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Malaga court orders bank to pay back 45,300 euro deposit for an apartment bought 20 years ago

Malaga court orders bank to pay back 45,300 euro deposit for an apartment bought 20 years ago

The woman signed a contract to purchase the property under construction in Fuengirola from the developer Aifos, which went bust

Irene Quirante

Malaga

Monday, 15 May 2023, 17:36

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A Malaga court has ordered Santander bank to return 45,339 euros to a woman for an unfinished flat she paid a deposit for in Fuengirola 20 years ago.

The woman signed a contract in June 2003, that confirmed the downpayment for the flat in the Cortijo Torre Blanca development, which was under construction at the time.

Banco Santander was the guarantor for the developer of the house, Aifos, which went bust after it had already started construction, the Provincial Court of Malaga heard.

Santander previously lost the case, but appealed and argued that the bank had a generic policy and not a specific line of guarantees for the Cortijo de Torre Blanca development, so that no individual guarantees were issued for the purchasers.

But the judge established that despite the fact that individual certificates had not been issued at the time in favour of the buyers, this "does not eliminate" the responsibility of Santander as the guarantor.

"Once the collective policy has been concluded, it is the responsibility of the guarantor or insurer to verify both the contracts that may have been entered into and the payments already made,” the judge said.

The ruling adds to the hundreds of convictions - more than 600, according to the law firm Ley 57 - against banks as being jointly liable for Aifos, which was one of the main developers in Andalucía. Aifos has been in insolvency proceedings since 2009.

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