Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Bought the dream, living a nightmare?

At EU Property Solutions; we help those who purchased a property in Spain during the ‘boom’ years, that are now living a nightmare.

During the property boom in Spain, there was a massive spike in building and lending activity. Numerous large developments were built with the foreign investor as the prime target audience. Some of the key names in the property development world at the time included Polaris world, Oceanview, and MRI.

Bought the ‘dream’…

Areas in coastal regions such as Costa Del Sol & Costa Blanca were of key interest to the overseas property buyers. They were seeking the picturesque, tranquil, holiday location that the brochure sold.  Property developers were selling ‘dreams’ to foreign investors and many UK and Irish customers were sold on this ‘dream’. A luxurious golf and country club or the desire for a property overlooking the sea.

According to the reports of the Bank of Spain; from 2000 to 2009, 5 million new housing units had been added to the existing stock of 20 million. Some of the areas which we know were affected specifically, include; Roda Golf, Manilva Hills, Corvera, Torrevieja, Estepona and Los Alcazares.

In this time, it was presumed that buying property in Spain was as ‘safe as houses’, pardon the pun.  Banks were far too willing to lend money and coupled with a corrupt planning regime; this resulted in a toxic concoction that was only ever going to end one way.

Living the nightmare…

After the property bubble burst prices started to fall. Buyers became less and less eager and developers, starved of loans by Spanish banks going bust.

In the lucrative areas where the ‘dreams’ were sold, particularly the coastal regions of the Costas; there are unfinished developments without water and electricity, and without any prospect of being sold. For those that were finished, people are left with a property that they no longer want, that is in a deserted and run-down development. The dream is now a reality, a harsh and very different one than what was sold.

Many re-mortgaged their own homes in the UK to raise equity. This has put their own homes at risk at a time of life where most would want to be retiring and enjoying life.

Speak to the experts in foreign property debt!

The team at EU Property Solutions are on hand all day every day to speak with those suffering at the hands of property debt nightmare. A large majority of our clients invested in properties across Spain during the property boom. These clients, can no longer service repayments, no longer want the distressed property, or like some, have been left with a property in an unfinished development but feel trapped due to the burden of the massive Negative Equity.

Contact our team today on 0330 124 1230 if you purchased a property in the boom and are living the nightmare…

 

Interest-Only to Repayment: Tenfold Increase

We hosted a webinar back in July in respect of Interest-Only mortgages. We have had quite a bit of interest in this very niche subject. It is becoming more and more relevant as time goes on. Click here to watch it on demand!

We have seen and helped hundreds of clients who had taken out Interest-Only loans who are now paying the hefty price.

This type of mis-sold mortgage issue is something that we’re seeing with our clients. They come to us after realising their 15-year interest-only term is coming to an end. We had a recent client who found out that his monthly repayments would go from €250pm to €2,150pm; an extremely high spike in payments that would very quickly become unfeasible

In this Webinar; our Chairman, Terry goes through a few examples of what we have seen and the successes we have achieved for our clients. He talks about interest-only mortgages particularly in Spain but also discussed Europe as a whole.

EU Property Solutions, with our legal team,  have the Bank’s gripped. But when it comes to loan sales, they are very often sold to vulture funds. They are different animals completely and these situations are becoming more prevalent. Last month a Spanish bank even sold a performing loan book. Everything was up to speed and good, but they still sold it on so be careful with that backdrop.

Undoubtedly, many people were mis-sold properties, however, it’s very difficult to win that argument or that war. There is one bank in Spain that has sold a lot of these interest-only mortgages but there are other banks involved too. If people try to do direct approaches with the Bank it very rarely works out, therefore we respectfully suggest that you don’t. In this webinar, Terry goes through why you shouldn’t do that and how we can attack the problem for you.

If your Interest-Only period is coming to the end of its term and you want to explore your options, contact EU Property Solutions today and we can help you.

📞: 0330 124 1230

📧: [email protected]

💻: www.eupropertysolutions.com

Buying or selling property in Spain?

This blog will be providing you with tailored advice on how to avoid these pitfalls when buying or selling property in Spain.

The Spanish property market has been through a turbulent period over the last decade. EU Property Solutions work with borrowers assisting them out of difficult situations often not caused by themselves as they fell victim to the Property Crash.

The 2007-2008 crash has led to people looking to sell and get out of the property burden and those looking for a bargain investment.

We have a few pointers if you’re considering buying or selling a property in Spain.

SELLING:

Price the Property to Sell

  • The property market in Spain has masses of supply currently, especially in the British/Foreign investor market.
  • Your property needs to be priced to sell, or it will sit on the market for a long time.

Will you clear any outstanding mortgage and debts?

  • Will your sales proceeds (sales price less costs) clear your outstanding mortgage?
  • Do you owe any debts for IBI taxes or Community Fees?
  • If you do not clear the mortgage your lender will not release their charge on the property and the sale cannot complete.

 Sales Costs

  • 3% Capital Gains tax if you are a non-Spanish Resident.
  • Estate Agent fees are 3-6% of the sales price.
  • Energy Efficiency Certificate typically €150-€300.
  • Plus Valia Tax – this is a local tax on the increase in the value of the rateable value of the land.

BUYING:

Purchase Costs

  • Legal conveyancing fees
  • Land Registry Fees
  • Notary Fees
  • Income Tax Provision when purchasing from non-residents.
  • Bank fees for money transfers and mortgage fees.

 Future Costs of Ownership

  • IBI Taxes
  • Community Fees
  • Utilities
  • Insurance
  • Non-resident tax

It all adds up.

 Understand what you are buying.

  • Research is essential
  • Is your mortgage affordable in the long term? Does the rate change?
  • What rental yield can you achieve – be careful if you have been promised a yield. These often don’t materialise.

Brexit and your registrations.

  • Have your NIE number ready well before starting the purchase process
  • Open a Spanish Bank account well before the purchase process.
  • Brexit implications for use of property need to be understood.

If you’re interested in hearing first-hand from our Chairman Terry Bell elaborate on any of the above, you can sign up for our free webinar that we’re hosting on Thursday 16th September at 6PM ‘FREE WEBINAR | Brexit and Covid-19 | What does this mean for property values?’ Click HERE to sign up!

PS: Don’t forget to visit our YouTube channel to access a full library of our free videos & webinars. CLICK HERE

Holiday Home Nightmare

Taken from ‘Foreign Property Mortgage Nightmare – 2006+ and all that’

For most of us, when we reminisce about 2005 – 2008; it’s mainly positive. A prosperous time when the economy was booming. We had a bit of spare change in our pockets. A time when thousands of Brits and Irish, could finally realise your dream. And splash out on your very own slice of paradise. Purchasing a ‘luxury ’ Holiday Home in places like Spain or Cyprus was suddenly an affordable opportunity.

Holiday Home Nightmare

This is in no way indicative of the state of mind of any of you who purchased your dream property; but this buying frenzy was encouraged by duplicitous bankers, promoters, and developers. Rubbing their hands with glee; it was a cash cow that they believed could be milked forever. During this period, the appetite for the Holiday Home market grew significantly. Quickly becoming flooded and causing demand to soar to even higher heights.

And to add wind to its wings, funds were easy to access both at home and abroad; non-status mortgages were two a penny, and credit checks didn’t even factor into the equation. With little to no barriers stopping the purchase of too ‘good to be true places’ in the sun. And non-existent due diligence from the professionals; it was only a matter of time before the foundations of this property boom literally crumbled underneath us all.

It was not just the developers and Banks to blame, but also the valuers, notaries, solicitors, and dodgy promoters.

Together they invented attractive, but totally unfounded, property valuations before the unscrupulous sellers sold at crazy prices. Every aspect of the process and each stakeholder involved, coupled with lax financial regulations, was responsible for the self-perpetuating nightmare that buyers unwittingly bought into.

Much like the film ‘The Long Short’, whilst part-fictional; showed that everybody and anybody could get rich during these times whatever the situation. And it did not matter that the money earned by the developers, bankers, and promoters was at the detriment of the unsuspecting property buyers.

So, it’s no wonder that in the autumn of 2008; when the world stopped turning and the financial crisis hit like a blunt instrument. These properties built on financial sand in the years before, suddenly sank quickly into negative equity. Leaving people stuck with unwanted debt.

It was a crazy world, where we witnessed well-established Banks like Lehman Brothers, which had been around since 1850, collapse. Others like Allied Irish Banks (AIB) and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) went under state control and materially are still there.

Countries including Cyprus and Spain were savagely hit as the whole banking industry was shored up by their State Banks. The collapse of the financial sector, and many of its long-established institutions, started a domino effect. Leaving those at the end of the chain the main losers.

Those of you who had dared to live the Holiday Home dream had become the unwitting victims. Your once refreshing holiday cocktail left a bitter lingering aftertaste that you are still paying for to this day!

 

Childline’s 35th birthday – Fundraising Campaign

Article wrote by Love Belfast in aid of Childline’s 35th birthday – Fundraising Campaign!

THE DIRECTOR of Belfast-based debt strategists Bell & Company & EU Property Solutions has set her sights high as she aims to double the money she raised last year in aid of marking the Childline’s 35th birthday.

Amanda Bell, 58, runs the Belfast city-center-based foreign property firm alongside husband Terry Bell, 61, who split their time between Belfast and Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

Now in its eleventh year based in Northern Ireland, EU Property Solutions and Bell & Company are set to host a gruelling fitness event, the Power of 4 Challenge, in the hopes of raising more than £20,000 for NSPCC’s Childline’s 35th birthday.

Taking place from Wednesday 15th September to Friday 17th September, following the success of last year’s event which raised £10,282.

As the event returns this year, Amanda Bell discusses her passion for supporting the children’s charity; as it continues to play a vital role in helping children and young people across Northern Ireland. On her career to date, Amanda said: “My career has mainly been in recruitment but I also helped my husband, Terry, build his accountancy and debt strategy business, Bell & Company & EU Property Solutions.”

“We have now been working in Northern Ireland for over 11 years. Today, we have a team of over 25 people based between Belfast and Leeds.”

Bell & Company and EU Property Solutions became a corporate partner of NSPCC Northern Ireland in 2018 after they decided to support a charity in Northern Ireland.

Amanda explained: “Back in 2016, we discussed plans with the team to work alongside a charity. Terry and I ended up attending Belfast Business Awards that year at City Hall; which was a last-minute invitation that worked out incredibly well.

“That night, the speaker was David Tait MBE, who spoke frankly about the abuse he suffered as a child and how it had shaped him. His words silenced the room and brought many people to tears.”

“After the event, we felt inspired and decided to contact NSPCC Northern Ireland. I asked if they could send someone to talk to our team about their service Childline service. This was a worthwhile experience, as it gave us a great understanding of the vital work the charity does for children and young people across Northern Ireland. We knew it was something we had to support.

“We began raising money with small events and organised our first Gala Ball at Titanic Belfast in March 2017. The event was hosted by television personality Pamela Ballantine with David Tait and wife Vanessa in attendance. It was a huge success!”

“In 2018, we were honoured to become official corporate partners of NSPCC Northern Ireland. Working alongside our colleagues at Callow Events, we were involved in an event, an Audience with Dame Esther Rantzen, Childline President. This gave an incredible insight on establishing Childline and her varied career followed by a second ball; the Childline Gala Ball in October 2019.”

“So far, we have raised over £45,000. We have hopes of raising over £20,000 through our Power of 4 Challenge.”

For Amanda, she believes NSPCC and its Childline service, play a huge part in supporting young people who fall victim to abuse; “I always associate Childline with Dame Esther Rantzen, as I remember her establishing the charity 35 years ago this year. Childline is now run by NSPCC with two bases in Northern Ireland, Belfast and Foyle.”

“Many children are lucky to have a supportive, loving family unit but sadly, that isn’t the case for all. It is awful that some of the most vulnerable members of society suffer abuse and neglect which we all should play a part in preventing.”

Looking towards the Power of 4 Challenge in September and the reasons behind hosting it, Amanda explained: “I attended webinars hosted by NSPCC during the pandemic, and the impact it has had on fundraising was discussed often. 

“At that time, Terry had been following an American motivational speaker, David Goggins, who is the only member of U.S. armed forces to ever complete training as a Navy SEAL on three occasions. David developed the Power of 4 Challenge, and we gladly run with it now.

“This year, we want it to be bigger and better and have two teams from EU Property Solutions and Bell & Company taking part, including myself but we want other companies to join in too. It is a challenge; particularly in respect of sleep deprivation. A bit of hardship will make sure we can make a difference to the lives of children and young people. 

