Spanish banks freeze some evictions

Two-year freeze on evictions of homeowners "in extreme need" agreed to after suicides of two tenants facing expulsion.

    Spain's banking association has said it will halt evictions of indebted home owners in extreme need for the next two years.

    Monday's decision to freeze mortgage-related evictions came after reports of a second suicide in 15 days by indebted homeowners facing expulsion in Spain surfaced.

    The deaths shocked a country already weary of tough austerity measures in the midst of recession and record unemployment, and the news sent thousands into the streets in anti-bank protests. 

    The freeze, which will be observed by Spain's largest banks, is aimed at taking the heat out of an increasingly dramatic trend affecting thousands of people caught in the economic crisis.

    'Humanitarian reasons'

    The banks had agreed "for humanitarian reasons and within a framework of social responsibility, to halt reposessions during the next two years in those cases that involve extreme need," it said in a statement.

    The decision was hammered out after a "deep and intense debate among associated banks so as to relieve the situation of helplessness of many people caused by the economic crisis."

    Spain's association of savings banks, CECA, issued a separate statement saying it, too, had agreed to suspend evictions of the "most vulnerable" until new regulations are announced.

    Conservative government officials will meet on Monday with leading Socialist opposition party members to discuss new regulations governing evictions.

    The talks took on greater urgency after the suicide of a second person about to suffer eviction on Friday.

    In Spain, home owners unable to make mortgage payments may be evicted but still remain liable to repay whatever value is left on the mortgage after the repossession.

    More than 350,000 people have lost their homes in this way over the past four years.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera And Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.