In Spain, by law, a loan on a property is also a personal loan, so that after foreclosure and being kicked out of the house, you still owe the loan amount – indeed I do not believe you can get rid of it in bankruptcy.

And if the bank does sells the house, the proceeds do not reduce the personal loan you owe.  To get that accomplished you must go to court with the bank delaying the credit for years, even decades as your claim wanders through the courts.

And to the extent the bank has added fees, etc to the loan over the years, you owe that.  And to the extent the sales price is less than what the bank says you owe, even after you get the court approved credit for the sales price being used against the debt, you owe the remainder of the loan.

So the poor US Banks are just trying to catch up their competitors in other countries that have a tighter control of their government and are permitted to screw the populace much more than our poor banks.  The GOP sees “excessive regulation” in the US for banks because “We must learn to compete in the Global market”.

There were times when I wondered why relatives moved from the old country with just the shirt on their backs, giving up lives as business men, inn owners and keepers, doctors and lawyers  and scientists so as to work as laborers in the US.  But then I realized folks in my family tree just said screw the pretend wealth potential the rich hold out for the non-rich, I’m not playing any longer.  I always wondered where I got that attitude.  🙂