“Those involved can take part in the Power of 4 Challenge in their local area or Belfast. Near our office in the Scottish Provident Building at City Hall. In teams of four or solo, you will run or walk for 4 miles.  Every 4 hours, for 48 hours, covering a total of 48 miles.

Amanda concluded; “We are so excited to host the Power of 4 Challenge which will no doubt be a huge success. We will once again be asking for support from many people and the more that are involved; the more we can raise and hopefully hit our target of over £20,000!”

To take part in our epic Power of 4 Challenge on Wednesday 15 to Friday 17 September, CLICK HERE. Whether you choose to pay a registration fee or fundraise your total target; every pound raised will help support local children when they have nowhere else to turn.Childline's 35th birthday

Interview with former Cypriot Client: Mike Fredriksen

Michael is a previous Cypriot Client of EU Property Solutions that we reached a very successful settlement for. He featured as a guest on our latest webinar ‘Cypriot Mortgage Issues: Downward Spiral’ where he answered some questions regarding the issues he was facing with his property in Cyprus and his life now without the burden of foreign property debt.

Welcome Michael & thanks for joining us today, tell me a little bit about your Cypriot property experience and when did you know it was time to seek help?

I purchased my property in 2005 and from day one I saw the Developers and the Bank in a different light. Despite much communication between all stakeholders, it became clear there was no future with the property. After constant re-mortgaging, involvement with communities that were all in the same boat, and taking advice from Barristers; we knew there was no light at the end of the tunnel. It wasn’t until my wife came across EU Property Solutions and we engaged with you that the rest became history.

Did you find contacting the Developers & the Bank difficult?

They did play ball to start with but as soon as money had changed hands, we were treated like second-class citizens with regards to any plans or attempts to try and improve the situation. We found that the Bank was very rude, ignorant and they pushed us to the limit. The developers shrugged their shoulders and said, “You decided to buy in Cyprus, it’s your problem.” It was a problem, a big problem but the Bank and the Developers didn’t seem to care too much.

At that time, where you living out in Cyprus or traveling to and from the UK?

I was working and living in my property in Cyprus from 2005- 2010. These problems didn’t come to a head until we left the property. We moved back to the UK in 2013 with my job. We were grateful to have had the delight of living in our property in Cyprus and then renting the property out. But when we came back to the UK in 2013, that’s when things really took their toll.

After reaching out to EU Property Solutions, what was it about our company that made you and your wife feel like this is the route that you wanted to go down?

Right from the start really, I had an initial telephone call with a really nice chap who made us feel at ease. There was no pressure or sales pitch. He allowed us and permitted us to contact other people who were successful with EU Property Solutions. We thought are we going to be scammed again by another company because everyone we have dealt with previously just wanted to take our money with no interest in what we wanted to achieve. From day one we felt at ease with EU Property Solutions and the staffing, the staff work and the communication between EU property Solutions and ourselves was enough for us to commit to them looking after our case.

That’s a very interesting point you made about feeling like you were going to be scammed. At EU Property Solutions, that is a huge barrier that we come across with our clients because one of the main reasons that our clients are in their situation is because they have been wronged from the very beginning. So that is why we always try to put them in the right direction by speaking with our other clients who we have reached a settlement for who were in the same situation as yourself. Did you avail of that service?

Yes absolutely, I spoke to a couple of Spanish clients that you had in very similar situations. I hope I can be of value to anybody now, being an owner who invested in Cyprus and having gone through the process, I am more than happy to help anybody else in the same situation as ourselves.

In terms of your journey with us, after appointing our services, did you feel like our team was helpful?

Yes, my case manager was really on the ball. The biggest thing for me was being able to pass my problems on to her. I didn’t want to communicate with the Developers or the Bank while I was going through this process. EU Property Solutions took full ownership of my problems for the whole period while fighting my case. One of the big thing I found, was having the opportunity to forget about all the issues that were surrounding; knowing that it was being managed in good hands.

A lot of people think that even though they appoint our services, they think that they have to be in correspondence with the lender and the developer, but that all stops when you come on with us. It takes you away from that situation and our legal team deal with it. Once you knew we achieved a settlement, how did you and your family feel?

It was a bittersweet feeling for my wife and I. We invested a lot of money into the property, and we were gutted it went down the drain. But we have now got no more trouble and a heavyweight has been lifted off our shoulders. We can move on forward with our lives and not feel threatened by Cypriot authorities. It was a Bittersweet feeling but a huge moment of celebration!

What would you say to people who have found themselves in a similar situation to what you experienced?

I would say across the board, it doesn’t matter who you are whether you are a serious investor in properties; there are people who fall foul to the Cypriot Scam. Hold your head up high, there is light at the end of the tunnel. It doesn’t matter how much debt you are in or how many properties you have; if you want to get out of it there is help available.

Chat to a member of our team today. Our initial consultations are free and we can quickly help clients with Cypriot property debt.

You can watch the full video interview here: https://youtu.be/RCr7irb-hIU?t=823

0044 330 124 1230

[email protected]

Our Success with Loan Sales

This is our final blog in respect of Loans Sales: Success with Loan Sales, a situation that has become more and more prevalent in the foreign mortgage market.

If you have been subject to one of these loans sales, you will understand the stress that they bring. If you have not, then this is our call out to make sure this does not happen to you.

All banks are considering loan sales, especially in Spain, Cyprus, and Portugal.

EU Property Solutions have had great Success with Loan Sales cases and demands by vulture funds for repayment.

  • A retired couple had a property in Spain and received some terrible advice from a solicitor in Spain that said they could; “walk away from the property and everything would be ok.”
  • The paperwork was incorrectly completed and subsequently, they received a demand for €150,426 (payable in 14 days) 6 years later.
  • Our clients were retired, with net UK assets of £400,000, facing the burden of this debt.
  • EU Property Solutions got involved including our legal teams in Spain and the UK. We positioned our clients correctly, to protect all their assets and settled this claim.

Including costs, we settled the €150,426 debt for £26,000. Therefore, Securing savings of £105,000 for our clients so they could finally get on with their lives.

  • A Portuguese vulture fund purchased a loan from a disreputable bank and was chasing a client of ours for c€140,000.
  • Long story short we settled this case for €40,000 saving our client approximately £85,000.

EU Property Solutions are very strong on cross-jurisdictional issues. We provide support in terms of legal help in the UK and across Europe.

If you have a loan sale demand on you or fear anything of this nature, give us a call today: 044 330 124 1230

We have published our first ever eBook ‘Foreign Property Mortgage NIghtmare – 2006+ and all that…’ – get your FREE copy today!

Squatters in Spain

There is currently a huge problem in Spain with ‘Squatters’ unlawfully occupying unused holiday homes.

With Covid-19 travel restrictions ongoing, many holiday homes across Europe have been sitting empty for over a year. This has made the likelihood of Squatters in Spain invading properties x10 times more likely than before the pandemic.

Squatters are moving into these empty properties, making it their home and fitting new locks. They also avail of the properties water, electricity, and bins; leaving property owners left with increased bills and bins which cannot be used.

In a recent interview with Ena Cummings, founder of GoldenKeys Property; squatters were described as “vile, evil beasts” who should be thrown out immediately. Unfortunately, due to Spain’s insufficient legal system, Community Presidents not taking action, Banks being irresponsible and the countries water and electric board turning a blind eye, therefore, this means that property owners are left to deal with these squatters themselves.

In Ena’s community, there are 8 squatters who not only have moved into the development but have displayed public indecency. They have thrown bleach and wine at homes on top of stealing water, electricity, and their bin facilities. Ena expressed that the community wanted an AGM with the community presidents.

“It was arranged in 2019 to get the removal mafia in from Madrid. This was to remove the squatters, to get a loan, and pay it through our community fees (which was agreed.) But our two so-called presidents won’t sign the forms as they don’t want to throw people out on the street.”

The only guaranteed way to get squatters removed from a property is to hire a removal mafia from Madrid. This comes at a fee of €5,000. The other option to protect an empty home is to pay €35 a month for a photographic alarm system. The alarm system will notify the Guardia Civil who can throw them out within 48hrs. Nonetheless, both options add further expense to unused holiday homes in Spain.

Ena is adamant that “Spain needs to change their law, but it’s going to get worse before it gets better.”

If you have an unused property in Europe that you no longer can maintain, this is your time to act before squatters make your home theirs!

If you would like to dispose of your foreign property, there are options available for you to do so.  Get in touch with EU Property Solutions today and speak with our specialist team for your FREE consultation.

You can find Ena over on her website:
www.goldenkeysproperty.com
[email protected]

Title Deeds in Cyprus

It’s estimated the owners of c100,000 properties in Cyprus have not been able to obtain their Title Deeds in Cyprus. This is a massive issue for our EU Property Solutions clients, as to all intents and purposes the property can only be sold to a ‘cash buyer’ – because of the flawed Title on their property.

In Cyprus:

  • The developer,
  • Central Government departments, and
  • Local government/councils are all involved in the process for the issuance of Title Deeds.

Undoubtedly, this gives plenty of opportunity for something to go wrong. Especially in Cyprus which it invariably does where huge delays and problems arise.

Our specialist team then works with the added factor that many developers have also now ceased to trade and are not contactable, thus the likelihood of ever obtaining complete Title Deeds is poor at best.

Many developers did not correctly divide up the plots of land when they were building apartment developments. Therefore could not provide individual separate title deeds for purchasers.

A major problem our clients face is selling without Deeds. Cypriot mortgage lenders will now not lend on properties without title deeds. Thus, the comment above your buyer must be a cash purchaser resulting in far low values/prices.

Despite the many issues for properties not having Title Deeds, the vast majority of EU Property Solutions successes in Cyprus, with Swiss Franc Currency issues and the Negative Equity arising, have been achieved for our client settlements without the right Title Deeds.

EU Property Solutions along with our Cypriot Legal Team understand how the core lenders work and their processes to resolve these property issues and settle mortgage debts. Subsequently, we often avoid sales procedures and assist borrowers with alleviating their Cyprus property debt burden which has been fuelled by the non-existant issues of Title Deeds and Swiss Franc mortgages.

A recent settlement below. This client will speak to any prospective clients about their experience with EU Property Solutions.

  • A couple* approached EU Property Solutions after struggling for years with their holiday home and the mortgage thereon,
  • They owned a 3-bedroom Townhouse in Paphos with no Title Deeds,
  • Their outstanding mortgage at the time of our appointment was SwFr399,000 equating to £313,000 (Sterling).
  • The property was valued at €70,000 
  • EU Property Solutions negotiated the successful settlement of the mortgage account.
  • Including our fees and settlement with their developer, the clients saved over £200,000 and most importantly protected their UK assets.

*This client will speak to any prospective clients about their experience with EU Property Solutions.

If you are struggling with a property with no Title Deeds and a mortgage sold to you in Swiss Francs make sure you call EU Property Solutions now: 0044 330 124 1230

Why are Banks doing Loan Sales?

Welcome to Part Two of our four-part Blog Series featuring the impending Loan Sales that are occurring with European Banks.

This series of blogs shares our knowledge and keeps our readers up to speed with the fast-developing market that covers foreign mortgages. This blog answers the question of ‘Why do banks sell on loan books?’ As Covid-19 restrictions ease, and life begins to resume, Banks are starting to face their issues. What they are faced with are a number of different aspects that are driving them to undertake loan sales which typically, they sell to what are called vulture funds.

The main points as to why Banks are selling these loans are:

1.) They are getting a lot of pressure from their Central Banks, such as the Bank of Spain, which is directing them as to how they must conduct themselves.

2.) There is still a lot of legacy debt left over from the 2008 Financial Crash which needs to be recovered.

3.) The banks want to free up funds on capital because very often this is not the best debt they can carry on their books, which in turn helps them tidy up their balance sheets and they can also get on with what they are supposed to do which is be a bank in their own country for their own people.

EU Property Solutions have seen a huge increase in enquiries from people who are sent threatening letters from foreign banks. We advise those in this situation to take action immediately, especially if there is a negative equity property involved.

Banks don’t give notice as to when they are looking at a loan sale. They can be brutal in their attack and they are far more aggressive in their approach. If they are going to come after you – they will come after you; they will look to get their pound of flesh.

Vulture Funds are a completely different animal therefore they have a completely different agenda, they are far more aggressive in their approach.

Furthermore, if you have contemplated resolving a Negative Equity issue, wherever it may be; then get in contact with our specialist team via the methods below:

Keep an eye out for Part 2 of our Loan Sales Blog Series to find out more!

