THE effects of the indignation movement’s demonstrations being mounted in Madrid and other Spanish cities are now cascading down to street level.
Seventy four year old disabled pensioner, Luis Dominguez, due to be evicted for falling short on his mortgage commitments, faced life on the streets. His home in Parla (Madrid) was saved by protestors who, on hearing of his plight, gathered outside his home and prevented court officials from serving him with their order to surrender his apartment to the bank.
The distraught Sr. Dominguez said afterwards: “I only heard about them helping people to fight the banks off last night, and this was all organised within hours. It is amazing I am still here.”
A Madrid family of Lebanese origin faced repossession of their home until a crowd of several hundred flash-protestors gathered outside their family home. They successfully stopped police and court officials from evicting the family.
These and other homeowners have been forced into negative equity; many are now paying a mortgage considerably higher than their property’s value. Caught in a trap, one anxious homeowner tells of remortgaging his home at €145,000 that three years earlier was valued at €280,000. He says the bank now wants his home and intends to pursue him for the €90,000 balance.
Maria Luisa de Castro, legal expert at costaluzlawyers.com was asked if the protestors were buying time in what was a futile gesture. Would the homes of Sr. Dominguez and others be repossessed in due course? She says; “Fortunately, some Spanish judges have opted for an ethical enforcement of mortgage law. In their judgement, once a house has been repossessed, the related debt is finished.”
It is thought that Provision 3 of the Civil Code on fair and sustainable application of law will make banks think twice before committing themselves to repossession. For them and their distressed mortgagees it will be back to the drawing board for an alternative solution to eviction.