Βanks and loan servicers have expressed their satisfaction at the normal return of auctions after two pandemic years. In the last quarter, more than 10,000 auctions were completed, about 2/3 of those posted on the relevant electronic platform.
For the months of May, June and July, about 5,000 auctions were planned per month, of which about 1/3 corresponds to houses. The remaining assets being auctioned concern either commercial or industrial real estate, plots, warehouses, etc.
For the period from July 16 to the end of August, when auctions freeze due to court holidays, almost 2,800 auctions have been posted on the platform e-auction.gr. This year, the period of judicial vacations is reduced by one month, in order to gain ground lost during the pandemic. Normally, judicial vacations begin on July 1 and end on September 16.
Relief from denial of snap polls
It was with great relief that companies in the sector welcomed statements from Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis denying talk of early elections. "Holding elections, and even by-elections, would lead to a freeze on auctions by at least two months due to the suspension of the operation of courts," a high-ranking loan servicer official tells Business Daily. "This would derail the restart of auctions that have gone very well in recent months," he adds.
As the same source explains, 1/3 of the total receipts for NPLs come from forced asset liquidations, and 2/3 from loan restructurings.
Minister wants more restructurings
However, in a recent meeting with representatives from the financial industry, the Minister of Finance, Christos Staikouras, underlined the need for restructurings to be prioritized by banks and servicers who seem to reject the majority of demands from NPL creditors.
As highlighted at last week’s meeting, the Finance Ministry considers the out-of-court settlements and bilateral agreements as being the only regular method of putting non-performing private debt onto a settlement path and that unpleasant options, such as auctions, can be avoided.
According to data from the Special Secretariat for Private Debt Management, banks are proceeding with the rejection of loans restructuring, either through the out-of-court or bilateral level at a rate of 67%, while the corresponding percentage for management companies stands at 34%.
However, the special electronic platform for the interim program for the protection of the primary residence for vulnerable households has been operating for some weeks now. It provides for the protection and subsidy of the vulnerable with a state subsidy of up to 210 euros for 15 months - that is until the special body for the acquisition and leaseback of real estate starts operating.