H, my wife and I are British and we bought a house on mortgage via a Spanish bank. There was a mountain of paperwork - all in Spanish - at the time we signed for the mortgage. This included life insurance which was tied to the mortgage on a separate contract. There was a lot of paperwork and small print, none of which was clarified in detail, nor were our options under law explained. The bank official just asked us to sign all these papers. The life insurance premiums have gone up substantially even though under a regular repayment mortgage the capital sum assured has gone down by over 30.000€. Our Spanish legal service told us that unfortunately although under Spanish law this sort of insurance is not obligatory, as we signed the contract we will be forced to pay it till the mortgage is paid off (in about 17 years). At this rate, the insurance premiums will keep going up and up so it's not a good deal. My complaint is that none of our options under law were explained to us, nor was it explained that we could expect insurance premiums to go up significantly in the coming years - and therefore our repayments would also go up instead of down. I would like to know whether under European law we have any rights because of the total lack of transparency and clarification in these long-term transactions with serious financial implications - all in Spanish which we could not read at that time. Thanks in advance for your patience and interest with my enquiry. - A. L. Sen, Mijas Costa, Spain
My local Spanish-language legal service in Spain; internet searches
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I am sorry to say that if signed all this documentation in Spain with a Spanish bank or the Spanish branch of a foreign bank it had no obligation to provide you documentation other than in Spanish. According to law, it was your duty to have it translated and explained to you if you believed you needed to. You can have a case against the bank only if you can prove you requested time to have the documents translated and explained to you before signing them, and were denied it and coerced into signing them very quickly. Or that you were denied the time to take advise from a professional counsel regarding your options.
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