Banks in Spain Are Eager to Get Rid of Foreclosures

25 Apr 2014

repossessed properties in spain for saleSpanish banks have a huge amount of repossessed real-estate properties on their books. According to an estimate made by the Moody's Investors Service these assets are worth about €100 billion, says the Wall Street Journal.

The financial institutions are eager to offer deals to accelerate foreclosure sales as they prepare for the upcoming balance-sheet review by European Union regulators later this year. Upkeep on those properties is costly, and a Spanish regulation requires them to keep a bigger financial cushion for a foreclosed property than for a mortgage loan.

Some of the major Spanish banks offer clients up to 100% financing to buy a foreclosure, compared with a maximum 80% for a property that isn't owned by the bank, according to a research report published internally by one of the banks and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Depending on the bank, borrowers can save from  0.24 to 3 percentage points of interest if the mortgage loan is used to purchase a bank foreclosure, the internal report shows. The figures are based on mortgage terms offered to "mystery shoppers" who visited some of the banks' offices. The mystery shoppers work for a consulting firm hired by the bank to compile the monthly report. That allows the bank to monitor its rivals' deals.

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