Immigrants in Spain are fighting back against a slew of housing foreclosures caused by the collapse of the country’s once booming property industry. It’s estimated that around 200 people per day are being evicted from their homes, all of whom remain liable for any outstanding debts from the bank’s subsequent sale.
The “Stop Eviction” campaign is a response to the foreclosures and ensuing indebtedness. Many of its members are Ecuadorians, who came to Spain during its 1990s housing boom. Aminta Buenano, Ecuador’s ambassador explains:
“They knew that these workers and savers had financial backing — that’s why they (the banks) got them into this. They were sought out and seduced and it’s unfair to take advantage of their situation now that they’re in trouble. They should be helped and we’re telling our community to be aware.”
Spain’s government has asked the banks to practice leniency in refinancing mortgages and writing off foreclosure debt. But the banks, choking on a surplus of repossessed property, are finding it impossible to comply with such requests.