Since 2015 in Spain there have been thousands of consumer lawsuits against banks, claiming the return of overpaid interest based on the existence of abusive clauses in the mortgage loan contract.
What is the minimun interest rate clause?
The “minimun interest rate” is a stipulation included in the mortgage loan that establishes, in variable interest loans, a minimum interest rate to be charged by the bank, regardless of the reduction of the Euribor. If you have observed that, despite the fact that the Euribor falls, you continue to pay the same interest rate, it is very likely that you have a minimun rate of interest clause. Eliminate your minimun interest clause and recover all the interest overpaid.
In which cases is the “minimun interest clause” considered null?
In general terms, the Spanish courts understand that a clause is void when it causes a significant imbalance, to the detriment of the consumer, between the bank’s rights and duties and of the costumer´s. In the case of a minimun interest clause, this imbalance occurs because, even if the Euribor falls, you are not benefiting from these drops, so that the floor clause only protects the interests of the financial institution.
It will also be necessary that there has been a lack of transparency and information at the time of contracting the mortgage loan, regarding the existence, content and effects of the floor clause. The jurisprudence has understood that the financial institution has not provided transparent information on the clause in the following cases:
- When there is no evidence that the credit institution has made a prior binding offer to the consumer and that the consumer has had, sufficiently in advance, a draft of the contract that he was preparing to sign.
- When the credit institution does not prove that it has informed the consumer of the foreseeable behavior of the rate interest. The mere reading by the notary of the mortgage loan does not mean that the consumer is aware of the existence of the clause and its content.
- If the clause appears “hidden” among others in the contract, in such a way that it is difficult to identify its existence within the loan contract.
What can I do with a minimun interest clause?
Based on Royal Decree 1/2017 on urgent consumer protection measures in terms of floor clauses, it is necessary to previously direct an extrajudicial claim to the bank so that it eliminates the floor clause and they return our interests to us. If the bank refuses to eliminate the floor clause or we are not satisfied with the amount that are returned to us, we will have to sue the bank.
In practice, it is a simple judicial procedure and that, in the vast majority of cases, the Courts are agreeing with the consumers, and all the costs of the trial are paid by the financial institution.
Can I get back all the overpaid interest?
The banks are obliged to return all interest overcharged, from the beginning of the mortgage loan contract and till the elimination of the clause. In addition, it must also return the interest on the interest from the day they were unduly collected.
Germán Sánchez Díaz de Isla.
Get in touch with us and we will study your case.We will study your mortgage for free. We will quantify the interest that you have overpaid and that which can be returned to you.
If you need more information, do not hesitate to contact the Firm by calling 979 044 000/923 009177 or using the contact form.