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Malaga court declares mortgage opening commission to be illegal

Most Spanish home loans have a start-up charge.
Most Spanish home loans have a start-up charge. / SUR
  • The sentence says there is no evidence that payment was for a real service that took place and opens the way for more refund claims against banks

A Malaga judge has said that a 1.5 per cent opening commission on a mortgage was an abusive charge and therefore void. The case was brought against Malaga-based Unicaja Banco by lawyers Martínez-Echevarría acting for a taxi driver from Alhaurín de la Torre. It also included complaints against three other clauses in the loan the man took out in 2005.

Since June last year, Malaga has had one judge dedicated to hearing cases against mortgage clauses to keep up with demand from people suing banks for abusive hidden 'floor clauses' on interest rates.

Opening commissions aren't hidden but now the surprise decision that the mortgage holder is due back 9,000 euros including interest has opened the way for others to possibly claim. The judge said that the amount charged didn't correspond to a real service. The sentence can still be appealed.