Without agreement and with very far postures. This ended the meeting of the 28 judges – it was expected that there would be 31, but three excused their absence – from the Contentious-Administrative Chamber of theSupreme Courtthat they had to decide yesterday who has to take charge of the payment of the tax of documented legal acts, that is paid when a mortgage is signed. The discussion will continue today, with the divided positions. The question is whether the payment has to face the bank or the client, who was the one who assumed that expense until a recent ruling of the high court opened the Pandora's box and declared that it must be the financial entities that faced the tribute.
That judicial decision left, nevertheless, a sea of doubts that now the own Supreme one tries to clear. The most important and the most important is if they have the right to claim all those who have a mortgage. If they opt for total retroactivity, in the Canary Islands there could be more than 72,000 affected.
As far as the government can go, it tries to cover its backs. The Secretary of Organization of thePSOEand Minister of Development, José Luis Ábalos, advanced yesterday, while the judges were still locked in the Supreme deliberating, that depending on the meaning of the sentence will be studied to articulate "some kind of help" to the autonomies. And it is that the tax is transferred to the communities that could have to face the return of large amounts of money if their total retroactivity is declared. In fact, the Canarian Tax Agency had already sued Madrid for the articulation of a mechanism that prevents damages to its regional budget and the foreseeable avalanche of claims.
"We want there to be a definite criterion and we are concerned that rigorous justice is applied so that the interests of the people who signed them are protected and defended," Ábalos said.
The pressure for the magistrates is maximum. Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska said the Supreme Court is playing its "prestige".
To add fuel to the fire, some consumer organizations such as the Platform for People Affected by Mortgages (PAH), in addition to Podemos, promised to wage war on the streets to demand a ruling that serves the interests of the clients.
Yesterday's meeting between the magistrates of the Supreme Court has transcended little. Although it has been reported that the positions between the judges are quite far away and the situation is quite entrenched. In fact, it is assured that the matter of retroactivity was not even dealt with. So, so first of all the magistrates do not even agree yet on who should pay the tax. An important part is betting because banks do, as the Supreme Court's ruling holds, but there is also a group of judges who bet that the client will continue to support it. Once that question has been cleared, the discussion should focus on retroactivity.
That is, if anyone who has a mortgage loan, as demanded by consumer associations and many lawyers, can request the return of the money, or if returns are limited to those who have signed it during the last four years, which is the time in which it takes to prescribe the payments related to the Treasury. In that case, the blow to the coffers of the autonomous community would amount to 1,027.8 million euros.
Spain is one of the countries with the highest mortgage tax in Europe.