“I was paying for two years with a card that the bank sent me at home after losing my job. When I realized it, I owed 3,500 euros,” he explains. Mary MR, one affected by the abusive interests of a ‘revolving’ card that she started using in 2017 without knowing the details. Banks offer with the product to facilitate instant payments in exchange for small monthly installments, which are added to high interests that can eternalize the debt. For example, with one of 1,000 euros, paying 25 euros per month, it can mean spending four years and 11 months paying and paying 464.70 euros in interest.

For a long time, these cards were sold with commercial tools such as “pay in easy installments” that created the expectation that the cost of credit was very low, as explained Javier Moyano, head of operations of the platform of lawyers Reclama Por Mí. Now, Mary he studies the legal route so that they return the interest paid in excess. And, as she predicts, many other people have already gone to court to get their money back. In fact, the so-called infinite payment cards had an increase in sentences in the courts of 108% in 2021 compared to the previous year, with a total of 125, according to the Association of Financial Users (Asufin) jurisprudential study 2021. The wave of complaints was as a result of the Supreme Court ruling in March 2020 against Wizink, which offered a “usurious” interest rate of 27% for a ‘revolving’. In addition, 2021 was the first year in which they became the financial product with the most cases (23%) in court, ahead of multi-currency clauses.

The regulations have since restricted the marketing of these products. Now, the entities must offer precise information about their conditions and verify the client’s ability to pay, among other aspects. Manuel Browns, president of the Adicae association, explains that from next October 6, in addition, banks must include a “representative example” in the marketing, although he points out that he sees “minimum” these fences to the operation of the cards. He defines them as “a factory of overindebtedness of vulnerable families.”

Its price grew for the first time in two years at the end of 2021, to an average APR of 20.17%, according to the V Barometer of Asufin’s ‘revolving’ cards, compared to that carried out last June (18.88%). Estel Romero, lawyer of the firm Sanahuja Miranda, continues to see that interest “exorbitant” and regrets not being able to claim it in court since it is within what is considered correct. Experts warn that, on the other hand, the current situation with rising prices and imbalance in budgets, leads to an increase in the consumption of these cards. “They are much more dangerous in times of crisis. You don’t make ends meet and what matters is paying what you can with the card,” he explains. Antonio GallardoBanqmi expert, iAhorro financial comparator.

In the first six months of 2021 alone, 2,755 million operations were accumulated, 60.3% more than in the same period of 2020, while the amounts skyrocketed to 85,987 million euros, 41.2% more.

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Those who have paid more interest can always claim directly from the bank. But, if they are not satisfied with the answer, they can process the complaint individually or collectively, which usually takes between a year and a year and a half. The average recovery by customers in these cases is 8,000 euros, according to Rosemary.

The lawyers warn that, despite the fact that the client wins – which happens in 90% of cases – he will have to pay the bank the pending amount for having postponed the purchases. And the seizure of assets to settle the debt is not ruled out, ultimately. Specifically, it is estimated that up to 30% of the users of these cards who claimed the bank and won the lawsuit still had capital to return. Mary He acknowledges that it was his “mistake to take the card and not go to ask”, but he confesses that he has not trusted the banks again.

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