Spanish Property Repossession…HELP!

Spanish Property Repossession is an incredibly slow process but once the Banks start the process, it becomes unrelenting.

The Spanish Courts are awash with Property issues including Repossession and Deposit Reclaim hearings and the Actions can take years. Nonetheless, if you are in arrears with mortgage payments – your property can and will ultimately be repossessed. The costs involved in such Bank Actions, for which you will be responsible can be horrendous.

EU Property Solutions encourage borrowers to engage with lenders through a third party before repossession occurs, as this is when the best results can be achieved for borrowers and the lender. Nonetheless, should Spanish Property Repossession occur or have already happened we can help. See our case study below.

This brief blog sees us share what we are seeing in the subject of Spanish Property Repossessions, most notably:

  1. UK Debt Collection Agencies (DCA’s) are being used frequently and are becoming more prominent in their approach.
  2. Most borrowers with a Spanish property issue have an asset position in the UK, e.g. home and investments. These will be at risk if the DCA and/or look to enforce the debt owed.
  3. Many Banks currently looking to secure Orders Charging Land on clients’ UK assets to secure their debt position.
  4. Vulture Funds are increasingly buying non-performing loans from Spanish Banks. These funds want full repayment and are extremely aggressive in their approach. They are far more efficient in debt collection than Spanish Banks using Insolvency action against borrowers. THIS IS AN INCREASINGLY WORRYING TREND HERE.

If repossession has occurred and you are being pursued for outstanding debt, it is essential to act now and to engage with the relevant collection agent.

EU Property Solutions understand how collection agents work and how Banks operate, working with them on a daily basis.

A recent example of a Spanish Property Repossession case, EU Property Solutions settled with a core Spanish lender saw:

  • Our client owned a property in Estepona, Costa Del Sol.
  • Following a period of financial difficulty, our client fell behind on her mortgage payments.
  • Our clients’ property was repossessed and she received a letter from a UK Solicitors firm acting on behalf of the Spanish lender. They requested a full repayment of the £90,000 shortfall debt.
  • The clients’ non-engagement with the Bank saw costs rise considerably. The Bank ultimately secured a Charge on her UK home.
  • EU Property Solutions were appointed and within 6 months achieved a settlement. We achieved the settlement for £18,000 including; costs on a Full and Final Basis and the charge removed from her home.
  • The home is now safe and savings of c£72,000 achieved.

If your Spanish Property is subject to repossession or has been repossessed, call EU Property Solutions, it’s not too late – but make sure you call us today.

Phone: +44 330 124 1230

Email: [email protected]

We are the ONLY dedicated advisors who cover this subject in this way and with our confidence and knowledge, we felt compelled to write this short book for borrowers out there who are struggling with a foreign mortgage. Click here to read the full eBook!

Did you buy foreign property pre-2008?

It could be believed that 2005 – 2008 was a prosperous and positive time; with the Economic Boom and thousands of Brits and Irish, finally being able to afford the dream purchase of a ‘luxury’ holiday home in places like Spain or Cyprus.

At EU Property Solutions we see this experience in a different way. It was a time where the ‘buying frenzy’ was encouraged by duplicitous bankers, promoters, and developers.

For buyers, funds were easy to access both at home and abroad; non-status mortgages were two a penny, and credit checks didn’t even factor into the equation. With little to no barriers stopping the purchase of ‘too good to be true places’; it was only a matter of time before the foundations of this property boom literally crumbled underneath us all.

It was no wonder that in the autumn of 2008 when the world stopped turning and the financial crisis hit. These properties built on financial sand in the years before, suddenly sank quickly into Negative Equity; leaving people stuck with unwanted debt.

Countries including Cyprus and Spain were savagely hit as the whole banking industry was shored up by their State Banks. The collapse of the financial sector, and many of its long-established institutions, started a domino effect, leaving those at the end of the chain the main losers.

Those who dared to live the holiday home dream have now, unfortunately, become victims of the Economic Boom. Their once refreshing holiday cocktail soon left a bitter lingering aftertaste that is still being paying for to this day.

If the above sounds familiar and you have found yourself stuck with a Foreign Property in Negative Equity, our specialist team are here to take your call today!

We have published our first ever eBook ‘Foreign Property Mortgage Nightmare – 2006+ and all that..’

This book is not looking in any way to compound the pain of foreign property debt or ‘rub it in,’ but it seeks to explain the works that we undertake and what we have learned over the past ten years in this field.

Click here to download your FREE copy of our eBook!

My loan has been sold! – What are Loan Sales?

Welcome to Part One of our four-part Blog Series featuring the impending Loan Sales that are happening with European Banks.

As we come out of the third lockdown, the banks are having to start facing issues in the real world.

What they are doing straight away (especially in Spain) is two things:

  1. Consolidating and merging. La Caixa and Bankia have now merged and,
  2. There is also the ongoing saga of BBVA and Sabadell who are contemplating merging.

What is more worrying is that across Europe, (including Cyprus) Loan Sales are impending. Banks are looking to avoid what they call delinquent or troublesome debt and anything that is hard work for them. Selling these debts off at a discount to what are called ‘Vulture Funds’

EU Property Solutions implore that people to try and keep control when there even a sniff of this because dealing with people that buy the loans are Vulture Funds, who are a lot stronger than banks.

They are very good on a cross-jurisdictional basis and with litigation. They want their pound of flesh and they are not going to wait forever! Vulture Funds are short-term investors seeking recovery on their funds and they are pretty brutal in their attack.

That said EU Property Solutions have dealt with a number of Loan Sales situations when vulture funds are involved.

So, we advise you against waiting for this to happen and to take action today!

Keep an eye out for Part 2 of our Loan Sales Blog Series to find out more!

My Foreign Loan has been sold – Help!

A frequently asked question that we’ve been receiving recently has been “My Foreign Loan has been sold – Help!”

As we come out of Covid-19, Banks worldwide are looking to tidy up their acts. This usually takes the form of:

  • Writing off bad or delinquent debt,
  • Pressurising those struggling to maintain payments, and
  • The worst of all – selling their loans to Vulture Funds.

When Banks start to struggle, they look to take the pain of quickly writing off what they see as ‘bad debts’ and then look to ‘cash out’.

By ‘cash out’ we mean to sell these loans at a discount. That then frees up capital funds and for them, they do not have to manage delinquent accounts.

This ‘hassle’ factor has become more prevalent for our dear foreign banks over time and with this recession, we believe, and we are hearing such Loan Sales are and will become more prevalent going forward.

The purchases of such loans are usually referred to as ‘Vulture Funds’ and their key characteristics and agendas are best summarised by the following facts:

  • They are usually International Funds, Hedge or Venture Capital in nature,
  • Unlike the European Banks, they are strong in their approach to cross-jurisdictional issues and collection of debts,
  • They are looking for short term successors/cash flow from the portfolio they purchase from the Banks,
  • In the main, they are not long-term lenders, and most importantly, and
  • They are far more aggressive in their recovery approach, wanting their ‘pounds of flesh’.

A ‘long story short’ – Vulture Funds will:

  • Be in it for the short term,
  • Be legally aggressive with non-payers,
  • Chase across borders more efficiently than the Banks, and
  • Look to recover every €/£ they are owed.

We have several cases which saw us start our work with a Bank but they, in turn, sold that on to a ‘Vulture Fund’. That then requires us to pivot in terms of attitude, stance, and most importantly the strategy for our client.

If your Spanish/Cypriot/Portuguese mortgage loan has been sold to a third party AKA Vulture Fund, it is vital that you know your options.

Our specialist team are here to provide you with a strategy to alleviate foreign property debt as a whole.

You can also head over and watch our latest YouTube video on Vulture Funds, click HERE.

Call us today on 0330 124 1230 or send us an email at [email protected]

Golf Resort Property Issues? We can help!

Increasingly we hear from a number of people feeling ‘trapped & stuck’ with their Foreign Golf Resort property. EU Property Solutions continue to help hundreds of people deal with foreign property debt.

There are still thousands requiring help to extricate themselves from commitments made in the property doom of 2005-2009. This is across Europe but most notably Spain & Cyprus. We for our part, have worked across the world on this including New Zealand!

Many foreign developments were sold off-plan, seeing any number of golf resort developments spring up. Good old Jack Nicklaus, supported with a huge TV campaign in the UK, was there plugging away the Polaris dream.

These were ‘heady’ days & many people fell under the spell of slick sales operators, promising the world, backed by Banks ‘throwing’ money at the job. 

Some clients comment that they were mis-sold the property & the accompanying financial product. Is that the case? In all probability yes. Will they get recompense? NO CHANCE.

We all know properties were sold at highly inflated prices and thousands of foreign purchasers flocked to buy the dream.

The massive correction (polite phrase for the Financial Armageddon!) saw these types of developments crash in value.

Many purchasers saw the collapse in values take them massively into Negative Equity i.e. mortgage greater than the market value.

Coupled with this are issues involving:

  • Intransigent Banks/lender,
  • The cost of maintenance of the property and resort,
  • Failing golf courses.

In many instances interest only mortgages going to repayment.

 – Are you struggling with a similar scenario, with your property & foreign lender?

Then fear not – help is at hand. EU Property Solutions can help! Visit our website to see how we have helped our clients achieve amazing settlements.

If you think you need our help, contact us today!

A 6-Stage Plan To Alleviate Foreign Property Issues

Want to do something about your Foreign Property, but don’t know where to start?

Foreign property debt can cause a lot of stress and negatively impact on your relationships and family life if it is not managed effectively. EU Property Solutions have established a plan for you to effectively manage your Spanish/Cypriot debt and reduce stress.

1. Make a list

It helps to have everything laid out in front of you; that you owe so you have a clear understanding of how much you have to pay back. Do some calculations and work out how long it will take you to pay off the money within a specified time frame. Try and be realistic and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to pay it all back in a small timeframe. This is likely to stress you out more and make you feel worse when you aren’t able to achieve it. If you feel like you’re going nowhere, pick up the phone and call our specialist team for a free, no-obligation chat to take you through your calculations.

2. Plan a strategy

What you need to do now is work out what will be best for you. Often people will only pay the minimum that is required of them, but sometimes this isn’t the best way to go about things and all it’s going to do is prolong the agony. Get into the habit of paying off more than this each month and you’ll see your debt reduce quicker.

3. Monitor and adjust accordingly

Be sure to keep tracking your progress to see where you can make improvements, perhaps by increasing the amount of money that you’re paying off.

4. Seek advice from an expert

Sometimes it helps to speak to an intermediary that knows what they’re talking about and can help you effectively navigate your way out of foreign property debt, putting your mind at ease. Here at EU Property Solutions, we are able to offer specialised assistance to anyone struggling with all forms of foreign property debt in Spain, Cyprus and other countries.

5. Don’t bury your head in the sand

Yes, foreign property debt can become all too consuming with many people ignoring the issue thinking that enforcement and pursual will never affect them back in the UK. We would love to say this is true but unfortunately, we have seen many debt collection agents hired on behalf of

  • Sabadell
  • UCI
  • Bankia
  • La Caixa

To retrieve monies outstanding from a property they once owed abroad. If you’re worried that you have received threatening correspondence; get in touch today, there are MANY options available out there for you.

Step 6: Utilise your resources!

There are HUNDREDS of resources out there for you to get information from relating to your foreign property issues…we’ve done the leg work for you and picked out some of the BEST and MOST informative pieces of information out there.

Did you purchase in Polaris World or Costa Blanca Golf Resort?

Costa Blanca has long been a popular hotspot for many people wanting to buy their dream holiday home. Over the years many have followed their dream purchasing either investment properties or holiday homes for retirement futures.

During the Spanish property boom pre-2008, many people purchased properties in this region. Our focus this week has turned to the notorious Polaris World Golf Resorts. 

They were once Europe’s most ambitious holiday home developers and consisted of numerous large-scale projects. These resorts were widely advertised on TV in the UK by legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus (the designer). This was to entice investors looking for a better life in the sun.

During this period, properties sold at highly inflated prices. Some apartments going for €200,000 (£160,000). Thousands of foreign investors flocked to purchase at these resorts. However, when the financial crisis hit in 2008, the prices of these apartments declined rapidly.

Despite the slump in the property market, Polaris World continued to build and ignored the warning signs.

By 2010, they were forced to relinquish most of their assets. This included the golf courses and unsold properties, to the lender. These once-popular resorts are now best described as ghost villages.

In 2018 some apartments are struggling to sell for €60,000. This is leaving many in Negative Equity with unaffordable mortgage payments to meet.

