Fitch Warns About Spanish Mortgage Ruling


Rating agency Fitch became aware of a court case in which the judge denied the bank of its will to continue getting the mortgage after getting the house. If the appeal won’t reverse this ruling, it could be a precedent that could hurt the Spanish banking system.

Tracy Alloway reports:

In a Friday statement, the rating agency dealt with a recent ruling by a judge in the Spanish province of Navarra, which said that giving a mortgaged house back to a bank is sufficient to cancel mortgage debt, even if the house has negative equity (H/T mh arb). This is rather different to what normally happens in the Spanish system, with banks able to go after the assets of defaulted borrowers for up to 15 years.

So, if Spanish banks will have to settle on seizing the house, without having the ability to pursue the rest of the debt, this will significantly damage their finances. With Spain planning to nationalize the savings banks, the “cajas”, the damage to banks  will eventually hurt the sovereign as well.

Another anecdote is that the Spanish judge in this case said that the financial crisis, caused by financial malpractice, is to blame, and that the bank is morally repellent for asking more than the house for a payback.

This might have implication on the Euro in the long term,

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Yohay Elam – Founder, Writer and Editor I have been into forex trading for over 5 years, and I share the experience that I have and the knowledge that I’ve accumulated. After taking a short course about forex. Like many forex traders, I’ve earned a significant share of my knowledge the hard way. Macroeconomics, the impact of news on the ever-moving currency markets and trading psychology have always fascinated me. Before founding Forex Crunch, I’ve worked as a programmer in various hi-tech companies. I have a B. Sc. in Computer Science from Ben Gurion University. Given this background, forex software has a relatively bigger share in the posts.


  1. Heather Chambers on

    Whilst clearly this ruling may have an impact on banks and their desire to lend in the future the current situation is also untenable. Little or no protection is given to the borrower as is the case in UK where banks must make best endevours to help the client where possible and gain best price on property by following a laid down sales procedure after gaining right to force sale. In Spain no of this happens in fact often the property is sold to a bank employee or family and friends.

    Also in UK bancrupcy also covers house debt in Spain it does not and neither does Bancrupcy wipe out the debts after so many years.

    Somewhere there is a fairer system for all that protects the banks and the individuals how long it will take for mortgage reform to take place who knows.