Legal/Court Process in Bulgaria

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Legal/Court Process in Bulgaria

Postby Admin » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:23 am

This section of our Forum is aimed to be a short FAQ, explaining the main points of the Bulgarian court proceedings. We have been asked these questions thousand times, so we decided to write a brief description of the court process in Bulgaria.

1. Do I really have a problem on my private purchase contracts, initially signed with Bulgarian developer and how I can find more about this?
The results of our work on problematic Bulgarian developments confirmed us that many people- usually foreign buyers in these developments are unaware of the fact that their developer could be experiencing problems (mostly financial) completing the complex, or could be just using the off-plan project only to collect money from trustful foreign buyers and to vanish with the money to another continent, covering their tracks. On the other hand there are trustful buyers who know that their developer is in delay, but still think (usually on the base of their contact with overseas property agency which is not liable to them) that things will be ok and there is still nothing to worry about. This is not exactly the case, because the delay of the construction process - namely after the agreed deadlines in the contract - is the first sign that something is wrong. Usually in the building practice in Bulgaria a 3 or 6 months delay for obtaining Certificate for exploitation is considered as normal, because there are lot of completion works to be performed, but if the delay is bigger then you should not wait. The first thing to do is to contact the developer directly and ask them about the reasons for the delay and a compensation. A developer who does not admit they should compensate the buyer, or tries to wash their hands, should be considered harmful and should not be left in their further delay. If they fail to answer you then contact a trusted Bulgarian lawyer, who can easily find out what is causing the problems.

2. Is suing the developer the best possible option?
Our work with local developers shows that when a developer is experiencing real technical problems, these problems are always connected with financing the completion due to the crisis. Maybe many people have heard how local developers are complaining about, and trying to wash their hands with temporary winter or summer construction bans, which may have stopped them from completing the project on time. If you see one of the court case decisions on our Forum, you will see that even the local Bulgarian court considers such complains of the developers as groundless and non-reasonable, respectively does not accept such excuse, which successfully has been used many times by local developers before trustful foreign buyers. The main reason for all problems is the lack of money. Without finances they are stopping all works, but still this risk should not be covered by the buyer - in the beginning, upon signing of reservation form or preliminary contract, everybody from the developer's side has been smiling and promising "completion on time", usually also covered with "6% guaranteed rental income" or other soap bubbles. For once the buyers should be aware that Bulgarian trading traditions are quite different than the West Europe's ones, and also that they should not cover the trading risks initially taken by the developer to complete and enter the complex into exploitation. What most bankrupted developers do, is to collect whatever they can collect and to leave things resp. the empty company and to vanish.
Recently a local developer informed his buyers that he will proceed construction only if he finds new finances. The question here is that this "looking for fresh money" can be too long and why the buyers should pay additional sums on top of the huge price they have signed for in 2006-2007, for example. If you are not happy to wait, then pursuing refund of your investment by the developer could be the only option.

3. What are the expenses for starting a court case?
The court fee in Bulgaria is fixed. It is calculated on the basis of the value of your claim. The fee is 4% of the claim amount. The court fee has to be paid prior filling the claim.
Attorney fee – the attorney fee can be negotiated with the particular lawyer who represents in in court. There is no fixed amount for the attorney fee, but there are legal frames law determines the minimum attorney fees and lawyers are not allowed to work for fees lower than that.
Experts fees - expert fees can occur only if special expert opinion is needed during the case proceedings. Both parties can request from the court to appoint an expert who is given a special task.

4. How long it takes to complete a court case and should I participate, or it is only enough to appoint a Bulgarian attorney who will deal with all matters on my behalf?
There is not precise answer to this question. There are many things that can influence the court procedure. Normally a court case is completed for one year- year and a half. We have information for court cases completed only in 9 months time.
Yes it is enough to sign a power of attorney to your Bulgarian lawyer who will perform all actions, related to collecting and translating the evidences, preparing and entering the claim, participating in the hearings and obtaining the court decision on your behalf. You just have to form a line of trust with your lawyer and to supply them with every document related to the case that you may hold - in the procedure of proving your point in court, documents are everything.

5. What are the chances for success?
Each case is completely separate and depends on how well your claim is prepared and how the procedure has been ruled by your Bulgarian lawyer who represents you in court. The main thing in all cases are the proofs fo payment of the installments. If you prove these payments with written documents then winning the case is a real possibility.

6. How I can be sure that I can get my money back (plus court expenses and lawyer's fees) even if I win the court case?
We have always said that local Bulgarian lawyers unfortunately are not magicians, they can not get a refund for you using a magic stick. Bulgaria is still developing country where long court procedures, and sometimes, later also execution procedures are needed in order to reach effective financial outcome. After starting the court case you have the legal right to start another procedure within the main court case (this procedure is free of charge and is called "Security of Claim via provisional measurements"). It allows you to freeze (burden) assets of the developer on your name. These assets will be later taken to sale on public auction, from where you can expect to receive finally our money. Of course have in mind that this procedure is not a simple one and your claim for restriction should be also supported with documents. Which means that only a professional Bulgarian lawyer can advice you on the precise options and legal grounds for achieving refund.

Bulgariandeals Team

Joe1980
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:26 pm

Re: Legal/Court Process in Bulgaria

Postby Joe1980 » Fri Jun 27, 2014 12:01 am

Hi Sir,

I am an investor in Orpheus Valley section F. I want to start legal proceedings and was wondering if you had any contacts and could recommend Trustworthy Lawyers who are, or have dealt with clients in similar circumstances as my self.

Hope to hear back from you soon

Many Thanks
Joe Halliday
Orpheus Valley investor
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Re: Legal/Court Process in Bulgaria

Postby Admin » Tue Jul 01, 2014 2:12 pm

Dear Sir,

Please forward a written request to our e-mail: support@bulgariandeals.com and we will forward you names of local trusted lawyers, who may be able to help you. Please make sure, when contacting any of them, to forward all paperwork you have in regards to your investment- contract, payment orders, receipts, letters from developer etc.


Bulgariandeals Team
Joe1980
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:26 pm

Re: Legal/Court Process in Bulgaria

Postby Joe1980 » Fri Jul 04, 2014 4:10 am

Hi Peeps,

Thanks very much for your help, greatly appreciated.

Joe Halliday


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