Posts Tagged ‘Property’
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
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.
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:
- Applying for European Enforcement Orders,
- Appointing strong legal firms to enforce in the UK,
- Making their own enquiries as the people’s worth/assets, and
- 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.