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The ban on the sale of debtors’ mortgaged houses has been cancelled

09 August 2013 / 18:08:19  GRReporter
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The Greek Ministry of Finance has apparently adopted the carrot and stick tactics since competent minister Yiannis Stournaras on the one hand states that 2013 will be the last year when the people will pay the additional property tax, announcing on the other that the ban on the sale of debtors’ mortgaged houses has been cancelled.

Presenting its social criteria as an alibi, the Ministry of Finance is yielding to the pressure from the banks which, for a long time, have insisted on liberalizing the sale of mortgaged houses. According to them, it is necessary to abolish the ban on the public sale of the first mortgaged house in order for market distortions to be corrected because, as they claim, there are borrowers who have deposits but who are not servicing their loans.

Within this context, the Minister answered a question about lifting the ban, adding that it will enter into force early next year, with a "sense of responsibility" and without affecting housing loans.

"The vulnerable groups of the population will be protected," said the Minister.

Let us recall that the measure "freezing" the public sale of the first mortgaged house has been in force since 2008 and has been renewed every year.

Regarding the additional real estate tax paid by the taxpayers along with their electricity bills, the Minister states that 2013 will be the last year when it will be in effect, adding that the combined property tax will soon be ready and it will be fair to all.

Who will be protected from auctions

According to current information, the financial and social status of each debtor will be the main criteria in determining the cases in which the "freezing" of the public sale will be cancelled.
The authorities will take into account whether the debtor is unemployed and if his or her family has many children, how many years the property has been protected by the existing legislation and its tax assessment.

Additional parameters which, in each individual case, could influence the decision on whether to apply the measure or not may be the amount of the loan obtained for purchasing the property, the income of the debtor, etc.

To summarize, the following factors that will determine in each individual case whether a mortgaged property should be sold through a public auction procedure are to be discussed:

• social criteria

• income criteria

• duration of the "freezing" of the auction

• area of ​​the property

• the amount of the loan.

However, experts from the ministries of finance and development hasten to clarify that no decision has been taken and that the government will discuss the issue with all interested parties.

The estimates of the number of "frozen" properties vary and some claim that it is about 200,000, whereas recent data show that two out of every ten loans are non-performing.

Tags: AuctionFirst houseMinister of FinanceProperty tax
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