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DMUR DMSTLSINS (Fyrstu deildar) 14. jn 2012 (*) (Tilskipun 93/13/EBE - Neytendasamningar - sanngjarnir skilmlar varandi drttarvexti Ferli fyrir greislufyrirmli - Valdsvi innlends dmstls) mli C-618/10, BEINI um forrskur skv. 267 gr. sttmlans um starfshtti Evrpusambandsins fr Audiencia Provincial de Barcelona (Spni), ger me rskuri fr 29. nvember 2010, mttekin af Dmstlnum ann 29. desember 2010, mli Banco Espaol de Crdito SA gegn Joaqun Caldern Gamino, DMSTLLINN (Fyrsta deild), skipaur A. Tizzano (framsgumanni), forseta deildarinnar, M. Safjan, M. Ilei, E. Levits og M. Berger dmurum, aallgmaur: V. Trstenjak, dmritari: M. Ferreira, aalstjrnandi, me hlisjn af skriflegri mlsmefer og enn fremur af skrslutku 1. desember 2011, eftir umfjllun um athugasemdir sem fram voru lagar fyrir hnd: Banco Espaol de Crdito SA, af A. Herrador Muoz, V. Betancor Snchez og R. Rivero Sez, lgfringum, spnsku rkisstjrninarinnar, af S. Centeno Hueda, sem umbosmanns, sku rkisstjrnarinnar, af J. Kemper og T. Henze, sem umbosmanna, framkvmdastjrnar Evrpusambandsins, af M. Owsiany-Homung og E. Gippini Fournier, sem umbosmanna,

eftir a hafa hltt lit aallgmanns fundinum 14. febrar 2012, kveur upp eftirfarandi dm 1 essi beini um forrskur varar tlkun : - 1. mgr. 6. gr. tilskipunar rsins 93/13/EBE fr 5. aprl 1993 um sanngjarna skilmla neytendasamningum1 (Stjt. EB 1993 L 95, bls. 29), - 2. gr. tilskipunar Evrpuingsins og rsins 2009/22/EB fr 23. aprl 2009 um a setja lgbann til verndar hagsmunum neytenda (Stjt. EB 2009 L 110, bls. 30),

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Aths. anda: ensku Council Directive 93/13/EEC of 5 April 1993 on unfair terms in consumer contracts. g tel rttara a a unfair terms sem sanngjarna skilmla fremur en rttmta skilmla eins og gert er slenskri ingu tilskipunarinnar. sari tilvitnunum tilskipunina held g mig vi reglu a a unfair sem sanngjarn en ekki rttmtur.

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- kvum reglugerar Evrpuingsins og rsins (EB) nr. 1896/2006 fr 12. desember 2006 sem kom evrpsku ferli fyrir greislufyrirmli (Stjt. EB 2006 L 399, bls. 1), - l- og m-lium 1. mgr. 5. gr., 6. gr., 7. gr. og l-li 2. mgr. 10. gr. tilskipunar Evrpuingsins og rsins 2008/48/EB fr 23. aprl 2008 um lnasamninga fyrir neytendur og um niurfellingu tilskipunar rsins 87/102/EBE (Stjt. EB 2008 L 133, bls. 66), og - 2. mgr. 11. gr. tilskipunar Evrpuingsins og rsins 2005/29/EB fr 11. ma 2005 um sanngjarna viskiptahtti gagnvart neytendum innri markanum og um breytingu tilskipun rsins 84/450/EBE, tilskipunum Evrpuingsins og rsins 97/7/EB, 98/27/EB og 2002/65/EB og regluger Evrpuingsins og rsins (EB) nr. 2006/2004 (tilskipunin um sanngjarna viskiptahtti)2 (Stjt. EB 2005 L 149, bls 22). 2 Beinin var lg fram tengslum vi mlaferlin milli Banco Espaol de Crdito SA (Banesto) og Caldern Camino varandi greislu fjrha sem bar a greia samkvmt neytandalnssamningi milli essara aila.

Lagaumhverfi Lggjf Evrpusambandsins Tilskipun 87/102/EBE 3 6. gr. tilskipunar rsins 87/102/EBE fr 22. desember 1986 um samrmingu lgum og stjrnsslufyrirmlum aildarrkjanna varandi neytendaln (Stjt. EB L 42, bls. 48) segir: 1. rtt fyrir undanguna sem kvei er um e-li 1. mgr. 2. gr., ar sem um er a ra samkomulag milli lnastofnunar ea fjrmlastofnunar og neytanda um veitingu lns formi greislu inn tkkareikning, ekki kreditkortareikning, skal neytandinn upplstur egar samningurinn er gerur ea ur: um hmark lnsheimildar, ef um a er a ra, um rsvexti og gjld er gilda fr eim tma er gengi er fr samningnum og undir hvaa kringumstum eim m breyta, um ferli fyrir riftun samningsins. essar upplsingar skulu stafestar skriflega. 2. Enn fremur skal, mean samningurinn er gildi, neytandinn strax upplstur ef rsvextir ea vieigandi gjld breytast. Slkar upplsingar m gefa reikningsyfirliti ea hvern ann htt annan sem aildarrkin telja viunandi. 3. aildarrkjum ar sem yfirdrttarln me egjandi samykki eru leyfileg, skulu hlutaeigandi aildarrki tryggja a neytendur su upplstir um rsvexti og vieigandi gjld, og um allar breytingar eim, ar sem yfirdrtturinn stendur lengur en rj mnui.

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Aths. anda: g tel betra a a unfair commercial practices sem sanngjarna viskiptahtti en ekki rttmta viskiptahtti eins og gert er slenskri ingu tilskipunarinnar.

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4 7. gr. eirrar tilskipunar: segir tilviki lns sem veitt er til kaupa vrum skulu aildarrkin mla fyrir um me hvaa skilyrum megi vrslusvipta neytandann, einkum ef hann hefur ekki veitt samykki sitt. au skulu enn fremur tryggja a egar lnveitandi fr vru aftur sna vrslu s reikningurinn milli ailanna gerur upp til a tryggja a vrslusviptingin hafi ekki fr me sr rttmta augun. Tilskipun 93/13 5 12. forsendu inngangsorum tilskipunar 93/13 segir: Landslg leyfa sem stendur aeins samrmingu a hluta til. essi tilskipun nr einungis til samningsskilmla sem ekki hefur veri sami um srstaklega. Aildarrkin urfa a eiga ess kost, n ess a brjta bga vi sttmlann, a veita neytendum flugri vernd me setningu innlendra kva sem eru strangari en kvi essarar tilskipunar. 6 21. forsendu inngangsorum eirrar tilskipunar segir Aildarrkin skulu tryggja a sanngjarna skilmla s ekki a finna samningum sem seljandi ea veitandi gerir vi neytendur og ef slkir skilmlar finnast rtt fyrir allt, su eir ekki bindandi fyrir neytendur og samningur veri fram bindandi fyrir samningsaila me essum skilmlum ef hann getur gilt fram n hinna sanngjrnu kva. 7 24. forsendu inngangsorum eirrar tilskipunar segir: Dmstlar og stjrnvld aildarrkjanna vera a eiga tiltkar fullngjandi og skilvirkar leiir til a hindra framhaldandi notkun sanngjarnra skilmla neytendasamningum. 8 6. gr. tilskipunar 93/13 segir: 1. Aildarrkin skulu mla svo fyrir um a sanngjarnir skilmlar samningi seljanda ea veitanda vi neytanda su ekki samkvmt landslgum eirra bindandi fyrir neytandann og a samningurinn veri fram bindandi fyrir samningsaila ef hann getur haldi gildi snu a ru leyti n sanngjrnu skilmlanna. 2. Aildarrkin skulu gera nausynlegar rstafanir til a tryggja a neytandinn s ekki sviptur eirri vernd sem essi tilskipun veitir honum vi a a lg lands utan bandalagsins eru valin sem gildandi lg fyrir samninginn ef hann tengist ni yfirrasvi aildarrkjanna. 9 1. mgr. 7. gr. eirrar tilskipunar segir: Aildarrkin skulu tryggja, gu neytenda og samkeppnisaila, a til su fullngjandi og skilvirkar leiir til a hindra framhaldandi notkun sanngjarnra skilmla samningum seljenda ea veitenda vi neytendur. 10 8. gr. tilskipunar 93/13 segir: Aildarrkin geta samykkt ea lti gilda fram eins strng kvi og samrmast [EB]-sttmlanum gildissvii essarar tilskipunar til a tryggja neytendum sem flugasta vernd. Tilskipun 2005/29

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11 1. og 2. mgr. 11. gr. tilskipunar 2005/29 segir: 1. Aildarrkin skulu sj til ess a fyrir hendi su fullngjandi og rangursrk rri til a berjast gegn sanngjrnum viskiptahttum me a fyrir augum a tryggja samrmi vi kvi essarar tilskipunar gu neytenda. 2. Samkvmt lagakvum, sem um getur 1. mgr., skulu aildarrki veita dmstlum ea stjrnvldum heimild er geri eim kleift, telji au slkar rstafanir nausynlegar me tilliti til hagsmuna allra hlutaeigandi, einkum hagsmuna almennings: a) a fyrirskipa a htt veri vi ea hafinn vieigandi mlarekstur til a stva sanngjarna viskiptahtti, ea b) hafi sanngjarnir viskiptahttir ekki enn veri stundair en eru yfirvofandi, a fyrirskipa bann vi ea hefja vieigandi mlarekstur til a banna slka viskiptahtti, einnig tt ekki su sannanir fyrir v a raunverulegt tap ea skai hafi hlotist af setningi ea vanrkslu af hlfu sluailans. Aildarrkin skulu einnig setja kvi um a rstafanir, sem um getur fyrstu undirgrein, sem skulu gerar fltimefer: hafi anna hvort hrif til brabirga ea, ea endanleg hrif, samkvmt eim skilningi a hvert aildarrki fyrir sig skuli kvea hvorn kostinn skuli velja. Regluger nr. 1896/2006 12 10. forsendu inngangsorum reglugerar nr. 1896/2006 segir: Ferli sem komi er me essari regluger skal vera frekara og valfrjlst rri fyrir lnardrottna, sem er eftir sem ur frjlst a grpa til eirra rra sem kvei er um landslgum. Samkvmt v kemur essi regluger hvorki stainn fyrir n samhfir nverandi kerfi fyrir endurheimt umdeildra krafna samkvmt landslgum. 13 1. gr. reglugerar nr. 1896/2006 segir: 1. Tilgangur essarar reglugerar er: a) a einfalda, flta fyrir og draga r kostnai vi mlarekstur mlum sem n yfir landamri varandi umdeildar fjrkrfur me v a koma evrpsku ferli fyrir greislufyrirmli; og b) a leyfa frjlsa dreifingu evrpskra greislufyrirmla llum aildarrkjunum me v a mla fyrir um lgmarkskrfur sem, ef eftir eim er fari, gera rf ll millistigsdmsml framfylgdaraildarrkinu til ess a viurkenning og framfylgd geti tt sr sta.

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2. Regluger essi skal ekki koma veg fyrir a lnardrottinn skist eftir greislu krfu skilningi 4. gr. me v a nota anna ferli sem kostur er samkvmt lgum aildarrkis ea bandalagsins. Tilskipun 2008/48 14 1. gr. tilskipunar 2008/48 segir: Markmii me essari tilskipun er a samrma tiltekna tti laga og stjrnsslufyrirmla aildarrkjanna sem vara samninga um ln til neytenda. 15 1. mgr. 5. gr. eirrar tilskipunar segir: Lnveitandi og, ef vi , lnamilari skal, ngilega lngu ur en neytandinn er bundinn af lnssamningi ea tilboi, grundvelli lnsskilmla og skilyra lnveitandans og, ef vi , srstakra ska og upplsinga fr neytandanum, veita neytandanum nausynlegar upplsingarnar til a geta bori saman lk tilbo og teki upplsta kvrum um a hvort gera skuli lnssamning. vikomandi upplsingum skal eftirfarandi koma fram: l) gildandi vextir egar um er a ra greislu eftir gjalddaga og fyrirkomulag breytingu eim og, ef vi , kostnaur sem greia arf vegna vanskila, m) vivrun varandi afleiingar af vangoldnum greislum, 16 2. mgr. 10. gr. tilskipunar 2008/48 segir: lnssamningnum skal koma fram skran og hnitmiaan htt: l) gildandi vextir egar um er a ra greislu eftir gjalddaga sem gilda eim tma egar lnssamningurinn er gerur og fyrirkomulag vi breytingu eim og, ef vi , kostnaur sem greia arf vegna vanskila, ... Tilskipun 2009/22 17 1. mgr. 1. gr. tilskipunar 2009/22 segir: Tilgangurinn me essari tilskipun er a samrma lg og stjrnsslufyrirmli aildarrkjanna er vara lgbannsagerir sem um getur 2. gr. og mia a verndun sameiginlegra hagsmuna eirra neytenda sem fjalla er um eim tilskipunum sem skrar eru I. viauka, me a fyrir augum a tryggja snurulausa starfsemi innri markaarins. 18 .2. gr. eirrar tilskipunar segir:

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1. Aildarrkin skulu tilnefna dmstla og yfirvld svii stjrnsslu sem eru til ess br a rskura um dmsml, sem stofna er til af viurkenndum ailum skilningi 3. gr., og leita eftir: a) skjtum rskuri, me einfaldari mlsmefer ef a vi, ar sem krafist er stvunar ea banns vi hvers konar broti, 2. Tilskipun essi skal ekki hafa hrif reglur aljlegs einkamlarttar, me tilliti til gildandi laga, sem eru a llu jfnu anna hvort lg ess aildarrkis ar sem broti sr sta ea lg ess aildarrkis ar sem broti hefur hrif. Spnsk lg 19 Samkvmt spnskum lgum voru neytendur upphaflega varir gegn sanngjrnum skilmlum me Almennum lgum 26/1984 um vernd neytenda og notenda (Ley General 26/1984 para la Defensa de los Consumidores y Usuarios) fr 19. jl 1984 (BOE nr. 176 fr 24. jl 1984, bls. 21686; Lg 26/1984). 20 Lgum 26/1984 var san breytt me lgum 7/1998 um almenna samningsskilmla (Ley 7/1998 sobre Condiciones Generales de la Contratacin) fr 13. aprl 1998 (BOE nr. 89 fr 14. aprl 1998, bls. 12304), sem leiddi tilskipun 93/13 spnsk landslg. 21 Loks innleiddi konunglegur lagarskurur 1/2007, sem samykkti samsteypta tgfu Almennu laganna til verndar neytendum og notendum og annarra vibtarlaga (Real Decreto Legislativo 1/2007 por el que se aprueba el texto refundido de la Ley General para la Defensa de los Consumidores y Usuarios y otras leyes complementarias) fr 16. nvember 2007 (BOE nr. 287 fr 30. nvember 2007, bls. 49181; Lagarskurur 1/2007), samsteypta tgfu laga 26/1984, me sari breytingum. 22 83. gr. lagarskurar 1/2007 segir: 1. sanngjarnir samningsskilmlar skulu sjlfkrafa teljast gildir og ekki hafa veri hluti af samningnum. 2. eim hluta samnings sem hefur veri talinn gildur skal breytt samrmi vi kvi 1258. gr. einkamlalaga og meginregluna um ga tr. v skyni skal dmstllinn sem rskurar a vikomandi skilmlar su gildir breyta samningnum og skal njta valdheimilda til mildunar varandi rttindi og skyldur aila, ef samningurinn gildir fram, og varandi afleiingar af v a rskura hann gildan tilviki verulegs taps ea tjns fyrir neytandann ea notandann. Aeins ef eir samningsskilmlar sem eftir eru leia til jafnvgis stu aila sem ekki er hgt a ra bt getur dmstllinn rskura samninginn gildan. 23 1258. gr. spnska einkamlarttarins segir: Samningar eru gerir me einfldu samykki og eru fr eim tmapunkti bindandi, ekki aeins a v er varar framkvmd eirra atria sem gagngert er sami um, heldur einnig allar afleiingar sem, eli snu samkvmt, eru samrmi vi ga tr, venju og lg. 24 Hva varar ferli fyrir greislufyrirmli eru 1. mgr. 812. gr. laga um mefer einkamla (Ley de Enjuiciamiento Civil), eftir v sem vi eim degi sem ferli sem gaf tilefni til aalmlflutnings var hafi, tilgreind skilyri fyrir beitingu ess ferlis me eftirfarandi oralagi:

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Hver s sem krefur annan um greislu tistandandi og gjaldfallinnar fjrskuldar a ekki hrri fjrh en sem nemur 30.000 evrum m nota ferli fyrir greislufyrirmli, ar sem snt er fram upph skuldarinnar me eftirfarandi ferli: 1) anna hvort me v a leggja fram skjl, af hvaa tegund ea hvaa formi ea mili sem er, undirritu af skuldara ea me stimpli hans, merki ea vrumerki ea ru tkni, efnisbundnu ea rafrnu, sem er upprunni hj skuldara; 2) ea me v a leggja fram reikninga, afhendingarsela, vottor, smskeyti, smbrf ea nnur skjl sem eru, jafnvel tt lnveitandi hafi bi au til einhlia, venjulega notu til a skjalfesta inneignir og skuldir sambndum eins og eim sem gildi eru milli lnardrottins og skuldara. 25 1. mgr. 815. gr. laga um mefer einkamla, sem ber yfirskriftina Leyfanleiki umsknar og greislufyrirmla, segir: Ef ggnin sem fylgja umskninni eru innifalin eim sem lst er 2. mgr. 812. gr. ea jafngilda snnun rtti umskjandans, sem efni umsknarinnar stafestir, skal dmritari fyrirskipa skuldara a greia umskjanda innan 20 daga frests og fra snnur greisluna fyrir dmstl ea gerardmi, ea a koma fyrir hann og rekja stuttu mli, tilviki andmla, stur ess a hann telur sig ekki vera byrgan fyrir allri fjrhinni sem krafist er ea hluta hennar. 26 1. mgr. 818. gr. laga um mefer einkamla, segir varandi andmli skuldarans: Ef skuldari leggur fram andmli tmanlega, skal kvea upp endanlegan rskur deilumlinu eftir a vieigandi ferli hefur veri fylgt, en eftir a verur dmurinn endanlegur. Deilumli aalmlsmeferinni og spurningarnar sem vsa var til forrskurar 27 ann 28. ma 2007 geri Caldern Camino lnssamning a upph 30.000 evrur vi Banesto (umdeildi samningurinn) til ess a kaupa bifrei sem var tla a uppfylla arfir heimilisins. Nafnvextir voru 7,950%, rleg hlutfallstala kostnaar 8,890% og drttarvextir 29%. 28 umdeildi samningurinn hafi tt a gilda til 5. jn 2014 leit Banesto svo a hann hefi runni t fyrr eirri forsendu a september 2008 hafi 7 mnaarlegar afborganir ekki enn veri greiddar. v lagi hann ann 8. janar 2009 fyrir Juzgado de Primera Instancia No 2 de Sabadell (dmstl fyrsta dmstigs, nr. 2, Sabadell), samrmi vi spnsk lg, fram umskn um fyrirmli um greislu 29.381,95 evra, sem svarai til hinna greiddu mnaarlegu afborgana auk samningsbundinna vaxta og kostnaar. 29 ann 21. janar 2010 kva Juzgado de Primera Instancia No 2 de Sabadell upp rskur ar sem fram kom a hann teldi, fyrsta lagi, a umdeildi samningurinn hefi veri fyrirfram mtaur staalsamningur sem hefi veri gerur n nokkurs raunverulegs mguleika samningavirum og lagt almenn skilyri og, ru lagi, a 29% drttarvextirnir hefu veri fyrirfram kvenir vlrituum skilmla sem var agreinanlegur fr textanum a ru leyti hva varar leturger, leturstr ea srstakt samykki neytandans. 30 Vi essar astur, og m.a. me hlisjn af Euribor (Euro millibankavxtum) og vxtum Selabanka Evrpu, og af v a drttarvextir samningnum voru meira en 20 stigum hrri en nafnvextir, komst Juzgado de Primera Instancia No 2 de Sabadell a eirri niurstu a eigin frumkvi a kvi um drttarvexti vri sjlfkrafa gilt eirri forsendu a a vri sanngjarnt, me tilvsun til viurkenndrar dmaframkvmdar Dmstlsins v efni. Hann kva einnig a eir vextir skyldu vera 19% me vsan lgbundi vaxta- og drttarvaxtastig fjrlgum fr 1990 til 2008 og fyrirskipai Banesto a endurreikna vaxtafjrhina fyrir tmabili sem um rddi deilumlinu fyrir honum.

