It is now eight months since the government introduced legislation to deal with claims against banks for maintaining interest rates above Euribor by including floor clauses in mortgages. The aim of the system was to prevent a high number of consumer claims coming to the courts and leading to substantial delays in the court system. These clauses had been held to be unlawful by the European courts and the Supreme Court in Madrid.
Unfortunately, although the aim was to prevent court cases, the fact that there were no administrative or other sanctions against banks has resulted in some taking a hard line and refusing claims. The only resort in these cases is for lawyers to commence legal proceedings in the courts and to request nullity of the floor clause.
Some banks are arguing that the client was fully aware of the clause that allowed this charging of interest at a fixed percentage above Euribor. Equally, a number of banks appear to be waiting to see if a claim is made and then looking to agree a settlement. To date we have received a small number of notifications of offers to settle prior to litigation. In our opinion it is likely that claims which do progress to court will settle at the first, or pre-trial, hearing.
The most important thing is to ensure that your claim is made in good time, and that any offer to settle by the bank does adequately compensate you for your loss. We always seek a negotiated settlement to avoid court proceedings if possible, but there are occasions when it is the only recourse. Even then you are better to negotiate from a position of strength by making a claim and agreeing a settlement which can be sanctioned by the court.
Each case needs to be reviewed individually and at De Cotta Law we treat each claim, taking into account your particular circumstances. We look to ensure that you fully understand the procedure, the costs and the possibilities of success.
If you think you may have a claim against your bank and for more information, or to make a claim, please contact us on [email protected] or call us on 952 527 014