Spain Suicides Spark New Eviction Law

Spain has approved a two-year moratorium on evicting needy people from their homes in the wake of a pair of suicides and various street protests.

Bloomberg reports the law was passed by royal decree and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has said he plans to rush things into action after a woman named Amaia Egana became the second Spain suicide in less than two months. Egana lept to her death from her balcony when officials showed up to change the locks to her apartment.

The Associated Press reports that Spaniards are angry over the evictions. The Spanish government is negotiating bailouts for the banks, while some of those same agencies are repossessing homes and evicting people. Spain has seen nearly 400,000 eviction notices over back mortgages since the recession began in 2008. In an effort to combat the trend, Spain has suspended mortgage payments for those making less than $18,400 or less a year, or a family who’s primary earner has exhausted unemployment benefits.

To be safe from eviction, the AP reports a household “must have more than three children, or have children under the age of three, or be elderly, or have disabled people in the household, or be single parents with two children, or be victims of domestic violence.”

The Spain suicides and protest have spurred the government to action in a nation that suffers from 25 percent unemployment, a figure expected to rise.

Another problem is that the two-year delay is just that, a delay. If after two years payments cannot be made, a person could still be evicted. In Spain, even if one is evicted and loses their home, they still owe the money as Spain does not have bankruptcy program like the US that allows people to eliminate debt.

Many, like the Spain suicides, feel there is no other way out when financial or other problems strike close to home. Experts recommend those with suicidal thoughts reach out to those close to them for help and support.