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31 Banesto frjai eim rskuri til Audiencia Provincial de Barcelona (hrasdms Barcelona) me eim rkum, aalatrium, a Juzgado de Primera Instancia No 2 de Sabadell hefi ekki geta, v stigi mlsmeferar, rskura a eigin frumkvi a samningsskilmlinn um drttarvexti, sem hann taldi sanngjarnan, vri gildur ea breytt honum. 32 rskuri snum komst Audiencia Provincial de Barcelona a eirri niurstu, fyrsta lagi, a spnsk lg um vernd hagsmuna neytenda og notenda veiti ekki dmstlum sem umskn um greislufyrirmli hefur veri lg fyrir, vald til a rskura, a eirra eigin frumkvi og vi upphaf mlsmeferar, a sanngjarnir samningsskilmlar su gildir ar e mat lgmti slkra skilmla falli undir mlsmefer samkvmt almennum landslgum, sem er aeins hafin ef skuldari leggur fram andmli. 33 Hva varar, ru lagi, lg ESB, taldi s dmstll a dmaframkvmd Dmstlsins hafi, vissulega, tlka 1. mgr. 6. gr. tilskipunar 93/13 annig a hn i a innlendum dmstlum beri a taka til skounar, a eigin frumkvi, hvort sanngjarn skilmli s gildur og/ea eigi ekki vi, jafnvel ar sem enginn aila samningsins hefur lagt fram beini ess efnis. 34 A sgn dmstlsins sem lagi spurningarnar fram kemur regluger nr. 1896/2006, sem srstaklega kveur um greislufyrirmli vettvangi Evrpusambandsins, hins vegar ekki ferli fyrir skoun dmstls, a eigin frumkvi og vi upphaf mlsmeferar, sanngjrnum skilmlum, heldur eru aeins henni taldar upp r krfur og upplsingar sem skylt er a veita neytendum. 35 Smuleiis kveur hvorki tilskipun 2008/48 um neytendalnasamninga n tilskipun 2009/22 um lgbann gegn brotum sem skaa hagsmuni neytenda, um mlsmeferarkerfi sem fela sr a innlendir dmstlar rskuri, a eigin frumkvi, a skilmli eins og s umdeilda samningnum s gildur. 36 A lokum, jafnvel tt s venja a setja inn samning milli seljanda ea veitanda og neytanda kvi um drttarvexti s talin sanngjrn skilningi tilskipunar 2005/29, ar e lg 29/2009 um breytingu lagareglum um sanngjarna samkeppni og auglsingar v skyni a auka vernd neytenda og notenda (Ley 29/2009 por la que se modifica el rgimen legal de la competencia desleal y de la publicidad para la mejora de la proteccin de los consumidores y usuarios) fr 30. desember 2009 (BOE nr. 315, 31. desember 2009, bls. 112039) leiddu ekki 2. mgr. 11. gr. eirrar tilskipunar spnsk lg, hafa innlendir dmstlar ekki neinu tilviki vald til a skoa a eigin frumkvi hvort s venja s sanngjrn. 37 a er vi essar astur sem Audiencia Provincial de Barcelona, vegna efasemda um rtta tlkun laga Evrpusambandsins, kva a fresta mlarekstrinum og vsa til Dmstlsins eftirfarandi spurningum til forrskurar: 1) Brtur a bga vi lg [Evrpusambandsins], sr lagi lg um neytendur og notendur, a innlendur dmstll forist a kvea upp rskur a eigin frumkvi og vi upphaf mlsmeferar ea hvaa stigi mlarekstursins sem er um hvort skilmli um drttarvexti ( essu tilviki 29%) neytendalnssamningi s gildur og um hvort breyta tti eim skilmla? M dmstllinn, n ess a skera rttindi neytandans samkvmt lgum [Evrpusambandsins], kvea a lta mat slkum skilmla vera h frumkvi skuldarans (me vieigandi rttarfarslegum andmlum)?

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2) ljsi 1. mgr. 6. gr. tilskipunar [93/13] og 2. gr. tilskipunar [2009/22], hver er rtt tlkun 83. gr. [lagarskurar 1/2007] ... essu tilliti? Hvert er gildissvi, v sambandi, 1. mgr. 6. gr. tilskipunar [93/13] ar sem hn kveur um a sanngjarnir samningsskilmlar skuli ekki vera bindandi fyrir neytandann? 3) Er hgt a tiloka a dmstll taki ml til skounar a eigin frumkvi og vi upphaf mlsmeferar ar sem umskjandi tilgreinir skrt umskn sinni drttarvexti, fjrh krfu, .m.t. hfustl og vexti, samningsbundin viurlg og kostna, vexti og tmabili sem eirra vaxta er krafist fyrir (ea yfirlsingu um a lgbundnum vxtum s sjlfkrafa btt vi hfustlinn samkvmt lgum upprunaaildarrkisins), stu mlsins, .m.t. lsingu mlsatvikum sem byggt er sem grundvelli krfunnar og vxtunum sem krafist er, og skrt er tilgreint hvort um er a ra lgbundna ea samningsbundna vexti, eignfrslu vaxta ea vaxtastigs lnsins, hvort umskjandinn hefur reikna a og fjlda prsentustiga yfir grunnvxtum Selabankans, eins og vi um [regluger nr. 1896/2006] um evrpska ferli fyrir greislufyrirmli? 4) Leggja l- og m-liir 1. mgr. 5. gr. og i-liur 1. mgr. 6. gr. tilskipunar [2008/48], ar sem vsa er til fyrirkomulags vi breytingu eim, og l-liur 2. mgr. 10. gr., ar sem vsa er til fyrirkomulags vi breytingu eim, skyldu herar fjrmlafyrirtkjum, n innleiingar innlend lg, a au innifeli og aukenni samningum (ekki meginmli agreinanlegan htt), sem upplsingar sem veittar eru ur en samningur er gerur, upplsingar um vaxtastigi sem gildir tilviki greisludrttar, ef til vanskila kemur, settar fram skrt og berandi sta, og tti sem teki er tillit til egar a er kvara (fjrmagnsgjld, innheimtukostnaur o.s.frv.) og setji fram vivrun um afleiingarnar sem tengjast essum kostnaarttum? 5) Felur 2. mgr. 6. gr. tilskipunar [2008/48] sr krfu um a tilkynna beri um riftun lnssamnings fyrir lok gildistma hans sem leiir til lagningar drttarvaxta? meginreglan um bann vi rttmtri augun, sem er a finna 7. gr. tilskipunar [2008/48], vi tilvikum ar sem lnastofnunin leitar ekki aeins eftir endurheimt vrunnar (hfustls lns), heldur einnig eftir v a beitt s srstaklega hum drttarvxtum? 6) Getur dmstllinn komist a eirri niurstu a eigin frumkvi a a s sanngjrn venja a innifela samningi skilmla um drttarvexti n lgleiingarkvis og me hlisjn af 2. mgr. 11. gr. tilskipunar [2005/29]? Spurningarnar sem vsa var til forrskurar Fyrsta spurningin 38 Me fyrstu spurningu sinni er dmstllinn sem lagi hana fram raun a spyrja hvort tlka beri tilskipun 93/13 annig a hn tiloki lggjf hj aildarrki, eins og sem um rir aalmlsmeferinni, sem meinar dmstl, sem umskn um greislufyrirmli hefur veri lg fyrir, a meta a eigin frumkvi, vi upphaf mlsmeferar ea einhverju ru stigi mlarekstrarins, hvort skilmli um drttarvexti samningi milli seljanda ea veitanda og neytanda s sanngjarn, v tilviki ar sem neytandinn hefur ekki lagt fram andmli. 39 Til a svara eirri spurningu er rtt a hafa huga, fyrsta lagi, a verndarkerfi sem tilskipun 93/13 kynnti til sgunnar byggist eirri hugmynd a neytandinn s veikri stu gagnvart seljanda ea veitanda a v er varar bi samningsstyrk hans og ekkingarstig. etta leiir til ess a neytandinn samykkir skilmla sem seljandi ea veitandi hefur sami fyrirfram n ess a geta haft hrif efni eirra (sameinu ml C240/98 C244/98 Ocano Grupo Editorial og Salvat Editores [2000] ECR I-4941, 25. mgr.; ml C-168/05 Mostaza Claro [2006] ECR I-10421, 25. mgr.; og ml C-40/08 Asturcom Telecomunicaciones [2009] ECR I-9579, 29. mgr.).

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40 Hva snertir veikari stu kveur 1. mgr. 6. gr. tilskipunar [93/13] um a sanngjarnir skilmlar su ekki bindandi fyrir neytandann. Eins og ljst er af dmaframkvmd er etta frvkjanlegt kvi sem miar a v a skipta hinu formlega jafnvgi sem samningurinn kemur milli rttinda og skyldna samningsaila t fyrir skilvirkt jafnvgi sem kemur aftur jafnri milli eirra (sj Mostaza Claro, 36. mgr.; Asturcom Telecomunicaciones, 30. mgr.; ml C137/08 VB Pnzgyi lizing [2010] ECR I-0000, 47. mgr.; og C-453/10 Pereniov and Pereni [2012] ECR I-0000, 28. mgr.). 41 v skyni a tryggja vernd sem tilskipun 93/13 miar a hefur Dmstllinn egar bent nokkrum sinnum a jafnvgi sem rkir milli neytenda og seljanda ea veitanda veri aeins leirtt me jkvri ager sem er tengd raunverulegum ailum samningsins (sj Ocano Grupo Editorial og Salvat Editores, 27. mgr.; Mostaza Claro, 26. mgr.; Asturcom Telecomunicaciones, 31. mgr.; og VB Pnzgyi Lzing, 48. mgr.). 42 a er ljsi essara meginreglna sem Dmstllinn hefur komist a eirri niurstu a innlendum dmstl beri a meta a eigin frumkvi hvort samningsskilmli sem fellur undir gildissvi tilskipunar 93/13 s sanngjarn og bta annig upp a jafnvgi sem rkir milli neytanda og seljanda ea veitanda (sj, v sambandi, Mostaza Claro, 38. mgr.; ml C-243/08 Pannon GSM [2009] ECR I-4713, 31. mgr.; Asturcom Telecomunicaciones, 32. mgr.; og VB Pnzgyi Lzing, 49. mgr.). 43 ar af leiandi takmarkast hlutverk innlendra dmstla samkvmt lgum Evrpusambandsins essu svii ekki aeins vi vald til a skera r um hugsanlega sanngirni samningsskilmla, heldur felur a einnig sr skyldu til a kanna etta atrii a eigin frumkvi, egar eir hafa upplsingar um lagalegu tti og mlavexti sem a verkefni theimtir (sj Pannon GSM, 32. mgr.). 44 essu sambandi rskurai Dmstllinn, tengslum vi ml milli aila fyrir innlendum dmstl sem hafi veri hfa kjlfar andmla sem neytandi lagi fram gegn greislufyrirmlum, a eim innlenda dmstl bri a rannsaka a eigin frumkvi hvort skilmli sem veitir einkartt a landfrilegri lgsgu samningi milli seljanda ea veitanda og neytanda flli undir gildissvi tilskipunar 93/13 og, ef hann geri a, a meta a eigin frumkvi hvort slkur skilmli vri sanngjarn (VB Pnzgyi Lzing, 56. mgr.). 45 Hins vegar er etta ml lkt eim mlum sem lauk me ofangreindum dmum Pannon GSM og VB Pnzgyi Lzing a v leyti a a varar skilgreiningu skyldna innlends dmstls samkvmt kvum tilskipunar 93/13, samhengi ferlisins fyrir greislufyrirmli, ur en neytandinn hefur lagt fram andmli. 46 essu sambandi, mean innlendar aferir vi innheimtu umdeildra krafna hafa ekki veri samrmdar, eru reglur sem gilda um framkvmd innlendra ferla fyrir greislufyrirmli vifangsefni innlendrar lggjafar, samrmi vi meginregluna um mlsmeferarsjlfsti aildarrkjanna, a v tilskildu a r su ekki hagstari en r sem gilda um samsvarandi innlendar agerir (meginreglan um jafngildi) og gera a ekki reynd kleift ea hflega erfitt a beita eim rttindum sem lg Evrpusambandsins fra neytendum (meginreglan um skilvirkni) (sj v efni Mostaza Claro, 24. mgr., og Asturcom Telecomunicaciones, 38. mgr.). 47 Varandi meginregluna um jafngildi verur a gta ess a ekki liggi fyrir Dmstlnum ggn sem gtu valdi efasemdum um a lgin sem eru til umfjllunar vi aalmlsmeferina samrmist eirri meginreglu.

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48 Augljst er t fr ggnum mlsins a spnsk lg heimila hvorki innlendum dmstl sem umskn um greislufyrirmli hefur veri lg fyrir a meta a eigin frumkvi, vi upphaf mls ea einhverju ru stigi mlsmeferar, hvort skilmli samningi milli seljanda ea veitanda og neytanda s sanngjarn ljsi 6. gr. tilskipunar 93/13 ef s neytandi hefur ekki lagt fram andmli, n hvort slkur skilmli stangist vi innlendar reglur me tilliti til allsherjarreglu. Engu a sur er a hlutverk innlendra dmstla a kanna hvort svo s. 49 A v er varar meginregluna um skilvirkni, er a viurkennd dmaframkvmd Dmstlsins a greina beri hvert ml ar sem spurningin vaknar um hvort landsbundi mlsmeferarkvi geri beitingu laga Evrpusambandsins kleifa ea hflega erfia me vsan til hlutverks ess kvis ferlinu, framvindu ess og srkenna, skoa heild, fyrir hinum msu innlendu ailum (sj Asturcom Telecomunicaciones, 39. mgr., og dmaframkvmdina sem vitna er til). 50 essu mli er ljst af ggnunum sem lg voru fyrir Dmstlinn a samkvmt 812. gr. spnsku laganna um mefer einkamla eiga ferli fyrir greislufyrirmli vi um tistandandi, auseljanlegar og gjaldfallnar fjrskuldir a tiltekinni hmarksfjrh, sem var 30.000 evrur eim tma sem hr um rir. 51 v skyni a tryggja a lnardrottnar hafi greiari agang a rttarkerfinu og a ferlinu s hraa, kveur s grein aeins um a lnardrottnar veri a lta fylgja me umskn sinni skjl sem sanna a skuldin s til, n ess a skylda til a taka skrt fram drttarvexti, nkvmt tmabil sem skuldin ber a greiast yfir ea vimiunarpunkt eirra vaxta me tilliti til lgbundinna vaxta samkvmt landslgum ea vaxta Selabanka Evrpu. 52 v hefur, skv. 1. mgr. 815. gr. og 1. mgr. 818. gr. laganna um mefer einkamla, innlendur dmstll, sem umskn um greislufyrirmli hefur veri lg fyrir, aeins heimild til a athuga hvort formskilyri fyrir hfun mlsins su fyrir hendi, og ef svo er verur hann a heimila a umsknin s lg fyrir hann og gefa t framfylgjanleg fyrirmli, n ess a geta kanna, vi upphaf mls ea einhverju ru stigi mlsmeferarinnar, rkin fyrir umskninni ljsi eirra upplsinga sem liggja fyrir honum, nema skuldarinn neiti a greia skuld sna ea leggi fram andmli innan 20 daga fr eim degi sem tilkynnt var um fyrirmlin um a greia. eim andmlum skal hreyft me asto lgmanns hva snertir ml sem eru yfir v marki sem kvei er um lgum, sem var 900 evrur eim tma sem mlsatvikin, sem um var a ra aalmlsmeferinni, ttu sr sta. 53 v sambandi ber a taka fram a slkt fyrirkomulag mlsmeferar, sem kemur alfari veg fyrir a dmstll sem umskn um greislufyrirmli hefur veri lg fyrir meti a eigin frumkvi, vi upphaf mls ea einhverju ru stigi mlsmeferar, jafnvel tt fyrir honum liggi allar upplsingar um lagalega tti og mlsatvik sem a verkefni theimtir, hvort skilmlar samningi milli seljanda ea veitanda og neytanda su sanngjarnir ef s neytandi hefur ekki lagt fram andmli, er lklegt til a grafa undan hrifum eirrar verndar sem tilskipun 93/13 miar a (sj, v efni, ml C-473/00 Cofidis [2002] ECR I-10875, 35. mgr.). 54 Me hlisjn af ferlinu fyrir greislufyrirmli sem lst er 50.-52. mgr. essa dms, framvindu ess og srkenna, skouu heild, er veruleg htta a hlutaeigandi neytendur leggi ekki fram au andmli sem krafist er, anna hvort vegna ess srlega stutta frests sem til ess er veittur, ea vegna ess a eir gtu tali rlegt a verja sig ljsi ess kostnaar sem mlarekstur hefi fr me sr hlutfalli vi upph hinnar umdeildu skuldar, ea vegna ess a eim er kunnugt um rttindi sn ea gera sr ekki grein fyrir umfangi eirra, ea hreinlega vegna ess hversu efni umsknar um greislufyrirmli sem seljendur ea veitendur leggja fram er takmarka, og ar me upplsingarnar sem eir hafa agang a.

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55 annig ngir a seljendum ea veitendum a setja af sta ferli fyrir greislufyrirmli sta ess a hfa venjulegt einkaml til a svipta neytendur verndinni sem tilskipun 93/13 miar a. etta fer einnig bga vi dmaframkvmd Dmstlsins, en samkvmt henni geta srtk einkenni mlarekstrar fyrir dmstli sem fer fram samkvmt landslgum milli seljenda ea veitenda og neytenda ekki haft hrif rttarvernd sem neytendum ber samkvmt kvum eirrar tilskipunar (Pannon GSM, 34. mgr.). 56 eim tilvikum verur a telja a spnsku lgin sem um rir aalmlsmeferinni virist ekki samrmast meginreglunni um skilvirkni, a svo miklu leyti sem au gera kleift ea hflega erfitt, mlarekstri a frumkvi seljenda ea veitenda ar sem neytendur eru varnarailar, a beita eirri vernd sem tilskipun 93/13 leitast vi a fra essum neytendum. 57 grundvelli essarar sjnarmia er svari vi fyrstu spurningunni a a tlka beri tilskipun 93/13 annig a hn tiloki lagasetningu hj aildarrki, eins og sem um rir aalmlsmeferinni, sem meinar dmstl, sem umskn um greislufyrirmli hefur veri lg fyrir, a meta a eigin frumkvi, vi upphaf mls ea einhverju ru stigi mlarekstrarins, jafnvel tt egar liggi fyrir honum upplsingar um lagalegu tti og mlsatvik sem a verkefni theimtir, hvort skilmli um drttarvexti samningi milli seljanda ea veitanda og neytanda s sanngjarn, v tilviki ar sem neytandinn hefur ekki lagt fram andmli. nnur spurning 58 Til a skra lg Evrpusambandsins annig a a komi dmstlnum sem lagi spurninguna fram a gagni (sj v efni ml C-213/07 Michaniki [2008] ECR I-9999, 50. og 51. mgr.) er nausynlegt a tlka ara spurninguna annig a me henni s raun veri a spyrja hvort 2. gr. tilskipunar 2009/22 og 1. mgr. 6. gr. tilskipunar 93/13 komi veg fyrir lagasetningu hj aildarrki, svo sem sem um getur 83. gr. lagarskurar 1/2007, sem heimilar innlendum dmstl, ef hann kemst a eirri niurstu a sanngjarn skilmli samningi milli seljanda ea veitanda og neytanda s gildur, a breyta eim samningi me v a endurskoa efni ess skilmla. 59 Fyrst ber a athuga essu sambandi a deilumli aalmlsmeferinni ltur a ferli fyrir greislufyrirmli sem annar samningsailinn fr fram en ekki lgbanni sem krafist var af hlfu viurkennds aila skilningi 3. gr. tilskipunar 2009/22. 60 ar af leiandi er engin rf a rskura um tlkun 2. gr. sarnefndu tilskipunarinnar ar e hn gildir ekki um deiluml aalmlsmeferinnar. 61 v ljsi, til ess a svara spurningunni sem lg var fram varandi a hvaa lyktanir beri a draga af eirri niurstu a tiltekinn samningsskilmli s sanngjarn, arf a vsa bi til oralags 1. mgr. 6. gr. tilskipunar 93/13 og til markmia og heildartilgangs ess kvis (sj v efni ml C-482/07 AHP Manufacturing [2009] ECR I-7295, 27. mgr., og ml C-125/10 Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. [2011] ECR-I-0000, 29. mgr.). 62 Me hlisjn af oralagi 1. mgr. 6. gr. verur a telja, fyrsta lagi, a fyrsti hluti setningarinnar v kvi, a veiti aildarrkjunum kvei sjlfsti varandi skilgreiningu lagalega fyrirkomulagsins sem gildir um sanngjarna skilmla, skuldbindi au eigi a sur beinlnis til a kvea um a eir skilmlar su ekki ... bindandi fyrir neytandann.

