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If your contract is null and void because of the supplier’s breaches, what happens to the contract you signed to finance the purchased good or service?

Consumo y financiación

A company providing tourism services was in general breach of its obligations. Many consumers sought the nullity of the contracts and the ineffectiveness of the financing contracts linked to them.

The judge declared that of the financing contracts linked to the tourist contract, only those signed by those who had not previously been customers of the financial institution (BBVA) were ineffective.

The rest of the consumers appealed this decision before the provincial court (AP) with territorial jurisdiction. The AP declared that the aforementioned contracts were linked and, therefore, the contracts signed with BBVA are ineffective, regardless of whether they were previously customers or not. However, consumers who signed with other credit institutions are excluded.

At this point, it is these consumers excluded in that instance who are appealing to the Supreme Court (SC) to resolve whether the rest of the financing contracts signed with credit institutions other than BBVA can also be considered to be binding, since the PA’s ruling states that there was no prior or exclusive agreement between the service provider and the financial institutions.

The SC recalls that the law applicable to this case required that between the grantor of the credit and the supplier of the goods or services there was a prior agreement, concluded on an exclusive basis, by virtue of which credit was offered to the supplier’s customers for the acquisition of the goods or services from the supplier. We say law applicable to this case because a new law regulating consumer credit agreements was subsequently passed which no longer contemplates the requirement of the exclusivity agreement.

The SC continues by stating that the requirement of prior agreement is met when there is a certain collaborative will between the supplier and the financer, even if it lacks an institutional development with a desire for permanence, insofar as the decision on the financial institution that will finance the contract is determined or directed by the company providing the service and not so much by the consumer’s freedom of choice.

The SC considers it proven that there was an agreement with several entities, noting that consumers did not have freedom of choice with other financial institutions and, therefore, there was a prior agreement between the service provider and the banks.

If you find yourself in a similar situation to the one described, our professionals can provide you with the appropriate assistance and take any action that may be relevant.