revolving cards give the customer the option of defer payment for purchases in exchange for paying high interest rates. Users who contract these credits run the risk of chaining a cycle of perpetual debt due to the complex operation that characterizes them. It should not be forgotten that 'revolving' cards mix very high interest rates -currently 18.40%- with installment payments in very low amounts. If the amount due is not reimbursed or non-payments are recorded, the amount corresponding to the following month will continue to be owed, plus what remains to be paid with the corresponding late payment interest.
Due to the complexity of its operation, the 'revolving' have been in the crosshairs of Justice for years.
As pointed out by iAhorro, different Spanish courts are beginning to apply the prescription when determining the money that banks should return to consumers in cases of sentences issued in their favor. Thus, more and more courts based in our country differentiate the declaration of nullity of a contract by usurer, an action that never prescribes, from the return of the amounts collected in excess by the bank, which would prescribe after five years based on the Civil Code.
This is due, among other reasons, to the content of the ruling issued by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on July 16, 2020. The CJEU then endorsed that a regulation declared the nullity of an abusive clause imprescriptible, but at the same time establish an expiration or prescription period to make effective the restitution of the amounts for the purposes of said nullity.
Antonio Gallardo, financial expert at iAhorro, explains that the customer always has the right to claim the nullity of a contractwhatever the time it is signed and regardless of the time that has passed.« However, it is possible that a claim to refund the amounts is made after the deadline and the bank is not obliged to return the amount paid as interest if more than five years have passed specified in the regulations," he adds.
In addition to these legal arguments, the reform of the Civil Code reduced from 15 to five years the prescription for personal actions that did not have a special term. It should be remembered that this measure entered into force on December 28, 2020.
Therefore, the key moment that consumers should take into account to know if they have a chance of getting a refund after filing a claim is the day they file an out-of-court claim with their bank's customer service, that is, the preliminary step to process a lawsuit. That is to say, the entity would only return the interest that it has paid in the receipts corresponding to the five years prior to the moment in which it was presented. the extrajudicial claim to the bankdate on which the limitation period would be interrupted.
From iAhorro they emphasize that the banks are betting on negotiating with the clients the return of the interests of the 'revolving' before they go to a lawyer and end up in court. "This option is beneficial for the client and the entity because the costs of the trial are saved in case it loses and the costs of the defense for both parties", Gallardo details.
«If the client hires a lawyer, between the procedures that have to be carried out at the beginning and waiting for a trial, more than a year can pass; whereas, if he chooses to contact his bank,
you will only have to wait as long as the negotiation takeswhich is not usually a long time, “he adds.
Gallardo also emphasizes that, although the consumer wins the trial, the debt will have to be returned immediately to the entity as soon as the sentence is received. “This means that, if, for example, you recover 1,000 euros of interest, but you still have a debt to pay of 3,000 euros, what you lose is more than what you receive and you can reach a greater over-indebtedness”, argues the expert. of iSavings.