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63 v samhengi hefur Dmstllinn egar haft tkifri til a tlka a kvi annig a a merki a a s verkefni innlendra dmstla, egar eir komast a eirri niurstu a samningsskilmlar su sanngjarnir, a draga allar lyktanir sem af v leia samkvmt landslgum, annig a neytandinn veri ekki bundinn af eim skilmlum (sj Asturcom Telecomunicaciones, 58. mgr.; rskurur mli C-76/10 Pohotovos [2010] ECR I-0000, 62. mgr.; og Pereniov og Pereni, 30. mgr.). Eins og bent var 40. mgr. essa dms er etta frvkjanlegt kvi sem miar a v a skipta hinu formlega jafnvgi sem samningurinn kemur milli rttinda og skyldna samningsaila t fyrir skilvirkt jafnvgi sem kemur aftur jafnri milli eirra. 64 ru lagi mla lg Evrpusambandsins gagngert fyrir um, seinni hluta setningarinnar 1. mgr. 6. gr. tilskipunar 93/13 og 21. forsendu inngangsorum eirrar tilskipunar, a samningur milli seljanda og veitanda bindi samningsaila fram me essum skilmlum ef hann getur gilt fram n hinna sanngjrnu kva. 65 a leiir v af oralagi 1. mgr. 6. gr. a innlendum dmstlum ber aeins a tiloka beitingu sanngjarns samningsskilmla til a hann valdi ekki bindandi hrifum gagnvart neytandanum, en er ekki heimilt a endurskoa efni hans me a fyrir augum a breyta v. Vikomandi samningur verur a gilda fram, grundvallaratrium, n annarrar breytingar en eirrar sem leiir af tfellingu sanngjarnra skilmla, a svo miklu leyti sem slkt framhald hans er lagalega mgulegt samkvmt kvum landslaga. 66 essi tlkun sr enn fremur sto markmii og heildartilgangi tilskipunar 93/13. 67 Samkvmt viurkenndri dmaframkvmd Dmstlsins telst s tilskipun heild sinni rstfun sem er nausynleg til a tryggja framkvmd eirra verkefna sem Evrpusambandinu eru falin og, sr lagi, til a bta lfskjr og lfsgi llum lndum Evrpusambandsins (sj Mostaza Claro, 37. mgr.; Pannon GSM, 26. mgr.; og Asturcom Telecomunicaciones, 51. mgr.). 68 v skuldbindur tilskipun 93/13 aildarrkin, me hlisjn af eli og ingu almannahagsmunanna sem mynda grundvll eirrar verndar sem trygg er neytendum sem eru veikri stu gagnvart seljendum ea veitendum, eins og ljst er af 1. mgr. 7. gr. hennar, egar hn er lesin samhengi vi 24. forsendu inngangsorum hennar, til a tryggja a til su fullngjandi og skilvirkar leiir til a hindra framhaldandi notkun sanngjarnra skilmla samningum seljenda ea veitenda vi neytendur. 69 v samhengi er ljst, eins og fram kemur athugasemdum aallgmanns lium 86-88 liti hans, a ef innlendum dmstl vri frjlst a endurskoa efni sanngjarnra skilmla slkum samningum me a fyrir augum a breyta eim, vri slkt vald lklegt til a hindra a langtmamarkmi 7. gr. tilskipunar 93/13 nist. Slkt vald myndi grafa eim letjandi hrifum sem a hefur seljendur ea veitendur a beita einfaldlega ekki slkum sanngjrnum skilmlum gagnvart neytandanum (sj v efni rskurinn Pohotovost', 41. mgr., og dmaframkvmdina sem vitna er til), a svo miklu leyti sem eir seljendur ea veitendur myndu eftir sem ur freistast til a nota skilmla vitandi a jafnvel tt eir vru lstir gildir gti innlendur dmstll engu a sur breytt samningnum, a v marki sem nausynlegt vri, ann htt sem tryggi hagsmuni hlutaeigandi seljenda ea veitenda. 70 samrmi vi a vri slkt vald, vri a veitt innlendum dmstlum, ekki til ess falli a tryggja, t af fyrir sig, skilvirka vernd neytandans eins og sem leiir af v a beita ekki sanngjrnum skilmlum. Ekki vri heldur hgt a byggja slkt vald 8. gr. tilskipunar 93/13, sem gefur aildarrkjum kost a taka upp ea halda , gildissvii eirrar tilskipunar, strangari kvi sem samrmast lgum Evrpusambandsins, a v leyti sem au tryggja aukna neytendavernd (sj ml C-484/08 Caja de Ahorros y Monte de Piedad de Madrid [2010] ECR I-4785, 28. og 29. mgr., og Pereniov og Pereni, 34. mgr.).

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71 Af essu leiir a 1. mgr. 6. gr. tilskipunar 93/13 verur ekki skilin annig a hn heimili innlendum dmstl, ef hann kemst a eirri niurstu a sanngjarn skilmli s til staar samningi milli seljanda ea veitanda og neytanda, a endurskoa efni ess skilmla me a fyrir augum a breyta v sta ess einungis a vkja beitingu hans gagnvart neytandanum til hliar. 72 v sambandi ber dmstlnum sem lagi spurningarnar fram a athuga hverjar innlendu reglurnar sem gilda um deilumli fyrir honum eru og a gera a sem hans valdi stendur, a teknu tilliti til allra innlendra laga og a beittum eim tlkunaraferum sem viurkenndar eru innlendum lgum, til a tryggja a 1. mgr. 6. gr. tilskipunar 93/13 s a fullu virk og n fram niurstu samrmi vi markmii sem stefnt er a me henni (sj v efni ml C-282/10 Dominguez [2012] ECR I-0000, 27. mgr. og dmaframkvmdina sem vitna er til). 73 ljsi framangreinds er svari vi annarri spurningunni a a tlka beri 1. mgr. 6. gr. tilskipunar 93/13 annig a hn tiloki lagasetningu hj aildarrki, bor vi 83. gr. lagarskurar 1/2007, sem heimilar innlendum dmstl, ef hann kemst a eirri niurstu a sanngjarn skilmli samningi milli seljanda ea veitanda og neytanda s gildur, a breyta eim samningi me v a endurskoa efni ess skilmla. rija til sjtta spurning 74 Me riju til sjttu spurningunum spyr dmstllinn sem lagi r fram Dmstlinn raun, fyrsta lagi, um byrg innlendra dmstla skv. regluger nr. 1896/2006 og tilskipun 2005/29 eim tilvikum egar eir endurskoa samningsskilmla um drttarvexti eins og ann sem um rir aalmlsmeferinni og, ru lagi, um skyldur fjrmlafyrirtkja varandi beitingu vaxta lnssamningum sem gilda egar um er a ra greislur eftir gjalddaga, eins og kvei er um l- og m-lium 1. mgr. 5. gr., 6. gr., 7. gr. og l-li 2. mgr. 10. gr. tilskipunar 2008/48. 75 Konungsrki Spnn og framkvmdastjrn Evrpusambandsins halda v fram um a essar spurningar su tkar a svo miklu leyti sem reglur laga Evrpusambandsins sem r vara eiga ekki vi deiluna aalmlsmeferinni og a ar af leiandi geti tlkun essara reglna ekki hjlpa dmstlnum sem lagi spurningarnar fram vi a leysa r eirri deilu. 76 v sambandi er nausynlegt a taka fram upphafi a samkvmt viurkenndri dmaframkvmd, mlarekstri skv. 267. gr. sttmlans um starfshtti Evrpusambandsins, sem byggist skrum askilnai hlutverka innlendra dmstla og Dmstlsins, hefur innlendi dmstllinn einn lgsgu til a kvara og meta mlavexti mlinu sem liggur fyrir honum og tlka og beita landslgum. sama htt ber aeins eim innlenda dmstl sem deilumli hefur veri bori undir og sem axlar byrg rskurinum sem kveinn verur upp, a kvara, ljsi hinna tilteknu kringumstna mlsins, bi rfina fyrir og mikilvgi eirra spurninga sem hann leggur fyrir Dmstlinn. ar af leiandi, ar sem spurningarnar sem lagar voru fram vara tlkun laga Evrpusambandsins, er Dmstlnum a meginreglu til skylt a kvea upp rskur (ml C-145/03 Keller [2005] ECR I-529, 33. mgr., ml C-119/05 Lucchini [2007] ECR I-6199, 43. mgr. og ml C-07/11 Eckelkamp o.fl. [2008] ECR I-6845, 27. og 32. mgr.). 77 annig er Dmstlnum aeins heimilt a hafna v a rskura um spurningu sem innlendur dmstll vsar til forrskurar egar a er alveg augljst a s tlkun laga Evrpusambandsins sem leita er eftir tengist ekki nokkurn htt raunverulegum stareyndum aalmlshfunarinnar ea tilgangi hennar, ef rlausnarefni er tilgtukennt, ea ef ekki liggja fyrir Dmstlnum r upplsingar um mlavexti ea s lagalegi efniviur sem arf til a gefa gagnleg svr vi spurningunum sem lagar eru fyrir hann (sj m.a. sameinu ml C-94/04 og C-202/04 Cipolla o.fl. [2006] ECR I11421, 25. mgr., og sameinu ml C-570/07 og C-571/07 Blanco Prez og Chao Gmez [2010] ECR I-4629, 36. mgr.). 78 Telja verur a etta s einmitt staan hinu fyrirliggjandi mli.

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79 Sr lagi, a v er varar riju spurninguna, skiptir tlkun reglugerar nr. 1896/2006 ekki mli fyrir rskurinn sem dmstlnum, sem lagi hana fram, ber a kvea upp deilumlinu sem fyrir honum liggur. fyrsta lagi, eins og sst af ggnunum sem lg voru fyrir Dmstlinn, falla mlavextir deilumlsins aalmlsmeferinni ekki undir gildissvi eirrar reglugerar, sem, skv. 1. mgr. 1. gr. hennar, snertir aeins ml sem n yfir landamri, .e. eir lta eingngu kvum spnsku laganna um mefer einkamla. ru lagi er mikilvgt a taka fram a s regluger, eins og 10. forsenda inngangsorum hennar gefur skrt til kynna, kemur hvorki stainn fyrir n samhfir nverandi kerfi fyrir endurheimt umdeildra krafna samkvmt landslgum. 80 A v er varar fjru spurninguna er ljst a kvi l- og m-lia 1. mgr. 5. gr., 6. gr. og l-liar 2. mgr. 10. gr. tilskipunar 2008/48, en dmstllinn sem lagi fram spurningarnar fram leitar eftir tlkun eirra, gilda ekki afturvirkt um deilumli aalmlsmeferinni, a svo miklu leyti sem s greiningur varar meintar vanefndir Calderns Camino lnssamningnum sem hann geri 28. ma 2007 vi Banesto. 81 a ngir essu sambandi a hafa huga a samkvmt 27., 29. og 31. gr. tilskipunar 2008/48 tk s tilskipun gildi 11. jn 2008 og aildarrkin voru skuldbundin til a samykkja r rstafanir sem nausynlegar voru til a uppfylla hana fyrir 11. jn 2010, en fll tilskipun 87/102 r gildi. A auki kveur 1. mgr. 30. gr. tilskipunar 2008/48 skrt um a hn gildi ekki um lnasamninga sem hfu egar veri gerir egar innlendu framkvmdarrstafanirnar luust gildi. 82 Hva varar fimmtu spurninguna ar sem spurt er, fyrsta lagi, hvort 2. mgr. 6. gr. tilskipunar 2008/48 leggi skyldu herar lnastofnun a hn urfi a tilkynna um riftun lnssamnings fyrir lok gildistma hans til a geta lagt drttarvexti og, ru lagi, hvort byggja megi meginreglunni um bann vi rttmtri augun sem flgin er 7. gr. eirrar tilskipunar ef vikomandi lnastofnun fer ekki einungis fram endurgreislu hfustls heldur leitar einnig eftir srstaklega hum drttarvxtum, ber a athuga strax upphafi a me eirri spurningu, eins og augljst er af ggnunum sem lg voru fyrir Dmstlinn, tlai dmstllinn sem lagi hana fram raun a vsa til samsvarandi greina tilskipunar 87/102, sem eru einu greinarnar sem falla a efni eirrar spurningar. 83 Hins vegar, jafnvel tt viurkennt s a a s raunverulegt inntak fimmtu spurningarinnar (sj v efni ml C107/98 Teckal [1999] ECR I-8121, 34. og 39. mgr.), arf a taka fram, eins og einnig kemur fram athugasemdum aallgmanns lium 99 og 100 liti hans, a ekkert beininni um forrskur bendir til a deilumli aalmlsmeferinni tengist rlausnarefni sem varar anna hvort skylduna til a tilkynna neytenda fyrirfram um allar breytingar rsvxtum ea endurheimt lnardrottins vrum sem leiir til rttmtrar augunar hins sarnefnda. 84 a er v ljst a fimmta spurningin er tilgtukennd eli snu, ar e tlkun essara kva tilskipunar 87/102 er tengd efni deilumlsins aalmlsmeferinni. 85 Hva varar, a sustu, sjttu spurninguna, ar sem leita er svara vi v hvort, v tilviki ar sem tilskipun 2005/29 hefur ekki veri lgleidd, tlka beri 2. mgr. 11. gr. hennar annig a hn i a innlendur dmstll megi komast a eirri niurstu a eigin frumkvi a a s sanngjarnt a innifela samningi skilmla um drttarvexti, skal lti ngja a taka fram, eins og aallgmaur lt einnig geti li 106 liti snu, a ekkert beininni um forrskur gefur til kynna a Juzgado de Primera Instancia No 2 de Sabadell, eftir a hafa kvei upp rskurinn ar sem umskn um greislufyrirmli var hafna, hafi tali til sanngjarnra viskiptahtta skilningi fyrrnefndrar tilskipunar stareynd a Banesto hafi innifali lnssamningnum sem hann geri vi Caldern Camino skilmla um drttarvexti eins og ann sem til umfjllunar var aalmlsmeferinni. 86 Einnig ber a taka fram a rskuri snum vkkar dmstllinn sem lagi spurningarnar fram t sjnarmi sem tskra spurningu og vsar srstaklega til hugsanlega sanngjarnrar venju bankastofnunarinnar.

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87 ar af leiandi er ljst a tlkun tilskipunar 2005/29 er fullkomlega tilgtukennd ljsi efnis deilumlsins aalmlsmeferinni. v samhengi skiptir s stareynd a tilskipunin hefur ekki veri lgleidd heldur ekki mli fyrir rlausn eirrar deilu. 88 ljsi framangreinds verur v a lsa riju til sjttu spurningarnar, sem dmstllinn sem lagi fram, tkar. Kostnaur 89 ar sem essi mlarekstur er, fyrir aila aalmlsmeferarinnar, liur mlinu sem bur meferar innlends dmstls, tekur s dmstll kvrun um kostna. Kostnaur sem falli hefur til vegna framlagningar athugasemda til Dmstlsins, annar en kostnaur eirra aila, er ekki endurheimtanlegur. eim grundvelli kveur Dmstllinn (Fyrsta deild) hr me upp eftirfarandi rskur: 1. Tilskipun rsins 93/13/EBE fr 5. aprl 1993 um sanngjarna skilmla neytendasamningum ber a tlka annig a hn tiloki lagasetningu hj aildarrki, eins og sem um rir aalmlsmeferinni, sem meinar dmstl, sem umskn um greislufyrirmli hefur veri lg fyrir, a meta a eigin frumkvi, vi upphaf mls ea einhverju ru stigi mlarekstrarins, jafnvel tt egar liggi fyrir honum upplsingar um lagalegu tti og mlsatvik sem a verkefni theimtir, hvort skilmli um drttarvexti samningi milli seljanda ea veitanda og neytanda s sanngjarn, v tilviki ar sem neytandinn hefur ekki lagt fram andmli. 2. Tlka ber 1. mgr. 6. gr. tilskipunar 93/13 annig a hn tiloki lagasetningu aildarrkis, bor vi 83. gr. konunglegs lagarskurar 1/2007 ar sem samykkt er samsteypt tgfa Almennra laga um vernd neytenda og notenda og annarra vibtarlaga (Real Decreto Legislativo 1/2007 por el que se aprueba el texto refundido de la Ley General para la Defensa de los Consumidores y Usuarios y otras leyes complementarias) fr 16. nvember 2007, sem heimilar innlendum dmstl, ef hann kemst a eirri niurstu a sanngjarn skilmli samningi milli seljanda ea veitanda og neytanda s gildur, a breyta eim samningi me v a endurskoa efni skilmlans. [Undirskriftir]
(*) Tunguml mlsins: Spnska.

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Court of Justice of the European Union PRESS RELEASE No 77/12


Luxembourg, 14 June 2012

Press and Information

Judgment in Case C-618/10 Banco Espaol de Crdito SA v Joaqun Caldern Camino

A national court cannot revise the content of an unfair term in a contract concluded between a seller or supplier and a consumer
Where it finds that a term is unfair, the national court is required solely to set that term aside In Spain, an application may be made to a court for an order for payment of an outstanding and payable pecuniary debt, not exceeding 30 000, where proper evidence as to the amount of that debt is provided. In the case where such an application is brought in accordance with those requirements, the debtor must pay his or her debt or may object to that payment within a period of 20 days, in which case a decision on the matter is taken within the framework of ordinary civil proceedings. Spanish legislation does not, however, authorise the courts before which an application for an order for payment had been brought to hold, of their own motion, that unfair terms contained in a contract concluded between a seller or supplier and a consumer are void. Thus, an examination to determine whether the terms in such a contract are unfair is permissible only in the case where the consumer objects to payment. Furthermore, where a Spanish court is authorised to find that an unfair term included in a consumer contract is void, the national legislation allows it to modify the contract by revising the content of that term in such a way as to remove its unfair aspects. In May 2007, Mr Caldern Camino entered into a loan agreement for the sum of 30 000 with the Spanish bank Banesto for the purchase of a car. The nominal interest rate was fixed at 7.950%, the APR (Annual Percentage Rate of Charge) at 8.890% and the rate of interest on late payments at 29%. Although the term of the agreement was fixed at 5 June 2014, Banesto took the view that it had expired before that date because, in September 2008, reimbursement of 7 monthly repayments had not yet been made. Thus, on 8 January 2009, the bank submitted before the Juzgado de Primera Instancia No 2 de Sabadell (Spain) an application for an order for payment in the amount of 29 381.95, corresponding to the unpaid monthly repayments plus the interest agreed upon by the parties and costs. That court issued an order in which it held, of its own motion, that the term relating to interest for late payment was void on the ground that it was unfair. It also reduced the rate of interest for late payment from 29% to 19% and ordered Banesto to recalculate the amount of interest. The Audiencia Provincial de Barcelona (Spain), before which the appeal against that order has been brought, asks the Court of Justice, first, whether the Directive on unfair terms1 precludes legislation of a Member State, such as that at issue in the main proceedings, which does not allow the court before which an application for order for payment has been brought to assess, of its own motion, whether a term included in a consumer contract is unfair. Secondly, the Spanish court seeks to ascertain whether the Spanish legislation allowing courts not only to set aside but also to revise the content of unfair terms is compatible with that directive.

