Considering tax planning for your future in Spain?

Tax planning in Spain is a very important part of living life abroad and should never be ignored at any costs – BUT you must also be very careful and sure that you understand the rules as they may apply to your own individual scenario. There are regular tax changes so keeping up to date […]

Notary Fees and Mortgage Set Up Claims

The Clausula Suelo is well underway and after various rulings, denials, appeals, European interjection and the Spanish Government’s involvement, Banks are starting, slowly it must be said, to address the situation and refund money to their clients. It still by no means is a done deal when you find a Clausula Suelo in your mortgage agreement but it’s a lot closer to being able to resolve the situation than ever before.

During the whole Clausula Suelo debacle, another questionable banking practice came to light and was actually ruled against by the Spanish High Court in December 2015 but, like the Clausula Suelo, has taken time and effort to get claims moving.

The subject of this new claim is the setup costs of taking out a mortgage. While the client is liable for all costs regarding the purchase of a property “Compraventa”, the ruling states that the banks should be liable for the costs in relation to the mortgaging of the property “Prestamo Hipotecario”.

What this means to the average client is the taxes on the mortgage (1.5% of the value of the property), the Notary fees relating to the mortgage and the registration of the mortgage can be claimed back by the client.

An example here is a client taking out a € 80,000 mortgage on a property valued at € 128,400 would be looking at a claim value of about € 3,300, a nice amount of money for clients who have struggled to pay inflated mortgage instalments. This is a low-level estimation, this amount can go up with the price of the house.

However, this new claim is not limited to clients who have suffered through the Clausula Suelo issue. This claim affects anyone who has taken out a mortgage by and large. If you are currently paying a mortgage, you could well be entitled to claim back these charges.

In order to do so however, the official invoices from the Notary are a must, as well as the receipt of payment of the taxes on the mortgage (Modelo 600). NO claim can be handled without the documented proof of payment and the client needs to present this in order to proceed.

Here at Pennick Blackwell we can handle your claim, assist you in getting copies of the invoices if you do not have them and calculate what you may be entitled to. An email in exchange for € 3,000? Contact us today to get the information and let us help you reclaim what you should not have paid.

Prepare with Pennick Blackwell and minimise the risks to your money (and health!)

Clausula Suelo, the consumer’s victory!

Banks, their reputations have suffered in recent memory. No longer are they seen as trusted institutions, now they are pariahs that prey on everyone, no matter what the cost. We saw it with the Global crash, instigated by banks, Icelandic collapse, the English LIBOR scandal and here in Spain, the Clausula Suelo. Wide-reaching scams that caught clients from every walk of life.

If it wasn’t enough to have been swindled, it’s the sheer audacity of the banks to deny any wrongdoing that infuriates clients. Since 2013, we have known that the Clausula Suelo was wrong, the banks were wrong to implement it and clients were due refunds. It has taken the involvement of Europe’s highest court to finally put pressure on the banks and the government to start paying back the clients who have had to pay out much more for their mortgages than they should have.

In the past month, we at Pennick Blackwell have been happy to see our clients start getting the refunds that have been too long overdue. In the past month, we have claimed back nearly € 150,000 for our clients and that is only scratching the surface of this horrid situation. That works out to an average of € 10,000 per client who we have been able to help so far, and more is on the way.

Courts Workload

The courts are working on cases that have not been agreed to by banks. There are no more continuances or loopholes for the banks to exploit. Using a company like Pennick Blackwell, you can be sure that you get the best offer on your mortgage claim against the bank, including interest on the money due back! The banks won’t give interest on your savings but you can claim interest on your own money, taken without cause or reason.

Many of the leading banks in the country are now looking at the Clausula Suelo situation properly and are dealing with the damage it has caused to you, the client. We are delighted to see that offers are coming in but we still have work to do and patience to ask. Some banks are still denying the case, some are giving lesser offers, and we will deal with each as we need to, for now, we wish to rejoice with those clients that have had their reward and remind those waiting, it is coming, and the tide is turning.

YOUR questions, OUR answers

If you have any questions, concerns or issues that you feel need to be addressed, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free reply. Do you feel cheated by your Spanish Bank? Are you looking for a way to save money, little or large? Is your insurance too much or your investment return too little? A little question can mean a big return!

Prepare with Pennick Blackwell and minimise the risks to your money (and health!)

The next bank claim!

Not to flog a dead horse but, once again we are sorry to say that there is another issue that banks have to answer for that some of our readers may not know about.

