The text of the new mortgage law faces its final stretch. This Thursday is approved in Congress. From there it will be sent to the Senate, where it is counted until March to add amendments. Then it will go back to the lower house, in which it will be voted whether or not the Senate changes are accepted.
In this new regulation, entities can no longer retain the mortgage client against their will. In 2007, the legislation was rewritten so that if the bank equaled the offer of another entity, the client necessarily had to remain and could not subrogate the mortgage. It did not matter that he was displeased with the bank's treatment. Now, thanks to an amendment of Citizens introduced with the support of the other parties and the abstention of PSOE and Podemos, the client can leave anyway.
Once the subrogation has been accepted by the consumer, the creditor entity will have seven calendar days to certify the amount to be subrogated. From there there will be a term of 15 calendar days in which the entity that has the mortgage can counter-offer. After that period, the subrogation deed may be granted.
"In the 1994 drafting the debtor was the one who had the initiative. If he decided that he wanted to go with the mortgage elsewhere, the bank could try to convince him by the good, but in no case had legal means to prevent it, "says the justification of the amendment. And he adds that in 2007 "the right to decide was taken from the debtor and given to his bank".
"Citizens presented this amendment to increase competition among entities, which will positively benefit citizens because they will lower the interest rates charged by entities," says Rodrigo Gómez García, a member of Citizens and one of the rapporteurs of the law.
The law also includes the obligation for the entity to perform a customer solvency test to avoid excesses. In this way, it is sought that the guarantees or hypothetical increases in housing prices are not abused in order to relax the conditions in which they are lent. The responsibility for the credit thus passes to the bank. Which does not mean that the mortgagee can not pay for something that has happened as a situation of unemployment. But it is about identifying at the time of contracting if it was already evident that the borrower could not return the loan. However, despite the fact that PSOE, Podemos and Ciudadanos had amendments that established sanctions for the entity if they did not evaluate well the solvency, these in the end have been omitted.
"The crisis originated in irresponsible credit. However, it insists on focusing attention on abuses in bank contracting and does not focus on the key aspect of the solvency assessment and contractual sanctions for its contravention, "explains Professor Matilde Cuena.
On the other hand, this legislation it will lower the anticipated reimbursements of the mortgage; it will facilitate the change from variable to fixed type; will reduce interest on arrears, and will most difficult conditions for the beginning of the embargo. It also seeks that notaries and registrars ensure transparency and avoid the inclusion of abusive clauses. It prohibits banks from giving back to their workers based on the number of mortgages granted. Limits the sale of products linked to mortgage credit. And it is established that the bank covers all the costs of the loan except for the appraisal.