Council Directive 93/13/EEC of 5 April 1993 on unfair terms in consumer contracts (OJ 1993 L 95, p. 29).

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In its judgment delivered today, first, the Court holds that the national court is required to assess, of its own motion, whether a contractual term in a consumer contract is unfair, where it has available to it the legal and factual elements necessary for that task. The Court notes that the Spanish legislation does not allow a court before which an application for an order for payment has been brought to assess of its own motion even though it already has all the legal and factual elements necessary for that task available to it whether terms contained in a contract concluded between a seller or supplier and a consumer are unfair. In those circumstances, the Court takes the view that such a procedural arrangement is liable to undermine the effectiveness of the protection which the Directive on unfair terms intended to confer on consumers. In the light of the order for payment procedure, its progress and its special features, viewed as a whole, there is a significant risk that the consumers concerned will not lodge the objection required for a finding that an unfair term is void. Certain factors are liable to discourage consumers from submitting an objection (the particularly short period provided for such an objection, the costs which legal proceedings would entail and the amount of such costs in relation to the amount of the disputed debt, lack of knowledge of their rights, the incomplete nature of the information available to them on account of the limited content of the application for the order for payment submitted by the sellers or suppliers). Thus, in order to deprive consumers of the protection intended by the Directive, it is sufficient for sellers or suppliers to initiate an order for payment procedure instead of an ordinary civil procedure. In those circumstances, the Court concludes that the Spanish procedural legislation is not compatible with the Directive in so far as it makes impossible or excessively difficult, in proceedings initiated by sellers or suppliers against consumers, the application of the protection which the Directive intends to confer on those consumers. Following that clarification, the Court points out, second, that, according to the Directive, an unfair term included in a contract concluded between a seller or supplier and a consumer does not bind the latter and that the contract containing such a clause remains binding for the parties on the same terms if it is capable of continuing in existence without that unfair term. The Court accordingly holds that the Directive precludes the Spanish legislation in so far as that legislation allows a national court, in the case where it finds that an unfair term in a contract is void, to revise the content of that term. The Court takes the view that such a power, were it granted to the national court, would be liable to eliminate the deterrent effect on sellers or suppliers of the straightforward non-application of the unfair terms vis--vis consumers. For that reason, that power would ensure less effective protection of consumers than that resulting from non-application of those terms. If it were open to the national court to revise the content of unfair terms, sellers or suppliers would remain tempted to use those terms in the knowledge that, even if they were declared invalid, the contract could, nevertheless, be modified by the court in such a way as to safeguard their interests. Consequently, where they find that there is an unfair term, national courts are required solely to exclude the application of such a term in order that it does not produce binding effects with regard to the consumer, without having the power to revise the content of that term. The contract containing the term must continue in existence, in principle, without any amendment other than that resulting from the deletion of the unfair terms, in so far as, in accordance with the rules of domestic law, such continuity of the contract is legally possible.
NOTE: A reference for a preliminary ruling allows the courts and tribunals of the Member States, in disputes which have been brought before them, to refer questions to the Court of Justice about the interpretation of European Union law or the validity of a European Union act. The Court of Justice does not decide the dispute itself. It is for the national court or tribunal to dispose of the case in accordance with the Courts decision, which is similarly binding on other national courts or tribunals before which a similar issue is raised.

Unofficial document for media use, not binding on the Court of Justice. The full text of the judgment is published on the CURIA website on the day of delivery. www.curia.europa.eu

Press contact: Christopher Fretwell (+352) 4303 3355 Pictures of the delivery of the judgment are available from "Europe by Satellite" (+32) 2 2964106

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JUDGMENT OF THE COURT (First Chamber) 14 June 2012 (*)

(Directive 93/13/EEC Consumer contracts Unfair term concerning interest on late payments Order for payment procedure Powers of the national court)

In Case C618/10, REFERENCE for a preliminary ruling under Article 267 TFEU from the Audiencia Provincial de Barcelona (Spain), made by decision of 29 November 2010, received at the Court on 29 December 2010, in the proceedings Banco Espaol de Crdito SA v Joaqun Caldern Camino, THE COURT (First Chamber), composed of A. Tizzano (Rapporteur), President of the Chamber, M. Safjan, M. Ilei, E. Levits and M. Berger, judges, Advocate General: V. Trstenjak, Registrar: M. Ferreira, Principal Administrator, having regard to the written procedure and further to the hearing on 1 December 2011, after considering the observations submitted on behalf of: Banco Espaol de Crdito SA, by A. Herrador Muoz, V. Betancor Snchez and R. Rivero Sez, abogados, the Spanish Government, by S. Centeno Huerta, acting as Agent, the German Government, by J. Kemper and T. Henze, acting as Agents, the European Commission, by M. Owsiany-Homung and E. Gippini Fournier, acting as Agents,

after hearing the Opinion of the Advocate General at the sitting on 14 February 2012, gives the following Judgment 1 This reference for a preliminary ruling concerns the interpretation of: Article 6(1) of Council Directive 93/13/EEC of 5 April 1993 on unfair terms in consumer contracts (OJ 1993 L 95, p. 29);

Article 2 of Directive 2009/22/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on injunctions for the protection of consumers interests (OJ 2009 L 110, p. 30); the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 1896/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 creating a European order for payment procedure (OJ 2006 L 399, p. 1); Articles 5(1)(l) and (m), 6, 7 and 10(2)(l) of Directive 2008/48/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2008 on credit agreements for consumers and repealing Council Directive 87/102/EEC (OJ 2008 L 133, p. 66); and Article 11(2) of Directive 2005/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2005 concerning unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices in the internal market and amending Council Directive 84/450/EEC, Directives 97/7/EC, 98/27/EC and 2002/65/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council (Unfair Commercial Practices Directive) (OJ 2005 L 149, p. 22).

The reference has been made in the course of proceedings between Banco Espaol de Crdito SA (Banesto) and Mr Caldern Camino concerning the payment of sums due under a consumer credit agreement concluded between those parties. The legal framework European Union legislation Directive 87/102/EEC

Article 6 of Council Directive 87/102/EEC of 22 December 1986 for the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States concerning consumer credit (OJ 1987 L 42, p. 48) provided: 1. Notwithstanding the exclusion provided for in Article 2(1)(e), where there is an agreement between a credit institution or financial institution and a consumer for the granting of credit in the form of an advance on a current account, other than on credit card accounts, the consumer shall be informed at the time or before the agreement is concluded: of the credit limit, if any, of the annual rate of interest and the charges applicable from the time the agreement is concluded and the conditions under which these may be amended, of the procedure for terminating the agreement.

This information shall be confirmed in writing. 2. Furthermore, during the period of the agreement, the consumer shall be informed of any change in the annual rate of interest or in the relevant charges at the time it occurs. Such information may be given in a statement of account or in any other manner acceptable to Member States. 3. In Member States where tacitly accepted overdrafts are permissible, the Member States concerned shall ensure that the consumer is informed of the annual rate of interest and the charges applicable, and of any amendment thereof, where the overdraft extends beyond a period of three months.

According to Article 7 of that directive: In the case of credit granted for the acquisition of goods, Member States shall lay down the conditions under which goods may be repossessed, in particular if the consumer has not given his consent. They shall further ensure that where the creditor recovers possession of the goods the account between the parties shall be made up so as to ensure that the repossession does not entail any unjustified enrichment. Directive 93/13

The twelfth recital in the preamble to Directive 93/13 states that: however, as they now stand, national laws allow only partial harmonization to be envisaged; in particular, only contract terms which have not been individually negotiated are covered by this Directive; Member States should have the option, with due regard for the Treaty, to afford consumers a higher level of protection through national provisions that are more stringent than those of this Directive.

The twenty-first recital in the preamble to that directive is worded as follows: Member States should ensure that unfair terms are not used in contracts concluded with consumers by a seller or supplier and that if, nevertheless, such terms are so used, they will not bind the consumer, and the contract will continue to bind the parties upon those terms if it is capable of continuing in existence without the unfair provisions.

The twenty-fourth recital in the preamble to that directive states: the courts or administrative authorities of the Member States must have at their disposal adequate and effective means of preventing the continued application of unfair terms in consumer contracts.

Article 6 of Directive 93/13 provides that: 1. Member States shall lay down that unfair terms used in a contract concluded with a consumer by a seller or supplier shall, as provided for under their national law, not be binding on the consumer and that the contract shall continue to bind the parties upon those terms if it is capable of continuing in existence without the unfair terms. 2. Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that the consumer does not lose the protection granted by this Directive by virtue of the choice of the law of a non-Member country as the law applicable to the contract if the latter has a close connection with the territory of the Member States.

Article 7(1) of that directive is worded as follows: Member States shall ensure that, in the interests of consumers and of competitors, adequate and effective means exist to prevent the continued use of unfair terms in contracts concluded with consumers by sellers or suppliers.

10

Article 8 of Directive 93/13 provides: Member States may adopt or retain the most stringent provisions compatible with the [EC] Treaty in the area covered by this Directive, to ensure a maximum degree of protection for the consumer. Directive 2005/29

11

Article 11(1) and (2) of Directive 2005/29 provides:

1. Member States shall ensure that adequate and effective means exist to combat unfair commercial practices in order to enforce compliance with the provisions of this Directive in the interest of consumers. 2. Under the legal provisions referred to in paragraph 1, Member States shall confer upon the courts or administrative authorities powers enabling them, in cases where they deem such measures to be necessary taking into account all the interests involved and in particular the public interest: (a) to order the cessation of, or to institute appropriate legal proceedings for an order for the cessation of, unfair commercial practices; or (b) if the unfair commercial practice has not yet been carried out but is imminent, to order the prohibition of the practice, or to institute appropriate legal proceedings for an order for the prohibition of the practice,

even without proof of actual loss or damage or of intention or negligence on the part of the trader. Member States shall also make provision for the measures referred to in the first subparagraph to be taken under an accelerated procedure: or with definitive effect, either with interim effect,

on the understanding that it is for each Member State to decide which of the two options to select. Regulation No 1896/2006 12 Recital 10 in the preamble to Regulation No 1896/2006 states: The procedure established by this Regulation should serve as an additional and optional means for the claimant, who remains free to resort to a procedure provided for by national law. Accordingly, this Regulation neither replaces nor harmonises the existing mechanisms for the recovery of uncontested claims under national law. 13 Article 1 of Regulation No 1896/2006 provides: 1. (a) The purpose of this Regulation is: to simplify, speed up and reduce the costs of litigation in crossborder cases concerning uncontested pecuniary claims by creating a European order for payment procedure; and (b) to permit the free circulation of European orders for payment throughout the Member States by laying down minimum standards, compliance with which renders unnecessary any intermediate proceedings in the Member State of enforcement prior to recognition

and enforcement. 2. This Regulation shall not prevent a claimant from pursuing a claim within the meaning of Article 4 by making use of another procedure available under the law of a Member State or under Community law. Directive 2008/48 14 Article 1 of Directive 2008/48 is worded as follows: The purpose of this Directive is to harmonise certain aspects of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States concerning agreements covering credit for consumers. 15 Under Article 5(1) of that directive: In good time before the consumer is bound by any credit agreement or offer, the creditor and, where applicable, the credit intermediary shall, on the basis of the credit terms and conditions offered by the creditor and, if applicable, the preferences expressed and information supplied by the consumer, provide the consumer with the information needed to compare different offers in order to take an informed decision on whether to conclude a credit agreement. The information in question shall specify: (l) (m) 16 Article 10(2) of Directive 2008/48 provides: The credit agreement shall specify in a clear and concise manner: (l) the interest rate applicable in the case of late payments as applicable at the time of the conclusion of the credit agreement and the arrangements for its adjustment and, where applicable, any charges payable for default; the interest rate applicable in the case of late payments and the arrangements for its adjustment, and, where applicable, any charges payable for default; a warning regarding the consequences of missing payments;

... Directive 2009/22 17 Article 1(1) of Directive 2009/22 provides: The purpose of this Directive is to approximate the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States relating to actions for an injunction referred to in Article 2 aimed at the protection of the collective interests of consumers included in the Directives listed in Annex I, with a view to ensuring the smooth functioning of the internal market. 18 Under Article 2 of that directive: 1. Member States shall designate the courts or administrative authorities competent to rule on proceedings commenced by qualified entities within the meaning of Article 3 seeking:

(a)

an order with all due expediency, where appropriate by way of summary procedure, requiring the cessation or prohibition of any infringement;

2. This Directive shall be without prejudice to the rules of private international law with respect to the applicable law, that is, normally, either the law of the Member State where the infringement originated or the law of the Member State where the infringement has its effects. Spanish law 19 Under Spanish law, consumers were initially protected against unfair terms by General Law 26/1984 for the protection of consumers and users (Ley General 26/1984 para la Defensa de los Consumidores y Usuarios) of 19 July 1984 (BOE No 176 of 24 July 1984, p. 21686; Law 26/1984). Law 26/1984 was subsequently amended by Law 7/1998 on general contractual conditions (Ley 7/1998 sobre Condiciones Generales de la Contratacin) of 13 April 1998 (BOE No 89 of 14 April 1998, p. 12304), which transposed Directive 93/13 into Spanish national law. Lastly, Royal Legislative Decree 1/2007 approving the consolidated version of the General Law for the protection of consumers and users and other supplementary laws (Real Decreto Legislativo 1/2007 por el que se aprueba el texto refundido de la Ley General para la Defensa de los Consumidores y Usuarios y otras leyes complementarias), of 16 November 2007 (BOE No 287 of 30 November 2007, p. 49181; Legislative Decree 1/2007), adopted the consolidated version of Law 26/1984, as amended. Under Article 83 of Legislative Decree 1/2007: 1. Unfair contract terms shall be automatically void and deemed not to have formed part of the contract. 2. The part of the contract which has been deemed void shall be modified in accordance with the provisions of Article 1258 of the Civil Code and with the principle of good faith. To that end, the court which rules that such terms are void shall modify the contract and shall enjoy moderating powers regarding the rights and obligations of the parties, where the contract continues in existence, and regarding the consequences of its being ruled ineffective in the event of significant loss or damage to the consumer or user. Only where the remaining contract terms result in an imbalance in the respective positions of the parties which cannot be remedied may the court rule that the contract is ineffective. 23 Article 1258 of the Spanish Civil Code provides: Contracts are concluded by simple consent and from that point are binding, not only as to the performance of the matters expressly agreed, but also as to all consequences which, by their nature, are in accordance with good faith, custom and the law. 24 As regards the order for payment procedure, the Code of Civil Procedure (Ley de Enjuiciamiento Civil), as applicable at the date on which the procedure which gave rise to the main proceedings was initiated, sets out, in Article 812(1) thereof, the conditions for the application of that procedure in the following terms: Any person claiming from another the payment of an outstanding and payable pecuniary debt which does not exceed EUR 30 000 may use the order for payment procedure, where the amount of that debt is demonstrated by the following procedure:

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(1)

either by the submission of documents, whatever their form, type or physical medium, signed by the debtor or bearing his or her stamp, mark or trade mark or any other sign, physical or electronic, originating from the debtor; or by the submission of invoices, delivery notes, certificates, telegrams, facsimiles or any other documents which, even if created unilaterally by the creditor, are normally used to document credits and debts in relationships of such a type as that existing between the creditor and the debtor.

(2)

25 Article 815(1) of the Code of Civil Procedure, entitled Admissibility of the application and order for payment, provides: Where the documents attached to the application are included in those set out in Article 812(2) or constitute prima facie evidence of the right of the applicant, confirmed by the contents of the application, the Registrar shall order the debtor to pay the applicant within a period of 20 days and to provide evidence of that payment to the court or tribunal, or to appear before it and to state briefly, in the objection, the reasons for which he or she considers that he or she is not liable for all or part of the amount claimed. 26 Article 818(1) of the Code of Civil Procedure, relating to the debtors objection, provides: Where the debtor lodges an objection in due time, a definitive decision shall be made on the dispute after the appropriate procedure has been followed, whereupon the judgment shall acquire the force of res judicata.

The dispute in the main proceedings and the questions referred for a preliminary ruling 27 On 28 May 2007, Mr Caldern Camino entered into a loan agreement for the sum of EUR 30 000 with Banesto (the disputed agreement) in order to purchase a vehicle which was to meet the needs of the household. The nominal interest rate was 7.950%, the APR (Annual Percentage Rate of Charge) 8.890% and the rate of interest on late payments 29%. Although the term of the disputed agreement was fixed at 5 June 2014, Banesto took the view that it had expired before that date on the ground that, in September 2008, reimbursement of 7 monthly repayments had not yet been made. Thus, on 8 January 2009, it submitted, before the Juzgado de Primera Instancia No 2 de Sabadell (Court of First Instance, No 2, Sabadell), in accordance with Spanish law, an application for an order for payment in the amount of EUR 29 381.95, corresponding to the unpaid monthly repayments plus contractual interest and costs. On 21 January 2010, the Juzgado de Primera Instancia No 2 de Sabadell issued an order in which it held, first, that the disputed agreement was a pre-formulated standard contract, concluded without any real opportunities for negotiation and including imposed general conditions and, secondly, that the 29% rate of interest for late payment was fixed in a typed term which could not be distinguished from the rest of the text as regards the font, the size of the letters used or any specific acceptance by the consumer. In those conditions and, having regard to, inter alia, the Euribor (Euro interbank offered rate) and European Central Bank (ECB) rates of interest, and to the fact that the rate of interest for late payment in the agreement was more than 20 points greater than that of the nominal interest rate, the Juzgado de Primera Instancia No 2 de Sabadell held of its own motion that the term relating to interest for late payment was automatically void, on the ground that it was unfair, referring to the settled case-law of the Court of Justice on this matter. It also fixed that rate at 19%, referring to the statutory rate of interest and to the rates of interest for late payment included in national budget laws from 1990 to 2008, and ordered Banesto to recalculate the amount of interest for the period at issue in the dispute before it.

