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Almost 30 thousand debt-ridden families asked for help in 2015

Consumer organisation Deco announced the number of debt-ridden families who asked for their help over the past year. New laws have been presented in Parliament to protect these families from foreclosures and evictions.
Photo by Montecruz Foto/Flickr

In 2015, a total of 29.056 families requested help from Deco, a Portuguese consumer association. 13% of these families had their income seized and properties foreclosed, an increase when compared to numbers in 2014. According to the association, unemployment is still the main cause of financial difficulties for families (31%), followed by worsening labour conditions due to wage and pension cuts (27%) and foreclosures (13%). 

Since 2014, 5 891 families have lost their homes due to debts to the Tax Authority and, in addition to that number, there are many cases of families who have lost their homes to banks because they were unable to repay their bank loans.

Protection of debt-ridden families from evictions and foreclosures was one of the measures in the agreement between PS, Left Bloc, the Communist Party and Greens to stop impoverishment. Both the Socialist Party and Left Bloc presented laws on the matter, which differ between them. The law presented by the Socialist Party bans the sale of foreclosed assets, while the Left Bloc proposes banning foreclosure and extends the ban to foreclosure of family homes in a civil proceeding. The laws are currently under discussion.

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