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Parliamentary questions
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5 December 2018
Answer given by Ms Jourová on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-004731/2018

As the Commission is not familiar with the legal and factual elements of the case, it cannot comment on it. In any case, the Commission has no power to intervene in individual cases for which Spanish courts and authorities are competent.

Since 2013, Spain has made different changes in its rules on mortgage enforcement following rulings of the Court of Justice of the EU on Council Directive 93/13/EEC on unfair terms in consumer contracts(1). Consumers are now able to object to the enforcement based on the unfairness of contract terms, and judges are obliged to assess the possible unfairness also of their own motion (ex officio).

There are further pending requests for preliminary rulings submitted by Spanish courts, inter alia in connection with the assessment of foreclosure clauses. The Commission closely monitors the situation, also with a view to decide about next steps in the infringement procedure against Spain concerning the incompatibility of certain Spanish rules on civil court proceedings with the Unfair Contract Terms Directive, particularly concerning appropriate consumer protection in mortgage enforcement proceedings.

The Mortgage Credit Directive(2), which applies to mortgage credit agreements concluded as from 21 March 2016, provides rules on arrears and foreclosure(3) by requiring Member States to adopt measures to encourage creditors to exercise reasonable forbearance before foreclosure proceedings are initiated and by calling on Member States to ensure the protection of minimum living conditions(4).

(1)OJ L 95, 21.4.1993, p. 29‐34.
(2)Directive 2014/17/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 February 2014 on credit agreements for consumers relating to residential immovable property.
(3)Article 28 on ‘Arrears and Foreclosure’ and Recital 27.
(4)The European Banking Authority has issued guidelines on arrears and foreclosures addressed to national competent authorities which are aimed at ensuring that the directive's provisions are implemented and supervised consistently across the 28 EU Member States, and to provide greater detail on how to give effect to the relevant Mortgage Credit Directive provisions in Article 28: https://www.eba.europa.eu/regulation-and-policy/consumer-protection-and-financial-innovation/guidelines-on-arrears-and-foreclosure

Last updated: 6 December 2018Legal notice