Pensioners may not lose their properties to bank liquidators

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Björgólfur Guðmundsson in the centre

IN edition 1603 of Euro Weekly News, we wrote about the activities of the liquidators of Landsbanki who were trying to seize properties from expatriates.

This Luxembourg branch of the bank, which has been accused of fraud and money laundering, lent money against properties in Spain and other countries with the funds released supposedly placed into secure deposit accounts to raise income for the householders.

In the event the bank went bust, the money disappeared and the liquidator started evictions in order to take over the houses of those who had been defrauded.

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The Landsbanki Victims Action Group in Spain has been fighting these evictions since 2009 and during that time, more than 40 of its members have died but there is now a court action in France which may just help those affected in Spain

This action is against a number of Landsbanki officers including former chairman of Landsbanki Iceland, Björgólfur Guðmundsson, sales agents and notaries and is expected to last four weeks with the administrator of the bank being summoned to appear as a ‘hostile witness.’

Any convictions in France will not directly change the situation in Spain but may certainly influence Spanish decisions especially if proof of impropriety emerges which leads to convictions.

There is some good news already as despite continued alleged harassment of Spanish based ‘victims’ by the administrator, a Spanish court has now referred the matter of foreclosure in Spain to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

Whilst a decision is awaited, there has been a freeze on all such repossessions until the CJEU rules on the matter, although this has not helped one very elderly couple who had their property seized and auctioned for a supposed debt of €20,000 when there is no evidence that they ever received the cash in the first place.

The Action Group is also taking court action and is awaiting a date for a hearing in the Marbella court against the Landsbanki liquidators following a successful decision in a Fuengirola court in February of this year which nullified a Landsbanki mortgage loan.

Various media reports around the world have suggested that current European Union Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker acted to block EU investigations into cross-border tax avoidance and supervision whilst prime minister of Luxembourg.

Should any reader be affected by the Landsbanki situation, please contact the EWN office in Benalmadena to share your story.

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