In 2015, the Spanish High Court ruled that any client taking out a mortgage, should not have had to pay for the Notary Fees relating to that mortgage. However, as usual, the banks were happy to let the clients pay Notary fees for an agreement that the bank holds the rights to until the very last payment.

Until the mortgage is paid in full, the bank are the legal owners of a mortgaged property and are responsible for the costs involved in setting up a mortgage on that property.

Again, like the Suelo, this situation will drag on, the banks will dispute it, will delay it but eventually, should have to pay out on it, they took money from clients who, in many instances, had to scrape and save for every Euro in order to secure their mortgage. A few thousand would go a long way for any client that is buying a house, no matter what it is used for, the obligatory Life Insurance, the demanded House Insurance, that nice new Sofa or the 50” TV.

If you wish to have more information about how you can claim on this new situation, please do not hesitate to contact us through any of the methods listed below and we can look into the case for you.

The Clausula Suelo, success is starting!

It’s been a long hard slog, in 2013 the Spanish High Court ruled that the “Clausula Suelo” was immoral and should not have been included in mortgage contracts in Spain.

Most of the major banks (Santander outstanding) were caught up in this ruling and went into damage limitation mode. Denials, excuses, delays and rejections were the normal course of action for the following few years.

Then, Europe, yes Europe came to the rescue, who would have thought it! In December 2016, the European Court of Justice upheld the Spanish decision about Clausula Suelos and ordered the banks to pay back, not just from 2013 but from the start of the mortgage, we can be excused for thinking it would be that black and white!

However, the banks huddled again and went running to the Spanish Government looking for a way out of their predicament. However, all the government gave them was time, and not a lot of it. They decreed that the banks had to get themselves in order and respond within 3 months to a claim. As usual, this did not happen, delays came, deadlines passed but finally, issues are starting to be resolved.

It is with great pleasure that we can announce another banner month against the Clausula Suelo and we have had offers in this month for various clients, totalling just over € 50,000. The banks have learnt that the clients will not go quietly into the night and neither will their representatives.

Many of the leading banks in the country are now looking at the Clausula Suelo situation properly and are dealing with the damage it has caused to you, the client. We are delighted to see that offers are coming in but we still have work to do and patience to ask.

Some banks are still denying the case, some are giving lesser offers, we will deal with each as we need to, for now, we wish to rejoice with those clients that have had their reward and remind those waiting, it is coming, the tide is turning.

We are happy to help, so if you would like more information please get in touch or give us your number and we will call you back.

To invest or not to invest, that is the question!

I was speaking to a young parent the other day, young children and not old himself at only 37. However, as we spoke and the matters progressed, it dawned on us that he had no consideration in regards to his children’s future financial needs, nor how he could satisfy them apart from the usual work hard and stay employed route.

What he, and many others in his position was missing is that it really is, never too early to start saving for the future. At 35 we all think that the world is laid out for us and we have our lives to live, but, any parent out there knows, the time seems to fly by, where once you held them in the palm of your hand, now they are browsing shops and soon will be looking to college.

We come back to the old misconception that a Financial Adviser is for the wealthy, which is not the case. A Financial Adviser looks to help you look at your situation, provide ideas how to plan for the future and gives you advice on how to obtain those goals. You do not have to use the advice, but can you afford to pass up a free chat!

Investment Funds, Fixed Deposits, Shares, Bonds, Regular Savings Plans, SIPPs, ISAs, the list goes on and on, but do you know how they can help you and which one to choose? A simple, obligation free chat with a Financial Adviser can help you make decisions now that will benefit you in 10 to 15 years’ time… think that is a long time still, it’s as long as the Euro has been in circulation! Any parent with a 10 year old will tell you, they just grew up in an eye blink. The days mount up, so can your savings if you look after them.

Chat with a financial adviser and discover how you can provide for the 18th Birthday, the college education, a Grandchild’s 21st or the wedding you swore you would never indulge in way back when! The simple matter of life is that money will be needed when you least expect it and you need to know how to deal with the demands.

Do you have a pension? Do you know how to set one up? What benefits can you enjoy by having a pension plan in place, even a private one? Look around you and think, how many of my peers are set up for later life? I’ve had a look recently and I can pretty much guarantee that 80% of the people I see on a daily basis are not prepared for their financial future. What will you do when you retire or something happens that needs paying? A client contacted me last week to cash in one of their pensions as they have to pay for both a Wedding and a Funeral in the next month, it can strike that quickly and you need to be prepared!

However, being prepared is easy, a quick, informal chat to set out some guidelines and, more importantly, get you thinking about it, will show you how easy it is to set the wheels in motion and pick the way to save that is best for you!