  • Do you own a property in Costa Blanca?
  • Do you know someone going through a similar situation?
  • Are you struggling to pay your mortgage?
  • Are you having trouble selling your property due to Negative Equity?

There are solutions, do not delay and contact us today. 

EU Property Solutions specialist team can offer tailored advice and solutions to end your nightmare forever.

Our legal team in Spain works effectively with borrowers to offload the negative asset and secure a significant debt write-down.

This often saves hundreds of thousands of euros for our clients. We have a dedicated team that will keep you informed every step of the way. 

Other well-known golf resorts in Costa Blanca such as:

  • Roda Golf
  • United Golf
  • Peraleja Golf
  • Corvera Golf & Country Club

Have now found themselves in the same predicament and therefore are essentially mortgage prisoners with nowhere to turn.

Our success is proven, EU Property Solutions recently worked with a client who had purchased a holiday home in Peraleja Golf, Murcia, Spain. Due to the property crash, our client’s property value plummeted from €300,000 to a forced sale price of €140,000. When the clients approached us, the outstanding mortgage was €257,000.

As the clients were pensioners, they were unable to maintain the high mortgage repayments.

The property had been placed on the market for 5 months at €200,000. It had generated zero interest due to the development itself falling into a state of disrepair and the linked golf course closing indefinitely.

To make matters worse, the couple owned a mortgage-free property in the UK with significant equity. Furthermore, they also owned other assets including ISAs and bonds. Understandably, they were worried about the repercussions of this problem property on their assets in the UK.

After providing specialist assistance, we negotiated the voluntary surrender of the property along with a complete debt write-off (Only fees payable in this instance were the consultancy fees of EU Property Solutions.)

So, this was an excellent result and as such has allowed the couple to move forward with their lives and enjoy their retirements.

If you would like to ask us a question relating to your foreign property issue, click HERE

Never want to miss any essential information. Sign up for our FREE monthly newsletter today, click HERE.

Behind on Community Fees & IBI Taxes?

Have you fallen behind on Community Fees & IBI Taxes? If so, read on!

EU Property Solutions assist people daily who have significant mortgage arrears and missed community fee payments. Many borrowers who purchased properties in Spain were not aware of costs such as Community Fees and IBI taxes. These additional costs and Mortgage Debt in Spain can result in significant stress.

Community fees are owed to Community Presidents in Spain. These Presidents are charged with ensuring the community in which you have purchased is visibly up to scratch – for example, the maintenance of common areas, swimming pool cleaning and general upkeep of grounds.

It is important for borrowers to keep up to date with these fees as debt collection can be instructed by Presidents in Spain to the UK and Irish Debt Collection Agents.

If you cannot pay your Spanish mortgage and fall into arrears, then your mortgage balance will increase.

Missed payments are added to the balance along with penalties and interest. Furthermore, you risk legal action and ultimately you are putting your home assets and income at risk if you do not act.

If you cannot maintain payments on your Spanish property, then swift action is needed. If you act quickly through an intermediary, such as EU Property Solutions, then the matter can be brought under control and an amicable and desirable outcome achieved.

In most Spanish settlements we can achieve:

  • The surrender of the property to the Bank and a complete debt write off.
  • We can even negotiate Community Fees arrears and IBI tax arrears into the settlement.

Visit our YouTube channel, we publish videos on a weekly basis. This week’s video sees our client, Sue Geraghty discuss the issues she was facing before appointing our services. CLICK HERE TO WATCH.

If you are struggling with any repayments on your Spanish Property call EU Property Solutions on 0330 124 1230 for a free case review.

Client Q&A with EU Property Solutions

We strongly value our clients feedback on their experience with EU Property Solutions. We asked a recent client a few questions to piece together the journey in battling a Cypriot property nightmare.

Describe to us the situation /events that lead you to contact EU Property Solutions?

“In a nutshell, we purchased a 3-bed property off-plan in Paphos in 2005 for 140 Cyprus Pounds; which was equivalent to £180K at that time.  Our mortgage which was arranged through a Power of Attorney through Alpha Bank and the developers. Alpha Panareti was in Swiss Francs as we were advised/coerced to believe that this was the most stable currency at the time.”

“After having paid a £50K deposit we took ownership of it during the build.  Once built it was rented out until we moved in there to live for 3 years whilst I was posted to Cyprus with the RAF.  During this period the Cyprus currency changed to Euros, and we began to notice an increase in interest and monthly payments. We made several arrangements to review our loan with the bank to meet with the original monthly costs.”

“In 2010 the Swiss Franc currency crashed which had a huge impact on our mortgage; which resulted in our outstanding loan almost trebling.  Despite many attempts to negotiate with the Bank and the Developers to address this, they were not interested in helping. As a result communications with them got frayed, up to the point where we considered a get-out plan.  We engaged with Arbitrator Focus Groups (those that shared the same experiences as us) and sought legal advice. Both of these proved ineffective with the latter not having any evidence of having won any previous legal cases.”

“Subsequently due to the demand to pay over-inflated monthly loan repayment which we couldn’t afford on top of our UK mortgage; we decided to stop making the monthly payments. We sought alternate help, as we knew it was now time for action; which is where EU Property Solutions came into the equation.”

How did this situation affect you prior to appointing EU Property Solutions?

“Through interaction with the focus groups we were aware of many other people in our situation; the effect being in this situation had on them.  For us, our property was a small investment in the sun for the future that we were genuinely ambitious about; especially after investing a lot of money in it.

We were not in control of our life with this situation overhanging us. We were living in uncertain times not knowing whether our UK property was safe.  Together we experienced stress and anxiety and frustrated and angry with the Bank and Developers for not being able to find an amicable resolution to the crisis.”

What did EU Property Solutions do to assist you?

“EU Property Solutions took over the control of our fears and worries by acting as the conduit between us and the Bank. They negated the stress and anxiety previously experienced. EU Property Solutions provided reassurance and gave us confidence that they were going to get success in resolving the matter.  They took over responsibility for the communications with the Bank. Not only did this allow us to concentrate on other priorities in our lives a bit more, we didn’t have to ever speak with the bank during their negotiations with them. ”

How do you feel now that the desired outcome has been achieved?

“Bitter-Sweet! Ecstatic with the result, which from the outset EU Property Solutions were confident getting. But this is balanced against trying to understand why this was allowed to happen in the first place and the financial outlay we have had to endure seeking this outcome!

Putting that aside we are very grateful. We have now settled the loan and finally broke our ties with the Bank and the property. More importantly, we can accept that our nightmare that we have been living for the past 10 years is finally over!”

Would you recommend EU property Solutions to someone that finds themselves in a similar situation?

“Yes, definitely and we can’t thank Natalie enough for her outstanding verbal and written communications (keeping us in the loop regularly). Her diligence and firm but polite manner when dealing with Cyprus per se. Her personable and friendly approach with us, and last but not least her patience and understanding.”

“I will have no hesitation in recommending your services to anyone else who finds themselves in our position.I know there are many I am aware of.”

“I like to extend my heartfelt thanks to all your team who I hope will continue to help others in their time of desperation, and need to help eradicate the corrupt Cypriot Banks and Developers that continue to rip off their clients!”

 

CYPRUS AND SWISS FRANC MORTGAGE ISSUES

EU Property Solutions receive numerous enquiries from borrowers who purchased properties in Cyprus pre-2008 and were offered Swiss Franc Loans.  These mortgages were sold on the basis that the Swiss Franc was a stable currency. Unfortunately for mortgage holders, the Swiss Franc has been a very strong currency against the £ and the €.

Bizarrely pre-2008 Cyprus had the Cypriot Pound as their currency with the Euro then taking its place. At no point has the Swiss Franc ever been used other than for property purchases. Even more amazingly, Switzerland is not even an EU Country. Without doubt, these mortgages were mis-sold* and at best were deemed to be loose lending by the Cypriot Banks

Following the global financial crisis of 2008, Swiss Franc Loan balances grew due to the Swiss Franc appreciating against the Euro. Added to that there was a property crash worldwide and property prices in Cyprus plummeted. This created Negative Equity and left significant shortfalls for borrowers.

Add to this the issue of a lack of title deeds available and Land Registry issues for purchases in Cyprus, then you have a ‘heady mix’ of issues to overcome. This ‘heady mix’ manifests itself in sometimes huge Negative Equity positions.

Help is however at hand and settlements can be reached by us at EU Property Solutions ….. through our extensive knowledge, negotiating skills and together with our local legal teams, full technical understanding of all cases.

EU Property Solutions were appointed to assist a couple who purchased a holiday home in Paphos and their financial exposure position and our work saw:

  • A mortgage balance was SwFr414,000 which at the time of purchase equated to £182,000,
  • This ‘ballooned’ to £330,000 due to the currency fluctuation referred to above.
  • The property value was only £150,000.

EU Property Solutions negotiated the sale of the property with the lender and a lump sum payment of £35,000 to close the mortgage account. Savings of c£145,000 achieved.

Furthermore, Cyprus is not the only country we have seen the use of Swiss Franc Mortgages. We have seen cases in Poland and Hungary with mortgages issued in Swiss Franc Mortgages.

If you are losing your Swiss Franc Mortgage battle and wish to discuss your options, please call EU Property Solutions today on +44 (0)330 124 1230.

Spanish Property Issues

Are you in Negative Equity and do not understand the meaning?

Sort out your Spanish property issues today! In simple terms; Negative Equity occurs when the current loan or mortgage balance secured on a property is higher than the current market value of the property. Subsequently, some borrowers refer to them as Negative Mortgages.

For example, if a borrower’s current mortgage balance is €150,000; but a recent comparable property may have sold for €100,000 (before selling costs of c8-10%)…this borrower is in Negative Equity and faces a mortgage shortfall of €50,000+.

Such Spanish property issues/shortfalls are due and payable in full as and when the property is sold or disposed of.

EU Property Solutions have had contact with and helped many hundreds of people who purchased in Spain and across Europe at the height of the crazily inflated market, pre-2008.

These couples and individuals took out huge mortgages which were too readily available. These scenarios in turn later left the majority of mortgage holders in some form of financial difficulty. Leaving them exposed to an asset with falling value.

Many who still own a property in Negative Equity feel trapped. They are unable to move on, being dubbed ‘mortgage prisoners’ or ‘Stuck in the Sun’.

Furthermore, EU Property Solutions are experts in Spanish Mortgage Law; assisting borrowers who still suffer from a Negative Equity loan.  We and our hand-picked legal teams work with all lenders across Spain. We can tailor our services based on your circumstances and lender.

A recent example saw us settle a Negative Equity position on a proposed sale of c€120,000 for £25,000 including costs. Genuine telephone testimonials are available to support our work.

Borrowers often bury their head in the sand. They face the very real risk of Spanish mortgage default or Spanish mortgage repossession. These scenarios can be life-changing and will expose your UK Assets and Income.

Dealing with the situation and acting now is key. EU Property Solutions legal team in Spain is ready to assist.

Don’t be a mortgage prisoner – let us find you a way out of this predicament.

Call EU Property Solutions today on 0330 124 1230.

Spanish Banks chasing debt in the UK

Spanish Banks chasing debt in the UK

Since the financial crisis in 2008, Spain has seen well over a quarter of a million properties repossessed. A staggering figure! Spanish Banks chasing debt in the UK has increased.

A large proportion of these repossessions are foreign-owned properties.

EU Property Solutions find it incredible so many British and Irish borrowers feel they can merely “hand back the keys” and walk away from the property thinking they are somehow immune to any consequences once back home.

Many borrowers post their keys through a Bank or representing solicitors’ letterbox not fully aware of the consequences.

These debtors have the impression that Spanish creditors cannot pursue their home country assets. They also think that the Banks haven’t got the time or resources to pursue overseas.

Anyone who signs a mortgage deed in Spain, including guarantors, is personally liable for the loan.

Any legal action will likely be notified to the Spanish Address on which the mortgage has been placed.

Many overseas borrowers in Ireland and the UK will be unaware of any proceedings against them until the process is gathering apace.

In terms of debt perusal in the UK or Ireland, lenders can look to recover your home assets. Many lenders will appoint UK Debt Collection agents leading to an effect on your credit report.

The Spanish lender can look to put a charge on your property even if it already has an existing mortgage and can enforce an Attachment of Earnings Order.

Spanish lenders seem to be developing a greater appetite for overseas debt perusal.

EU Property Solutions can assist anyone in this situation so please contact the team today on 0330 1241230 to arrange a free initial consultation.

Can a foreign debt be collected in the UK?

