Property auctions to go online


The Justice Ministry is preparing a system to auction properties through an online platform with open bids, set to start from September. The aim is to sidestep the obstacles created by the various groups that have been preventing the implementation of auctions in their conventional form at courthouses around the country.

The ministry’s bill concerning online auctions that Kathimerini has seen provides for “the electronic system to record all offers submitted. Participants can keep tabling offers that are higher than those made previously until the deadline for bid submission.”

According to the process described in the draft law, “with the submission of the offer, the candidate buyers will be immediately informed by the system through an email about the amount of their offer, the precise time of submission and whether it has been approved.” The same message will inform the candidate buyer whether they have submitted the highest bid up to that moment, or, in the case that a higher offer has been made by someone else, what the amount of that larger offer is.

The online auction will be completed after the expiry of the submission process, when “the member of staff overseeing the online auction will draft and upload on the system the repossession report, proclaiming the successful bidder. All participants in the auction will be informed about their status.”

The final stage will be the payment, which the winning bidder will have to make to the staff member handling the online auction up to 10 working days after the conclusion of the auction.

The online platform is considered a crucial step in getting the auction process moving again as it has remained frozen for some months now due to widespread action by groups at the country’s courts. Compared to the 52,000 auctions conducted in 2009, their figures have seen a constant decline, reaching just 4,800 last year, while currently the auctions announced are not being implemented.

Banks assure that the auctions that have been announced do not concern debtors’ main residences, but note that in the context of their obligation to reduce nonperforming loans they have pledged to recover about 11 billion euros from collateral liquidations by the end of 2019.