30 Sep, 2011 @ 19:10
1 min read

Riot breaks out as family are evicted for failing to pay €24,000 mortgage in Spain

RIOT police have clashed with demonstrators from Spain’s growing 15M movement over the repossession of a family’s home near Jerez.

A total of six police were injured when they moved in to evict the family-of-five from their home on the outskirts of the city.

According to the authorities, missiles were thrown and scuffles broke out, as 11 people were arrested in the clash to save the family from eviction.

Bullets were fired in the air and a number of reporters and photographers were also injured in the clash.

It took the police two-and-a-half hours to clear the home of José Vega Gutiérrez and Antonia Alhama Sánchez, after they failed to pay three quotes towards their 24,000 euro mortgage.

The father of three had to be taken to hospital during the morning suffering from stress, while two other people were hospitalised in the disturbances.

While Jerez town hall insisted it ‘sympathised’ with the family, a spokesman claimed that there was no way of avoiding the action.

The group of over 30 protesters from the 15M movement, which blocked Madrid’s Puerta del Sol for a month earlier this year, walked to the courts in Jerez to continue their opposition.

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

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  1. It’s sad that Spain’s gone the same way as the UK … they were better off without bank loans and mortgages, and without nasty evil banks and their practices.

  2. Evicted for such a small mortgage? Quite disgusting. A total over reaction. Property investors take note.

    Spain is really returning to being quite a horrible draconian state. The family should lodge a complaint with the Court of Human Rights (although they’d be in a very large queue by now given the abuses by Spain in so many areas.)

  3. So if ‘evil banks’ which lend money to people to buy property don’t follow through on non-payers, why would anyone bother to pay a mortgage? How would it be if they told their savers they were only going to return half of their savings as they had used the other half to let people off paying their mortgages? You borrow money, you dont repay it, there are consequences-as the Greeks are finding out. Welcome to the real world……

    Fred, your assessment of Spain being a horrible, draconian State because a bank repossesses a non payer is just ridiculous. All banks in all countries do the same or they go bust! There is no human rights issue here whatsoever.

  4. Steve, the banks have already gone bust without our assistance, if you didn’t notice what was happening in the real world.

    Of course a house is at risk if you don’t keep up repayments, but it is the manner in which the problem is addressed that I am commenting about. There are always alternatives, for example one bank has just frozen mortgage payments for two years to allow people to get back on their feet; others have accepted interest only payments. Others call the riot police and end up with lead stories in newspapers that property investors read about. A few weeks ago in Spain they also evicted a blind 90 year old and her 50 year old disabled son. Not really good PR.

  5. I’m with Steve. I don’t want my bank charging me higher interest rates on the repayments I make because some other customers feel entitled to “borrow” money and not pay it back. When people take out a loan they, and they bank to a degree, should work out whether thay can repay it and the customer guarantees the loan with a security, in this case probably the house. The bank is a business, not a social service provided by a charity.

  6. Precisely, Steve. All banks in all countries will repossess if borrowers fail to pay their mortgages. Why would it be any different in Spain? I feel for this evicted family, and they are victims of the recession I am sure, as are many people around the world.
    Banks, as we all know too well, are not charitable institutions. They are what they are: a business.


  7. I do understand these actions taken against non payment of numerous quotas of a large mortgage, say some 80% of the value of the property. This action is totally unfair, as 3 quotas are the minimum legal limit of non payment and a 24.000 Mortgage represents maybe a tenth of the value.
    I would not be surprised if the bank branch manager makes a nice little bid on the property in their closed shop auction and lands himself a very good bargain at the cost of an evicted family of five.
    Name the bank, please.

  8. You hit the nail on the head Dirk. I said above, this is a strange case and there is most probably an ulterior motive to get this property back to the bank when it would have been much more logical, as well as financially prudent, to allow the family to get back on their feet. I mean, what bank wants yet another house? Anyone know who the bank is?

  9. It is disgusting. My bank actually helped me out big time when I was in a similar position. I have a smallish mortgage, (an 8th of the value) and missed quotas. My bank refinanced my problem so I pay less per month, and so helped me back on my feet. I do not mind mentioning Solbank of the Sabadel group for their great service.

  10. Anthony, you need to check your Spanish. In ‘Puerta del Sol’, ‘Puerta’ means ‘gate’ or ‘gateway’ not ‘port’. ‘Puerto’ means ‘port.’

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