UK expats in Spain battling for homes

Published:  14 Mar at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
As reported by This Is Money, hundreds of foresaken British victims of collapsed Icelandic bank Landsbanki face the danger of losing their homes following a long legal battle. Some are pensioners living in Spain who are in a desperate court fight to prevent their homes from being taken by the liquidators of Landsbanki , which failed in 2008.

The British pensioners owe money on an equity release agreement run by the failed bank and sold by unscrupulous financial advisers. The liquidators, who are based in Luxembourg, say they need the money to pay their creditors. But the British pensioners, most of whom have retired in Costa del Sol, argue they were duped and so should not have to re-pay the bank.

Many of the pensioners are stuck with properties that have fallen in value, and have watched their dream retirement destroyed by expensive legal costs and debts. Among these are Carolyn and Henry Bowen, who are both 63 and live in Benamargosa.

The two signed the equity release investment back in 2006 with a British financial adviser who was working in Marbella. They were promised that the scheme would permit them to slash their inheritance tax fees under Spanish law while helping to cover Mrs Bowen’s medical treatments.

They agreed to take £300,000 from their Spanish country villa, while investing £278,000 of it in a fund managed by Landsbanki. But when the bank collapsed, the Bowens were unable to pay their 6.5 percent interest rate on the equity release loan. The money in their fund was thus frozen.

If the couple is forced to give up their property, they will be homeless, said Mrs Bowen. She said she and her husband worked hard all their lives, so it did not seem fair.
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive