Business, Finance & Economics

Spain's banks tighten lending

This Barcelona resident recently won a housing lottery and for he and his girlfriend, it was the chance of a lifetime. Then he was on TV again when he lost the apartment. The couple earn about $10,000 a month collectively and had saved enough to put a sizable down payment on a house and his parents were willing to back a mottgage. But 15 different banks were unwilling to lend him a mortgage, an indictment of the banking system here. this man with a citizen's group says in the medium term the number of mortgage defaulters will likely double and in the long term millions of Spanish families could be at risk. Rates of mortgages are now up to 5% and they could continue to rise. Spanish banks are asking for down payments of 40-50% for down payments now. in the meantime, some people who can't pay their mortgages are taking drastic steps.

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