Note related to the Newsletter of December 2012.

In the last month edition of the last year, one of the two articles published by Bartolome & Briones Abogados mentioned the possible reform of the mortgage foreclosure proceeding, with a special remark on the complementary measures to the Royal Decree-Law 6/2012 and the fact that indeed an already announced procedural legislative reform and/or of the Mortgage Law itself should be face up to.

Such reform was initiated with the publication of another RDL to which we could not make any reference because just at the time of edition of our magazine of Disputes the legislation referred below came into effect.

Royal Decree-Law 27/2012, of 15 November, of urgent measures to reinforce protection for mortgage debtors

Recitals of this provision are quite clear on the reason why and the cases where the RDL shall be applicable, which we will transcribe in its most relevant sections:

The fundamental purpose of this rule consists of the immediate suspension and for a two-year term of evictions of families under a situation of special risk of exclusion. Without altering the mortgage foreclosure proceeding, it prevents the eviction order that would end in the eviction of people.

The social groups that may opt for such measures are: large families; one-parent families with two children in their care; families with a minor of three years old or some handicapped and dependent member; families where the mortgage debtor is unemployed and had exhausted social benefits; and victims of gender violence.

There are, however, some other requirements in these cases for families to have recourse to such regulation: a) income may not exceed the limit of three times the Multiple Effects Income Public Indicator b) the family unit must have suffered a significant alteration of their economic circumstances in the four years prior to the application c) the mortgage fee is higher than 50% of the net income received by all members of the family unit or there is a credit or loan guaranteed with a mortgage on the only property owned by the debtor and granted for the acquisition thereof.

The RDL only has two articles. The first one refers to the suspension of eviction orders on usual residences of vulnerable groups. Such article only provides more detail regarding that formerly provided on the applicable cases. The second one makes reference to the justification of the situations provided by the rule, highlighting the fact that justification by the debtor of the circumstances that lead to the suspension of the eviction proceeding may be executed at any time during the proceeding. In fact, the Sole Interim Provision particularly mentions the cases in process and textually says that the rule shall be applicable to proceedings in and out of courts of mortgage foreclosure that may have been initiated upon the effective date of this royal decree-law where the eviction order has not been enforced yet (whose effective date coincided with the day of its publication in the State Official Gazette 15 November 2012).