Banks tar­get 300,000 bad debtors

Kathimerini English - - Focus - EVGENIA TZORTZI

Some 300,000 debtors face mea­sures that in­clude the auc­tion­ing of their homes.

These are debtors and loan guar­an­tors who, hav­ing failed to re­spond to let­ters sent to them by banks ask­ing them to re­struc­ture their ar­rears, are now clas­si­fied as non­co­op­er­a­tive ac­cord­ing to the bank­ing sec­tor’s Ethics Code. Such let­ters have been sent to 1.2 mil­lion bor­row­ers and, ac­cord­ing to fig­ures from the banks, about a quar­ter of re­cip­i­ents have not re­sponded.

Clas­si­fi­ca­tion as a non­co­op­er­a­tive debtor sig­nals the start of le­gal ac­tion by the banks that can lead to home fore­clo­sures. Af­ter the 2015 amend­ment to the 2010 Kat- seli Law, named af­ter for­mer econ­omy min­is­ter Louka Kat­seli, which of­fered pro­tec­tion to overindebted house­holds, even debtors who have re­quested pro­tec­tion un­der its pro­vi­sions can no longer con­sider them­selves shielded from such mea­sures if their lender deems them non­co­op­er­a­tive.

Data from banks show that 300,000 debtors have re­ceived the third let­ter of the process pro­vided by the Code, hav­ing failed to make any debt pay­ments in over a year. Banks have re­al­ized that most of them have loans without col­lat­eral (i.e. con­sumer loans and credit cards) while the large ma­jor­ity have no prop­erty as­sets.

Those who have re­quested pro­tec­tion un­der the Kat­seli Law may still see their homes auc­tioned.

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