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article imageBank error: Wrong home evicted in Azuara, Spain

By Anne Sewell     Sep 26, 2013 in World
Azuara - A family traveled to Azuara in 2011 to stay in their holiday home in the town, only to find that the bank had evicted them and most of their belongings were gone. It seems the bank had cleared the wrong home and are still refusing to reimburse them.
The couple, originally from Zaragoza, own a holiday home in the northern Spanish village of Azuara.
It seems that the tiny village of around 22 inhabitants has both a square and a street named "Iglesia", which is what led to the mix-up by local eviction agents.
Under Spanish law, when an eviction takes place, everything inside the home is understood to be abandoned, and all property and furniture in the house is taken to the local dumpsite.
This is what the bank's representatives did, when they turned up at the address and found there was no one at home.
According to Spanish newspaper ABC (in Spanish), it was a few days later that the owners of the house returned to discover what had happened to them.
At first they assumed they had been burgled, but then the neighbors told them that they had been evicted.
What made matters worse, a lot of the future had been taken home from the village dumpster by locals.
This all happened in November 2011, and the case had been to court several times since.
Even though Ibercaja (the bank who erroneously ordered the eviction) returned the keys to the owners soon after the mistake was discovered, they have still not been reimbursed for all their losses.
The house owners initially attempted to sue Ibercaja's President Amado Franco for forced entry and damages, without success.
Now the plaintiffs are demanding €14,500 ($19,585) from the bank for the loss of their valuables and also for moral damages.
Meanwhile, in the village people are still enjoying the belongings of the property owners.
Joaquin Tortajada, the Plaintiffs' lawyer said, "We have seen a bicycle being ridden in the streets that belonged to the owners."
And he said that quite probably someone in the area is watching their TV, which they would have found, along with all the other items, in the landfill.
Tortajada said, "They were abandoned belongings in a landfill that anyone could have picked up freely."
El Periodico (in Spanish) said that the family declined to comment to the media, but that their lawyer says that they expect the process will help to avoid similar situations in the future.
"It's a little like David against Goliath," explained Tortajada, "but this can happen to anyone."
More about Spain, Azuara, Zaragoza, Eviction, desahucio
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