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Banesto appealed against that order to the Audiencia Provincial de Barcelona (Provincial Court, Barcelona), submitting, in essence, that the Juzgado de Primera Instancia No 2 de Sabadell could not, at that stage of the procedure, hold of its own motion that the contractual term relating to interest for late payment, which it considered to be unfair, was void or modify that contractual term. In the order for reference, the Audiencia Provincial de Barcelona found, first, that the Spanish legislation on the protection of the interests of consumers and users does not empower the courts before which an application for order for payment has been brought to hold, of their own motion and in limine litis, that unfair contract terms are void, as the assessment of the lawfulness of such terms falls within the procedure under general national law, which is initiated only in the event that a debtor lodges an objection. As regards, second, European Union law, that court observed that the case-law of the Court of Justice has, it is true, interpreted Article 6(1) of Directive 93/13 to mean that national courts are required to raise, of their own motion, the issue as to whether an unfair term is void and/or inapplicable, even where none of the parties to the contract has made an application to that effect. However, according to the referring court, Regulation No 1896/2006, which specifically governs orders for payment at European Union level, does not establish a procedure for the examination, of a courts own motion and in limine litis, of unfair terms, but merely lists a series of requirements and information which must be provided to consumers. Likewise, neither Directive 2008/48, on consumer credit agreements, nor Directive 2009/22, relating to injunctions against infringements harmful to consumers interests, provides for procedural mechanisms which require national courts to hold, of their own motion, that a term such as that contained in the disputed agreement is void. Lastly, even if the practice of introducing into a contract concluded between a seller or supplier and a consumer a term relating to interest on late payments is considered to be unfair, within the meaning of Directive 2005/29, since Law 29/2009 amending the statutory rules governing unfair competition and advertising in order to improve the protection of consumers and users (Ley 29/2009 por la que se modifica el rgimen legal de la competencia desleal y de la publicidad para la mejora de la proteccin de los consumidores y usuarios), of 30 December 2009 (BOE No 315, of 31 December 2009, p. 112039), did not transpose Article 11(2) of that directive into Spanish law, the national courts do not, in any event, have the power to examine of their own motion whether that practice is unfair. It is in those circumstances that the Audiencia Provincial de Barcelona, entertaining doubts as to the correct interpretation of European Union law, decided to stay the proceedings and to refer to the Court the following questions for a preliminary ruling: (1) Is it contrary to [European Union] law, in particular the law on consumers and users, for a national court to avoid giving a ruling of its own motion and in limine litis or at any stage during the proceedings on whether or not a term concerning interest on late payments (in this case 29%) in a consumer credit agreement is void and on whether or not that term should be modified? May the court, without prejudicing the rights of the consumer under [European Union] law, decide to leave any evaluation of such a term to the initiative of the debtor (by means of the appropriate procedural objection)? In the light of Article 6(1) of Directive [93/13] and Article 2 of Directive [2009/22], what is the correct interpretation of Article 83 of [Legislative Decree 1/2007] for those purposes? What is the scope, in that regard, of Article 6(1) of Directive [93/13] where it provides that unfair contract terms shall not be binding on the consumer? Is it possible to exclude judicial review of a courts own motion and in limine litis where

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(2)

(3)

the applicant clearly states in his application the rate of interest on late payments, the amount of the claim, including the principal and interest, the contractual penalties and the costs, the interest rate and the period of time for which that interest is demanded (or a statement that statutory interest is automatically added to the principal under the law of the Member State of origin), the cause of the action, including a description of the facts relied on as the basis of the claim and the interest demanded, and it is clearly stated whether it concerns statutory or contractual interest, capitalisation of interest or the interest rate for the loan, whether it has been calculated by the applicant and the number of percentage points above the Central Bank base rate, as is the case with [Regulation No 1896/2006] on the European order for payment procedure? (4) In the absence of their transposition, do Articles 5(1)(l) and (m) and 6(1)(i) of Directive [2008/48], where they refer to arrangements for its adjustment, and Article 10(2)(1), where it refers to arrangements for its adjustment, require the financial institution specifically to include and to highlight in the contract (not in the body of the text, in an undifferentiated manner) as precontractual information references to the interest rate applicable in the case of late payments, in the event of default, set out clearly and in a prominent place, and the elements taken into account when determining them (financial costs, recovery costs etc.) and to include a warning regarding the consequences connected with those cost elements? Does Article 6(2) of Directive [2008/48] include the requirement to notify the early termination of a credit or loan agreement which gives rise to the charging of interest on late payments? Is the principle of the prohibition of unjustified enrichment contained in Article 7 of Directive [2008/48] applicable where the credit institution seeks not only the recovery of the goods (the loan capital), but also the application of an especially high rate of interest on late payments? In the absence of any transposing provision and in the light of Article 11(2) of Directive [2005/29], may the court find of its own motion that it is an unfair practice to include in a contract a term concerning interest on late payments?

(5)

(6)

The questions referred for a preliminary ruling The first question 38 By its first question, the referring court is essentially asking whether Directive 93/13 must be interpreted as precluding legislation of a Member State, such as that at issue in the main proceedings, which does not allow the court before which an application for an order for payment has been brought to assess of its own motion, in limine litis or at any other stage during the proceedings, whether a term relating to interest on late payments contained in a contract concluded between a seller or supplier and a consumer is unfair, in the case where that consumer has not lodged an objection. For the purpose of replying to that question, it is appropriate to note, first, that the system of protection introduced by Directive 93/13 is based on the idea that the consumer is in a weak position vis--vis the seller or supplier, as regards both his bargaining power and his level of knowledge. This leads to the consumer agreeing to terms drawn up in advance by the seller or supplier without being able to influence the content of those terms (Joined Cases C240/98 to C244/98 Ocano Grupo Editorial and Salvat Editores [2000] ECR I-4941, paragraph 25; Case C168/05 Mostaza Claro [2006] ECR I-10421, paragraph 25; and Case C40/08 Asturcom Telecomunicaciones [2009] ECR I-9579, paragraph 29). As regards that weaker position, Article 6(1) of Directive 93/13 provides that unfair terms are not binding on the consumer. As is apparent from the case-law, that is a mandatory provision which aims to replace the formal balance which the contract establishes between the rights and

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obligations of the parties with an effective balance which re-establishes equality between them (see Mostaza Claro, paragraph 36; Asturcom Telecomunicaciones, paragraph 30; Case C137/08 VB Pnzgyi Lzing [2010] ECR I-0000, paragraph 47; and C453/10 Pereniov and Pereni [2012] ECR I-0000, paragraph 28). 41 In order to guarantee the protection intended by Directive 93/13, the Court has already stated on several occasions that the imbalance which exists between the consumer and the seller or supplier may be corrected only by positive action unconnected with the actual parties to the contract (see Ocano Grupo Editorial and Salvat Editores, paragraph 27; Mostaza Claro, paragraph 26; Asturcom Telecomunicaciones, paragraph 31; and VB Pnzgyi Lzing, paragraph 48). It is in the light of those principles that the Court has therefore held that the national court is required to assess of its own motion whether a contractual term falling within the scope of Directive 93/13 is unfair, compensating in this way for the imbalance which exists between the consumer and the seller or supplier (see, to that effect, Mostaza Claro, paragraph 38; Case C-243/08 Pannon GSM [2009] ECR I4713, paragraph 31; Asturcom Telecomunicaciones, paragraph 32; and VB Pnzgyi Lzing, paragraph 49). Consequently, the role attributed to the national court by European Union law in this area is not limited to a mere power to rule on the possible unfairness of a contractual term, but also consists of the obligation to examine that issue of its own motion, where it has available to it the legal and factual elements necessary for that task (see Pannon GSM, paragraph 32). In this connection, in ruling on an order for reference submitted by a national court before which inter partes proceedings, initiated following an objection lodged by a consumer against an order for payment, had been brought, the Court held that that national court must investigate of its own motion whether a term conferring exclusive territorial jurisdiction in a contract concluded between a seller or supplier and a consumer falls within the scope of Directive 93/13 and, if it does, assess of its own motion whether such a term is unfair (VB Pnzgyi Lzing, paragraph 56). However, the present case can be distinguished from those which gave rise to the abovementioned judgments in Pannon GSM and VB Pnzgyi Lzing by the fact that it concerns the definition of the national courts responsibilities pursuant to the provisions of Directive 93/13, in the context of an order for payment procedure, before the consumer has lodged an objection. In this regard, in the absence of harmonisation of the national mechanisms for recovery of uncontested claims, the rules implementing national order for payment procedures are a matter for the national legal order, in accordance with the principle of the procedural autonomy of the Member States, on condition, however, that they are no less favourable than those governing similar domestic actions (principle of equivalence) and do not make it in practice impossible or excessively difficult to exercise the rights conferred on consumers by European Union law (principle of effectiveness) (see, to that effect, Mostaza Claro, paragraph 24, and Asturcom Telecomunicaciones, paragraph 38). As regards the principle of equivalence, it must be observed that the Court does not have before it any evidence which might raise doubts as to the compliance of the legislation at issue in the main proceedings with that principle. It is apparent from the case-file that the Spanish procedural system does not allow the national court before which an application for an order for payment has been brought to assess of its own motion, in limine litis or at any other stage during the proceedings, either whether a term contained in a contract concluded between a seller or supplier and a consumer is unfair in the light of Article 6 of Directive 93/13 where that consumer has not lodged an objection, or whether

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such a term conflicts with national rules of public policy. It is nevertheless for the national court to ascertain such matters. 49 As regards the principle of effectiveness, it is the Courts settled caselaw that every case in which the question arises as to whether a national procedural provision makes the application of European Union law impossible or excessively difficult must be analysed by reference to the role of that provision in the procedure, its progress and its special features, viewed as a whole, before the various national bodies (see Asturcom Telecomunicaciones, paragraph 39 and the case-law cited). In the present case, it is apparent from the file submitted to the Court that, in accordance with Article 812 of the Spanish Code of Civil Procedure, the order for payment procedure applies to outstanding, liquid and payable pecuniary debts which do not exceed a certain value, which was EUR 30 000 at the material time. In order to ensure that creditors have easier access to justice and that the procedure operates more rapidly, that article provides only that creditors must enclose with the application documents proving that the debt exists, without obliging them to state clearly the rate of interest for late payments, the precise period over which the debt is payable and the reference point of that rate in relation to the statutory rate of interest under national law or the European Central Bank rate. Thus, under Articles 815(1) and 818(1) of the Code of Civil Procedure, the national court before which an application for an order for payment has been brought has jurisdiction merely to ascertain whether the formal conditions for the initiation of that procedure exist, and, if so, it must allow the application before it and issue an enforceable order, without being able to examine, in limine litis or at any other stage of the procedure, the justification for the application in the light of the information available to it, unless the debtor refuses to pay his debt or lodges an objection within 20 days of the date on which that order to pay was notified. That objection must be made with the assistance of a lawyer in respect of cases exceeding a value prescribed by statute, which was EUR 900 at the date of the facts which gave rise to the dispute in the main proceedings. In that context, it must be stated that such a procedural arrangement, which completely prevents the court before which an application for order for payment has been brought to assess of its own motion, in limine litis or at any other stage during the proceedings, even though it already has all the legal and factual elements necessary for that task available to it, whether terms contained in a contract concluded between a seller or supplier and a consumer are unfair where that consumer has not lodged an objection, is liable to undermine the effectiveness of the protection intended by Directive 93/13 (see, to that effect, Case C473/00 Cofidis [2002] ECR I10875, paragraph 35). In the light of the order for payment procedure described in paragraphs 50 to 52 of this judgment, its progress and its special features, viewed as a whole, there is a significant risk that the consumers concerned will not lodge the objection required either because of the particularly short period provided for that purpose, or because they might be dissuaded from defending themselves in view of the costs which legal proceedings would entail in relation to the amount of the disputed debt, or because they are unaware of or do not appreciate the extent of their rights, or indeed because of the limited content of the application for the order for payment submitted by the sellers or suppliers, and thus the incomplete nature of the information available to them. Thus, it is sufficient for sellers or suppliers to initiate an order for payment procedure instead of an ordinary civil procedure in order to deprive consumers of the benefit of the protection intended by Directive 93/13. This is also contrary to the Courts case-law, according to which the specific characteristics of court proceedings which take place under national law between sellers or suppliers and consumers cannot constitute a factor which is liable to affect the legal

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protection from which consumers must benefit under the provisions of that directive (Pannon GSM, paragraph 34). 56 In those circumstances, it must be held that the Spanish legislation at issue in proceedings appears not to comply with the principle of effectiveness, in so far as impossible or excessively difficult, in proceedings initiated by sellers or suppliers consumers are defendants, the application of the protection which Directive 93/13 confer on those consumers. the main it makes in which seeks to

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In the light of those considerations, the answer to the first question is that Directive 93/13 must be interpreted as precluding legislation of a Member State, such as that at issue in the main proceedings, which does not allow the court before which an application for an order for payment has been brought to assess of its own motion, in limine litis or at any other stage during the proceedings, even though it already has the legal and factual elements necessary for that task available to it, whether a term concerning interest on late payments contained in a contract concluded between a seller or supplier and a consumer is unfair, in the case where that consumer has not lodged an objection. The second question

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In order to provide an interpretation of European Union law which will be of use to the referring court (see, to that effect, Case C-213/07 Michaniki [2008] ECR I9999, paragraphs 50 and 51), it is necessary to construe the second question as asking, essentially, whether Articles 2 of Directive 2009/22 and 6(1) of Directive 93/13 preclude legislation of a Member State, such as that laid down in Article 83 of Legislative Decree 1/2007, which allows a national court, in the case where it finds that an unfair term in a contract concluded between a seller or supplier and a consumer is void, to modify that contract by revising the content of that term. It must first be observed in this connection that the dispute in the main proceedings takes place within the framework of an order for payment procedure initiated by one of the contracting parties and not in the context of an injunction sought by a qualified entity within the meaning of Article 3 of Directive 2009/22. Consequently, since that latter directive is not applicable to the dispute in the main proceedings, there is no need to rule on the interpretation of Article 2 thereof. That being so, in order to answer the question posed concerning the consequences to be drawn from the finding that a contractual term is unfair, it is necessary to refer both to the wording of Article 6(1) of Directive 93/13 and to the objectives and overall scheme of that provision (see, to that effect, Case C-482/07 AHP Manufacturing [2009] ECR I7295, paragraph 27, and Case C-125/10 Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. [2011] ECR I-0000, paragraph 29). With regard to the wording of Article 6(1), it must be held, firstly, that the first part of the sentence in that provision, while granting the Member States a certain degree of autonomy so far as concerns the definition of the legal arrangements applicable to unfair terms, nevertheless expressly requires them to provide that those terms shall not be binding on the consumer. In that context, the Court has already had the opportunity to interpret that provision as meaning that it is a matter for national courts, when they find that contract terms are unfair, to draw all the consequences that follow under national law, in order that the consumer will not be bound by those terms (see Asturcom Telecomunicaciones, paragraph 58; order in Case C-76/10 Pohotovos [2010] ECR I0000, paragraph 62; and Pereniov and Pereni, paragraph 30). As has been pointed out in paragraph 40 of this judgment, that is a mandatory provision which aims to replace the formal balance which the contract establishes between the rights and obligations of the parties with an effective balance which re-establishes equality between them.

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Secondly, the European Union legislature explicitly laid down, in the second part of the sentence in Article 6(1) of Directive 93/13 and in the twenty-first recital in the preamble to that directive, that the contract concluded between the seller and supplier will continue to bind the parties upon those terms if it is capable of continuing in existence without the unfair provisions. It thus follows from the wording of Article 6(1) that the national courts are required only to exclude the application of an unfair contractual term in order that it does not produce binding effects with regard to the consumer, without being authorised to revise its content. That contract must continue in existence, in principle, without any amendment other than that resulting from the deletion of the unfair terms, in so far as, in accordance with the rules of domestic law, such continuity of the contract is legally possible. That interpretation is, moreover, borne out by the objective and overall scheme of Directive 93/13. According to the Courts settled case-law, that directive as a whole constitutes a measure which is essential to the accomplishment of the tasks entrusted to the European Union and, in particular, to raising the standard of living and the quality of life throughout the European Union (see Mostaza Claro, paragraph 37; Pannon GSM, paragraph 26; and Asturcom Telecomunicaciones, paragraph 51). Thus, given the nature and significance of the public interest which constitutes the basis of the protection guaranteed to consumers, who are in a weak position visvis sellers or suppliers, Directive 93/13 requires Member States, as is apparent from Article 7(1) thereof, read in conjunction with the twenty-fourth recital in the preamble thereto, to provide for adequate and effective means to prevent the continued use of unfair terms in contracts concluded with consumers by sellers or suppliers. In that context, it is clear, as the Advocate General observed in points 86 to 88 of her Opinion, that, if it were open to the national court to revise the content of unfair terms included in such contracts, such a power would be liable to compromise attainment of the long-term objective of Article 7 of Directive 93/13. That power would contribute to eliminating the dissuasive effect on sellers or suppliers of the straightforward nonapplication with regard to the consumer of those unfair terms (see, to that effect, the order in Pohotovost, paragraph 41 and the case-law cited), in so far as those sellers or suppliers would remain tempted to use those terms in the knowledge that, even if they were declared invalid, the contract could nevertheless be modified, to the extent necessary, by the national court in such a way as to safeguard the interest of those sellers or suppliers. Accordingly, such a power, were it granted to the national court, would not be such as to ensure, by itself, such efficient protection of the consumer as that resulting from non-application of the unfair terms. Moreover, neither could that power be based on Article 8 of Directive 93/13, which leaves Member States the option to adopt or retain, in the area covered by that directive, more stringent provisions compatible with European Union law, inasmuch as they ensure a higher level of consumer protection (see Case C-484/08 Caja de Ahorros y Monte de Piedad de Madrid [2010] ECR I-4785, paragraphs 28 and 29, and Pereniov and Pereni, paragraph 34). It follows, therefore, that Article 6(1) of Directive 93/13 cannot be understood as allowing the national court, in the case where it finds that there is an unfair term in a contract concluded between a seller or supplier and a consumer, to revise the content of that term instead of merely setting aside its application to the consumer. In that regard, it is for the referring court to ascertain what the national rules applicable to the dispute before it are and to do whatever lies within its jurisdiction, taking the whole body of domestic law into consideration and applying the interpretative methods recognised by

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domestic law, with a view to ensuring that Article 6(1) of Directive 93/13 is fully effective and achieving an outcome consistent with the objective pursued by it (see, to that effect, Case C282/10 Dominguez [2012] ECR I-0000, paragraph 27 and the case-law cited). 73 In the light of the foregoing, the answer to the second question is that Article 6(1) of Directive 93/13 must be interpreted as precluding legislation of a Member State, such as Article 83 of Legislative Decree 1/2007, which allows a national court, in the case where it finds that an unfair term in a contract concluded between a seller or supplier and a consumer is void, to modify that contract by revising the content of that term. The third to sixth questions 74 By its third to sixth questions, the referring court in essence asks the Court, firstly, as to the responsibilities of national courts under Regulation No 1896/2006 and Directive 2005/29 in the case where they review a contractual term concerning interest on late payments such as that at issue in the main proceedings and, secondly, as to the obligations on financial institutions for the purposes of the application in credit agreements of the interest rate applicable in the event of late payments, as provided for in Articles 5(1)(l) and (m), 6, 7 and 10(2)(l) of Directive 2008/48. The Kingdom of Spain and the European Commission contend that those questions are inadmissible, in so far as the rules of European Union law to which they relate are not applicable to the dispute in the main proceedings and that, consequently, the interpretation of those rules cannot aid the referring court in resolving that dispute. In that regard, it is necessary to state at the outset that, in accordance with settled caselaw, in proceedings under Article 267 TFEU, which are based on a clear separation of functions between the national courts and the Court of Justice, the national court alone has jurisdiction to find and assess the facts in the case before it and to interpret and apply national law. Similarly, it is solely for the national court, before which the dispute has been brought and which must assume responsibility for the judicial decision to be made, to determine, in the light of the particular circumstances of the case, both the need for and the relevance of the questions that it submits to the Court. Consequently, where the questions submitted concern the interpretation of European Union law, the Court is in principle bound to give a ruling (Case C145/03 Keller [2005] ECR I2529, paragraph 33; Case C119/05 Lucchini [2007] ECR I6199, paragraph 43; and Case C11/07 Eckelkamp and Others [2008] ECR I6845, paragraphs 27 and 32). Thus, the Court may refuse to rule on a question referred for a preliminary ruling by a national court only where it is quite obvious that the interpretation of European Union law that is sought bears no relation to the actual facts of the main action or its purpose, where the problem is hypothetical, or where the Court does not have before it the factual or legal material necessary to give a useful answer to the questions submitted to it (see, inter alia, Joined Cases C-94/04 and C202/04 Cipolla and Others [2006] ECR I-11421, paragraph 25, and Joined Cases C570/07 and C-571/07 Blanco Prez and Chao Gmez [2010] ECR I4629, paragraph 36). It must, however, be held that that is precisely the position in the present case. In particular, as regards the third question, the interpretation of Regulation No 1896/2006 is irrelevant with regard to the decision which the referring court is called upon to give in the dispute before it. Firstly, as is apparent from the file submitted to the Court, the facts of the dispute in the main proceedings do not come within the scope of that regulation, which, in accordance with Article 1(1) thereof, concerns only crossborder cases, but remain subject exclusively to the provisions of the Spanish Code of Civil Procedure. Secondly, it is important to state that that regulation, as recital 10 in the preamble thereto expressly indicates, neither replaces nor harmonises the existing mechanisms for the recovery of uncontested claims under national law.

