Reclaiming from the banks…

 

CLAUSULO SUELO 5

Adeje council, through the OMIC (the municipal consumers office), can supply members of the public with a standard letter form to initiate the reclamation process if agreement hasn’t been reached

Adeje council, through the municipal consumers office under the auspices of the department of health, (Councillor Amada Trujillo Bencomo), in collaboration with the financial consumers organisation ADICAE, held an information event on Wednesday for members of the public affected by mortgage floor clauses and related matters.

The event was organised following a series of judgements on the matter by both the Spanish supreme court and the European courts, who have deemed that, in principal, banks must return excess interest that may have been charged to mortgage holders who had a ‘floor clause’ in their mortgage, in effect limiting the amount interest payments could drop, regardless of the Euribor (the Euro Interbank Interbank Offered Rate). In principal the courts have ruled that where the clause was non-transparent, the consumers have the right to money back.

OMIC BUILDING

The Adeje council, through OMIC, are preparing standard forms that members of the public can use in initiating a claim with their banks if no adequate offer has been made under the Royal Decree, Real Decreto Ley 1/2017. This decree sets out the means by which members of the public should be able to reclaim monies due. The banks and lending institutions affected have been given a month by the authorities to set in place the machinery for processing claims and facilitating repayments. Banks, upon receipt of a claim, will have three months (maximum) to respond and either make an offer based on the particular mortgage conditions, or in the case of rejecting the claim, set out clearly their reasons for doing so. If this is not acceptable to both parts, the case may then go to court.

 

The Adeje consumers office has helped recover over €140,000

 

 

OMIC

The main complaints are about mobile phone service providers, banks, garages and airlines
The Adeje OMIC (Oficina Municipal de Información al Consumo), the office which deals with comsumer complaints on behalf of the public, has dealt with over 20,000 during its twenty five years in existence.

Releasing details on World Consumer rights Day the Adeje councillor for health promotion, Amada Trujillo Bencomo, along with her the technical team, said, “We have overseen a number of campaigns in the 25 years of the office’s existence and we have offset many more having helped create responsible and well informed consumers”.

Among the main objectives of the Adeje consumers office are educating consumers as to their rights and helping them shop sensibly. The basic advice to consumers include reading all the small print before buying, consulting all of the conditions when purchasing or engaging services and comparing product prices and services across the market.

At the end of 2015 the office had registered 1,046 complaints/petitions, a slight drop on the 2014 with 1,127. The most frequent complaints deal with mobile phones (29%) landlines (9.85%), banks (4.78%), garages (3.8%), electro-domestic traders (5.83%), airlines (4%) and basic services (4.4%). According to the councillor “recently we find we are also being asked to help people who find themselves on a debtor’s list and need to know what their rights are as there is a lack of information about this at present.”

Almost half of the cases taken by the office have been concluded positively for the consumer, with the office managing to reclaim over €140,000 and help others avoid unnecessary payments.

The Adeje council offices, as well as offering consumers information and helping them deal directly with specific cases, is working to educate and train, collaborate with other public and private bodies dedicated to the protection of consumer rights, appeal complaints to the consumer rights courts if an agreement cannot be reached locally, and in general work to protect citizens of the borough.

(In the photo: Councillor Amada Trujillo Bencomo and the two office members who deal with consumer complaints)