Billions owed to British holiday home investors after Spanish financial crash

Adam Yates
Adam Yates

A man who thought he lost £70,000 after Spain's financial meltdown will get his money back following a landmark ruling by Spain's highest court.

Adam Yates, from Wakefield, paid a €77,400 (£68,680) deposit for a two-bedroom property on a golf complex in Duquesa, Estepona, in 2007, before the builder went into liquidation.

The builder returned their deposit as a forward-dated cheque, but by the time Mr Yates came to cash the cheque the developer had gone into liquidation.

Mr Yates, 52, believed the money was gone for good but legal advisory firm Spanish Legal Reclaims managed to reclaim the amount he lost after a ruling by the Spanish Supreme Court.

Some 130,000 Britons who lost ten of thousands of pounds on their dream homes in the Spanish financial crash face a race against time to claim the £13 billion owed to them as a court deadline approaches.

Mr Yates said: “We felt terrible. That money had taken us years to save - but it looked like it was gone forever and we couldn’t get a straight answer from anyone. Estate agents vanished, the builders were uncontactable, and the developers spent four years dodging our calls. There were many sleepless nights.

“Spanish Legal Reclaims got the money back. We thought we would never see it again.”

“We felt terrible. That money had been saved from our earnings over the years. It was a significant amount of our savings that vanished.

"We found everybody in Spain to be completely unhelpful. Estate agents vanished, the builders was uncontactable, and lawyers spent four years dodging our calls. We got absolutely nowhere. The overriding feeling was one of hatred towards Spain.

“The cheque was a bankers’ draft, but it turned out that Spain allowed cheques to be issued without any guarantee. There were many sleepless nights.

“We heard about the original legal ruling about four years ago, but we were completely sceptical about it. We had no belief in anything connected to Spain, and we had no faith that it would be dealt with. We went to three different companies and chose Spanish Legal Reclaims to represent our case.

“It was extremely good news to get our money back. Spanish Legal Reclaims achieved a good result. We got the money back, having never believed we would see it again.”

A decade on from the Spanish property crash, thousands of Britons are finally winning back the money they lost after a landmark legal judgement forced Spanish banks to give them compensation.

But victims need to act quickly, as Spain’s Supreme Court has ruled that all claims must be filed by October 7, 2020 – just 12 months away.

Dozens of banks have begun paying out to homebuyers who put down a deposit to secure an ‘off-plan’ property only to lose it in Spain’s property crash, according to data released by the leading law firm Spanish Legal Reclaims.