Right of withdrawal, the key against vulture funds
If you discover that your financial institution has transferred the mortgage of your home to a vulture fund, you need to know about the right of withdrawal. We spoke to the legal director of 11Onze, Arcadi Sala-Planell, who explains why it is so difficult to exercise this right in case of non-payment of the mortgage.
“Vulture funds are very powerful international funds that buy up mortgages from financial institutions,” Sala-Planell begins by explaining. In order to “clean up or make up” their accounts, he continues, the financial institutions “assign” — and he stresses the word well, because it is the key to justifying the legal obstacle, as we shall see — the mortgages of their clients in packages of thousands to the vulture funds, which are recorded as the holders. “They are acquiring these homes at a ridiculous price, as little as 10,000 euros each in some cases,” 11Onze’s legal chief warns.
History repeats itself: this procedure is too similar to the one used by real estate companies to ‘assign’ the so-called ‘subprime’ mortgages to investment funds, which in 2008 triggered an unprecedented global crisis. For this reason, experts warn of the risk of a new mortgage bubble bursting. “This has been going on for too many years… And the legal problem that consumers are facing is that you are still paying the mortgage at your financial institution, but it belongs to a vulture fund and the institution does not inform you…,” Sala-Planell warns. He believes that we should have the right to know.
What is the right of withdrawal?
Especially because, as he explains, when the user signs a mortgage contract with a financial institution, he has the right of withdrawal, i.e. the right to acquire the property at the same price for which the vulture fund acquired it. “If you have a mortgage debt of 200,000 euros, for example, but the assignment of the mortgage by the financial institution to the vulture fund was only 10,000 euros, by paying 10,000 euros you should be able to keep the property and the rest of the debt is cancelled,” the legal chief says.
Even so, in order to avoid mortgage arrears, not only is there a lot of misinformation on the subject, but a series of legal tricks have been put in place to prevent people from exercising their right of withdrawal freely. This is where the word “assignment” serves its purpose. “Financial institutions and vulture funds do not use the word ‘sale’ in their contracts, but ‘assignment of credit’ and, for this reason, judges are rejecting the complaints on technical grounds and the withdrawal is not prospering,” Sala-Planell denounces.
Does a vulture fund facilitate or hinder an eviction?
For the same reason, when a foreclosure occurs, i.e. when the person cannot pay the mortgage, even though it is the vulture fund that warns of non-payment, it is the financial institution that is in charge of carrying out the eviction on behalf of the vulture fund. “If the vulture fund were to do so, it would be demonstrating that it is the owner of a sale and purchase and, therefore, the user could claim his or her right of withdrawal,” Sala-Planell argues.
Even so, the vulture funds are not only the ones that notify the owner of the non-payment of the mortgage, but also, when the user has to manage the debt or negotiate a mortgage reduction or a payment in lieu of payment, they have to do so with the vulture fund. The management, at this point, becomes more complicated.
As many courts are not ruling in favour of clients, one of the smartest strategies is to drag out the procedure. In this way, you gain room to negotiate, but also to find some abusive clause that can be used to declare the mortgage contract null and void and, therefore, also its sale to a vulture fund. Because in practice, the vulture funds act as what they are, holders of the mortgage credit, but, on the other hand, the owners cannot claim their right of withdrawal. How can we combat this legal framework?
If you want to know more about superior options to make your money profitable, go to Guaranteed Funds. From 11Onze Recomana we propose you the best options in the market.
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