A BANK has been ordered to refund a client the sum of €3,371 which was erroneously charged in full to set up a mortgage.
The customer was told to make the payment in 2010 when signing a mortgage contract with Catalunya Banc-Catalunya Caixa in order to cover notary costs, entry on the land registry and taxes for documented legal procedures, but a court in Granollers (Barcelona province) said these expenses should have been shared 50-50 with the client and the lender.
Now, four months after buying out the Catalunya Banc-Catalunya Caixa, it is the BBVA which is required to refund the customer.
The court verdict also ordered the BBVA to remove the so-called 'floor clause' in the mortgage contract, whereby interest rates on the loan cannot go below a given minimum no matter how far the Euribor, or Eurozone interest rate, drops.
A recently Supreme Court sentence declared 'floor clauses' illegal, opening the door to potentially millions of homeowners recovering overpaid interest, either as a lump sum or offset against their existing repayments.
In the case of the Catalunya Banc-Catalunya Caixa – now BBVA – mortgage, the 'floor clause' meant interest would never go below 3.5%.
The Euribor went into negative figures last year and remains at an historic low.