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Granny gets evicted for a €20,000 debt that was not even hers

An elderly women got evicted from her own home in Kalamaki, Corinthos in North Peloponnese for a debt that it was not even hers.

It was her son who had got a loan of 20,000 euros but was not paying back the installments.

The elderly women had co-signed the loan agreement as guarantor.

The bank decided to claim its money back and grabbed the house of the woman leaving her homeless.

Speaking to local KorinthosTV, a nephew of the woman said that they tried to make a settlement but “the bank did not accept it.”

The woman’s home is a two-room house with a big plot in an expensive area of Kalamaki.

The nephew added that the family has not dared to tell the elderly ex home owner the truth as “she has suffered several brain strokes.”

She will have to move to her son’s home where she used to spend a couple of months per year.

It seems that the family was not fully aware that they would lose the house when they headed to the court on Wednesday. They did not have even a legal adviser.

What is surprising is the fact that the government has been claiming that it has come in agreement with the banks that ‘first residence’ does not come in auctions for mortgages below 300,000 euros.

Apparently this was a different case and the woman got evicted for exactly 19.500 euros.

In a TV report about the eviction, I saw for a second a white-haired woman, a bit confused,  certainly over 75,  being carried away on what it seems to be a wheelchair….

PS One can get angry at the son who took the loan and did not pay back in times of economic crisis but also at the bank that accepts as guarantor an elderly woman probably as pensioner.

Three years ago, a friend, a self-employed struggling to survive, wanted a bank loan of 10,000 euros in order to pay outstanding debts in social security fund. The bank asked her home, an inheritance from her mother, as collateral. The home was worth more than 300,000 euros.

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3 comments

  1. Why should the bank NOT accept her as a guarantor?
    She obviously had the means to guaranty for the loan and there was a clear connection between her & the borrower.
    Claiming now that it’s not her fault is typical now – its never the borrower’s fault in Greece.
    Let the ̶G̶e̶r̶m̶a̶n̶s̶ somebody else pay and blame all but me.

  2. Martin Baldwin-Edwards

    @Roger. Most elderly Greeks do not understand banking. Bank loans were available only to the rich and politically connected until Greece entered the euro. Greek banks did not operate as normal western banks: their main purposes were to tax migrants’ remittances sent back from Germany and the USA; to provide accounts for employees’ salaries to be paid into; and of course to employ as many people as possible, given the low levels of employment in the economy.

    To give an example of difference with the West: the construction of apartment blocks was never financed by banks, but done by selling off apartments floor by floor as they were completed, in order to pay for the next floor to be built. Only Pasok party members were able to borrow from banks. Banks did not finance Greek capitalism: they were actually parasitic on it.

    So, your claim that older people can understand the concept of guarantor is wrong. They think it is a paper formality, with no implications. If the debt is defaulted on, they expect the bank to forget about it. If they don’t, you need to find a politician who will make them forget it. This is the Greek culture: and you cannot blame ordinary people when the politicians, educators and mass media did nothing in all these decades to inform people how things have changed.

  3. @Martin

    You are right, most Greeks have no concept of banking whatsoever, many just thought you could take loans with no consequences.

    However the article title is inaccurate, the debt is hers because she signed the collateral. So the bank is not to blame for forclosing the house. I feel sorry for the woman but blaming the bank is not productive either.