On December 21st of 2016, the Court of Justice of the EU gave judgement in favour of the unlimited retroactive application of invalidity of abusive clauses (joined cases No. C-154/15, C/307/15 and C-308/15).
In order to satisfy the requirements of the above mentioned judgement, the Spanish Government approved the Royal Decree Law No. 1/2017 on „Urgent Measures for the Protection of Consumers against Abusive Clauses“. This rule provides the consumer with a voluntary out-of-Court procedure.
The above mentioned out-of-Court procedure against abusive clauses only applies to loan or credit agreements which assemble each of the following requirements:
× The loan or credit agreement must be guaranteed by a mortgage,
× It must include an abusive clause which establishes a minimum interest rate and
× It must be concluded with a consumer.
In short, the procedure consists of the following:
1. The consumer makes a request to his bank, asking for the invalidity of the abusive clause and the refund of the unduly charged amount and the respective interest.
2. If the financial institution considers that the refund is appropriate, it will calculate the amount to be returned; otherwise, it will justify the reasons for its objection.
3. If the client agrees with the proposed solution, he will let the bank know in writing and the bank will proceed to return the amount; otherwise, the client reserves the right to turn to the Courts.
The out-of-Court procedure is completely free of charge and must be completed within three months.