The easiest and simplest thing is to declare your opposition to home foreclosure auctions and to support housing for everyone without hesitation or reservations.

No one will blame or attack you and you will be at peace with your left-wing conscience. Delinquent debtors who have money but refuse to pay will applaud and all will be well and good.

Yet there are crucial aspects of the non-performing loans (NPLs) crisis which have been disregarded in the prevailing wave of populism.

In the decade since the enforcement of the “Katseli law” protecting debtor’s primary residence from foreclosure, tens of thousands of debtors who were granted protection under the law had bought their home with a bank loan and paid very few instalments. They have the rare privilege of keeping their home without paying for it.

Others who enjoy the benefits truly do not have the money and cannot pay. They are the ones whom the state has attempted to support.

The previous government with the agreement of the opposition passed a law to replace the Katseli law with a special arrangement for loans of up to 130,000 euros, a haircut, and subsidies for the payment of instalments.

That arrangement was welcomed by public opinion but what followed was disheartening.

Although banks made the procedures for the new arrangement simpler and offered to pay their clients’ legal fees, very few hastened to reschedule their debt and reap the benefits of the new law.

The stance of debtors is detrimental to the economy and remains inexplicable.

They preferred the threat of losing their home to exploiting a final chance for rescheduling.

Needless to say the average value of NPLs is 85,000 euros and if the law permitted that could be reduced by almost 50 percent, with half of the instalments subsidised by the state.

Yet the vast majority of debtors did not avail themselves of the provisions of the new law.

In most cases the explanation is simple. If you have been living in a home for a decade without anyone bothering you then you may believe that nobody will bother you in the future either.

This time, however, things are different. The old protection law expires on 31 March, 2020, and those who do not come forward to reschedule will be directly confronted with a foreclosure auction (photo) and eviction.

The management of NPLs has been taken over by funds which, as everyone knows, will not hesitate to take aggressive measures to collect the money.

The time has come for everyone to take a stand either with the Sirens of populism and sensationalism or with a rational approach..










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