An urgent measure was adopted in order to ensure the protection of mortgage debtors in a situation of vulnerability following the approval of RD 463/2020, which declared the state of alarm to manage the health crisis caused by COVID-19.

Mortgages: urgent measures to address the economic and social impact of COVID-19

RDL 8/2020 establishes urgent measures to seek a moratorium on mortgage debts for the acquisition of primary residence, which are in force from the date of its enactment, for those who are suffering extraordinary difficulties in meeting their payments as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

1. The measures apply to the following persons:

  • Mortgage debtors who are in the situations of economic vulnerability established in the RDL itself.
  • Guarantors of the principal debtor, with respect to their habitual residence and under the same conditions as those established for the mortgagor (borrower).

2. The cases of economic vulnerability as a result of the health emergency caused by COVID-19 are as follows:

Subjective, mortgagor who is in one of these situations:

  • If employed: losing employment;
  • If an employer or professional: experiencing a substantial loss of income or a substantial drop in sales (at least 40 %).

Income of the members of the family unit which together do not exceed the following limits in the month preceding the request for the moratorium:

Situation Limit
General 3 times the Public Indicator of Multiple Effect Income (IPREM)
For each dependent child in the family unit IPREM increased * 0,1 times; 0.15 times in single parent family units.
For each person over  65 in the family unit IPREM increased * 0,1
Member of family unit with: – declared disability of over 33%, – situation of dependency or illness which impedes the person permanently from working IPREM increased *4, notwithstanding the accumulated increases per dependent child
Mortgage debtor with: – Cerebral palsy, – Mental illness, – intellectual disability, with a recognized degree of disability equal to or over 33%, – Physical or sensory disability, with a recognized degree of disability equal to or over 33%. – Serious illness which makes the person or their carer demonstrably unfit for work. IPREM increased *5, notwithstanding the increases accumulated per dependent child

Mortgage fee, plus expenses and basic supplies, greater than or equal to 35% of the net income received by all members of the family unit.

Economic circumstances of the family unit that have suffered significant disruption, in terms of effort to access housing, as a result of the health emergency. This disruption is understood to have occurred when the effort represented by the mortgage burden on household income has been multiplied by at least 1.3.

A family unit is understood to be that composed of the debtor, their spouse not legally separated or registered partner and the children, regardless of their age, who live in the dwelling (home), including those linked by a relationship of guardianship, custody or foster care and their spouse not legally separated or registered partner, who reside in the home.

3. As regards guarantors and mortgagees who are not debtors, if they are in the above cases of economic vulnerability, they may require the institution to exhaust the assets of the principal debtor, without prejudice to the application to the latter, where appropriate, of the measures provided for in the Code of Good Practice, before claiming the guaranteed debt from them, even if they have expressly waived the benefit of exemption in the contract.

4. The procedure is as follows:

  • The request for a moratorium on the real estate mortgage debt may be requested from the creditor, up to 15 days after the end of the term of the RDL. The request must be accompanied by the documentation listed in article 11 of the RDL to prove the subjective conditions.
  • The creditor entity must proceed to implement the moratorium within a maximum period of 15 days.

5. During the period of validity of the moratorium, it produces the following effects:

  • Suspension of the mortgage debt;
  • Non-application of the early maturity clause in the mortgage loan contract;
  • The creditor entity cannot demand the payment of the mortgage instalment, nor of any of the concepts that make it up (amortization of the capital or payment of interest), either in full or as a percentage;
  • That no interest is accrued;
  • Non-application of default interest.

6. In the event that the debtor has unduly benefited from these moratorium measures, because (s)he does not meet the requirements indicated, (s)he shall be liable for:

  • Any damages that may have been incurred,
  • All costs generated by the implementation of these relaxation measures,
  • Responsibilities of any order attributable to their conduct.

The debtor who voluntarily and deliberately seeks to place or maintain himself in situations of economic vulnerability in order to obtain the application of these measures is also liable.

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