ISSN 2330-717X

Spain Approves Urgent Measures To Protect Most Vulnerable Mortgage Debtors

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Spain’s Council of Ministers approved earlier this week a Royal Decree-Law on urgent measures to improve protection for mortgage debtors.

The Vice-President of the Government, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, explained that this measure forms part of an initial set of decisions taken by the government aimed at combating the most urgent situations.

According to the Vice-President of the Government, “we need to implement many economic reforms to return to growth but we are also aware that, in the meantime, social measures need to be taken to alleviate the difficult situation that certain families are going through”.

Spain
Spain

The Royal Decree-Law provides for a two-year moratorium on evictions affecting the most vulnerable groups in society. The Minister for Economic Affairs and Competition, Luis de Guindos, said that this measure aims to “avoid people being turned out of their home”.

Protected Groups

Luis de Guindos explained that the measure will affect large families, single-parent families with two children, families with minors under the age of three and family units that include disabled persons, dependent persons or sick persons. It will also apply to families where the mortgage debtor is out of work and no longer entitled to unemployment benefits, as well as family units that include a victim of gender-based violence.

In addition to these requirements, the level of income received by the mortgage debtors may not exceed triple the Multiplier for the Public Income Index (Spanish acronym: IPREM), which in 2012 stands at 532 euros a month. The measure will also be applied to families that have suffered a significant alteration to their economic circumstances.

Both the Vice-President of the Government and the Minister for Economic Affairs and Competition announced that the government will start to negotiate the creation of a social housing fund, which is currently held by the banks, aimed at social rentals at very low prices for those who have lost their homes.

Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría trusts that the government will be able to count on the support of all parliamentary groups in the passage of the draft bill through Parliament. She also thanked the government’s technical teams and the Socialist Party for their work, saying that they had worked “hard and very well” to ease the situation caused by recent evictions.

Asset Management Company

The Council of Ministers approved a Royal Decree establishing the legal regime for asset management companies, within the framework of the agreements with European institutions for the recapitalisation of the Spanish banking system. This decision will result in the implementation of the Asset Management Company deriving from the Bank Restructuring (Spanish acronym: SAREB) on 1 December.

Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría confirmed that the company “will pool the toxic assets from entities undergoing restructuring processes in order to manage and sell them off in an orderly manner”. The regulation will establish which assets are to be transferred, how they are valued and the legal structure of the company, always “from a perspective of maximum transparency, professionalism and subject to continuous evaluation”.

In turn, Luis de Guindos highlighted that “the fundamental objective of the company is to facilitate the definitive clean-up of the entities, free up capital, implement professional management and boost the housing market”.

The minister reported that a public limited company will be incorporated to own and manage the assets. The shareholders will comprise the Fund for Orderly Bank Restructuring (Spanish acronym: FROB), which may not exceed ownership of more than 50% of the capital, and other institutional investors.

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