BBVA bank to Pay New Clients 20 Euro per Month If They Open an Account Online

BBVA, Spain’s second largest bank, is the latest entity to launch a new product in a bid to attract new clients, with its new package Plan Conecta BBVA, which was unveiled earlier this month.

With the aim of increasing its database of online users, this new product has many advantages, including a profitability of 3.3% in the best cases.

One of the main selling points is the fact that BBVA will pay all new clients 20 euro every month over the period of one year if they get their wages or pension paid directly into their account for at least three months. This is provided that the amount paid into the bank is 600 euro or more. Therefore, the client will be paid 240 euro over the 12-month period.

The only other condition is that the client contracts this service online, through the online channel at https://www.bbva.es/particulares/index.jsp.

Other pros of the Plan Conecta BBVA include:

  • The new account is easy to set up via the Internet and your phone
  • No maintenance or administration costs or fees
  • Free debit card with no annual quota
  • 0% commissions
  • No permanency agreement
  • Queries answered online
  • Free transfers online in Spain and Europe

BBVA’s aim for 2015 is to exceed 15 million digital clients.

The head of the BBVA Group, Francisco González, has had his eye on the digital market for at least 10 years. He has invested large sums of money in modernizing the group’s systems and warned that the traditional method of banking’s days are numbered.

Other entities that have already launched similar campaigns are Santander and Banco Popular.

Saving your Money – Is the Mattress the best option…

If not an age old image, then hiding money under the mattress is at least a common idea that we have all come across, and many people do, in an effort to keep our money safe and secure.  While we always have access to it easily enough, is it the best option for you?

In current times, and after all the recent bad press for Banks, investor confidence is at a very shaky level.  Here is Spain, 7 degrees of Kevin Bacon has been changed to 3 degrees of “preferentes” such is the level of people who were caught in this scandal a few years ago, and are still looking for their lost savings.

However, you work hard for your money, shouldn’t it work for you as well?  There are many ways to invest your money to have it grow for you and a few careful, well informed choices can increase what you have while you are busy earning more, surely an attractive prospect.

Life savings, inheritances, continual saving, short-term, long-term, risk free, calculated risk investments, property investments….the list goes on and on but, depending on where you go, you could be steered into something that is not best for you, but better for the person taking your hard earned cash from you.

By speaking to an independent financial advisor, you can explain what you want from your money, realistically speaking!, and then you can have your options explained to you in a way you understand and can decide on.  Do you want a guaranteed return on your funds, something small but secure?  Would you like to enter the Stock Market and are not sure how or what the advantages are?  Investment funds are all the rage in banks at present, do you know how they work?  Are you having the options explained to you?  Or do you just want to set aside some money every month so that in a few years that dream holiday won’t be such a financial burden?

If you have any questions or are not sure what you want to do with your hard earned money, call into Pennick Blackwell for a free, no obligations chat and let’s see how we can get it working for you!

Prepare with Pennick Blackwell and minimise the risks to your money (and health!)

Spanish Banking – We feel your pain

Banks, are they a necessary evil or just one of those things we have to put up with like Death, Taxes and Facebook!  However you feel about them, if you have had an account in Spain, chances are that your feelings swiftly started either turning bad or got worse!

Many people I have come in contact with still have the image in their mind of Spanish Banking being routed in the 70’s.  While they no longer smoke at the desk while talking to you, many people have felt the pain of queuing in a bank only for the cashier to decide that is the time to down tools and go for their morning coffee!

However, being from another country, once you get over the initial culture shock, you may find that you do in fact need a bank account in Spain.  For many people, there will be rent payments, utilities expenses, having a pension changed to this country, changing money after or before a trip, savings and investments.  Where do you start looking for a bank?  In this day and age, the first place seems to be social media or word of mouth.  Start a thread and see how many people will add their 2 pennies worth of advice (better than the bank having it no?) but many people, while knowing exactly their situation, won’t know yours.

If you are looking at moving to Spain, buying or renting a property, changing your pension payments to an overseas account, setting up Direct Debits etc.  Do you know what the bank will want from you in return?  Are you willing to settle for the first bank you come across?  A bit of searching and talking to people who know will allow you to see what bank will charge you, how to avoid their charges and what tricks not to fall for.  We have seen all too often life savings been wasted away in Bank Shares or locked away for long term investments because it was what the bank wanted at the time, not the customer.

Forewarned is forearmed so if you are looking at opening an account and are not sure which bank to go for, call people who know, ask the questions, explain what you want the account for and we can help you find the right bank for you.

Prepare with Pennick Blackwell and minimise the risks to your money (and health!)