The Andalusia regional government on Tuesday approved its first expropriation order on a private home to prevent the eviction of its owner. The regional official gazette in May announced the temporary embargo of the Huelva property of María del Carmen Andújar, a mother of two, just as the central government was enacting legislation to permit fast-track evictions for people who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments.
In April Socialist Party-governed Andalusia thumbed its nose at the Popular Party national government by enshrining a decree allowing for the seizure of homes belonging to people in dire financial straits. The criteria established by the regional government were that applicants should have a monthly income of less than 542 euros and have suffered a significant loss of earnings after signing a mortgage agreement.
In Andújar’s case, the property had been taken over by mortgage securitization firm AYT Mixto III in October 2011 and was put up for auction after the title-holder had failed to pay her mortgage for 15 months. She was due to be evicted on May 15 but stayed the proceedings by applying for assistance from the region. On Tuesday, the regional government announced, AYT Mixto III’s appeals were rejected and control of the property was passed to Andalusia for the next three years.
The central government launched a legal challenge to Andalusia’s decree in July at the Constitutional Court, but it was eventually approved as a law in the regional parliament on September 25. AYT Mixto III and the regional authorities now have to agree on the financial conditions of the expropriation.