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So far as the fourth question is concerned, it is clear that the provisions of Articles 5(1)(l) and (m), 6 and 10(2)(l) of Directive 2008/48, the interpretation of which is sought by the referring court, do not apply ratione temporis to the dispute in the main proceedings, in so far as that dispute concerns the allegedly incorrect performance by Mr Caldern Camino of the credit agreement into which he entered on 28 May 2007 with Banesto. Suffice it in this connection to note that, in accordance with Articles 27, 29 and 31 of Directive 2008/48, that directive entered into force on 11 June 2008 and the Member States were required to have adopted the measures necessary to comply with that directive before 11 June 2010, the date with effect from which Directive 87/102 was repealed. In addition, Article 30(1) of Directive 2008/48 expressly provides that it does not apply to credit agreements existing on the date on which the national implementing measures entered into force. As for the fifth question, which seeks to ascertain, firstly, whether Article 6(2) of Directive 2008/48 imposes an obligation on the credit institution to notify the early termination of a credit or loan agreement in order to be able to charge interest on late payments and, secondly, whether the principle of the prohibition of unjustified enrichment contained in Article 7 of that directive may be relied upon in the case where that credit institution not only requests reimbursement of the capital but also seeks particularly high interest for late payment, it must be observed at the outset that, by that question, as is apparent from the file submitted to the Court, the referring court in fact intended to refer to the corresponding articles of Directive 87/102, which are the only articles that match the subject-matter of that question. However, even if it is accepted that that is the real scope of the fifth question (see, to that effect, Case C-107/98 Teckal [1999] ECR I-8121, paragraphs 34 and 39), it is necessary to state that, as the Advocate General also observed in points 99 and 100 of her Opinion, there is nothing in the order for reference to suggest that the dispute in the main proceedings relates to an issue concerning either the obligation to give prior notice to the consumer with regard to any change in the annual rate of interest or the restitution of goods to the creditor which gives rise to unjustified enrichment of the latter. It is thus evident that the fifth question is hypothetical in nature, since the interpretation of those provisions of Directive 87/102 bears no connection to the subject-matter of the dispute in the main proceedings. As regards, lastly, the sixth question, which seeks to establish whether, in the case where Directive 2005/29 has not been transposed, Article 11(2) thereof must be interpreted as meaning that a national court may find of its own motion that it is an unfair practice to include in a contract a term concerning interest on late payments, suffice it to state, as the Advocate General also mentioned in point 106 of her Opinion, that there is nothing in the order for reference to indicate that the Juzgado de Primera Instancia No 2 de Sabadell, having issued the order rejecting the application for an order for payment, considered to be an unfair commercial practice, within the meaning of the abovementioned directive, the fact that Banesto had included in the credit agreement into which it entered with Mr Caldern Camino a term concerning interest on late payments such as that at issue in the main proceedings. It must also be stated that, in its decision, the referring court expands on considerations explaining that question, referring expressly to the possible unfair practice of the banking institution. Consequently, it is evident that the interpretation of Directive 2005/29 is purely hypothetical in the light of the subject-matter of the dispute in the main proceedings. In that context, the fact that that directive has not been transposed is also irrelevant for the purposes of the resolution of that dispute. In the light of the foregoing, the third to sixth questions submitted by the referring court must therefore be declared inadmissible.

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Costs 89 Since these proceedings are, for the parties to the main proceedings, a step in the action pending before the national court, the decision on costs is a matter for that court. Costs incurred in submitting observations to the Court, other than the costs of those parties, are not recoverable. On those grounds, the Court (First Chamber) hereby rules: 1. Council Directive 93/13/EEC of 5 April 1993 on unfair terms in consumer contracts must be interpreted as precluding legislation of a Member State, such as that at issue in the main proceedings, which does not allow the court before which an application for an order for payment has been brought to assess of its own motion, in limine litis or at any other stage during the proceedings, even though it already has the legal and factual elements necessary for that task available to it, whether a term relating to interest on late payments contained in a contract concluded between a seller or supplier and a consumer is unfair, in the case where that consumer has not lodged an objection. Article 6(1) of Directive 93/13 must be interpreted as precluding legislation of a Member State, such as Article 83 of Royal Legislative Decree 1/2007 approving the consolidated version of the General Law for the protection of consumers and users and other supplementary laws (Real Decreto Legislativo 1/2007 por el que se aprueba el texto refundido de la Ley General para la Defensa de los Consumidores y Usuarios y otras leyes complementarias) of 16 November 2007, which allows a national court, in the case where it finds that an unfair term in a contract concluded between a seller or supplier and a consumer is void, to modify that contract by revising the content of that term.

2.

[Signatures]

*Language of the case: Spanish.

SENTENCIA DEL TRIBUNAL DE JUSTICIA (Sala Primera) de 14 de junio de 2012 (*)

Directiva 93/13/CEE Contratos celebrados con consumidores Clusula abusiva de intereses de demora Proceso monitorio Competencias del rgano jurisdiccional nacional

En el asunto C618/10, que tiene por objeto una peticin de decisin prejudicial planteada, con arreglo al artculo 267 TFUE, por la Audiencia Provincial de Barcelona, mediante auto de 29 de noviembre de 2010, recibido en el Tribunal de Justicia el 29 de diciembre de 2010, en el procedimiento entre Banco Espaol de Crdito, S.A., y Joaqun Caldern Camino, EL TRIBUNAL DE JUSTICIA (Sala Primera), integrado por el Sr. A. Tizzano (Ponente), Presidente de Sala, y los Sres. M. Safjan, M. Ilei y E. Levits y la Sra. M. Berger, Jueces; Abogado General: Sra. V. Trstenjak; Secretaria: Sra. M. Ferreira, administradora principal; habiendo considerado los escritos obrantes en autos y celebrada la vista el 1 de diciembre de 2011; consideradas las observaciones presentadas: en nombre del Banco Espaol de Crdito, S.A., por las Sras. A. Herrador Muoz y V. Betancor Snchez y por el Sr. R. Rivero Sez, abogados; en nombre del Gobierno espaol, por la Sra. S. Centeno Huerta, en calidad de agente; en nombre del Gobierno alemn, por la Sra. J. Kemper y el Sr. T. Henze, en calidad de agentes; en nombre de la Comisin Europea, por la Sra. M. Owsiany-Homung y el Sr. E. Gippini Fournier, en calidad de agentes;

odas las conclusiones de la Abogado General, presentadas en audiencia pblica el 14 de febrero de 2012; dicta la siguiente Sentencia

La peticin de decisin prejudicial tiene por objeto la interpretacin: del artculo 6, apartado 1, de la Directiva 93/13/CEE del Consejo, de 5 de abril de 1993, sobre las clusulas abusivas en los contratos celebrados con consumidores (DO L 95, p. 29); del artculo 2 de la Directiva 2009/22/CE del Parlamento Europeo y del Consejo, de 23 de abril de 2009, relativa a las acciones de cesacin en materia de proteccin de los intereses de los consumidores (DO L 110, p. 30); de las disposiciones del Reglamento (CE) n 1896/2006 del Parlamento Europeo y del Consejo, de 12 de diciembre de 2006, por el que se establece un proceso monitorio europeo (DO L 399, p. 1); de los artculos 5, apartado 1, letras l) y m), 6, 7 y 10, apartado 2, letra l), de la Directiva 2008/48/CE del Parlamento Europeo y del Consejo, de 23 de abril de 2008, relativa a los contratos de crdito al consumo y por la que se deroga la Directiva 87/102/CEE del Consejo (DO L 133, p. 66), y del artculo 11, apartado 2, de la Directiva 2005/29/CE del Parlamento Europeo y del Consejo, de 11 de mayo de 2005, relativa a las prcticas comerciales desleales de las empresas en sus relaciones con los consumidores en el mercado interior, que modifica la Directiva 84/450/CEE del Consejo, las Directivas 97/7/CE, 98/27/CE y 2002/65/CE del Parlamento Europeo y del Consejo y el Reglamento (CE) n 2006/2004 del Parlamento Europeo y del Consejo (Directiva sobre las prcticas comerciales desleales) (DO L 149, p. 22).

Dicha peticin se present en el marco de un litigio entre el Banco Espaol de Crdito, S.A. (en lo sucesivo, Banesto), y el Sr. Caldern Camino, relativo al pago de cantidades debidas en ejecucin de un contrato de crdito al consumo celebrado entre ambas partes. Marco jurdico Normativa de la Unin Directiva 87/102/CEE

La Directiva 87/102/CEE del Consejo, de 22 de diciembre de 1986, relativa a la aproximacin de las disposiciones legales, reglamentarias y administrativas de los Estados miembros en materia de crdito al consumo (DO L 1987, L 42, p. 48), prevea en su artculo 6: 1. No obstante la exclusin prevista en la letra e) del apartado 1 del artculo 2, cuando exista un contrato entre una entidad de crdito o una entidad financiera y un consumidor para la concesin de un crdito en forma de anticipos en cuenta corriente que no sea una cuenta de tarjeta de crdito, el consumidor deber ser informado, en el momento de la celebracin del contrato, o con anterioridad: del lmite del crdito, si lo hubiere; del tipo de inters anual y de los gastos aplicables a partir del momento en que se celebre el contrato y de las condiciones en las que podrn modificarse; del procedimiento para la rescisin del contrato.

Esta informacin ser confirmada por escrito.

2. Adems, mientras dure el contrato, el consumidor ser informado de cualquier cambio que se produzca en el tipo de inters o en los gastos pertinentes en el momento en que se produzca. Se facilitar esta informacin en un extracto de cuenta o de cualquier otra manera aceptable para los Estados miembros. 3. En los Estados miembros en los que se permita la existencia de descubiertos aceptados tcitamente, el consumidor deber ser informado del tipo de inters anual y de los posibles gastos a su cargo, as como de todas las modificaciones de los mismos cuando dicho descubierto se prolongue ms all de un perodo de tres meses. 4 A tenor del artculo 7 de la misma Directiva: En el caso de crditos concedidos para la adquisicin de bienes, los Estados miembros debern establecer las condiciones en virtud de las cuales puedan recuperarse dichos bienes, en particular cuando el consumidor no haya dado su consentimiento. Garantizarn, adems, que cuando el acreedor recupere la posesin de los bienes, la liquidacin entre las partes se efecte de tal forma que la recuperacin de dichos bienes no ocasione un enriquecimiento injusto. Directiva 93/13 5 El duodcimo considerando de la Directiva 93/13 afirma lo siguiente: Considerando no obstante que en el estado actual de las legislaciones nacionales slo se puede plantear una armonizacin parcial; que, en particular, las clusulas de la presente Directiva se refieren nicamente a las clusulas contractuales que no hayan sido objeto de negociacin individual; que es importante dejar a los Estados miembros la posibilidad, dentro del respeto del Tratado, de garantizar una proteccin ms elevada al consumidor mediante disposiciones ms estrictas que las de la presente Directiva. 6 El vigsimo primero considerando de dicha Directiva tiene la siguiente redaccin: Considerando que los Estados miembros deben adoptar las medidas necesarias para evitar que se estipulen clusulas abusivas en los contratos celebrados con consumidores por un profesional y que, si a pesar de ello figuraran tales clusulas, stas no obligaran al consumidor y el contrato seguir siendo obligatorio para las partes en los mismos trminos, siempre que las clusulas abusivas no afecten a su existencia. 7 El vigsimo cuarto considerando de la misma Directiva precisa: Considerando que los rganos judiciales y autoridades administrativas deben contar con medios apropiados y eficaces para poner fin al uso de clusulas abusivas en los contratos celebrados con consumidores. 8 A tenor del artculo 6 de la Directiva 93/13: 1. Los Estados miembros establecern que no vincularn al consumidor, en las condiciones estipuladas por sus Derechos nacionales, las clusulas abusivas que figuren en un contrato celebrado entre ste y un profesional y dispondrn que el contrato siga siendo obligatorio para las partes en los mismos trminos, si ste puede subsistir sin las clusulas abusivas. 2. Los Estados miembros adoptarn las medidas necesarias para que el consumidor no se vea privado de la proteccin que ofrece la presente Directiva por el hecho de haber elegido el Derecho de un Estado tercero como Derecho aplicable al contrato cuando el contrato mantenga una estrecha relacin con el territorio de un Estado miembro de la Comunidad.

El artculo 7, apartado 1, de dicha Directiva tiene la siguiente redaccin: Los Estados miembros velarn por que, en inters de los consumidores y de los competidores profesionales, existan medios adecuados y eficaces para que cese el uso de clusulas abusivas en los contratos celebrados entre profesionales y consumidores.

10

El artculo 8 de la misma Directiva dispone lo siguiente: Los Estados miembros podrn adoptar o mantener en el mbito regulado por la presente Directiva, disposiciones ms estrictas que sean compatibles con el Tratado, con el fin de garantizar al consumidor un mayor nivel de proteccin. Directiva 2005/29

11

A tenor del artculo 11, apartados 1 y 2, de la Directiva 2005/29: 1. Los Estados miembros velarn por que existan medios adecuados y eficaces para luchar contra las prcticas comerciales desleales, con miras al cumplimiento de las disposiciones de la presente Directiva en inters de los consumidores. [] 2. En el marco de las disposiciones legales a que se refiere el apartado 1, los Estados miembros conferirn a los tribunales o a los rganos administrativos unas competencias que les faculten para tomar las medidas que se indican a continuacin si estiman que dichas medidas son necesarias habida cuenta de todos los intereses en juego y, en particular, del inters general: a) ordenar el cese de prcticas comerciales desleales, o emprender las acciones legales pertinentes para que se ordene el cese de dichas prcticas, o b) prohibir la prctica comercial desleal o emprender las acciones legales pertinentes para que se ordene la prohibicin de la prctica, cuando sta no haya sido todava utilizada pero sea inminente su utilizacin,

incluso en ausencia de prueba de una prdida o de un perjuicio real, o de una intencin o negligencia por parte del comerciante. Los Estados miembros prevern adems que las medidas a que se refiere el prrafo primero se adopten en el marco de un procedimiento acelerado: bien con efecto provisional, bien con efecto definitivo,

quedando entendido que corresponde a cada Estado miembro determinar cul de estas dos opciones ser la que se adopte. [] Reglamento n 1896/2006 12 El dcimo considerando del Reglamento n 1896/2006 afirma lo siguiente: El proceso establecido mediante el presente Reglamento debe constituir un medio complementario y opcional para el demandante, que conserva plena libertad de recurrir a los

procedimientos establecidos en el Derecho nacional. Por lo tanto, el presente Reglamento no sustituye ni armoniza los mecanismos de cobro de crditos no impugnados existentes en el Derecho nacional. 13 El artculo 1 del Reglamento n 1896/2006 establece: 1. a) El presente Reglamento tiene por objeto: simplificar, acelerar y reducir los costes de litigacin en asuntos transfronterizos relativos a crditos pecuniarios no impugnados, mediante el establecimiento de un proceso monitorio europeo, y b) permitir la libre circulacin de requerimientos europeos de pago a travs de todos los Estados miembros, mediante el establecimiento de normas mnimas cuya observancia haga innecesario un proceso intermedio en el Estado miembro de ejecucin con anterioridad al reconocimiento y a la ejecucin.

2. El presente Reglamento no obstar para que un demandante reclame un crdito, segn la definicin del artculo 4, mediante el recurso a otro proceso establecido con arreglo al Derecho de un Estado miembro o con arreglo al Derecho comunitario. Directiva 2008/48 14 El artculo 1 de la Directiva 2008/48 est redactado de la siguiente manera: La presente Directiva tiene por objeto armonizar determinados aspectos de las disposiciones legales, reglamentarias y administrativas de los Estados miembros en materia de contratos de crdito al consumo. 15 A tenor del artculo 5, apartado 1, de dicha Directiva: Con la debida antelacin, y antes de que el consumidor asuma cualquier obligacin en virtud de un contrato u oferta de crdito, el prestamista y, en su caso, el intermediario de crdito debern facilitar al consumidor, sobre la base de las condiciones del crdito ofrecidas por el prestamista y, en su caso, de las preferencias manifestadas y de la informacin facilitada por el consumidor, la informacin que sea precisa para comparar las diversas ofertas y adoptar una decisin informada sobre la suscripcin de un contrato de crdito. [] Dicha informacin deber especificar: [] l) m) [] 16 El artculo 10, apartado 2, de la misma Directiva dispone lo siguiente: El contrato de crdito deber especificar, de forma clara y concisa, los siguientes datos: [] el tipo de inters de demora as como las modalidades para su adaptacin y, cuando proceda, los gastos por impago; una advertencia sobre las consecuencias en caso de impago;

l) [...]

el tipo de inters de demora aplicable en el momento de la celebracin del contrato de crdito y los procedimientos para su ajuste y, cuando proceda, los gastos por impago;

Directiva 2009/22 17 El artculo 1, apartado 1, de la Directiva 2009/22 establece: La presente Directiva tiene por objeto aproximar las disposiciones legales, reglamentarias y administrativas de los Estados miembros relativas a las acciones de cesacin a las que se refiere el artculo 2, destinadas a la proteccin de los intereses colectivos de los consumidores que se contemplan en las Directivas que aparecen enumeradas en el anexo I, con el fin de garantizar el buen funcionamiento del mercado interior. 18 A tenor del artculo 2 de la misma Directiva: 1. Los Estados miembros designarn las autoridades judiciales o administrativas competentes para resolver en las acciones ejercitadas por las entidades habilitadas en el sentido del artculo 3 a fin de obtener que: a) [] 2. La presente Directiva no obstar a la aplicacin de las normas de Derecho internacional privado relativas a la ley aplicable, a saber, normalmente, la aplicacin, bien de la ley del Estado miembro en que se haya originado la infraccin, bien de la ley del Estado miembro en el que la infraccin surta efectos. Derecho espaol 19 En Derecho espaol, la proteccin de los consumidores contra las clusulas abusivas estaba garantizada inicialmente por la Ley 26/1984, de 19 de julio, General para la Defensa de los Consumidores y Usuarios (BOE n 176, de 24 de julio de 1984, p. 21686; en lo sucesivo, Ley 26/1984). La Ley 26/1984 fue modificada posteriormente mediante la Ley 7/1998, de 13 de abril, sobre condiciones generales de la contratacin (BOE n 89, de 14 de abril de 1998, p. 12304), que adapt el Derecho interno a la Directiva 93/13. Por ltimo, el Real Decreto Legislativo 1/2007, de 16 de noviembre, por el que se aprueba el texto refundido de la Ley General para la Defensa de los Consumidores y Usuarios y otras leyes complementarias (BOE n 287, de 30 de noviembre de 2007, p. 49181; en lo sucesivo, Real Decreto Legislativo 1/2007), estableci el texto refundido de la Ley 26/1984, con sus sucesivas modificaciones. A tenor del artculo 83 del Real Decreto Legislativo 1/2007: 1. Las clusulas abusivas sern nulas de pleno derecho y se tendrn por no puestas. se ordene, con toda la diligencia debida, en su caso mediante procedimiento de urgencia, la cesacin o la prohibicin de toda infraccin;

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2. La parte del contrato afectada por la nulidad se integrar con arreglo a lo dispuesto por el artculo 1.258 del Cdigo Civil y al principio de buena fe objetiva. A estos efectos, el Juez que declare la nulidad de dichas clusulas integrar el contrato y dispondr de facultades moderadoras respecto de los derechos y obligaciones de las partes, cuando subsista el contrato, y de las consecuencias de su ineficacia en caso de

perjuicio apreciable para el consumidor y usuario. Slo cuando las clusulas subsistentes determinen una situacin no equitativa en la posicin de las partes que no pueda ser subsanada podr el Juez declarar la ineficacia del contrato. 23 El artculo 1.258 del Cdigo Civil dispone lo siguiente: Los contratos se perfeccionan por el mero consentimiento, y desde entonces obligan, no slo al cumplimiento de lo expresamente pactado, sino tambin a todas las consecuencias que, segn su naturaleza, sean conformes a la buena fe, al uso y a la ley. 24 Por lo que respecta al proceso monitorio, la Ley de Enjuiciamiento Civil, en la versin vigente en el momento de la apertura del procedimiento en el litigio principal, enumera en el artculo 812, apartado 1, los requisitos de aplicacin de aquel proceso en los trminos siguientes: Podr acudir al proceso monitorio quien pretenda de otro el pago de deuda dineraria, vencida y exigible, de cantidad determinada que no exceda de 30.000 euros, cuando la deuda de esa cantidad se acredite de alguna de las formas siguientes: 1. Mediante documentos, cualquiera que sea su forma y clase o el soporte fsico en que se encuentren, que aparezcan firmados por el deudor o con su sello, impronta o marca o con cualquier otra seal, fsica o electrnica, proveniente del deudor. Mediante facturas, albaranes de entrega, certificaciones, telegramas, telefax o cualesquiera otros documentos que, aun unilateralmente creados por el acreedor, sean de los que habitualmente documentan los crditos y deudas en relaciones de la clase que aparezca existente entre acreedor y deudor.

