Over the last few months, many lawsuits have been lost by financial institutions over mortgage floor clauses that banks have begun to fear the amount they will have to pay back from the amounts unduly received.
Added to this situation is the more than justified suspicion that Europe will rule in favour of retroactivity in the return of these amounts, increasing the sum that the banks will have to return and provoking an avalanche of claims filed by those affected.
Faced with this situation, many financial institutions are preparing the groundwork and are trying to reach agreements with affected customers to annul these floor clauses without the need to go to court, but is accepting this type of agreement positive for those affected?
In our opinion, clearly not. Over the last few months, there have been many reports in the press echoing the somewhat obscure practices of some banks in which, for example, the floor clause was lowered or annulled but the client was asked to waive the right to collect the interest paid unjustly to date and to exercise any type of legal action in the future. Some have even demanded that the client should not make the terms of the agreement public, and others have even demanded that the client should write in their own handwriting that they understood and accepted the new conditions.
For this reason, our advice is not to accept any negotiation of a reduction or nullity of the floor clause directly with the bank, at least not without first consulting a lawyer, because of the risk of being seriously harmed.
However, for those who have already done so, there may also be a way out and, as an example, a recent order of the Provincial Court of Zaragoza has already invalidated an agreement of these characteristics, considering that in reality there is no “true contractual freedom” and, moreover, what is null and void by law can hardly be validated with subsequent contracts. This opens a new door to claimants.
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