Greece to resume home foreclosures November 29
Under pressure from international creditors, Greece will resume home foreclosures on November 29, according to the Finance Ministry.
The auction of homes being confiscated by banks due to unpaid loans was frozen by notaries last week due to safety concerns after left wing activists regularly stormed the courts where the sale was taking place and attacked the staff involved.
This prompted notaries to refrain from the auction process, freezing home sales seen as being key to helping Greek banks reduce the 100 billion euros of bad loans, about half of total loans, sitting on their balance sheets.
In a meeting between the finance, justice and police ministries Thursday, it was decided that steps will be taken to improve safety conditions for notaries. The foreclosures will be done online, as previously announced.
"A work team will be put together with the participation of the notaries association and ministries involved, that will prepare proposals improving the legal framework and allowing for the smooth operation of the auctions," said the ministry in statement after the meeting.
The resumption of forced home auctions is a key condition set by the country's creditors - International Monetary Fund and eurozone countries - in order for Greece to be paid its next tranche of rescue funding.
In a bid to protect low income earners and reduce social opposition to the measure, Greek banks have agreed to auction off property above 300,00 euros.
Bank officials see home foreclosure as being an important deterrent for strategic defaulters - those who refuse to pay back their loans even though they have the ability to do so.