2.

[] 25 El artculo 815 de la Ley de Enjuiciamiento Civil, que lleva como epgrafe Admisin de la peticin y requerimiento de pago, establece en su apartado 1 lo siguiente: Si los documentos aportados con la peticin fueran de los previstos en el apartado 2 del artculo 812 o constituyeren, a juicio del tribunal, un principio de prueba del derecho del peticionario, confirmado por lo que se exponga en aqulla, se requerir mediante providencia al deudor para que, en el plazo de veinte das, pague al peticionario, acreditndolo ante el tribunal, o comparezca ante ste y alegue sucintamente, en escrito de oposicin, las razones por las que, a su entender, no debe, en todo o en parte, la cantidad reclamada. [...]. 26 Por su parte, el artculo 818 de la Ley de Enjuiciamiento Civil, relativo a la oposicin del deudor, dispone en su apartado 1 lo siguiente: Si el deudor presentare escrito de oposicin dentro de plazo, el asunto se resolver definitivamente en juicio que corresponda, teniendo la sentencia que se dicte fuerza de cosa juzgada. Litigio principal y cuestiones prejudiciales 27 El 28 de mayo de 2007, el Sr. Caldern Camino suscribi una pliza de prstamo por importe de 30.000 euros con Banesto (en lo sucesivo, contrato controvertido), para la adquisicin de un vehculo destinado a atender las necesidades de la comunidad econmica (de un matrimonio o de una relacin de pareja estable). El inters retributivo fijado era del 7,950 %, el TAE de 8,890 % y el inters de demora del 29 %.

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Aunque la fecha de vencimiento del contrato controvertido era el 5 junio de 2014, Banesto lo dio por vencido anticipadamente, ya que en septiembre de 2008 no se haban abonado an un total de siete cuotas de amortizacin mensuales. Por lo tanto, Banesto present el 8 de enero de 2009 ante el Juzgado de Primera Instancia n 2 de Sabadell una demanda de juicio monitorio, con arreglo al Derecho espaol, en reclamacin de un importe de 29.381,95 euros, correspondiente a las cuotas mensuales impagadas, ms intereses convencionales y costas. El 21 de enero de 2010, el Juzgado de Primera Instancia n 2 de Sabadell dict un auto en el que constataba, por una parte, que el contrato controvertido era un contrato de adhesin, por haberse celebrado sin posibilidades reales de negociacin e incluir condiciones generales impuestas, y, por otra parte, que la fijacin del tipo de inters de demora del 29 % figuraba en una clusula mecanogrfica que no se distingua del resto del texto en cuanto al tipo o cuerpo de letra o a su aceptacin especfica por parte del consumidor. Dadas estas circunstancias, y tomando en consideracin el tipo de inters Euribor (Euro interbank offered rate) y el del Banco Central Europeo (BCE), as como el hecho de que el inters de demora en cuestin sobrepasaba el inters retributivo en ms de 20 puntos, el Juzgado de Primera Instancia n 2 de Sabadell declar de oficio nula de pleno derecho la clusula de intereses moratorios controvertida, por estimarla abusiva, remitindose a la reiterada jurisprudencia del Tribunal de Justicia en la materia. Adems, fij el inters de demora en un 19 %, basndose en el inters legal y en el inters de demora establecidos en las Leyes de Presupuestos de 1990 a 2008, y requiri a Banesto para que procediera a un nuevo clculo del importe de los intereses para el perodo que se discuta en el litigio del que estaba conociendo. Banesto interpuso recurso de apelacin contra dicho auto ante la Audiencia Provincial de Barcelona, alegando esencialmente que el Juzgado de Primera Instancia n 2 de Sabadell no poda, en esa fase del proceso, ni declarar de oficio la nulidad de la clusula relativa a los intereses de demora, considerada por l abusiva, ni modificar dicha clusula. En el auto de remisin, la Audiencia Provincial de Barcelona seala, en primer lugar, que la normativa espaola sobre proteccin de los intereses de los consumidores y usuarios no faculta a los jueces del proceso monitorio para declarar de oficio, e in limine litis, la nulidad de las clusulas abusivas, pues la legalidad de tales clusulas ha de ventilarse en el correspondiente proceso declarativo, que nicamente se inicia en caso de oposicin del deudor. En segundo lugar, por lo que respecta al Derecho de la Unin, la Audiencia Provincial de Barcelona indica que es cierto que la jurisprudencia del Tribunal de Justicia ha interpretado el artculo 6, apartado 1, de la Directiva 93/13 en el sentido de que obliga a los jueces nacionales a examinar de oficio la nulidad y la inaplicabilidad de las clusulas abusivas, incluso en el caso de que las partes en el contrato no lo hayan solicitado. Segn el tribunal remitente, sin embargo, el Reglamento n 1896/2006, que regula precisamente el proceso monitorio a nivel de la Unin Europea, no establece un procedimiento de control de oficio e in limine litis de las clusulas abusivas, sino que se limita a enumerar una serie de requisitos y de informaciones que deben facilitarse a los consumidores. Asimismo, ni la Directiva 2008/48, relativa a los contratos de crdito al consumo, ni la Directiva 2009/22, relativa a las acciones de cesacin de las infracciones perjudiciales para los intereses de los consumidores, establecen mecanismos procesales que obliguen a los tribunales nacionales a declarar de oficio la nulidad de una clusula como la contenida en el contrato controvertido. Por ltimo, aunque se considerase desleal, en el sentido de la Directiva 2005/29, la

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prctica consistente en incluir una clusula de intereses de demora en el texto de un contrato celebrado entre un profesional y un consumidor, como la Ley 29/2009, de 30 de diciembre, por la que se modifica el rgimen legal de la competencia desleal y de la publicidad para la mejora de la proteccin de los consumidores y usuarios (BOE n 315, de 31 de diciembre de 2009, p. 112039), no ha transpuesto en Derecho espaol el artculo 11, apartado 2, de dicha Directiva, los tribunales nacionales carecen de todos modos de la facultad de examinar de oficio el carcter desleal de dicha prctica. 37 En estas circunstancias, la Audiencia Provincial de Barcelona, al albergar dudas sobre la correcta interpretacin del Derecho de la Unin, decidi suspender el procedimiento y plantear al Tribunal de Justicia las siguientes cuestiones prejudiciales: 1) Es contrario al Derecho comunitario, en especial respecto al Derecho de los consumidores y usuarios, que un rgano judicial nacional eluda pronunciarse de oficio y ab limine litis y en cualquier fase del proceso, sobre la nulidad o no y la integracin o no de una clusula de intereses moratorios (en este caso del 29 %), en un contrato de prstamo al consumo? Puede el tribunal optar, sin alterar los derechos del consumidor de la legislacin comunitaria, por deferir el posible anlisis de tal clusula a la iniciativa de la parte deudora (mediante la oportuna oposicin procesal)? A la luz del art. 6.1 de la Directiva 93/13/CEE y art. 2 de la Directiva [2009/22/CE], cmo debe interpretarse de manera conforme el art. 83 del Real Decreto Legislativo nm. 1/2007 [] a tales efectos? Qu alcance tiene, a estos efectos, el art. 6.1 de la Directiva 93/13/CEE cuando establece que las clusulas abusivas no vincularn al consumidor? Puede excluirse el control judicial de oficio y ab limine litis cuando la parte actora determine con claridad en la demanda el tipo de inters moratorio, el importe de la deuda, incluido el principal y los intereses, las penalizaciones contractuales y las costas, el tipo de inters y el perodo respecto del cual se reclaman dichos intereses (o la referencia a aadir de oficio un inters legal al principal en virtud del Derecho del Estado miembro de origen), la causa de pedir, incluida una descripcin de las circunstancias invocadas como fundamento de la deuda y los intereses reclamados y se concrete si se trata de inters legal, contractual, capitalizacin de intereses o tipo de inters del prstamo, si se ha calculado por la demandante y el tanto por ciento por encima del tipo de base del Banco Central, como sucede en el Reglamento [n 1896/2006] sobre el proceso monitorio europeo? En defecto de transposicin, los art. 5, l y m, y 6 cuando habla de procedimientos para su ajuste y en el art. 10 l al referir modalidades de adaptacin de la Directiva 2008/48/CE, obligan a la entidad financiera a recoger de manera especial y significada en el contrato (no en el cuerpo del texto, de forma nada discriminada) como informacin precontractual las referencias al tipo de inters de demora, para caso de impago, con claridad y en lugar destacado y los elementos tenidos en cuenta para su determinacin (gastos financieros, de recobro ) y a incluir una advertencia sobre las consecuencias en relacin con los elementos de coste? El art. 6.2 de la Directiva 2008/48/CE incluye la obligacin de comunicar el vencimiento anticipado del crdito o prstamo, que abre la aplicacin del inters moratorio? Es aplicable el principio de interdiccin del enriquecimiento injusto del art. 7 de la Directiva 2008/48/CE cuando la entidad crediticia no pretende slo la recuperacin del bien (el capital de prstamo), sino la aplicacin de intereses de demora especialmente elevados? A falta de norma de transposicin y a la luz del art. 11.2 de la Directiva 2005/29/CE, puede el tribunal analizar de oficio como desleal la prctica de introducir en el texto del contrato una clusula de intereses moratorios?

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Sobre las cuestiones prejudiciales Sobre la primera cuestin prejudicial 38 Mediante su primera cuestin, el rgano jurisdiccional remitente pide sustancialmente que se dilucide si la Directiva 93/13 debe interpretarse en el sentido de que se opone a una normativa de un Estado miembro, como la controvertida en el litigio principal, que no permite que el juez que conoce de una demanda en un proceso monitorio examine de oficio in limine litis ni en ninguna fase del procedimiento el carcter abusivo de una clusula sobre intereses de demora contenida en un contrato celebrado entre un profesional y un consumidor, cuando este ltimo no haya formulado oposicin. Para responder a esta cuestin, procede recordar de inmediato que el sistema de proteccin que establece la Directiva 93/13 se basa en la idea de que el consumidor se halla en situacin de inferioridad respecto al profesional, en lo referido tanto a la capacidad de negociacin como al nivel de informacin, situacin que le lleva a adherirse a las condiciones redactadas de antemano por el profesional sin poder influir en el contenido de stas (sentencias de 27 de junio de 2000, Ocano Grupo Editorial y Salvat Editores, C240/98 a C244/98, Rec. p. I4941, apartado 25; de 26 de octubre de 2006, Mostaza Claro, C168/05, Rec. p. I10421, apartado 25, y de 6 de octubre de 2009, Asturcom Telecomunicaciones, C40/08, Rec. p. I9579, apartado 29). Habida cuenta de esta situacin de inferioridad, el artculo 6, apartado 1, de la citada Directiva prev que las clusulas abusivas no vincularn al consumidor. Como se desprende de la jurisprudencia, se trata de una disposicin imperativa que pretende reemplazar el equilibrio formal que el contrato establece entre los derechos y obligaciones de las partes por un equilibrio real que pueda restablecer la igualdad entre stas (sentencias Mostaza Claro, antes citada, apartado 36; Asturcom Telecomunicaciones, antes citada, apartado 30; de 9 de noviembre de 2010, VB Pnzgyi Lzing, C137/08, Rec. p. I-0000, apartado 47, y de 15 de marzo de 2012, Pereniov y Pereni, C453/10, Rec. p. I-0000, apartado 28). Con el fin de garantizar la proteccin a que aspira la Directiva 93/13, el Tribunal de Justicia ha subrayado ya en varias ocasiones que la situacin de desequilibrio existente entre el consumidor y el profesional slo puede compensarse mediante una intervencin positiva, ajena a las partes del contrato (vanse las sentencias, antes citadas, Ocano Grupo Editorial y Salvat Editores, apartado 27; Mostaza Claro, apartado 26; Asturcom Telecomunicaciones, apartado 31, y VB Pnzgyi Lzing, apartado 48). As, a la luz de estos principios, el Tribunal de Justicia ha declarado que el juez nacional debe apreciar de oficio el carcter abusivo de una clusula contractual incluida en el mbito de aplicacin de la Directiva 93/13 y, de este modo, subsanar el desequilibrio que existe entre el consumidor y el profesional (vanse, en este sentido, las sentencias Mostaza Claro, antes citada, apartado 38; de 4 de junio de 2009, Pannon GSM, C243/08, Rec. p. I4713, apartado 31; Asturcom Telecomunicaciones, antes citada, apartado 32, y VB Pnzgyi Lzing, antes citada, apartado 49). Por consiguiente, el papel que el Derecho de la Unin atribuye al juez nacional en la materia de que se trata no se circunscribe a la mera facultad de pronunciarse sobre la naturaleza eventualmente abusiva de una clusula contractual, sino que incluye asimismo la obligacin de examinar de oficio esta cuestin tan pronto como disponga de los elementos de hecho y de Derecho necesarios para ello (vase la sentencia Pannon GSM, antes citada, apartado 32). A este respecto, al pronunciarse sobre una peticin de decisin prejudicial presentada por un tribunal nacional en el marco de un procedimiento contradictorio iniciado a raz de la oposicin formulada por un consumidor contra una demanda en proceso monitorio, el

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Tribunal de Justicia declar que el juez nacional debe acordar de oficio diligencias de prueba para determinar si una clusula atributiva de competencia jurisdiccional territorial exclusiva, que figura en un contrato celebrado entre un profesional y un consumidor, est comprendida en el mbito de aplicacin de la Directiva 93/13 y, en caso afirmativo, apreciar de oficio el carcter eventualmente abusivo de dicha clusula (sentencia VB Pnzgyi Lzing, antes citada, apartado 56). 45 No obstante, el caso de autos se distingue de los asuntos que dieron lugar a las sentencias Pannon GSM y VB Pnzgyi Lzing, antes citadas, por el hecho de que versa sobre la definicin de las responsabilidades que, en virtud de las disposiciones de la Directiva 93/13, incumben al juez nacional, en el marco de un proceso monitorio, antes de que el consumidor haya formulado oposicin. A este respecto, procede declarar que, al no existir armonizacin de los mecanismos nacionales de cobro de crditos no impugnados, las normas de aplicacin de los procesos monitorios nacionales corresponden al ordenamiento jurdico interno de los Estados miembros en virtud del principio de autonoma procesal de estos ltimos, pero siempre que tales normas no sean menos favorables que las que regulan situaciones similares sometidas al Derecho interno (principio de equivalencia) y no hagan imposible en la prctica o excesivamente difcil el ejercicio de los derechos que el ordenamiento jurdico de la Unin confiere a los consumidores (principio de efectividad) (vanse, en este sentido, las sentencias, antes citadas, Mostaza Claro, apartado 24, y Asturcom Telecomunicaciones, apartado 38). En lo que atae al principio de equivalencia, debe sealarse que el Tribunal de Justicia no cuenta con ningn elemento que suscite dudas en cuanto a la conformidad con dicho principio de la normativa controvertida en el litigio principal. En efecto, consta en autos que el sistema procesal espaol no slo no permite al juez nacional que conoce de una demanda en un proceso monitorio examinar de oficio in limine litis ni en ninguna fase del procedimiento el carcter abusivo, con arreglo al artculo 6 de la Directiva 93/13, de una clusula contenida en un contrato celebrado entre un profesional y un consumidor, cuando este ltimo no haya formulado oposicin, sino que tampoco le permite pronunciarse sobre si tal clusula resulta contraria a las normas nacionales de orden pblico, lo cual incumbe verificar, no obstante, al tribunal nacional. En lo que atae al principio de efectividad, procede recordar que, segn reiterada jurisprudencia del Tribunal de Justicia, cada caso en el que se plantee la cuestin de si una disposicin procesal nacional hace imposible o excesivamente difcil la aplicacin del Derecho de la Unin debe analizarse teniendo en cuenta el lugar que ocupa dicha disposicin dentro del conjunto del procedimiento y el desarrollo y las peculiaridades de ste ante las diversas instancias nacionales (vase la sentencia Asturcom Telecomunicaciones, antes citada, apartado 39 y jurisprudencia citada). En el caso presente, de la documentacin remitida al Tribunal de Justicia se deduce que, con arreglo al artculo 812 de la Ley de Enjuiciamiento Civil, el proceso monitorio se aplica en los supuestos de deudas vencidas, lquidas y exigibles cuyo importe no exceda de un valor lmite, que se elevaba a 30.000 euros en la fecha de los hechos del litigio principal. A fin de garantizar a los acreedores un acceso ms fcil a la justicia y un desarrollo ms rpido del procedimiento, ese mismo artculo se limita a exigir a aqullos que adjunten a la demanda los documentos que acrediten la existencia de la deuda, sin obligarles a indicar con claridad el tipo de inters de demora, el perodo preciso de exigibilidad y el punto de referencia de ese mismo tipo en relacin con el inters legal de Derecho interno o con el tipo del Banco Central Europeo. De este modo, en virtud de los artculos 815, apartado 1, y 818, apartado 1, de la Ley de

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Enjuiciamiento Civil, la competencia del juez nacional que conoce de una demanda en proceso monitorio se circunscribe a comprobar que concurren los requisitos formales para iniciar dicho procedimiento, en cuyo caso deber dar curso favorable a la demanda y dictar un requerimiento de pago con carcter ejecutivo, sin poder examinar in limine litis ni en ninguna fase del procedimiento la procedencia de la demanda a la luz de los datos de que disponga, salvo en caso de que el deudor se niegue a pagar la deuda o formule oposicin dentro de un plazo de veinte das contados a partir de la fecha de la notificacin del mencionado requerimiento de pago. El escrito de oposicin deber necesariamente ir firmado por abogado en los litigios que excedan de una determinada cuanta fijada por la ley, cuanta que, en la fecha de los hechos que dieron lugar al litigio principal, se elevaba a 900 euros. 53 Pues bien, en este contexto, procede declarar que un rgimen procesal de este tipo, que no permite que el juez que conoce de una demanda en un proceso monitorio, aun cuando ya disponga de todos los elementos de hecho y de Derecho necesarios al efecto, examine de oficio in limine litis ni en ninguna fase del procedimiento el carcter abusivo de las clusulas contenidas en un contrato celebrado entre un profesional y un consumidor, cuando este ltimo no haya formulado oposicin, puede menoscabar la efectividad de la proteccin que pretende garantizar la Directiva 93/13 (vase, en este sentido, la sentencia de 21 de noviembre de 2002, Cofidis, C473/00, Rec. p. I10875, apartado 35). En efecto, habida cuenta de la configuracin general, desarrollo y peculiaridades del proceso monitorio, tal como se han descrito en los apartados 50 a 52 de la presente sentencia, existe un riesgo no desdeable de que los consumidores afectados no formulen la oposicin requerida, ya sea debido al plazo particularmente breve previsto para ello, ya sea porque los costes que implica la accin judicial en relacin con la cuanta de la deuda litigiosa puedan disuadirlos de defenderse, ya sea porque ignoran sus derechos o no perciben cabalmente la amplitud de los mismos, o ya sea debido, por ltimo, al contenido limitado de la demanda presentada por los profesionales en el proceso monitorio y, por ende, al carcter incompleto de la informacin de que disponen. De este modo, bastara con que los profesionales presentaran la demanda en un proceso monitorio en lugar de hacerlo en el juicio civil ordinario para privar a los consumidores de la proteccin que pretende garantizar la Directiva 93/13, lo que resulta asimismo contrario a la jurisprudencia del Tribunal de Justicia segn la cual las caractersticas especficas de los procedimientos judiciales que se ventilan entre los profesionales y los consumidores, en el marco del Derecho nacional, no pueden constituir un elemento que pueda afectar a la proteccin jurdica de la que estos ltimos deben disfrutar en virtud de las disposiciones de la Directiva 93/13 (sentencia Pannon GSM, antes citada, apartado 34). En tales condiciones, procede declarar que la normativa espaola controvertida en el litigio principal no resulta conforme con el principio de efectividad, en la medida en que hace imposible o excesivamente difcil, en los litigios iniciados a instancia de los profesionales y en los que los consumidores son parte demandada, aplicar la proteccin que la Directiva 93/13 pretende conferir a estos ltimos. A la luz de las precedentes consideraciones, procede responder a la primera cuestin prejudicial que la Directiva 93/13 debe interpretarse en el sentido de que se opone a una normativa de un Estado miembro, como la controvertida en el litigio principal, que no permite que el juez que conoce de una demanda en un proceso monitorio, aun cuando disponga de los elementos de hecho y de Derecho necesarios al efecto, examine de oficio in limine litis ni en ninguna fase del procedimiento el carcter abusivo de una clusula sobre intereses de demora contenida en un contrato celebrado entre un profesional y un consumidor, cuando este ltimo no haya formulado oposicin. Sobre la segunda cuestin prejudicial