Recently we have seen a large increase in enquiries from people who have mortgages overseas, specifically in Cyprus and Spain asking the question of “Can a foreign debt be collected in the UK?”. Many are concerned with some loan sales now being undertaken by Banks across Europe, as the Banks at last look to clear all problematic debt and tidy up their ‘books.’

Such problematic debt cases include:

  • Those in arrears, be it one month or multiple months behind on mortgage payments.
  • Unaffordable repayments brought about as mortgage products moved from interest-only to Capital repayment.
  • Negative Equity on Property.

Many people think merely ignoring a foreign mortgage debt problem will see it go away. Yes – a lot of time has elapsed since the 2008 crash but like elephants, these Banks do not forget! 

Banks are still relatively civil in most instances providing there is engagement in some form, but across the board – their patience is wearing thin. They are employing the following approaches to close troublesome mortgage accounts, to name but a few:

  1. Applying for European Enforcement Orders,
  2. Appointing strong legal firms to enforce in the UK,
  3. Making their own enquiries as the people’s worth/assets, and
  4. Most worryingly for our clients, the sale of loans to Vulture Funds…the name should be a clue as to how they conduct themselves…not so civil!

Foreign Banks in the main are still approachable. As ever it’s a case of the right type of engagement, usually undertaken by a trusted party.

You need someone like EU Property Solutions because:

  • You need someone trusted by the Banks. They appreciate straight-talking and know we perform on cases. We only act for the client but know the different parameters that each and every Bank works within.
  • Sometimes Banks are not fully truthful. EU Property Solutions cut through and call out any discrepancies from any financial institution.
  • Even though we are looking to alleviate the problem here, Banks and their advisors need to be driven.

Some people believe that this ability to chase foreign debt in the UK, as provided for under Cross Border Claims EC 44/2001, will diminish with Brexit.

We do not see this happening as the EU will still be our main trading partner and such provisions ensure safer trade conditions for all.

Under law, anyone, including Bank’s and any other foreign trading entity can secure a Judgement in their country and then bring this to the UK and apply for a European Enforcement Order.

This Order when granted, and they usually are, enables the creditor to pursue clients here in the UK, which can, in turn, see UK assets such as homes, businesses and in some instance’s pensions, come under threat.

The legal costs in such recovery actions can be horrific and payable by the debtor as well.

As ever we use the mantra of #KnowtheWorstAchievetheBest.

Definitive advice is imperative. Relying on uninformed opinions is no good for those facing this sort of situation. Relying on ‘bar room’ legal opinions is dangerous – especially when these opinions that may suit your arguments, are wrong.

In conclusion, if you face foreign mortgage problems, get the best advice you can. If it goes wrong, then you will be pursued at some time. Do not ignore the issues, seek out professional help to know your options.

Webinar Feedback – Mark Stucklin

Webinar

Terry Bell Presenting EU Property Solutions Webinar

Welcome to today’s blog on Webinar Feedback – Mark Stucklin. As you may be aware we held our first-ever live webinar on the 27th May 2020 on Spanish & Cypriot Property Debt. If you happened to attend, we would love to hear your thoughts on it, send them over to us on [email protected]

If you are interested in watching the live webinar over again, you can do so here: https://youtu.be/E4aRc_l8Oz8 

We had a great blog write-up from Property Market expert Mark Stucklin who discusses our webinar below.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

The economic crisis building as a result of the coronavirus pandemic will leave some people with mortgages in Spain in financial distress, through no fault of their own.

If this happens to you, it is advisable to seek help from independent experts on how to handle the situation.

Last week I attended my first webinar (online seminar, for those that don’t know), held by Terry Bell, speaking on behalf of Bell & Co. in the UK and Ireland, and EU Property Solutions in Spain and Cyprus.

These companies specialise in helping people with business and personal debt find negotiated solutions to their financial problems.

Terry’s presentation about the typical financial problems borrowers from the UK and Ireland run into with mortgages in Spain and Cyprus was an eye-opener.

For instance, there are still many people struggling with mortgages taken on in the boom years before 2008. They are not getting any younger.

Terry explained that the “demographic” of people with mortgage problems in Spain means that time is not on their side. They need to sort out this problem before it’s too late.

There are many people in arrears on their mortgage payments who think they can walk away from their foreign debts. They think the problem won’t catch up with them back home. That is wishful thinking, even for those who did this years ago.

Slowly slowly, Spanish mortgage debts are being worked through. Debtors are pursued back home on the basis of EU directives, increasingly by vulture funds who have bought the debt.

The worst thing you can do is stick your head in the sand and hope the problem will go away. It won’t.

The best thing you can do is contact third-party experts like EU Property Solutions, who have dealt with many cases like yours, and know what to do to get the best solution for you.

Experience is key to negotiating the best terms in this complicated situation. This is probably something you have never had to deal with before. And every lender in Spain has a different approach to dealing with what they refer to as ‘delinquent debt’. Only experience of dealing with many cases helps you decide the right strategy.

Terry talked about all the problems facing borrowers in Spain and Cyprus. There’s one brutal problem in Cyprus – that we can be grateful few borrowers in Spain are having to deal with:

  • Namely the Swiss Franc mortgages that were so gaily mis-sold to borrowers in Cyprus back in the boom years.

Since then, the value of property in Cyprus has plummeted:

  • Whilst the Swiss Franc has appreciated, crushing borrowers financially in a vice of negative equity.

Mercifully, most borrowers in Spain have euro mortgages, but some of them will still be in negative equity more than a decade after they purchased.

And now we have a new wave of financial problems to look forward to, thanks to the coronavirus crisis.

If you find yourself in financial distress, and unable to cope with your mortgage in Spain, don’t stick your head in the sand, get in touch with EU Property Solutions.

Will I be receiving no rental income in 2020?

Following the UK confirming that those returning from overseas travel will have to Self-isolate for 14 days, the Spanish Government has followed suit imposing the same restrictions. With this in mind, the question is – will you be receiving no rental income in 2020?

This year’s Summer Holiday season may well and truly be cancelled. 

If you are reliant on rental income to support:

  • Your mortgage payments,
  • IBI taxes, and
  • Community Fees on your Spanish Second Home –

The above will see you face increasing pressure to top-up payments from your home income.

Speaking with a local Costa Del Sol Agent:

  • It was confirmed that many Second Home Owners will take on long term rentals but given supply, these rental agreements will be very low in income.

Furthermore, many will be left without employment & may fall behind on their rent.

Second Home headaches are stressful enough in more positive times, but in these trying circumstances, they can be a real burden.

EU Property Solutions can end this burden in an effective manner without the need to travel to Spain.

We can help so your not asking yourself if you will be receiving no rental income in 2020?

Especially if the mortgage is greater than the true market price and the associated selling costs…which can be as much as 12%.

EU Property Solutions have options and plans for every eventuality, ensuring we protect you, your income, your home, pensions, and other assets – from any potential or ensuing legal threat.

WE HAVE THE SOLUTIONS TO DEAL WITH SPANISH PROPERTY DEBT ISSUES.

Get rid of Overseas Property – Without Visiting Spain.

CORONAVIRUS – NO TRAVEL, NO PROBLEM – WE HAVE THE SOLUTION FOR YOU.

The world continues to be an uncertain place. In the UK the Government has announced its stepped plan to restore normality in the midst of Coronavirus – travel restrictions. We can help you get rid of your overseas property – without visiting Spain.

One thing that has hit the headlines is a 2-week self-isolation for those returning from abroad, bar France.

This is clearly detrimental for those looking to get rid of property overseas, especially during this period. No one wants to self-isolate for 2 weeks having been on lockdown for some time.

EU Property Solutions legal process allows you to get rid of your overseas property without visiting Spain. Here is how:

  1. You swear a Power of Attorney allowing our Legal Team in Spain to represent you and sign documentation in the country on your behalf. This is arguably the most you will travel – to a local notary to have this document sworn.
  2. We will arrange access for a Lender Valuation. Just give us the keys or tell us your keyholder’s details.
  3. We will communicate with the Lender on your behalf. Including any face to face requirements.
  4. We will sign the Legal Paperwork and conclude the case on your behalf.

Trust is key in this process. Trust us to do right by you and we need to trust you will cooperate to get the desired conclusion.

If your Spanish property is detrimental, especially now during this pandemic ~ respond. Allow EU Property Solutions to resolve the matter on your behalf from the safety of your home.

EU Property Solutions have options and plans for every eventuality. We ensure we will protect you, your income, your home, pensions, and other assets – from any potential or ensuing legal threat.

WE HAVE THE SOLUTIONS TO HELP YOU DEAL WITH GETTING RID OF YOUR PROPERTY – WITHOUT VISITING SPAIN. 

Call us TODAY on 0330 124 1230 or email [email protected]

Spanish Holiday Home Values to Decline

Spanish Holiday Home Values to Decline

Uncertainty and the markets do not go well together, the Spanish Property market & Spanish holiday homes are no different.

NOBODY, BUT NO ONE KNOWS what is going to happen in the coming months because of Coronavirus.

For sure Spanish Property prices will decline – the extent of this drop is unknown. Spanish Property Expert, Mark Stucklin, completed a survey recently for his website which you can find on www.spanishpropertyinsight.com to get feedback as to how Covid-19 would affect Spanish Property Prices.  because and or so how together and are there

Key points relating to Spanish holiday homes:

  • 57% of respondents think house prices will reduce a lot (greater than 10%),
  • 37% of respondents think house prices will reduce a little (up to 10%), and
  • 6% of respondents think there will be no impact on house prices.

Yet another potential house price collapse, this will be alarming to borrowers as many are already self-declared “Mortgage Prisoners” in other words, with mortgage balances greater than their property value.

There are ways through this, and EU Property Solutions’ legal process can help avoid a protracted sale and the associated sales costs.  It is key to respond.

So, if you have:
1. Negative equity,
2. Falling rentals,
3. Lender issues,
4. Interest-only problems, or
5. Anything that relates to your property in terms of its problematic disposal….

CALL EU PROPERTY SOLUTIONS TODAY!

EU Property Solutions have options and plans for every individual case as we ensure to protect you, your income, your home, pensions, and other assets – from any potential legal threat.

SEE BELOW A TESTIMONIAL FROM A VERY HAPPY & RELIEVED CLIENT.

WE HAVE THE SOLUTIONS TO DEAL WITH SPANISH PROPERTY DEBT ISSUES AND ALLEVIATE YOUR FOREIGN PROPERTY DEBT.

CORONAVIRUS – SELLING IN LOCKDOWN

Uncertainty of the pandemic continues around the world as Economies reel because of Coronavirus and imposed lockdowns essential to Public Safety.

Undoubtedly property markets suffer in periods of uncertainty.

2nd homeowners with property in Spain will be considering selling at this stage. Factors include no rental income for Peak season, declining values imminent and currently an inability to visit the property.

Selling property during a pandemic comes with its difficulties:

  1. The property could be in Negative Equity i.e. the outstanding mortgage is greater than the property value. With prices set to decline again, more borrowers will find themselves in this scenario.
  2. Costs of sale in Spain can be 10-12% of the sales price. Vendors must factor this into their calculations.
  3. The property must be “priced to sell”. There is a massive supply of 2nd home properties across the Spanish Costas and being realistic is essential.
  4. Demand for 2nd homes will undoubtedly fall in this period and for the rest of the year as confidence is hit.
  5. Lending restrictions imposed last year reduced the buyer pool, we await Banks’ response to this crisis and how their criteria will change again.

If you want to sell and cannot EU Property Solutions can assist. Our legal process avoids the Sales Process and associated costs.

As Mark Stucklin said last week:

“If you find yourself in financial distress as a non-resident or second-home owner due to this crisis you may see yourself miss your Spanish mortgage repayments.

You need to get hold of the situation quickly and start talking to your lender about the options.

If you feel you need professional help from experts who know how to negotiate with banks and get you the best outcome, get in touch with financial distress and negative equity experts EU Property Solutions to discuss your case.”

EU Property Solutions have options and plans for every eventuality, ensuring we protect you, your income, your home, pensions and other assets – from any potential or ensuing legal threat.

Coronavirus Pandemic

CORONAVIRUS – SPANISH PROPERTY OPPORTUNITY OR THREAT?

We are in unprecedented times with Coronavirus creating havoc across the world and especially in Europe.

It is a Health and Economic Emergency with thousands tragically losing their lives and millions losing their livelihoods.

Undoubtedly property markets suffer in periods of coronavirus uncertainty.

