I received this this morning from a blog reader, and he wanted to share it with you all, so no other readers get in the same situation.
In October 2015 my wife and decided to retire to Madeira. We had previously purchased an apartment in Santa Cruz. In January of 2016 we were buying a Vila in Calheta which we had intended to rent to tourists with the, lojamenta local. We soon found there to be a problem with the pool and decided to withdraw from the purchase. We were using the same lawyer that helped us when buying our apartment so we though we could trust him. But before we decided to withdraw, the lawyer from Funchal, asked that we transfer the money, 192,000 euro, which we did. After informing him of our decision to withdraw we asked he return our money. This is where our problems began. He did not have our money! If i am to believe him his overdraft was called in by the bank and as my money was in his a/c it was used to reduce his borrowings. Your reader should be aware there is not any compulsion on lawyers in Madeira to have a client a/c as in the UK. Clients money is not protected. This is a long story that i will condense. After 5 weeks i received 20,000 euro then 50,000 2 weeks later then another 50,000 2 weeks after that. My next payment was only a few thousand FIVE MONTHS later. This situation continued with a few small payments and hundreds of empty promises and very tall stories. My last payment was 10,000 euro in February. But by this time our dream had died, my wife’s health was suffering with the stress. Our decision to return to the UK had already been made. He agreed that with 49,000 outstanding he would pay 7,500 compensation but at this time i am still waiting. It is more than 3 months since we last received anything. He did, before we left sign a declaration that he owed 56,500, with a date to be paid by at March 31st. I have now received his professional insurance details which i must pursue to recover my money. I have kept every e-mail ever exchanged which total more than 350. I also visited the ‘ordem dos advogados’ in Funchal. This is the equivalent of our law society. They are worse than useless as they are without power or authority. They can only accept a complaint and forward it to Lisbon for processing. I also met with the president of the ordem last September at the airport. We were both there with separate friends who knew each other, we were introduced. The president told me he knew of at least one other client owed money by the same lawyer! This I found incredible that he did not feel it necessary to intervene and speak direct with the lawyer. I am at my wits end. Is it possible you could recommend a lawyer to act on our behalf and process the insurance claim? Please tell your readers to be very careful when buying property, they should never ever give money to a lawyer. They must go to the notaire with a bank cheque made out to the vendors. We discovered this too late. Although our dream died perhaps our story will help others before it is too late for them.
Anyone looking for an English Speaking Lawyer on he Island, I can highly recommend Pedro Freitas who works above Loja de cidadão in Funchal.
Email – [email protected] Phone – 291242074