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A fin de proporcionar una interpretacin del Derecho de la Unin que resulte til al tribunal remitente (vase, en este sentido, la sentencia de 16 de diciembre de 2008, Michaniki, C213/07, Rec. p. I9999, apartados 50 y 51), la segunda cuestin prejudicial debe entenderse en el sentido de que pide sustancialmente que se dilucide si el artculo 2 de la Directiva 2009/22 y el artculo 6, apartado 1, de la Directiva 93/13 se oponen a una normativa de un Estado miembro, como la contenida en el artculo 83 del Real Decreto Legislativo 1/2007, que atribuye al juez nacional, cuando ste declara la nulidad de una clusula abusiva contenida en un contrato celebrado entre un profesional y un consumidor, la facultad de integrar dicho contrato modificando el contenido de la clusula abusiva. A este respecto, es preciso poner de relieve, con carcter preliminar, que el litigio principal se ventila en el marco de un proceso monitorio iniciado a instancia de una de las partes contratantes y no en el contexto de una accin de cesacin ejercitada por una entidad habilitada en el sentido del artculo 3 de la Directiva 2009/22. Por consiguiente, en la medida en que esta ltima Directiva no resulta aplicable al litigio principal, no procede pronunciarse sobre la interpretacin del artculo 2 de la misma. Sentado lo anterior, y a fin de responder a la cuestin planteada en lo que atae a las consecuencias que deben deducirse de la declaracin del carcter abusivo de una clusula contractual, es preciso remitirse tanto a la letra del artculo 6, apartado 1, de la Directiva 93/13 como a la finalidad y sistemtica de esta ltima (vanse, en este sentido, las sentencias de 3 de diciembre de 2009, AHP Manufacturing, C482/07, Rec. p. I7295, apartado 27, y de 8 de diciembre de 2011, Merck Sharp & Dohme, C125/10, Rec. p. I-0000, apartado 29). En lo que atae al tenor literal del citado artculo 6, apartado 1, procede hacer constar, por un lado, que el primer fragmento de frase de dicha disposicin, si bien reconoce a los Estados miembros cierto margen de autonoma en lo que atae a la definicin del rgimen jurdico aplicable a las clusulas abusivas, les impone expresamente la obligacin de establecer que tales clusulas no vincularn al consumidor. En este contexto, el Tribunal de Justicia ya ha tenido ocasin de interpretar la citada disposicin en el sentido de que incumbe a los tribunales nacionales que examinan el carcter abusivo de las clusulas contractuales deducir todas las consecuencias que, segn el Derecho nacional, se derivan de ello, a fin de evitar que las mencionadas clusulas vinculen al consumidor (vanse la sentencia Asturcom Telecomunicaciones, antes citada, apartado 58; el auto de 16 de noviembre de 2010, Pohotovos, C76/10, Rec. p. I-0000, apartado 62, y la sentencia Pereniov y Pereni, antes citada, apartado 30). En efecto, tal y como se ha recordado en el apartado 40 de la presente sentencia, se trata de una disposicin imperativa que pretende reemplazar el equilibrio formal que el contrato establece entre los derechos y obligaciones de las partes por un equilibrio real que pueda restablecer la igualdad entre stas. Por otro lado, procede sealar que el legislador de la Unin previ expresamente, tanto en el segundo fragmento de frase del artculo 6, apartado 1, de la Directiva 93/13 como en el vigsimo primero considerando de sta, que el contrato celebrado entre el profesional y el consumidor seguir siendo obligatorio para las partes en los mismos trminos, si ste puede subsistir sin las clusulas abusivas. As pues, del tenor literal del apartado 1 del citado artculo 6 resulta que los jueces nacionales estn obligados nicamente a dejar sin aplicacin la clusula contractual abusiva, a fin de que sta no produzca efectos vinculantes para el consumidor, sin estar facultados para modificar el contenido de la misma. En efecto, el contrato en cuestin debe subsistir, en principio, sin otra modificacin que la resultante de la supresin de las clusulas abusivas, en la medida en que, en virtud de las normas del Derecho interno, tal persistencia del

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contrato sea jurdicamente posible. 66 67 Esta interpretacin viene confirmada, adems, por la finalidad y la sistemtica de la Directiva 93/13. En efecto, segn reiterada jurisprudencia del Tribunal de Justicia, dicha Directiva en su totalidad constituye una medida indispensable para el cumplimiento de las misiones confiadas a la Unin Europea, especialmente para la elevacin del nivel y de la calidad de vida en el conjunto de sta (vanse las sentencias, antes citadas, Mostaza Claro, apartado 37; Pannon GSM, apartado 26, y Asturcom Telecomunicaciones, apartado 51). As pues, habida cuenta de la naturaleza y la importancia del inters pblico en el que descansa la proteccin que pretende garantizarse a los consumidores los cuales se encuentran en una situacin de inferioridad en relacin con los profesionales, y tal como se desprende del artculo 7, apartado 1, de la Directiva 93/13, en relacin con su vigsimo cuarto considerando, dicha Directiva impone a los Estados miembros la obligacin de prever medios adecuados y eficaces para que cese el uso de clusulas abusivas en los contratos celebrados entre profesionales y consumidores. Pues bien, en este contexto es preciso sealar que, tal como ha indicado la Abogado General en los puntos 86 a 88 de sus conclusiones, si el juez nacional tuviera la facultad de modificar el contenido de las clusulas abusivas que figuran en tales contratos, dicha facultad podra poner en peligro la consecucin del objetivo a largo plazo previsto en el artculo 7 de la Directiva 93/13. En efecto, la mencionada facultad contribuira a eliminar el efecto disuasorio que ejerce sobre los profesionales el hecho de que, pura y simplemente, tales clusulas abusivas no se apliquen frente a los consumidores (vase, en este sentido, el auto Pohotovost, antes citado, apartado 41 y jurisprudencia citada), en la medida en que los profesionales podran verse tentados a utilizar clusulas abusivas al saber que, aun cuando llegara a declararse la nulidad de las mismas, el contrato podra ser integrado por el juez nacional en lo que fuera necesario, garantizando de este modo el inters de dichos profesionales. Por esta razn, aunque se reconociera al juez nacional la facultad de que se trata, sta no podra por s misma garantizar al consumidor una proteccin tan eficaz como la resultante de la no aplicacin de las clusulas abusivas. Por lo dems, tal facultad tampoco podra fundamentarse en el artculo 8 de la Directiva 93/13, que atribuye a los Estados miembros la posibilidad de adoptar o mantener, en el mbito regulado por la Directiva, disposiciones ms estrictas que sean compatibles con el Derecho de la Unin, siempre que se garantice al consumidor un mayor nivel de proteccin (vanse las sentencias de 3 de junio de 2010, Caja de Ahorros y Monte de Piedad de Madrid, C484/08, Rec. p. I4785, apartados 28 y 29, y Pereniov et Pereni, antes citada, apartado 34). As pues, de las precedentes consideraciones resulta que el artculo 6, apartado 1, de la Directiva 93/13 no puede entenderse en el sentido de que permite, en el supuesto de que el juez nacional constate la existencia de una clusula abusiva en un contrato celebrado entre un profesional y un consumidor, que dicho juez modifique el contenido de la clusula abusiva, en lugar de limitarse a dejarla sin aplicacin frente al consumidor. A este respecto, incumbe al tribunal remitente determinar cules son las normas procesales nacionales aplicables al litigio del que est conociendo, as como, tomando en consideracin la totalidad de su Derecho interno y aplicando los mtodos de interpretacin reconocidos por ste, hacer todo lo que sea de su competencia a fin de garantizar la plena efectividad del artculo 6, apartado 1, de la Directiva 93/13 y alcanzar una solucin conforme con el objetivo perseguido por sta (vase, en este sentido, la sentencia de 24 de enero de 2012, Dominguez, C282/10, Rec. p. I-0000, apartado 27 y jurisprudencia citada). A la luz de cuanto antecede, procede responder a la segunda cuestin prejudicial que el

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artculo 6, apartado 1, de la Directiva 93/13 debe interpretarse en el sentido de que se opone a una normativa de un Estado miembro, como el artculo 83 del Real Decreto Legislativo 1/2007, que atribuye al juez nacional, cuando ste declara la nulidad de una clusula abusiva contenida en un contrato celebrado entre un profesional y un consumidor, la facultad de integrar dicho contrato modificando el contenido de la clusula abusiva. Sobre las cuestiones prejudiciales tercera a sexta 74 Mediante las cuestiones tercera a sexta, el rgano jurisdiccional remitente pide sustancialmente al Tribunal de Justicia que se pronuncie, por una parte, sobre las responsabilidades que incumben a los tribunales nacionales, en virtud del Reglamento n 1896/2006 y de la Directiva 2005/29, cuando examinan una clusula contractual sobre intereses de demora como la controvertida en el litigio principal, y, por otra parte, sobre las obligaciones que incumben a las entidades financieras al aplicar el tipo de inters de demora en los contratos de crdito, en el sentido de los artculos 5, apartado 1, letras l) y m), 6, 7 y 10, apartado 2, letra l), de la Directiva 2008/48. El Reino de Espaa y la Comisin Europea sostienen que debe declararse la inadmisibilidad de dichas cuestiones prejudiciales, en la medida en que las normas del Derecho de la Unin a que se refieren no resultan aplicables al litigio principal y, por lo tanto, la interpretacin de las mismas no puede ser de utilidad para el tribunal remitente a efectos de resolver dicho litigio. A este respecto, procede recordar de inmediato que, segn reiterada jurisprudencia, en el marco de un procedimiento con arreglo al artculo 267 TFUE, basado en una clara separacin de las funciones entre los rganos jurisdiccionales nacionales y el Tribunal de Justicia, slo el juez nacional es competente para constatar y apreciar los hechos del litigio principal y para interpretar y aplicar el Derecho nacional. Asimismo corresponde exclusivamente al juez nacional, que conoce del litigio y que debe asumir la responsabilidad de la decisin jurisdiccional que debe adoptarse, apreciar, a la luz de las particularidades del asunto, tanto la necesidad como la pertinencia de las cuestiones que plantea al Tribunal de Justicia. Por consiguiente, dado que las cuestiones planteadas se refieren a la interpretacin del Derecho de la Unin, el Tribunal de Justicia est, en principio, obligado a pronunciarse (sentencias de 12 de abril de 2005, Keller, C145/03, Rec. p. I2529, apartado 33; de 18 de julio de 2007, Lucchini, C119/05, Rec. p. I6199, apartado 43, y de 11 de septiembre 2008, Eckelkamp y otros, C11/07, Rec. p. I6845, apartados 27 y 32). As pues, la negativa del Tribunal de Justicia a pronunciarse sobre una cuestin planteada por un rgano jurisdiccional nacional slo es posible cuando resulta evidente que la interpretacin solicitada del Derecho de la Unin no tiene relacin alguna con la realidad o con el objeto del litigio principal, cuando el problema es de naturaleza hipottica o cuando el Tribunal de Justicia no dispone de los elementos de hecho y de Derecho necesarios para responder de manera til a las cuestiones planteadas (vanse, en particular, las sentencias de 5 de diciembre de 2006, Cipolla y otros, C94/04 y C202/04, Rec. p. I11421, apartado 25, y de 1 de junio de 2010, Blanco Prez y Chao Gmez, C570/07 y C571/07, Rec. p. I4629, apartado 36). Pues bien, debe declararse que as sucede precisamente en el caso de autos. En particular, por lo que se refiere a la tercera cuestin prejudicial, procede constatar que la interpretacin del Reglamento n 1896/2006 carece de toda pertinencia en relacin con la decisin que el tribunal remitente ha de adoptar en el litigio del que est conociendo. En efecto, por un lado, debe sealarse que, tal como resulta de la documentacin remitida al Tribunal de Justicia, los hechos del litigio principal no estn incluidos en el mbito de aplicacin del citado Reglamento el cual, a tenor del apartado 1 de su artculo 1, se refiere nicamente a los litigios transfronterizos, sino que siguen rigindose exclusivamente por las

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disposiciones de la Ley de Enjuiciamiento Civil. Por otro lado, es importante precisar que el Reglamento n 1896/2006, segn consta expresamente en su dcimo considerando, no sustituye ni armoniza los mecanismos de cobro de crditos no impugnados existentes en el Derecho nacional. 80 En lo que atae a la cuarta cuestin prejudicial, es obvio que las disposiciones de los artculos 5, apartado 1, letras l) y m), 6 y 10, apartado 2, letra l), de la Directiva 2008/48, cuya interpretacin pide el rgano jurisdiccional remitente, no resultan aplicables ratione temporis al litigio principal, en la medida en que ste versa sobre la ejecucin supuestamente incorrecta por parte del Sr. Caldern Camino del contrato de crdito celebrado el 28 de mayo de 2007 entre este ltimo y Banesto. En efecto, a este respecto basta con declarar que la Directiva 2008/48 entr en vigor, en virtud de los artculos 27, 29 y 31, el 11 de junio de 2008 y que los Estados miembros deban adoptar las medidas necesarias para dar cumplimiento a lo dispuesto en dicha Directiva antes del 11 de junio de 2010, fecha a partir de la cual qued derogada la Directiva 87/102. Por otro lado, el artculo 30, apartado 1, de la Directiva 2008/48 previ expresamente que la misma no se aplicara a los contratos de crdito en curso en la fecha de entrada en vigor de las medidas nacionales de transposicin. En cuanto a la quinta cuestin prejudicial, que tiene por objeto que se dilucide, por un lado, si el artculo 6, apartado 2, de la Directiva 2008/48 obliga a la entidad crediticia a comunicar el vencimiento anticipado del crdito o prstamo para poder aplicar el inters moratorio y, por otro lado, si el principio de prohibicin del enriquecimiento injusto, enunciado en el artculo 7 de la misma Directiva, puede invocarse cuando dicha entidad crediticia no pretende slo la recuperacin del capital, sino tambin obtener unos intereses de demora especialmente elevados, procede sealar de inmediato que, segn consta en la documentacin remitida al Tribunal de Justicia, con dicha cuestin el rgano jurisdiccional remitente quiso referirse, en realidad, a los correspondientes artculos de la Directiva 87/102, nicos artculos que resultan congruentes con el objeto de la misma. No obstante, aun admitiendo que tal sea el alcance real de la quinta cuestin prejudicial (vase, en este sentido, la sentencia de 18 de noviembre de 1999, Teckal, C107/98, Rec. p. I8121, apartados 34 y 39), es preciso observar que, como tambin ha sealado la Abogado General en los puntos 99 y 100 de sus conclusiones, nada en el auto de remisin indica que en el litigio principal se plantease un problema en relacin ya sea con la obligacin de informar previamente al consumidor de cualquier cambio que se produzca en el tipo de inters anual, ya con la devolucin de un bien al acreedor que d lugar al enriquecimiento injusto de este ltimo. As pues, es obvio que la quinta cuestin prejudicial es de naturaleza hipottica, puesto que la interpretacin de las citadas disposiciones de la Directiva 87/102 no presenta ninguna relacin con el objeto del litigio principal. En lo que atae, por ltimo, a la sexta cuestin prejudicial, que tiene por objeto que se dilucide si, a falta de transposicin de la Directiva 2005/29, el artculo 11, apartado 2, de sta debe interpretarse en el sentido de que un juez nacional puede examinar de oficio el carcter desleal de una prctica consistente en incluir en el texto de un contrato una clusula de intereses de demora, basta con declarar que, como tambin ha considerado la Abogado General en el punto 106 de sus conclusiones, nada en el auto de remisin indica que el Juzgado de Primera Instancia n 2 de Sabadell, al dictar el auto de desestimacin de la demanda en proceso monitorio, hubiese considerado como una prctica comercial desleal, en el sentido de la mencionada Directiva, el hecho de que Banesto hubiera incluido en el contrato de crdito que celebr con el Sr. Caldern Camino una clusula de intereses de demora como la controvertida en el litigio principal.

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Es preciso hacer constar tambin que el tribunal remitente desarrolla en su auto consideraciones explicativas sobre la mencionada cuestin, refirindose expresamente a la posible prctica desleal de la entidad bancaria. Por consiguiente, es evidente que la interpretacin de la Directiva 2005/29 presenta un carcter puramente hipottico en relacin con el objeto del litigio principal. En este contexto, el hecho de que dicha Directiva no haya sido objeto de transposicin carece asimismo de pertinencia para la resolucin del litigio principal. Por consiguiente, habida cuenta de las precedentes consideraciones, procede declarar la inadmisibilidad de las cuestiones prejudiciales tercera a sexta planteadas por el rgano jurisdiccional remitente. Costas

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Dado que el procedimiento tiene, para las partes del litigio principal, el carcter de un incidente promovido ante el rgano jurisdiccional nacional, corresponde a ste resolver sobre las costas. Los gastos efectuados por quienes, no siendo partes del litigio principal, han presentado observaciones ante el Tribunal de Justicia no pueden ser objeto de reembolso. En virtud de todo lo expuesto, el Tribunal de Justicia (Sala Primera) declara: 1) La Directiva 93/13/CEE del Consejo, de 5 de abril de 1993, sobre las clusulas abusivas en los contratos celebrados con consumidores, debe interpretarse en el sentido de que se opone a una normativa de un Estado miembro, como la controvertida en el litigio principal, que no permite que el juez que conoce de una demanda en un proceso monitorio, aun cuando disponga de los elementos de hecho y de Derecho necesarios al efecto, examine de oficio in limine litis ni en ninguna fase del procedimiento el carcter abusivo de una clusula sobre intereses de demora contenida en un contrato celebrado entre un profesional y un consumidor, cuando este ltimo no haya formulado oposicin. El artculo 6, apartado 1, de la Directiva 93/13 debe interpretarse en el sentido de que se opone a una normativa de un Estado miembro, como el artculo 83 del Real Decreto Legislativo 1/2007, de 16 de noviembre, por el que se aprueba el texto refundido de la Ley General para la Defensa de los Consumidores y Usuarios y otras leyes complementarias, que atribuye al juez nacional, cuando ste declara la nulidad de una clusula abusiva contenida en un contrato celebrado entre un profesional y un consumidor, la facultad de integrar dicho contrato modificando el contenido de la clusula abusiva.

2)

Firmas

* Lengua de procedimiento: espaol.