Spain is at the center of the European battle and property owners in the country face the following problems:

  1. There will be no sales of property in the next say 6 months – minimum.
  2. Even after that, we will see people’s inability to sell their property with the overhanging economic threat. The market was trying to recover before Coronavirus
  3. No or reduced holiday rental income due this year will be received.
  4. Long-term tenancies are at risk with the huge redundancies that will follow in Spain and across Europe.
  5. There is no Spanish Government assistance for overseas borrowers who own second homes.
  6. Property value will undoubtedly decline again. Negative equity will increase.

EU Property Solutions and our legal associates continue to operate in Spain under Government guidelines to progress cases with lenders and sign Settlements with Notaries. We have achieved two settlements this week.

If your property was a burden before Coronavirus, or is now, it is time to RESPOND.

EU Property Solutions have options and plans for every eventuality, ensuring we protect you, your income, your home, pensions and other assets – from any potential or ensuing legal threat.

Check out our latest settlement video to see a true reflection of our work in how we alleviate foreign property debt as well as allowing families to move on with their lives: CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO 

As Mark Stucklin said last week:

If you find yourself in financial distress as a non-resident or second-home owner due to this crisis you may see yourself miss your Spanish mortgage repayments.

You need to get hold of the situation quickly and start talking to your lender about the options.

If you feel you need professional help from experts who know how to negotiate with banks and get you the best outcome, get in touch with financial distress and negative equity experts EU Property Solutions to discuss your case.

WE HAVE THE SOLUTIONS TO DEAL WITH SPANISH PROPERTY DEBT ISSUES.

Spanish Mortgage Relief – Mark Stucklin

We recently had a great write-up from Mark Stucklin – a Barcelona-based Spanish property market analyst, and author of the ‘Spanish Property Doctor’ column in the Sunday Times (2005 – 2008) on the Coronavirus Crisis and the downhill effect.

Spanish mortgage relief for borrowers falling victim to the coronavirus crash.

I’ve had enquiries about the mortgage repayment moratorium that the Spanish Government introduced for people struggling with mortgages due to coronavirus.

The scope of the moratorium is understandably limited to residents struggling to pay the mortgage on their main home.

Non-resident and holiday-home owners don’t qualify for relief, but anyone in those groups now struggling to pay a mortgage in Spain will find some advice at the bottom of this article.

The mortgage repayment relief was approved by royal decree in March as part of economic measures worth 200 billion Euros.

The first thing to note is that this moratorium only applies to residents of Spain so ones struggling with their main home.

Don’t expect any relief if you can’t pay the mortgage on your holiday home:

  • because tourist rental bookings have collapsed, or
  • you lost your job back home.

If that’s your situation, skip to the bottom of the article and receive some advice.

Borrowers who qualify for relief can apply for a temporary and interest-free mortgage repayment holiday or deferment.

An application can be submitted up to 15 days or so after the decree has expired.

Some sources report this deadline for applications as currently standing on the 3rd of May.

Spanish mortgage moratorium requirements

  • Borrowers who can demonstrate they have lost their job or seen their income slashed by 40% or more
  • Family income in the month prior to requesting mortgage payment relief was no higher than three times the IPREM household income reference point,
  • Mortgage repayment plus expenses and monthly utility costs greater than or equal to 35% of net household income.
  • Mortgage repayments as a percentage of household income have increased by at least 1.3 as a result of the Coronavirus.

You have to apply for this mortgage relief with your lender providing:

  • Proof of unemployment and business distress,
  • Your Family Book to accredit household members and dependents,
  • Homeownership documents including the nota simple land registry filing,
  • Deeds of sale and mortgage deeds, and
  • A debtor’s declaration of responsibility in compliance with the requirements of this decree

Non-resident and second-home owners in financial distress

If you find yourself in financial distress as a non-resident or second-home owner due to this crisis you may see yourself miss your Spanish mortgage repayments.

You need to get hold of the situation quickly and start talking to your lender about the options.

If you feel you need professional help from experts who know how to negotiate with banks and get you the best outcome, get in touch with financial distress and negative equity experts EU Property Solutions to discuss your case.

INTEREST ONLY MORTGAGE – TICKING TIME BOMB

INTEREST ONLY MORTGAGE – TICKING TIME BOMB…

MY MONTHLY PAYMENTS ARE SET TO SPIKE FROM €450 TO €1,200 PCM – CAN YOU HELP ME?

As we all know the property market crazily peaked in 2007/8. From 1996 to 2007, Spain’s national average house prices rose by a whopping 197%.

During this time thousands of foreign investors and those wanting a home in the sun, were lured by interest-free mortgages and rental guarantees. BOTH USELESS & FOUNDLESS IT TRANSPIRES.

It seemed a no brainer at the time as repayments were extremely low and affordable. These were also for a fixed period of 10 to 15 years at a time. 10 to 15 years later…

Across Europe, for British and Irish purchasers, Halifax were the main protagonists of these mortgages and a mixture of loose lending and less than prudent due diligence by all Banks, essentially stored up the problem we now face.

This approach by the Banks then, in turn, encouraged large volumes of UK and Irish to buy abroad. Some were taking equity out of their own home, to commit to a foreign property purchase, to live in and/or retire to.

We are now in a period where borrowers who were on ten to fifteen-year interest-only mortgages, are seeing the end of this ‘honeymoon’ period.

When the mortgage goes to repayment, we have seen huge spikes in the monthly installments with a recent example of a month IO payment rising from €342 up to c€3,000 on repayment.

These increased monthly payments, coupled with:

  • IBI Tax Payments, and
  • Community Fees ensure many of these holiday home/investments start to cost too much and are unsustainable.

Furthermore, with a rapid decline in values since 2008 many of these borrowers find themselves in Negative Equity.

All enquires to EU Property Solutions are offered an initial free due diligence review by us and our legal team. We would advise we never take on a case that we cannot win. 

BOUGHT THE DREAM – NOW A NIGHTMARE

Did you buy the dream which has now turned into a nightmare?

Don’t take NO for an answer…The reason for our continued success across Europe, mainly Spain and Cyprus, is our refusal to take the 1st, 2nd or 3rd NO as the answer.

Murcia’s and most of the Costa’s credit-fuelled building spree up to 2008+ has ended in a rash of repossessions, empty villas, and roads to nowhere. The developments were once Europe’s most ambitious holiday home projects and the vast developments, golf courses, etc financed by supersized loans from Spain’s Cajas and Banks.

The properties were widely advertised on television in the UK to entice investors chasing the good life in the sun and hoping to profit from the property boom.

But now, years on, the holiday dream of sun-drenched apartments overlooking golf courses has turned sour. Apartments that once sold for €200,000 (£160,000) are struggling to fetch €60,000. The last resorts built are now ghost villages.

Today the bank-owned apartments that were selling for €200,000 at the market’s height, are being offered “as new” for €68,000 by the banks desperate to recover as much as they can.

Private sellers asking €50,000 struggle to find a buyer. Many owners who want to bail out can’t as their mortgages exceed the value of the property. This week has been a massively successful week so far for EU Property Solutions – but that would not have been the case if we accepted ‘no’ as our first answer.

Our mantra and that of our sister company www.bellcomp.co.uk is: 

‘Don’t take no for an answer, keep knocking down walls until someone says yes!’ – This is how we get results!

An example of our work saw:

  • A couple of retirement age approaching us last year.
  • They had been ‘sold the dream’ back in the day. An apartment purchased for €200,000, they remembered the date they signed, April 2008.
  • On the 15th September of the same year, just five months later, ‘their dream became a nightmare’. Overnight the value of their property plummeted to €80,000 and had not improved since.
  • The negative equity shortfall was c€100,000.
  • This couple had a 10-year interest-only mortgage and at the beginning of 2017 their mortgage payments doubled. Payment chances = none!
  • Almost ready for retirement, with a reduced income, the couple approached their lender to try to hand the property back or negotiate the repayments and write down the mortgage.

They were ‘at their wit’s end’ when the Bank rejected their offers/approaches.

The couple approached us for help. We approached the lender and after months of negotiation settled with them. They said NO to start with and NO again but we persevered and won. The €100,000 shortfall was settled for £20,000, including fees and genuine telephone testimonials are available to back up our results.

We would say this but it is imperative that you engage with a company like EU Property Solutions to make representation for you to the Banks if you face such an issue across Europe and beyond. (We recently achieved a settlement in New Zealand. 

BREXIT – “How will I be affected?”

As a general commentary, now that Brexit has been ‘agreed’ by Boris, as of the 31st January 2020, there are a number of features to consider if you are a foreign homeowner looking to sell. Boris (because we are all on first-name terms here!) is keen to accelerate the negotiation process with a view to completing most elements of it in 11 months. Good luck with that Boris!

With that backdrop, the key issues as we see them are:

Pound to Euro/Swiss Franc exchange rate.

  • Many people purchased in 2008 when the rate was £1 to 1.48€ compared to £1 to 1.19€ today,
  • The Swiss Franc differential here is much bigger and a different issue altogether,
  • Many factors could affect that in the next 11 months, not least the tone of the negotiations,
  • Another key element of the currency in this period is the ongoing economic performance of the U.K. -v- E.U. The EU economy is currently in the doldrums with France’s and Italy’s economies struggling and in turn, holding back Europe, and
  • Another outside factor is how ‘the Donald’s’ Presidential Election Campaign goes into the U.S.

Any Restrictions.

  • Currency movements,
  • Hard Borders, i.e. passport control, restriction of goods etc,
  • Health Cover, and
  • Foreign Property taxation.

This is a brief oversight because essentially, nobody knows how Brexit will pan out but the only decision to make for those contemplating sale, even if in negative equity, is:

  1. Do something now, or
  2. Bunker down and do nothing.

Another feature not loudly discussed, could be the development of a formal secondary market for foreign property owners.

Mark Stucklin’s recent article on his excellent website Spanish Property Insight
https://www.spanishpropertyinsight.com/2020/01/31/spanish-home-sales-november-2019-the-downward-trend-is-clear/
talks about the different markets that do exist. E.g. Spanish to Spanish, English only selling to English etc.

A recent success where we acted for a client involved in a negative equity case saw the following settlement achieved.

  • Value: c90,000€,
  • Mortgage including 2 years arrears: c205,000€,
  • Management Charges and IBI taxes arrears c5,000€,
  • The total deficit for the above was settled at a total cost of £17,000, including fees.

So €17,000 to cover an overall shortfall/negative equity position of €120,000.

€103,000+ saved. It’s what we do.

In this case, our client decided enough was enough of foreign property ownership and Brexit was the tipping point in terms of their decision process to get on with things and appoint to EU Property Solutions to resolve their negative equity position.

If nothing else, we would implore you to do something rather than nothing, to take control of your own future.

Cypriot Vulture Funds

Since the start of 2020, we have seen a spike in enquiries, particularly from those with problematic Cypriot mortgages due to Cypriot Vulture Funds.

It has been common knowledge for some time now, but the Cypriot & Greek Banks have been lining up the sale of their NPL loan books for a while.

A recent article in the excellent ‘Cyprus Property News’ https://www.news.cyprus-property-buyers.com/, confirms a €4 billion sale by two players in the mortgage market. This will develop as the Banks look to ‘tidy up’ their loan books STILL reeling from the 2008/9 crash.

With any Foreign mortgage, trying to decipher what is truly going on, is difficult. Sometimes the teams within the Banks don’t even know, so why should you.

This niche area needs serious negotiators with strong knowledgeable legal representation on the ground in the country in question. EU Property Solutions has the complete package here – right across Europe.

Getting the right advice, from afar is difficult at best….impossible in most instances.

NPL’s can arise from any Banking covenant failure that may arise. Typically, these Banking covenant failures can arise from:

  • Mortgages with arrears on them,
  • Title and Deeds issues,
  • Swiss Franc mortgages,
  • The loan being greater than the value i.e. Negative Equity, and

Loans that revert from Interest Only to Repayment.

The issues above continue to plague mortgage holders and with over 60,000 British and Irish mortgage holders in Cyprus alone, these problems are not going away any time soon.

EU Property Solutions only ever act for the client and despite offers, would never act for banks.

That said, we recognize that the Banks of today are in an invidious position as they try to move on. They face the task of trying to unravel the awful loans written by less than scrupulous Banks and Brokers back in the day.

At best, the Banks are in zombie mode with all the pressure to bear from Bank of Cyprus, IMF etc, requiring them to sort these issues, but not providing them with the resources such as a Land Registry system that works.

EU Property Solutions and their sister company Bell & Company www.bellcomp.co.uk have over the past 10 years come across many, many debt purchasers such as the debt purchasers listed below.

