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Greek banks: 4 out of 10 petitions by borrowers for protection under specific law rejected by courts

By N. Malliara

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Figures released by Greek lenders this week apparently point to a stricter stance by first instance courts vis-a-vis borrowers’ petitions for protection from banks’ demands – within the framework of the so-called “Katselis law”.

The development comes amid a memorandum-mandated obligation by the Greek government to re-examine and revise the Katselis law, named after a former socialist PASOK minister (Louka Katseli) who subsequently “threw her lot” with leftist SYRIZA and later served as the president of state-controlled National Bank of Greece (NBG).

According to data provided by Greek systemic banks, four out of 10 petitions by borrowers submitted to district / local courts (eirinodikeia) for inclusion in the Katseli law framework are rejected. 

The primary reason for a ruling against the borrower and in favor of the bank, according to the same report, is justices’ view that the petitioner has the economic ability to service the outstanding loan.

The latest figures supplied by the Greek banks (June 2017) show that 42 percent of such Katseli law petitions have been adjudicated.

In terms of loans with guarantees, the rejection rate is 41 percent. Of that that portion, 40 percent of the loans are mortgages; 38 percent are consumer loans.

For loans without collateral, the rejection rate reaches 44 percent.