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Posts Tagged ‘dacion en pago’

Bank of Spain Raises Real Estate Provisions Set Aside by Lenders

May 27th, 2010

It was highly anticipated since January this year that the Bank of Spain would raise –yet again– the provisions lenders have to set aside on real estate assets held in their portfolios as a result of NPL (https://belegal’s or on accepting daciones en pago (https://belegal from ailing developers or struggling borrowers. The purpose of these provisions is to offset the likely capital depreciation.

Lenders are required to set aside 10% on adjudicating themselves these assets and deposit it before the BoS. If after 12 months the asset remains in their books they have to set aside an additional 10%. If a further 12 months go by a further 10%. So basically after 24 months they are unable to offload these real estate assets from their portfolio they must set aside provisions for 30%.

So the BoS not only has raised these provisions but additionally has also proposed to shorten the timeline to deposit them down from 24 months to 12 months. The outlined proposal will bring serious consequences on many fronts:

i) As a direct result lenders will suffer a further impact on their already deteriorating balance sheets as they will have to allocate additional funds to offset asset depreciation which sincerely couldn’t come at a worst time as credit is tight. Spanish savings banks will foreseeably suffer the greatest with this change to the point that some may even collapse (http://www NULL.cotizalia NULL.html). The BoS itself estimates the huge impact of yesterday’s change in a reduction of 10%, on average, of Spanish banks’ pre-tax profit.

ii) Indirectly, as I had already anticipated in my article on “Advice to Struggling Mortgage Borrowers (http://www NULL.levantelifestyle NULL.php?mod=art_det&art_id=707)”, this change in law would have as collateral victims those borrowers that seeked to hand the keys (https://belegal NULL.php?t=622) in lieu of being repossessed (AKA as Dación en Pago de Deuda (https://belegal Lenders were already increasingly reluctant on accepting them due to the BoS continued raises in these generic provisions in 2008, 2009 and now 2010. This is explained in detail in this post (https://belegal NULL.php?t=73&page=15#150).

What the above translates into, for practical purposes, is that when I wrote in my article on Dación en Pago on 2007 that as a rule-of-thumb 20% of positive equity was required (AKA no-negative equity rule) for a lender to accept a dación procedure the collar must now be raised to 30 or maybe even 40% following the changes in law over the last three years. If you compound this with a foreseeable hike of interest rates by the ECB by this year’s fall or early next year you have brewed a perfect storm for struggling Spanish mortgage borrowers who will no longer have this option available and will most likely be repossessed (https://belegal by their lenders on slipping into arrears.

And the reason is simple, property prices of new-build second homes on the Spanish coasts have fallen by an average of 40% from the appraisal value as the BoS itself acknowledges with the proposal of change in law. So it will be hard to find off-plan properties with 30 or 40% positive equity in them built over the last five years as borrowers typically took 80% or 100% LTV mortgage loans to acquire them. There simply isn’t enough equity left in such cases with such high LTV loans when you compound asset depreciation (- 40% on average). Which is why I think that properties built post 2005 are now probably in the red zone for the purposes of following a dación en pago procedure as owners will be unable to fulfill lenders’ new criteria to accept them.

The Dación en Pago was a solution of last resort to waive the dire consequences of a full-blown Spanish repossession procedure with everything that it entails (personal and unlimited liability with all your assets, both now and in the future); sadly, even this has probably now been removed as an option for all those who purchased with a mortgage loan post 2004 following the proposal announced yesterday by the BoS.

Source: Cotizalia (http://www NULL.cotizalia NULL.html) and Expansión (http://www NULL.expansion NULL.html)


Related articles:

  • Buying Property In Spain Tips Part II. Off-Plan Property (https://belegal – 18th April 2010
  • Advice to Struggling Mortgage Borrowers (http://www NULL.levantelifestyle NULL.php?mod=art_det&art_id=707) -13th April 2010
  • 10 Common Abusive Clauses in Spanish Mortgage Loans (https://belegal – 4th June 2009
  • The Dación en Pago Explained (https://belegal – 28th March 2009
  • The Dación en Pago Procedure – 21st November 2008
  • Bank Repossessions in Spain: A Legal Perspective (https://belegal – 25th June 2008

Property, Taxes , , , , , , ,

The Dacion en Pago Procedure

November 21st, 2008

For those unable to service their Spanish mortgage a dacion en pago (datio pro soluto), is one of the proposed solutions we highlighted on our previous article regarding Bank Repossessions in Spain (http://www NULL.marbella-lawyers Antonio Flores also mentions it on a recent blog post. (http://www NULL.marbella-lawyers

In plain English, dacion en pago means handing over the keys to the bank, and in exchange the bank will discharge all mortgage debt not holding you liable in the future. They will also renounce pursuing the debt in your home country or elsewhere against any other assets you may hold. This solution of last resort puts an end to many people’s growing nightmare as the mortgage debt mounts up and becomes unbearable. On you defaulting a mortgage debt in Spain, the debt goes personally against you, not against the property itself. That is why many defaulting borrowers are realizing with shock that in despite of the lender having repossessed their Spanish property, they may chase you back in your home country or elsewhere for the outstanding debt. 

The dacion en pago involves you signing a deed at a Notary Public by which the bank commits itself not to chase you in the future for the debt and consider it discharged for good. The catch is that the property must not be in negative equity. This is actually more difficult than people think because due to the easy credit of the last years the loan-to-value of properties was very high, too high in fact, hence all the bank related problems we read on a daily basis with massive write downs carried out by Lenders. People borrowed far too much and now their properties may have fallen below their initial loan. If this happens, the lender will be reluctant to agree to this dacion en pago because the property will have no equity left. In this case if a solution cannot be reached the bank will repossess the property. Banks can sell the non-performing mortgage prior to it going to auction. Transfer Tax of 7% has to be paid on the value of the property as if it were a normal conveyance. Some banks will impose that this tax burden is borne by the borrower.

So if you are finding trouble keeping up with your mortgage repayments or you reasonably foresee you may fall in arrears soon and your property is still in positive equity you may suggest this option to your lender. However, it’s only up to the bank to decide on whether they are willing to accept it or not. Some banks are reluctant yet others will consider it although a specific case-by-case study will be required.  

The bank will evaluate if this option is in line with its best interests and will determine the amount of equity left in the property commanding an updated appraisal if necessary. If the numbers stack up, they will accept it. You will both sign the deed at a Notary’s and that will be the end of the matter. We advise you to hire a lawyer to make sure your debt will be totally discharged; besides you will need an impartial translator acting for you.
It’s a win-win for both parties really. The borrower is free at last and has managed to secure successfully his assets abroad from the lender or any law firm or debt collection company they may hire to pursue the outstanding debt. The lender on the other hand will now own the property outright and will have successfully waived a lengthy and expensive court procedure (repossession) without having to apply provisions to the Bank of Spain to make up for this dubious loan. These provisions set aside by banks are being looked upon closely by credit-rating agencies post credit crunch.

You can read a detailed article on the dación en pago de deuda here:

The Dación en Pago Explained (https://belegal March 2009


Lawbird Legal Services (http://www NULL.lawbird offers this service at a flat fee of 1,392€ (16% VAT included). Travelling expenses may be applicable as well, depending on where the property is located in Spain.

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