British expat wins court battle over Spanish property scandal

Published:  11 Jul at 6 PM
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Thousands of Britons who lost their savings in dodgy Spanish property ventures are now hoping for redress after a landmark legal victory by one man who would not give up hope.

Britisher Keith Rule was faced with losing his life savings due to a Spanish property scandal and a bank wich refused to reimburse him the deposit on his off-plan villa which was never built. In 2006, Rule had handed over £45,983 as a first payment on two villas on the luxury Finca Parks estate in Hellin, but the property company failed and the Spanish bank backing the development refused to return the deposits to him and 46 other buyers.

Rather than giving up, Rule trawled the internet using Google’s translation software until he found a Spanish property law dating back 45 years which made banks jointly liable to return guaranteed deposits on properties in uncompleted developments. The landmark court case resulted in all 47 class action members getting their deposits back, and has given hope to thousands more expats in the same situation.

The group is now applying for interest on their deposits and case costs to the court, and a second lawsuit involving 13 more buyers has already been filed. Mr. Rule so impressed his lawyers that he’s been asked to take on more cases and is now working on a third lawsuit with them.

Other Spanish law firms have jumped on the bandwagon, basing their cases on the newly-emerged law 57/1968, as the judgment on the original case has now set a legal precedent. Mr Rule is thrilled to get his money back, but even more pleased that his successful action has thrown a lifeline to so many other Brit expats in the same situation.
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