The comments above are not in any way malicious about the teams in these Vulture Funds, but realistic. The teams within Vulture Funds have a job to do…and do it they will. Vulture Funds buy distressed debt/NPL’s from struggling financial institutions but get all the rights of the debt at their outstanding value i.e. the loan amount plus all costs and interest.

They are not long-term holders of this type of debt and look merely to maximize their return on the loan book and each and every loan in it.

What does this mean to those under such pressure, knowing a Vulture Fund now owns your mortgage?

  1. If you have a problematic debt with them, they will look to resolve it from their angle a soon as possible,
  2. This includes litigation in Cyprus and in the U.K. and Ireland,
  3. Their due diligence process will be far more stringent than the Banks to date when determining assets and liabilities,
  4. They will work on the premise that if a client is deemed to have sufficient assets to cover their debt…they will look to maximise their recovery from these,
  5. These include property assets including your home, pensions, cash in the bank, investments, etc and

Any other actions they see fit to maximise the return on their loan purchase.

HOW TO AVOID THE WRATH AND FURY OF VULTURE FUNDS….

Active engagement is vital, but, be aware Vulture Funds are far more clinical in their approach. There are no friendly chats here. They will hang on your every word; unlike previous conversations, you may have had with the Banks and their debt collection teams in Cyprus.

Third-Party Representation in such cases, where Vulture Funds now own your mortgage, is absolutely vital.

Vulture Funds are very effective in their work – which could possibly put mortgage holders at serious risk with UK assets.

Our mantra in our sister company – Bell & Company is always #KnowtheWorstAchievetheBest and it is so relevant with the Vulture Funds now buying up NPL’s in Cyprus

FINAL COMMENT – DOING NOTHING IS NOT AN OPTION HERE.

Foreign Mortgage? Can they chase me in the UK? Are my assets under threat?

In the past few weeks, we have seen a large increase in enquiries especially from people who have a foreign mortgage, particularly in Cyprus and Spain. Many are concerned with some loan sales now being undertaken by Banks across Europe, as the Banks at last look to clear all problematic debt and tidy up their ‘books.’

Such problematic debt cases include:

  • Those in arrears, be they slightly or massively in arrears,
  • Unaffordable repayments brought about by mortgages going from the interest only form to repayment,
  • Maintenance costs/ management charges, and
  • Continuing negative equity.

Many people and their advisors are deluded if the think merely ignoring a foreign mortgage debt problem will see it go away. Yes – a lot of time has lapsed since the 2009 crash but like elephants, these Banks do not forget! Banks are still relatively civil in most instances as long as there is engagement in some form, but across the board – their patience is wearing thin. They are employing the following approaches, to name but a few:

  1. Applying for European Enforcement Orders,
  2. Appointing strong legal firms to enforce in the UK,
  3. Making their own enquiries as the people’s worth/assets, and
  4. Most worryingly for our clients, the sale of loans to Vulture Funds…the name should be a clue as to how they conduct themselves…not so civil!

Foreign Banks in the main are still approachable. As ever it’s a case of the right type of engagement, usually undertaken by a trusted party.
We would say this any way, but you need someone like EU Property Solutions because:

  • You need someone trusted by the Banks. They appreciate straight talking and know we perform on cases. We only act for the client, but know the different parameters that each and every Bank works within,
  • Sometimes Banks are not fully truthful. EU Property Solutions cut through and call out any discrepancies from any financial institution, and
  • Even though we are looking to alleviate the problem here, Banks and their advisors need to be driven.

Some people believe that this ability to chase foreign debt in the UK, as provided for under Cross Border Claims EC 44/2001, will diminish with Brexit. We definitely do not see this as the case because the EU will still be our main trading partner and such provisions ensure safer trade conditions for all.

Foreign Mortgages

Under existing EU law anyone, including Bank’s and any other foreign trading entity can secure a Judgement in their country and then bring this to the UK and apply for a European Enforcement Order.

This Order when granted, and they usually are, enables the creditor to pursue clients here in the UK, which can, in turn, see UK assets such as homes, businesses and in some instances pensions, come under threat. The legal costs in such recovery actions can be horrific and payable by the debtor as well.

As ever we use the mantra of #KnowtheWorstAchievetheBest.

Definitive advice is imperative. Relying on uninformed opinions is no good to those facing this sort of situation. Relying on ‘bar room’ legal opinions is dangerous – especially when whilst these opinions that may suit your arguments, are wrong.

In conclusion if you face foreign mortgage problems, get the best advice you can. If it goes wrong then you will definitely be pursued at some time. Ignoring the issues is not sensible – to say the least.

Spanish Property Investment? It’s not your fault.

Did you happen to read our most recent email regarding Spanish Property Debt? Did our post direct you to this page? If so, welcome.

As you may know, many foreign developments were sold off-plan between 2005-2009, this lead to a number of golf resort developments to spring up.

Some clients comment that they were mis-sold the property however there is a very unlikely chance of re-compensation. We all know properties were sold at highly inflated prices and thousands of foreign purchasers flocked to buy the dream before these developments crashed in value.

This is where we come in.

A very recent example of our works saw an excellent result for our clients saving them in excess of £114,000.

– Married pensioners bought a holiday home at Peraleja Golf near Murcia.

– They paid £300,000 with a mortgage of £257,000

– The value plummeted to £140,000, before selling costs.

– The property was marketed at £160,000 for 6 months – not a sniff!

– The resort & golf course fell into despair, as did the resort as a whole.

Our clients were beside themselves with worry as they had a Negative Equity property here of £134,000+. They owned their own home in the UK and had savings and ISA’s to see them through their day and to pass onto their children.

EU Property Solutions, in conjunction with our Legal Team, managed the removal of their nightmare for an all-in cost, including fees, of £20,000.

Would you like to see more of our settlement cases? Click here.

We understand individuals who contact us are in this situation as they have been burnt before. Rest assured, you are working with a firm of professionals with incredible knowledge in this niche field. We can provide genuine telephone references to all prospective customers – get in touch with our specialist team today. 

VIDEO TESTIMONIAL David, West Midlands:

Why Do We Talk About Negative Equity?

Are you questioning if you are in Negative Equity and don’t fully understand the meaning? Not to worry – this is completely understandable.

In less complex terms: Negative Equity occurs when the current loan or mortgage balance secured on a property is higher than the current market value of the property.

An example of this would be when a borrower’s current mortgage balance could be €150,000. However, a recent comparable property may have sold for €100,000. This borrower is in Negative Equity and therefore faces a shortfall of €50,000!

EU Property Solutions know those who purchased in Spain and across Europe at the height of an inflated market pre-2008 taking on a huge amount of debt, which later has left majority in financial difficulty. These plummeting values since 2008 have left many facing the very real problem of Negative Equity on foreign property.

Many who own a property in this situation feel trapped and unable to move on, being dubbed “mortgage prisoners”.

Our main focus for wanting to assist borrowers who are in Negative Equity is solely due to the threat of crippling debt left after a sale. This may be enough to prevent anyone considering a sale or move.

So many borrowers feel the only option is to wait until house prices rise. However, the market may never return to the prices they once were. Couple this with having to keep paying the mortgage every month leaves the owner in a predicament, to say the least.

EU Property Solutions know there are options in place for borrowers in Negative Equity. We work with a variety of lenders across Europe and can tailor our services based on your circumstances and lender. You are not a mortgage prisoner and we can find a way out of your predicament. Call EU Property Solutions today on 0330 124 1230.

Biggest Mistakes When You Can’t Pay Your Foreign Mortgage

If you have a foreign mortgage that you are struggling to pay, don’t worry. Issues are easily solved when you approach them in the right way. Don’t make these common mistakes that can make your situation worse:

1. Hand Over the Keys

Many borrowers simply stop paying their mortgage and leave the keys with the lender, thinking this will free them of their responsibility. However, they do not realize that they left are in Negative Equity and are putting themselves in serious jeopardy as the outstanding debt can be aggressively pursued back home. If you don’t pay your mortgage, arrears will mount on your account. Following a period greater than three months your lender can commence repossession proceedings.

Once repossessed your lender will then likely market the property. Many properties sold in possession are purchased at a far reduced value, often around 60% of open market value. This can increase losses for both the Bank and the borrower. When the Bank sell the property, you will be left liable for any shortfall balance. The resulting debt can then be collected by lenders in your home country. We have seen instances when lenders have appointed UK Collection Agents and placed a second charge on a borrower’s home.

2. Ignore It

If you don’t pay your mortgage overseas it is likely to have the same consequences as in your home country. Some borrowers with mortgage debt in Europe hope that it will not follow them to the UK or Ireland. However, this is incorrect, and the foreign lender can legally come after you for outstanding debt.

3. Hope That Brexit Will Fix It

Even with the uncertainty of Brexit looming on the horizon, Spanish Banks have suggested that it will remain business as usual when it comes to foreign mortgages and chasing debt. Some people purposely voted ‘Leave’ in the hopes that their mortgage issues would be solved. Unfortunately, the solution is not that simple.

4. Don’t Talk to the Lender

It is essential that you talk with your lender if you have any issues paying your mortgage. If you ignore them then your home assets are at risk. Many borrowers fall victim to refinancing solutions that will nearly always leave you worse off. The best solution is to deal with your mortgage lender directly, and EU Property Solutions can help you through the process.

5. Go It Alone

Whilst the best solution is to talk directly with your lender, many people don’t know how or where to start. At EU Property Solutions we will work with you and deal with the lender on your behalf. We assist borrowers with property debt issues across Europe. Our main area of expertise is in Spain, Portugal, and Cyprus but we are obtaining successful settlement across the continent. We have a dedicated legal team based in Spain who deal with Foreign Mortgage issues every day and would be happy to help you.

Avoid making these foreign mortgage mistakes by calling us today 0330 124 1230 to arrange a free initial consultation.

Selling in Negative Equity? What to do?

A regular phrase EU Property Solutions hear in our work is that individuals refer to themselves as “mortgage prisoners”.

They believe that they have no option but to continue to pay the property mortgage and continue property ownership. Believing that selling in negative equity is not an option.

EU Property Solutions are experts in this field and have assisted in negative equity sales across Europe.  However, this option is not always available and it is essential you seek professional advice to understand your circumstances.  In some cases, you can sell but in others, there are other, more appropriate routes which can still rid your negative equity burden.

Our particular area of specialism is Mortgage Debt in Spain. Many borrowers purchased property in Spain pre-2008 during a boom and now find themselves in negative equity following the much documented “crash”. Many ask “can we sell?” and in response-it depends.

Sales are dependent on a variety of factors including your lender’s protocol, your circumstances, and the property itself, etc. When you approach EU Property Solutions we give you all of the options available and those specific to your lender. We ensure that you have expert advice tailored to your circumstances.

Even if you cannot sell we can offer a solution which can offload the property. In some instances we achieve a complete debt write off. Given expensive sales costs in Spain ranging from 8-10% avoiding a sale and negotiating directly with your lender through correct Spanish legal process can result in amazing savings and results.

In summary, you may be in Negative Equity but in some instances, you can sell but in others, you cannot. BUT, no one is a mortgage prisoner and there are numerous options available providing you seek expert advice. EU Property Solutions are proud that our knowledge of European Property Debt issues is unparalleled and we can assist or if not point you in the right direction in our network to resolve an issue.

Should you, or anyone you know, have a European Property Debt issue that needs resolving please call EU Property Solutions on +44 (0)330 124 1230.

What If I Die Before My Overseas Mortgage Expires?

A tough question but a common theme our team experience here at EU Property Solutions. 

Demographically speaking, a majority of our clients are those of retirement age. Typically our clients purchased property during the boom period in Europe pre-2008. There have been multiple occasions where we have received enquiries from people who have advised their mortgage term will last long into their 80’s.

Firstly, this is evidence of “loose-lending” and pre-2008 many lenders did NOT follow proper protocol. Since then many Central Banks’ have become tighter and increased regulation on lending across Europe. Ask the question of how a Bank deems someone of retirement age able to repay a capital repayment mortgage? Madness.

What is most alarming, is that some clients do not know how they can continue to pay the Mortgage! Nor, the implications of not paying and if they did die – put simply debt does not disappear.

Should a borrower pass away the debt does not go with them. Instead, it will be put into the deceased’s estate and may have implications in terms of potential inheritance for children, etc. No one would wish to leave this burden on their children.

Accordingly, this is NOT a matter to be avoided, EU Property Solutions have solved troublesome mortgages of this type in Spain, Cyprus, Portugal, France & further afield.

