What regulation exists in Spain
In Spain it is not necessary for a mortgage adviser or a mortgage advice company to be regulated. There are no exams which an adviser must pass and no regulatory body to which they must report.
Does having exams like FPC from the UK mean anything in Spain
Many advisers in Spain promote the fact they have the necessary exams from their country of original residency. This provides no protection for the client, nor does it in anyway demonstrate a level of expertise in the Spanish mortgage market.
What obligations does a company arranging mortgages in Spain have
Technically none. Mortgages in Spain are written into a deed. This deed is signed in front of a Notary who will ask whether the mortgagee understands the product and the deed they are signing. It is implicit once signed that the person signing it understood fully the document they were signing, the terms and the longer term consequences.
Because of the lack of regulation how do you know you are getting good advice
As with any large financial transaction it is important that anyone taking on a Spanish mortgage has had a full explanation of the product, been warned of possible future implications, and has had all the details outlined in their own language. This is important to enable the applicant to be able to check when they get to Notary what they are signing is what they expected.
Do not sign a mortgage deed in Spain unless you are completely happy that it reflects what you are expecting and that before you sign the information has been fully explained.
What will a good Spanish Mortgage broker provide
A good broker will try to reflect in the information they give, the same level of detail they would in a regulated environment, be required to provide. At IMS we provide a written quote which includes everything the client needs to know. Our quotes outline the product, its terms, the full costs and also identifies points a client should consider when thinking of applying for a loan in Spain »
What are the key points that should be carefully considered when taking a mortgage in Spain
One of the key points of a mortgage in Spain is that, unlike in many other countries, in Spain if you are not happy with your lender, and or, more competitive products are available at a later date it is neither cost effective nor good advice to move lender or product. Lender hopping for a better deal on a regular basis is not practical in Spain so once you have signed your mortgage deal it is most likely you will need to stick with that product and Bank until it is paid off.
What other considerations should I make
You should ensure you have been informed what compulsory products are linked to the loan you are taking and what happens if for any reason you cancel them. You need to know whether the loan in Spain has a minimum rate known as a floor rate or has enhanced first year interest rates. If you want flexibility for the future a clear view of what opportunity you will get to overpay the loan and what the penalties are is essential.
How do I select a good Spanish broker in the absence of a register of advisers
A mortgage adviser who is experienced in Spain is a must. There are sufficient differences in Spanish lending to mean that in inexperienced advice company could badly advise you. You should check how long the broker has been arranging mortgages in Spain, do they have a company or work on an individual basis, and are they able to offer advice over all areas of possible solutions and how many Banks do they work with.
A Company that has been trading for many years and is an SL (limited company) will provide you with a better level of protection than someone who works on an autonomo (sole trader) basis.
Should I pay fees upfront
Because of the volatility of the Spanish Mortgage market a good broker in Spain will never make upfront charges. At IMS we provide all our advice and guidance and full financial approval service for no cost.
Check what other clients saying
Before selecting a Spanish Mortgage company you should check there are no negative comments on the internet and look at what past customers have said about the service they offer.