A question that rightfully gets asked a lot is, “what happens if I lose my case?”
This is a very good and, of course, concerning question. As usual, the answer to this is, predictably, “well that depends!”. Depends on what?
Firstly, it depends on what agreement you have with your solicitor. In some cases, you will have to pay them all their costs, in fact as much as you would have had to pay them if they had won the case for you! This is more likely to be where you have paid them for personal representation against the bank on a standard legal arrangement. In cases like this, I have seen people be charged in fact more than half of what they were claiming for in the first place… a very bitter pill to swallow indeed!
The worst thing about this is that the client of the solicitor was not even aware of the risk they were taking in the cost of losing their case. They objected to the solicitor but it was to no avail and the insistence was that the payment for failed legal services must be made. This also included all expenses paid by the solicitor, and hence added up to a sizeable amount.
However, there are special contracts you can agree with the solicitor that are No Win No Fee agreements, where the solicitor must win the case for you to get paid. These are often higher in fees but safer because you won’t suffer if the case did actually fail in court.
Added to this, however, is the risk of the court awarding costs to the other side, against you. But how likely is this, and what could they do to get the money from you if it did happen?
There is a slight chance that the judge could award costs to the other side, if your case failed in court. Then, in this case, you would legally be required to pay this to the developer or bank; however, this would be under Spanish Law. If you are outside of Spain and have not assets in Spain, they would have to take that case to the UK to pursue you to in order to force you to pay.
So whilst this risk is there, it means that the court has to award the costs (not a common occurrence) and that the bank or developer would have to pay to bring the case into the UK to pursue you through a money claim route. This, of course, means they would have the costs of time and money to invest in this endeavour, and therefore it is unlikely to happen. Unless of course, it was for a very substantial amount of money, probably much more than what the costs would amount to.
There is now, for those fearful of such charges in any case, some solicitors offering insurance against this, in the unlikely event that it happened to you. Not all solicitors are willing to do this due to the paperwork assessment that is required on a case by case basis. However, if this is something that you would prefer to have, then add this to your shopping list for finding the ideal Spanish Property Deposit Reclaim deal.