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February 1, 2017
Where and when to claim a floor clause?
Starting on Monday, 23rd January 2017, consumers can address floor clause claims to their banks. “Once received, the bank must send the consumer the calculation of the amount to be returned including the interest, or alternatively the reasons for considering the claim not appropriate. After receiving the bank communication, the consumer must express his/her agreement with the calculation for the bank to return the money back. The entire process will be done in a maximum period of three months.
Can I address a legal claim to the bank if my mortgage had a floor clause but is amortized?
Yes. Even if the mortgage is already fully paid, the Decree-Law allows consumers who had an abusive floor clause to address a legal claim. The term of the statute of limitations is 15 years, although each case should be consulted.
If I have been paid the floor clause since May 2013, can I claim it from 2009?
Yes, but the Government admits that it is the bank that decides whether or not to return what has been collected.
The bank notifies me that I have a floor clause. Does that mean I will receive my money back?
No. The Government obliges all banks to “ensure that the system is known by all consumers with floor clauses in their contracts”. However, it clarifies that the calculation of the amount to be returned will be done only for those consumers considered eligible. As for the rest of consumers, banks will notify the existence of the floor clause and “the reasons for considering the complaint not appropriate”.
If the bank is not returning my money back, should it provide me with the calculation of how much I have been charged with the floor clause?
No. The latest Decree-Law wording establishes that if the bank is not going to return the money back, it is not obliged to make the calculation of what was collected with the floor clause. The bank should only explain why it considers the clause is not opaque.
What are the consequences of initiating a legal claim to the bank?
According to the Decree, “the consumer may decide to go to court directly, but once the extrajudicial proceeding has been initiated and until it has been resolved, the parties may not exercise any alternative judicial or extrajudicial action in relation to the same claim”.