be taking to resolve this matter.

 

Yours faithfully

 

Buckles Solicitors LLP

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by the amount of chatter on the internet involving this lot

 

IMHO its a sc@m designed to fleece you.

 

dx


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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I'm not sure of the answer to this problem but one thing I am pretty certain of and that is that if any communication you send acknowledges the debt in any way, then it will reset the 15 year clock. Bear that in mind when deciding what to do


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Obviously they have your current address....and if as they state " Banco Sabadell has commenced proceedings in Spain to recover the debt " then papers should be served on you as good service and deemed served.

 

If proceedings have been commenced then there is really no need to impose a time limit of 28/11/2018 to respond.....you will respond on receipt of the claim given that that is the normal process to comply.

 

I personally would respond to Buckles Solicitors LLP and state that you will consider your position on receipt of the court claim and ask them to confirm what date they initiated the claim and claim number and through which Spanish court?

 

Andy


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Thanks for everyone's input so far.

 

What seems clear to me from further digging is that nothing is very clear!

 

I can't seem to find out what the result was for the couple in Wiltshire who had their UK home under threat in 2010.

 

There have been cases in Courts in both Spain and Portugal where the Courts ruled that the return of the property is enough to extinguish the loan, rather than the individual remaining forever liable. These may have been overturned in higher Courts though.

 

And various other cases have challenged the notion of various unfair terms in Spanish mortgage contracts, which don't sit well with EU Consumer Protection rules.

 

What I would have expected would have been this site and others to be full of people in a state of panic asking for help and advice, but that doesn't seem to be the case as dx100uk noted. Out of 400,000 repossessed properties in Spain in the aftermath of the banking crash, a fair proportion of them would have been Brits - tens of thousands at least I would guess.

 

Which does make me feel more that the letter is a fishing exercise to begin with, to try and make some payment arrangements with people. I think the legal process might be lengthy and costly in Spain, and without guarantee of success, so they will try for some low hanging fruit and some scare tactics.

 

My other thought is that maybe not all the lenders are doing this, perhaps this is the start of a push by Sabadell that will be followed by others. Do they think that things will get more difficult after Brexit? Or is it an effort to claw back some cash before the debts become statute barred?

 

I shall keep digging.

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" Which does make me feel more that the letter is a fishing exercise to begin with, to try and make some payment arrangements with people. I think the legal process might be lengthy and costly in Spain, and without guarantee of success, so they will try for some low hanging fruit and some scare tactics."

 

Of course it is.....as already explained in my last post.


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Thanks Andy - can I ask why you suggest that you would write to Buckles?

 

My feeling is more like Bankfodder suggests - don't respond.

 

Surely by opening communications that will give them a bite, and they will then push for an offer of payment or an arrangement - whatever their next step is?

 

Or, are you suggesting that to push back and ask for details of court action etc that will put them off as those things possibly/probably haven't happened?

 

cheers

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The latter......depends what questions you ask ...ask the correct questions as advised and you possibly wont hear from them again.


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Close friends of mine has received a similar letter in the last couple of days. Their's relates to a similar 'handed back keys' Spanish mortgage from 2007/2008.

 

This is the third similar letter from legal firms in the UK they received. One in 2013 , one in 2017 and one in 2018, all by different lawyers who say they represent Sabadell.

 

The last two contained paragraphs suggesting that the law firms could negotiate with Sabadell , by arranging a transfer of ownership and this would satisfy all debt issues.

 

Looking into this my friends discovered that the option would not to be simple at all and the only real thing it would guarantee would be a sizeable fee paid to the lawyers.

 

While it's true that European law does seemingly give an endless time period to bring legal proceedings, it does seem strange that it is taking Sabadell 10 years to go to court if they have a desire to do so.

 

I would speculate that the UK law firms have purchased the info from Sabadell hoping for business and it doesn't mean an imminent EEO. Although there is no independent info available on line concerning this

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Most spanish mortgage debts stay with the property so whoever bought that takes on the debt as well.

 

Get someone who is fluent in spanish to read through the documents and also get in touch with the lawyer who did the conveyancing as that system is a bit odd compared to UK house buying.

 

You may then need to speak to the lawyers who dealt with the sale/purchase after you walked away as in many parts of spain honesty isnt a virtue but a hindrance

Edited by dx100uk
Spacing

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Close friends of mine has received a similar letter in the last couple of days. Their's relates to a similar 'handed back keys' Spanish mortgage from 2007/2008.

 

This is the third similar letter from legal firms in the UK they received. One in 2013 , one in 2017 and one in 2018, all by different lawyers who say they represent Sabadell.

 

The last two contained paragraphs suggesting that the law firms could negotiate with Sabadell , by arranging a transfer of ownership and this would satisfy all debt issues.

 

Looking into this my friends discovered that the option would not to be simple at all and the only real thing it would guarantee would be a sizeable fee paid to the lawyers.

 

While it's true that European law does seemingly give an endless time period to bring legal proceedings, it does seem strange that it is taking Sabadell 10 years to go to court if they have a desire to do so.

 

I would speculate that the UK law firms have purchased the info from Sabadell hoping for business and it doesn't mean an imminent EEO. Although there is no independent info available on line concerning this

 

 

 

Thanks for posting Thorgan.

When you say your friends looked into this - do you mean that they communicated or negotiated with the law firms?

 

Or did they just ignore?

 

I hadn't considered that they might be purchasing data for this, very interesting.

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its a sc@m, probably a one of the many Spanish timeshare ambulance chasers buyout sites in sheeps clothing


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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