UN finds Spain at fault over mortgage foreclosure case

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FOR the first time since the United Nations’ International Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Pact was signed, Spain has been found to have breached a woman’s rights and told to compensate her.

A UN committee has made its first decision on an individual case presented under Pact protocols which came into effect on May 5, 2013, and has found Spain at fault regarding foreclosure of a mortgage.

After studying the case, the committee decided that Spain had breached Article 11.1 as the court failed to take all reasonable measures to notify the woman that she was in danger of losing her home, meaning she did not have the chance to defend her right to a home in court.

The woman concerned, IDG, took out a mortgage to buy a home in June 2007 but failed to make a number of payments, leading to the bank foreclosing on the mortgage. Yet she claimed she only became aware of the legal process when a court order for auction of the property arrived on her doorstep months later.

Court representatives told the UN committee that staff had been sent to the home four times to inform her of the pending foreclosure but she was never there, so a note was put on the court’s notice board and the process began.

IDG meanwhile argued that she was only notified on April 4, 2013, once the auction order had been issued, giving her no chance to defend her rights.

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