• Spain's news in English

Spanish banks seized 40,000 homes in 2012

AFP · 11 May 2013, 07:33

Published: 11 May 2013 07:33 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

A total of 39,167 homes were seized in 2012, the Bank of Spain said in a bulletin based on a survey of lenders which approve over 85 percent of mortgages in the country.

It is the first time the central bank has published figures on the number of homes seized by banks.

The Bank of Spain plans to publish the figure each semester from now on.

The vast majority of homes seized last year, 32,490, were considered primary dwellings, with the rest either secondary residences used as holiday properties or rented out.

Over half of the primary dwellings seized last year, or 18,325, were handed over voluntarily while in 14,165 cases lenders had to go to court to gain control of the property.

The jump in evictions has soared to the top of the political agenda due to a series of suicides by people who were about to be thrown out of their homes and television images of weeping families forced out on the street.

It has also sparked a protest movement which sends activists to block the entrance to homes of people about to be evicted in order to prevent police from forcibly removing them from their homes.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's conservative government has introduced several measures to help struggling families remain in their homes.

Story continues below…

However, it has refused to bow to campaigners' demands to change Spain's mortgage laws to allow defaulters' debts to be erased if they turn in the keys to their home.

Under Spanish law most people still have to pay off their mortgage debt even after eviction.

Spain is grappling with a double-dip recession caused by the collapse of a property bubble in 2008 which has caused the unemployment rate to soar to a record 27 percent.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Dine in the buff at Spain's first nudist restaurant
A buffet of organic food will be served on "human tables". Photo: Innato / Facebook

Spain's first naked dining experience is to arrive on the island of Tenerife following the success of a similar venture in London.

Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Photo: AFP

Spain's Constitutional Court on Thursday cancelled a bullfighting ban in Catalonia in what is likely to exacerbate tensions between Madrid and the separatist region, and between animal activists and fans of the tradition.

Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Eta members made a ceasefire declaration in January, 2011. Photo: Gara / AFP

Five years after armed separatist group Eta declared a permanent ceasefire, Basque journalist Alberto Letona is still wondering when the dialogue will begin.

Hunt for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Call Crimestoppers if you recognize these faces.

These fugitives from British justice are thought to be hiding out in Spain. Do you recognize anyone?

Eta 'not dead' but Spain focus moves onto jihadism
Archive photo of a pro-mural in the Basque Country. Photo: AFP

Five years after Eta quit violence, the Basque separatist group has yet to dissolve but it poses little threat and authorities have shifted their focus to fight jihadists, says Spain's chief anti-terrorism prosecutor.

Brazilian suspect in grisly Madrid murder turns self in
Marcos Campos Nogueira is the chief suspect in the murder of a married couple and their two children. Photo: Guardia Civil/Twitter

A Brazilian teenager suspected of dismembering his uncle and aunt and killing their two young sons in a grisly crime that shocked Spain has turned himself in to police.

Spain approves equal parental leave for fathers
Photo: Rietje Swart / Flickr

Fathers will now be allowed the same parental leave as new mothers, under measures agreed by Spain’s parliament.

Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Photo: Dickukne / Flickr

Do you have trouble sleeping? Then Napflix is the television channel for you.

Women in Spain will 'work for free' from October 21st
Women in Spain earn 19.3 percent less than men. Photo: World Bank Collection / Flickr

Spain's gender pay gap effectively means women won't get paid for the rest of the year, according to a new report.

The Local List
Nine incredibly  addictive television series from Spain
A still from Spanish TV series Velvet. Photo: Antena3.com

As the evenings draw in, what could be better than curling up on the sofa to watch a box set?

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
Bison found decapitated on Valencia nature reserve
Forgotten Voices: What Brits in Spain think about Brexit
One dead and 14 injured in blast at Spanish resort
Game of Thrones want extras 'with muscles' to film in Spain
Thousands march in Madrid to push for bullfighting ban
Spanish team invents hands-free 'penis bidet'
In pics: Devastation caused by Costa Blanca wildfires
jobs available