• Previous law expropriating bank-owned properties ruled ‘unconstitutional’
• Second attempt gives gov’t right to buy foreclosed homes to avoid evictions
The regional government of Andalucia on Tuesday approved a preliminary draft of a new law governing bank foreclosures on residential properties that will give the regional government first right of refusal toward purchase of homes facing foreclosure in order to avoid evictions of homeowners behind on their mortgage payments.
The new draft legislation follows suspension of a similar law Ley Antidesahucios (Anti-Eviction Law) in Andalucia by Spain’s Tribunal Constitucional (Constitutional Court), which deemed “unconstitutional” measures under the previous law enabling the regional government to temporarily expropriate a home to avoid foreclosure and eviction, while requiring banks to report to the government the number of empty units they held in their past-due loan portfolios.
Under the new law giving the regional government the preferential right of first refusal to buy residential properties in the process of foreclosure, as many as 200 homes currently will be purchased and incorporated into Andalucia’s pool of affordable-housing properties by the year 2020. The legislation provides for homeowners or tenants to remain in the property by paying a minimal monthly rent to the government’s social housing agency.