Don’t Risk Your Financial Future

A frequently asked question at EU Property Solutions is whether an overseas property debt issue could affect your ability to buy property in the United Kingdom or your home country. Every case is different, the below outline potential scenarios which could affect your future.

  • Many borrowers believe that their only option is to surrender their keys to the bank. Then walk away from their overseas property. They believe that there will be no repercussions at home.
  • EU Property Solutions know through experience that Spanish Lenders place interim charging orders on uncooperative borrowers for UK or Irish homes. This effectively reduces your equity at home!
  • If you intended to sell your property asset to fund another purchase then your funds obtained would be reduced. To have a clear title to complete the transaction your solicitor would have to release funds to the Spanish lender. This will remove their charge and have a clear title for the purchaser.

OR

  • Should you have borrowed monies from a UK lender and issued a mortgage for a Spanish Property; then your mortgage offer is under the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom.
  • There are instances where the borrower has defaulted on their mortgage. Rather than going through lengthy Spanish Court Processes to achieve a judgment, the lender’s jurisdiction in the United Kingdom allowed them to apply to Credit Agencies to have a default placed on the individual’s credit file.
  • A default is disastrous should you wish to raise funds to purchase through a mortgage. It is unlikely that a lender will offer a mortgage to a borrower; who has a default account on their credit report.

We are seeing an increase in Debt Collection Agents and Solicitors being used to pursue debtors.

Many of these Agents are threatening Personal Bankruptcy now. It is becoming apparent aggressive collection methods are being used moving forward.

Don’t risk your financial future. Through EU Property Solutions negotiation skills we can protect UK Home Assets and Credit Files – an amazing feat considering the debt levels we work at. Call us today for a free case review on 0330 124 1230.

Protecting your UK assets

EU Property Solutions regularly encounter overseas borrowers who have walked away from a property in Spain simply handing the keys back to the Bank. Many have a flippant attitude believing that Spain’s separate legal jurisdiction means no liability can be pursued in their home country. This is WRONG!

We have assisted 2 borrowers who had 2nd Charges placed on their homes in the UK. This was due to non-payment of their Spanish Mortgage and failing to liaise with the lender.

A reoccurring theme when first discussing cases with potential clients is an angry attitude towards their lender. Common phrases include “My mortgage was miss-sold” and “I’m not giving them a penny”. EU Property Solutions can relate to the anger and emotion associated for borrowers, but this approach will not resolve the situation and the burden is still with the borrower.

A promised rental yield on the property never materialized and David, unfortunately, fell into arrears with his Spanish mortgage lender. He could not make further repayments. The property was in a development between Estepona and Gibraltar on Costa Del Sol and was also in Negative Equity. Due to non-payment the lender took legal action and placed a second charge on his home in the UK.

David was introduced to EU Property Solutions and contacted our case manager Rado where he went on to appoint our services. We managed to successfully negotiate a significant debt write off whilst disposing of the property.

Part of our agreement with the Bank was to remove the second charge on the client’s home.

You can hear from David himself below: https://youtu.be/gOBqNM9IsLw

This is a similar story to David’s above. Phil fell into arrears with the property. He did not engage with his lender and found his property in Birmingham had a second charge on it. EU Property Solutions were appointed following a free initial face-to-face consultation and a huge debt write off was achieved along with the removal of the second charge from Phil’s home.

By appointing EU Property Solutions you remove the emotion from the debt situation. They will actively engage with your overseas lender. EU Property Solutions understand and can empathize with your situation. We have the expertise, legal contacts, and knowledge to help end your Negative Equity burden in Spain.

To arrange your free initial consultation please call EU Property Solutions today on +44 (0) 330 124 1230.

Foreign Property Debt – Our Process

Over the years, we have built a wealth of experience, we have come to learn that every case we deal with will differ. Each one of our client’s circumstances is different, and no two cases are identical.

Nonetheless, there is a process EU Property Solutions follow to ensure we maintain the best possible service and most importantly provide the best result for our clients.

Below is our step by step guide on how to eradicate your Spanish Negative Equity Debt Burden:

1: Contact EU Property Solutions

You can contact us via our live chat on our website, email us [email protected] or speak to our Business Relationship Team directly on 0330 124 1230.

In the initial stages, the team will want to explore your situation; to generate a clear understanding of the issues at hand. We need to know:

  • Property Location
  • Your Spanish Lender
  • The Mortgage Balance Outstanding
  • The Estimated Value of the Property

2. Documentation Review:

Following your initial call, the Business Relationship Team will request certain documents. Once this has been received a full case precis are sent to our Spanish Legal Team. Once reviewed they will outline if we can assist or not and the outcome we aim to achieve.

3. Summary Email & Quote

Our Business Relationship Team will outline what we can do in writing and quote accordingly. A follow-up call will be arranged to answer any queries. At this phase, we will discuss with you the “housekeeping” such as where to issue the invoice & fee agreement.

4. Legal Team Review

Once the potential client has collated the documentation; it is issued to the legal team in our San Pedro office for a review. This is a key element of the process. From here we can decide whether the case is favourable to pursue. Our legal team endeavour to review documentation within a 48-hour window. This is enough time for us to grasp a clear understanding.

We would like to stress, EU Property Solutions will never take a case if we do not believe it can be successfully concluded. We pride ourselves on being completely transparent and do not agree with wasting any potential clients time nor our legal time.

5. Retainer Fee Paid

Once the retainer fee is paid to confirm EU Property Solutions appointment your case will be handed to our case manager. Our case manager is based in our Spanish office.

6. Case Conclusion

Every case is different however when a settlement is agreed with your lender a date is arranged for our legal team and a representative of your lender to meet in front of a notary to complete the signing of a cancellation deed.

Should you or anyone you know, wish to discuss any European Property Debt matter please contact EU Property Solutions today on 0330 124 1230.

What Happens If You Stop Paying Your Foreign Mortgage?

IF YOU DON’T PAY YOUR OVERSEAS MORTGAGE, then it will likely have the same consequences if you didn’t pay your mortgage in your home country. Many with overseas mortgage debt in Europe seem to be under the illusion that not paying the mortgage will have no consequence to them. This is incorrect.

EU Property Solutions regularly deal with the following types of cases:

  • Borrowers with a mortgage greater than the house value stop paying and leave the keys with the lender.
  • Many of these borrowers do not realise they are in Negative Equity. They are putting themselves in serious jeopardy – as the outstanding debt can be aggressively pursued back in their own country.
  • If you don’t pay your mortgage arrears will mount on your account. Then following a period of greater than three months your lender can commence repossession proceedings.
  • Once repossessed your lender will then market the property. Many properties sold in possession are sold at a far reduced rate value, often around 60% of open market value.
  • If the bank sells the property, you will be left liable for any shortfall balance if the property was in negative equity. This can be collected by lenders in your home country.
  • Increasingly we see instances where lenders have appointed UK Solicitors/Collection Agents and placed a 2nd charge on a borrower’s home.

It is essential not to ignore your lender & to liaise with them if you have any issues paying your mortgage, if not your home assets are at risk.

We assist borrowers with property debt issues across Europe. Our main areas of expertise are in Spain, Portugal & Cyprus however we are obtaining successful settlements across the continent.

Community Fees & IBI Taxes

EU Property Solutions assist people daily who have significant mortgage arrears and missed community fee payments. Many borrowers who purchased properties in Spain were not aware of the associated costs. These include Community Fees and IBI Taxes. These additional costs and Mortgage Debt in Spain can result in significant stress.

Community fees are owed to Community Presidents in Spain. These Presidents are charged with ensuring the community in which you have purchased is visibly up to scratch. This could include the maintenance of common areas, swimming pool cleaning and general upkeep of grounds.

It is important for borrowers to keep up to date with these fees. Debt collection can be instructed by Presidents in Spain to the UK and Irish Debt Collection Agents.

If you cannot pay your Spanish mortgage and fall into arrears… your mortgage balance will increase. Missed payments are added to the balance along with penalties and interest. You risk legal action and ultimately you are putting your home assets and income at risk; if you do not act.

If you cannot maintain payments on your Spanish property, swift action is needed. Acting quickly through an intermediary, such as EU Property Solutions, then the matter can be brought under control and an amicable and desirable outcome achieved.

In most Spanish settlements we can achieve the surrender of the property to the Bank and a complete debt write off. We can even negotiate some Community Fees arrears and IBI tax arrears into the settlement.

If you are struggling with any repayments on your Spanish Property call EU Property Solutions on 0330 124 1230 for a free case review.

Which Countries Do We Specialise in?

EU Property Solutions are proud of the growing number of clients we assist across the Countries in Europe and in fact the world. Pre–2008 we saw many investors purchase their property in the sun. A large number of these borrowers have fallen foul of the much-publicised property market decline.

With so many borrowers falling into Negative Equity and property debt; EU Property Solutions was incorporated to assist as many individuals as possible. To date we have successfully completed cases in:

EU Property Solutions are also seeing an increase in enquiries relating to Cyprus and in particular mortgages sold in Swiss Francs. We understand the core lender in Cyprus and their current processes and can assist borrowers with issues here.

Looking further afield, in the last three months we have had settlements in New Zealand and Hungary. The Hungarian case was another example of poor lending by overseas Banks using the Swiss Franc Currency.

EU Property Solutions are the market leader in Negative Equity Debt Negotiation and achieve regular settlements across the countries listed often saving clients hundreds of thousands of Euros. We know the processes involved for each specific lender. This allows up to date and current advice being available to our clients.

If you have any property debt issues and would benefit from a free case review please call EU property Solutions today on 0330 124 1230.

Will They Pursue Me In The UK?

Since the financial crisis in 2008, Spain has seen well over a quarter of a million properties repossessed. A staggering figure! A large proportion of these repossessions are foreign-owned properties.

EU Property Solutions find it incredible so many UK and Irish borrowers feel they can merely “hand back the keys” and walk away from the property thinking they are somehow immune to any consequences once back home.

Many borrowers simply post their keys through a Bank or representing solicitors’ letterbox. Then they make a run for it not fully aware of the consequences.

These debtors have the impression that Spanish creditors’ cannot pursue their home country assets; and nor that the Banks have the time or resources to pursue overseas. This may be true in respect to small balances but in truth Banks are stepping up their overseas debt collection. Debtors with this mind-set could be left to rue this misjudgment.

Anyone who signs a mortgage deed in Spain, including guarantors, is personally liable for the loan. Any legal action will likely be notified to the Spanish Address on which the mortgage has been placed. Although logical, many overseas borrowers in Ireland and the UK will be unaware of any proceedings against them until the process is gathering apace.

In terms of debt perusal in the UK or Ireland, lenders can look to recover your home assets. Many any lenders will appoint UK Debt Collection agents. This could lead to an effect on your home country credit report.

The Spanish lender can look to put a charge on your property even if it already has an existing mortgage. They can even enforce an Attachment of Earnings Order. Spanish lenders to seem to be developing a greater appetite for overseas debt perusal given the magnitude of balances and Banking system overhaul.

EU Property Solutions can assist anyone in this situation so please contact the team today on 0330 1241230 to arrange a free initial consultation.

Divorced? What about your Overseas Debt?

EU Property Solutions are working in numerous cases with divorced or separated couples who require to settle their overseas debt in an amicable fashion. EU Property Solutions understand this can be a difficult and emotional time for all involved. Nonetheless, civility and working together can bring excellent results.

A common occurrence in these types of cases is that during the divorce one party was to take control of the overseas property with the other individual waiving their rights to the property as part of divorce proceedings.

However, if the correct processes are not undertaken in the country where the property is located; it is likely both parties will still be named on the mortgage.

Both parties, therefore, are joint and severally liable for the debt. The property and its associated debt are a joint problem.

Considering the above, if EU Property Solutions are to assist we require authorization. This is to act on behalf of both parties named on the mortgage. No matter how acrimonious the separation this is essential. You cannot act for one individual given the debt is joint and several.

With the overseas debt being joint and several it is essential to understand the ramifications for all parties involved. Actions taken by one individual affect the other party and unfortunately, we have seen in acrimonious divorces. Some parties make poor decisions knowingly they will have an adverse effect of an ex-partner.

EU Property Solutions have assisted borrowers in Spain who jointly owned a property in Negative Equity. We secured a voluntary surrender of the asset to their lender along with a complete debt write off. We can achieve this and still protect UK assets and income.

Should you have a European Property Debt owed jointly with a former partner and wish to know your options please call EU Property Solutions today on +44 (0) 330 124 1230.