New law halts sale of family homes for tax debts

From tomorrow, families owing money to the State cannot be forcibly evicted from their homes as these are put up for sale.

After years of misery that have seen thousands of families forced onto the streets, President Marcelo has rubber-stamped a law proposed by left wing parties, including PAN (People Animals Nature) designed to protect not only physical property but people’s dignity.

But as Económico explains, the new law does not protect people from losing homes over debts to private concerns, like telecommunications companies, nor to defaulting on their mortgage payments.

According to consumers’ association DECO, the number of families losing homes as a result of the non-payment of these kinds of debts is increasing – and the worst of this reality is that very often debts are for comparatively paltry amounts.

Said Deco’s Natália Nunes: “There are many debts to telecommunications companies for €600 or €800, and often family homes are the only possessions people have, as the minimum salary cannot be seized.” Thus the new plans are to bring in further laws to protect families.

When and how the laws will be implemented remains to be seen, but for now at least families are being given some welcome ‘breathing space’, while Económico adds that one idea in the pipeline is for the creation of a “public property fund, run by the State” that would rent houses seized by banks to the original owners.

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