18 April 2016 – El Periódico
Anticipa Real Estate, the real estate manager that the fund Blackstone acquired from CatalunyaCaixa, began by purchasing a portfolio of non-performing mortgage loans from the former savings banks for €3,600 million. The portfolio included 40,000 mortgages worth €6,400 million. In addition, it bought portfolios of property developer loans from Sareb and CaixaBank. Since April 2015, when that operation was closed, Anticipa has worked to recover those loans and the underlying collateral – the repossession of the asset -. During this period, it has signed agreements with 3,000 borrowers, of which 2,400 have resulted in ‘daciones en pago’ – “the handing over of homes in exchange for the cancelation of debt” – and 600 have resulted in the renegotiation of the loan, in such a way that the borrowers can make their mortgage repayments, according to Anticipa’s own summary of its first year of management.
The servicer – which is also responsible for managing the real estate assets of CatalunyaCaixa, now BBVA – bought the portfolio on 15 April 2015 and between then and 30 March 2016, it has closed around 400 operations per month. “We have signed 20 operations per day”, say sources at the entity. “And we have prioritised friendly relationships to enable both parties to reach an agreement”. The entity highlights that this process has been carried out whilst maintaining a good understanding with the platforms of people affected by mortgages (PAH), although they acknowledge that there are certain discrepancies with the PAH in Barcelona, which regards Blackstone as a “vulture” fund, even though it is a long-term real estate investor, which is firmly committed to the rental management business in Spain.
Anticipa highlights that it applies the code of good practice under Spanish legislation, whereby those families who have nowhere to go after a ‘dación en pago’ are offered social housing. In fact, 25% of the borrowers of the 40,000 mortgages pay their monthly instalments on time. Anticipa sends out an invoice each month and collects the corresponding funds. Of the remaining 75%, some (25%) of the borrowers pay intermittently and the rest (50%) do not pay at all. The company prioritises enabling those borrowers who pay intermittently to become regular payers, through the refinancing of their loans. “We apply a partial discount, we amend the term, the interest rate and the loan principal, to reduce the instalment and whereby facilitate the payment”, explains the entity.
Case by case analysis
If the borrower is still unable to pay, he is offered a ‘dación en pago’, and the remaining debt is cancelled in most cases. “Each case is analysed on an individual basis”. Anticipa helps the borrower to find a home if he has to leave or offers him a property to rent “at market price” or by means of “social housing”, as appropriate.
The entity does not rule out mortgage foreclosures when there is no other way of reaching an agreement with the borrower…But, “we have not carried out any evictions”, say sources at the entity…and the objective is to negotiate in order to avoid eviction in all cases”, they add.
Anticipa, led by Eduard Mendiluce…employs 360 people, of which almost 150 are dedicated exclusively to negotiating with borrowers. (…).
Original story: El Periódico (by Max Jiménez Botías and Olga Grau)
Translation: Carmel Drake