Thursday, November 8, 2012

The EU says Spanish foreclosure law violates European consumer protection rules

If the devil were looking for inspiration for soul-selling contracts, he’d have to look no further than your typical Spanish mortgage. Clauses such as where the borrower is responsible for paying all legal fees (for both themselves and the bank!) if the borrower choses to take the bank to court.To make things worse, in the case of foreclosure, the borrower has no right to contest any part of the mortgage as abusive until after they have been evicted (and presumably stripped of any assets that they could possibly use to pay for a lawyer).

Finally the EU has stepped in and told Spain that these rules are incompatible with EU consumer protection rules (duh). Coincidentally (or not), the government has agreed to pass an urgent bill reforming the foreclosure process.

It’s sad to think that for the 400,000 homes that have been repossessed in Spain since the crisis began, there are 400,000 families that have probably lost all their savings, their homes, and even the ability to ever find legal employment (any wages above minimum sustenance levels can be garnished by the lender to make up for any shortfall between the sale price and the balance of the mortgage, plus legal fees and anything else the bank can dream up).

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