RETIREES saddled with a secret mortgage in Spain have lost their holiday home and now awaiting compensation after allegedly spending £300,000 in a six-year legal battle.
After purchasing the Alicante holiday home outright 18-years-ago the retired couple had hoped to begin a stress-free retirement in the sun.
This however was not to be as, in 2012, the original property they had bought was found to be damaged beyond repair when the couple discovered the foundations were sinking.
The property developers who had originally sold the doomed property stepped up and offered the couple a new property.
However, unbeknown to Stewart and Lynda from Porthcawl in Wales, their replacement property was saddled with debt and came with a hidden mortgage attached. Added to this, the pensioners were not given title deeds to their new property.
Stewart claims that he and his wife were not the only expatriates who were “sold houses which had debt on them”.
After hearing that neighbours who had purchased homes from the same property developer had discovered hidden mortgages had been placed on their homes without their knowledge and that the repossession of the homes was a realistic possibility, Stewart and Lynda chose to step away from the property in 2012, giving possession of the house to the bank.
The couple never returned to their holiday home.
They joined forces with nine other property owners who found themselves in similar situations and launched a lengthy court battle against the property developers.
Six years later, the Royal Courts of Justice and the Court of Appeal have ruled that the property developers and in particular their legal representative had been negligent and not informed the property buyers fully about the nature of their original transaction, failing to advise that the properties were not guaranteed by banks.
Stewart and Lynda are waiting to hear what compensation they will receive when future court hearings are announced.
They have reportedly amassed £300,000 in legal fees during their six-year court battle.