Today, the Court of Justice of the EU delivered its judgment in a number of joined cases (C-482/13, C-484/13, C-485/13 and C-487/13) on the judicial assessment of general terms and conditions applying to Spanish mortgage contracts, involving the Unicaja Banco and Caixabank.
In line with Advocate-General Wahl's opinion in the case (on which I reported earlier on the blog 'Recent Developments in European Consumer Law'), the CJEU found Spanish law to be compatible with EU law, provided that certain conditions were met.
The Court ruled:
Article 6 of Council Directive 93/13/EEC of 5 April 1993 on unfair terms in consumer contracts must be interpreted as not precluding a national provision under which the national court hearing mortgage enforcement proceedings is required to adjust the amounts due under a term in a mortgage-loan contract providing for default interest at a rate more than three times greater than the statutory rate in order that the amount of that interest may not exceed that threshold, provided that the application of that national provision:
– is without prejudice to the assessment by that national court of the unfairness of such a term and
– does not prevent that court removing that term if it were to find the latter to be ‘unfair’, within the meaning of Article 3(1) of that directive.
See also the Court's press release.