IN 2015, the Supreme Court rejected Sygma Hispania bank’s appeal against returning a client’s overcharged interest.
The client was paying 24.6 per cent interest on a consumer loan where the credit was automatically renewed as the debt was paid off.
This prompted the Supreme Court’s decision that this type of “revolving credit” was usury in accordance with Spain’s 1908 Azcarate Law.
“The personal loan included a stipulation of interest that was notably higher than normal and was manifestly disproportionate in relation to the circumstances of the case,” the court ruled.
The decision did not go unnoticed by a group of lawyers in Avila.
“We realised that although the verdict was the result of an appeal by a financial body, we could take the initiative in this type of case,” explained Celestino Garcia Carreño.
Since then the Avila law office has launched more “revolving credit” usury cases than any other in Spain.
“I don’t know how many appeals we have presented but have had more than 1,000 favourable verdicts obliging banks to return what was overcharged,” Garca Carreño said.