The extrajudicial mechanism for resolving the conflict of The ground clauses seem doomed to failure four months after it was launched. Judges and lawyers expect an avalanche of lawsuits before the courts in which the clients will request the return of what was collected by the ground clauses after the entities are denying them the same requests. If so, the mechanism would not have worked.
“In the matter of floor clauses there is a preference for the courts because those affected distrust the result of the mechanism with the banks and rely more on the judicial resolution,” says Celso Rodríguez Padrón, magistrate and spokesperson of the Professional Association of Magistrates ( APM) . “Despite the bad image of justice, people prefer to resolve the conflict in the courts than through any other mechanism,” the judge adds.
The association of judges says that citizens rely more on justice than on banks
The president of the Consell de l’Advocacia Catalana , Carles McCragh, also thinks that the extra-judicial resolution mechanism of the ground clauses is a failure: “We have seen that it is not the solution, because once again the entities have not done their work and that’s why there may be more demands than expected. “
Although not in all entities is equal, both judges and lawyers lament that in the conflict clauses floor some banks have answered their customers with a negative response through an equal type for all. In these cases, the client can understand that he has been denied the return of the ground clauses without studying in detail his particular case.
A pact with the entity does not imply a refund: they can change the conditions of the loan
“What we see are many standardized responses from the banks,” says Marina Berga, one of the lawyers of the Col·lectiu Ronda who are involved in the land clause dispute. At the law firm – Berga explains – they are serving clients to verify that the calculation made by the bank is correct, since sometimes the proposed refund does not include the interest generated by the money overcharged.
Entities are reluctant to provide data on the volume of claims filed and much less on the result. However, some privately acknowledge that they agree with the client in about 25% of the cases. In addition, the agreement does not always imply the return of the money, but it may mean that it has been agreed, for example, to change the variable-rate mortgage for a fixed-rate mortgage. Only CaixaBank calculated at the beginning of the whole process that they would return approximately half of the amounts charged in the floor clauses. Although today there is no official data.
The lawyers see a fiasco the return mechanism of the floor clauses
Banks complain that some law firms – especially those that advertise the most – recommend that their clients abandon the extrajudicial resolution mechanism and opt directly for the lawsuit. In the opinion of some entities, some of these law firms are generating a “call effect” that can increase demands. For McCragh, who represents the Catalan bar associations, “the lawyer is not an obstacle, but the banking entities”.
The General Council of the Judicial Power has decided to create some 54 new courts of first instance (one in each province) with novice judges to be able to attend exclusively all the demands by floor clauses . The lawyers are absolutely contrary. So much so that the General Council of Spanish Lawyers will file a contentious administrative appeal before the Supreme Court against that decision following the line of the Consell de l’Advocacia Catalana.
The mechanism “moves justice away from citizenship”
McCragh regrets that the measure “moves justice away from citizenship”. From now on, a citizen who does not live in the provincial capital must travel there even if he has a closer court. On the other hand, the representative of the Catalan lawyers says that the measure benefits the banks because normally their legal teams are in provincial capitals, so they will not have to travel.
The magistrates ask that the necessary means be put in place to be able to offer citizens a quality justice. Celso Rodríguez Padrón says that by quality it is understood that the judgments are reasoned and with an exhaustive analysis of each case and that the ruling is in a reasonable time.