The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) today granted greater leeway to be able to claim chargebacks for mortgages contracted before 2019. sentenceit is considered that consumers They had no reason to know that these were abusive termsas the Supreme Court declared in 2015, and is unaware of subsequent jurisprudence, as of 2019.
It also contradicts the theses of the Barcelona District Court and other courts, which rejected the claims Because they considered that the deadline for filing a claim begins when the mortgage is created and the consumer pays all administration, registration, notary and valuation costs.
And the conflict lies in The date to be taken as a starting point To start calculating this term. According to the Catalan Civil Code, the duration of this period He is ten years oldbut now the European Court of Justice points out that the statute of limitations begins as soon as consumers know that the clause is unfair.
In this way, Esther LaurentiA member of the Consumer Law Section of the Barcelona Bar Association confirmed to Catalunya Radio that according to the ruling, banks should have warned customers:
“The banking entities should have informed their customers one by one of the existence of the offending clause and From here the term calculation should begin.“
For her part, the lawyer Olga Majoral He stated in statements to TV3 that the European Court of Justice “It gives a cautionary touch to banking entities What they were doing was closing the door on consumers and invoking this statute of limitations.
More time to claim
With the ruling of the European Court Claims must be considered on a case-by-case basisBut it opens the door for the courts to interpret this There is no specific deadline Which limits the possibility of a claim.
According to the European Court of Justice, European Directive 93/13 requires consumer protectionWho is in a “lower position” in front of the professional, whether in terms of negotiating ability or in terms of information.
According to the ruling issued today, Thursday, there is “national jurisprudence” (the Supreme Court rulings of 2015 and 2019) regarding the invalidity of some provisions. It is not evidence that the consumer is informed Which is offensive.
“We no longer have to wait until 2025 or 2029 (adding the ten years of civil law to the Supreme Court rulings), We must forget these dates Because the European Court of Justice tells us that citizens are not required to have this knowledge of the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court.” Veronica DavalosLawyer at the Barcelona Bar Association.
For all that, it is We may realize that, in practice, there is no limitation period It can be demanded at any time, although this interpretation is left in the hands of each judge.
In any case, the Association of Consumers Specialized in Financial User Protection (ASUFIN) is very satisfied with the sentence. Patricia Suarezhead of the organization, He confirmed Radio Catalunya that opinion is “Great news for everyone affected“:
He added: “They will now be able to exercise their rights with peace of mind, and we hope that the banks, as soon as they hear this news, will begin returning the amounts to customers from then on.” We continue to unnecessarily overburden the courts.“
Some banks claim that the time has come
On Thursday, the European Court of Justice issued a ruling on specific issues being considered by the Barcelona Regional Court. It's about to Three resources provided by financial entities Against the rulings of the lower courts.
These courts They condemned the banks To return mortgage expense amounts to consumers.
For this reason, the entities appealed the ruling by taking it to the regional court and claiming that the deadline had already expired. Which is that they started calculating this period from the moment of the user He paid his last mortgage bill.
But now, the European Court of Justice's ruling casts doubt on that prescription and opens the door to giving consumers more leeway.
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