Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Jump for freedom

Sad news from Spain that someone jumped to their death when they were being evicted from their apartment. The banks in Spain have been rightly getting a bit of a kicking for the way they handle things. Well, now they have some blood on their hands too.... Spain's banking association announced on Monday it would freeze eviction orders for the next two years in cases of "extreme hardship", following widespread alarm and protests after a woman killed herself on Friday moments before she was due to be evicted, the second such death in less than a month. "This cannot be allowed to go on," said Juan Carlos Mediavilla, a judge who attended the scene after Amaia Egaña, 53, leapt from her fourth-floor flat in the northern city of Bilbao. "It's a problem which has been talked about for some time. The time for talk is over and steps must be taken for something to happen." Within hours of Egaña's death noisy protesters had gathered on the streets of Bilbao. Stickers saying "murderers" were fixed to cash machines, while the governing People's party and opposition Socialists pledged to hold an emergency meeting on Monday to agree on reforming mortgage laws. Maria Cumbicus, who has fallen behind on her mortgage payments since she lost her job as a cleaner three months ago, is in danger of joining the list of 400,000 who have been evicted in Spain since a property boom ended in 2008 and the country sank into economic crisis. "It is just terrible never knowing if you'll be able to get back into your home every time you go out," said Cumbicus, 50, who is originally from Ecuador, one of many who moved to Spain when its economy boomed but have since fallen on hard times in a country where one in four are on the dole. Her husband was forced to return to Ecuador because he was self-employed and not entitled to unemployment benefit after losing his job. Cumbicus's flat on the outskirts of Pamplona, a city famous for its annual bull-running festival, was put up for auction in court on Mondaymorning, but no bids were accepted, so she now has 20 days in which to negotiate with the bank and see if she can transfer the property in lieu of payment. Under Spanish law, mortgage holders are still liable for outstanding debts even if they are evicted. "All these years I've been paying and now I'm going to be on the street," she said. "Halting evictions is all very well after these suicides, but there is very little you can do on your own unless someone comes to your aid." Spain's banks have come under fire from protesters and opposition politicians for continuing to carry out evictions even after some received part of a European bailout negotiated by Madrid which could amount to €100bn (£80bn). Details of the cross-party deal to reform the mortgage law by decree remain under discussion, but the minister for the economy, Luis de Guindos, said: "No family of good faith should become homeless because of the crisis." The Platform of those Affected by Mortgages (PAH) grassroots group, which has been campaigning to change the law for nearly three years, says a moratorium on evictions would not be enough. "This measure would not affect foreclosures under way and so leave out hundreds of thousands of families still swamped by proceedings. We demand an immediate halt to all foreclosures, as long as they affect first homes and debtors in good faith," a PAH statement said. The United Police Union said it would back any of its members who conscientiously objected to enforcing eviction orders. "We're not robots, we're human beings and this is like the soldier in a firing squad who refuses to shoot, even knowing he will take the place of the one to be shot," said Jose Manuel Sanchez, the union's secretary general.

P2P lending

Recently had my first introduction to peer-to-peer lending, which seems to be growing in popularity. We're trying to order a new kitchen and all the loans are fucking ridiculous interest rates. P2P seems to be at better rates and has a much more co-operative feel about it. Seems to be a pretty simple model. Loads of people put money in, which is lent out to borrowers. The investor gets a return, the borrower gets a better rate loan, and the P2P firms gets 1% fee for being the middle man. None of the usual banking bollocks of early repayment fees and the like. As the saying goes, they only have themselves to blame...

Thursday, November 8, 2012

So, I sit here in my day job, it's 3pm and already looks like it's getting dark. Wondering if the overseas markets will ever pick up again. We certainly don't need the sort of boom and bust bonkers again, but a sensible market would be nice. Hopefully Obama getting re-elected instead of that FUCKING LOONY Romney will at least allow another 4 years of increasing growth ans stability in the States, which will hopefully rub off on the rest of us. Celtic beat Barcelona last night, despite Barca having about 90% possession. As someone pointed out, Celtic had 66% of the goals. Nice

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Back on the blog

I noted with some consternation that my site has fallen off the first page of google. I know it's all out of date information, but as there is hardly anything on offer from the Spanish banks anyway, I always felt like I would wait until the market picked up. You know, wait until 2009, or 2010, or...oh, things aren't really looking up at all. We've noticed a few more enquiries for people wanting to buy, which is a positive sign, but news that there may be up to 3 million empty properties in Spain is quite incredible. I'm tempted once again by the UK mortgage market, and possibly offering a full UK and overseas service for a large number of countries - casting the net far and wide. Getting it going and brining in some revenue is the real chicken and egg situation. Keep watching folks....

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

We do not need a bailout

They've been saying it for years, yet everyone with any sense has realised that Spain was pretty fucked after the property boom and bust "We do not need a bailout" "We do not need a bailout" "We do not need a bailout" "We do not need a bailout" "We do not need a bailout" "We do not need a bailout" "We do not need a bailout" "We do not need a bailout" Oh, alright then, can we have €100 BILLION ? And, can we please not call it a "bailout" ? Twitter is awash with plays on words today, about how to refer to the Spanish problems. So, following "Grexit" for Greece, we have :- Spailout Spanic Spankrupt Spandex Nobody expects the spanish debt position At least we can laugh I suppose....

Thursday, June 7, 2012

it's been a while - anything much happened?

Ok, so I've been away for a bit, had a week in Portugal where it felt like the locals were of a much friendlier and sunnier disposition than the Spanish. A colleague reminded me though that in Andalucia the Spaniards are all "pikeys".....if any of them decide they want to kill him I'll happily pass on contact details! So, is the Spanish banking house of cards about to come tumbling down? I remind myself that it was way back in early 2008 that we began to notice changes in the way they looked at mortgage business in Spain, and there was clearly a large number of unsold properties and the signs of problems for clients trying to complete on off-plan purchases that they had possibly put deposits on 3 or 4 years previously. And still there seems to be a high level of denial coming out of Spain. Surely the Spanish Government can't place all the blame for the construction boom on the banks ? - I presume all the 7% IVA and purchase taxes that they collected was pretty good in the boom years? So, the Govt would prefer that the banks received some direct bail out money, which the Germans don't want, as it would then look like the eurozone was directly guaranteeing Spanish banks, and opening up a precedent for all banks in the eurozone to feel they were too big to fail. On the Greek front, had a chat with a Reuters analyst who thinks they definitely won't leave the euro, and a chat with an Italian private banker less concerned about Greece, but worried that an Italian debt default would be armageddon.....