BUSINESS

Distortions, troubles over confiscations

DIMITRA MANIFAVA

TAGS: Economy, Banking

Distortions and injustices in the application of laws concerning the confiscation of debtors’ deposits by the state and social security funds are adding to the psychological burden on borrowers, according to a report by the Greek Ombudsman presented at an event in Athens on Monday.

Special Secretary for Private Debt Management Fotis Kourmousis noted that hospitals often inform the agency of patients who were admitted after finding out at cash machines that their bank accounts had been emptied.

The problematic legislation is found to have caused distortions such as the unexpected confiscation of deposits belonging to debtors who have recently paid off their dues, the confiscation of the deposits of deceased debtors’ relatives who weren’t aware they had inherited debts, the confiscation of deposits in jointly held accounts possibly saved by non-debtors, multiple confiscations for the same debt, the confiscation of social benefits, and errors in online transactions.

Banks are also suffering as they face high administrative costs resulting from the processing of some 400,000 confiscation notes per year per bank, and due to the withdrawal of deposits by debtors who fear confiscations.

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