Larisa court writes off woman's entire debt in historic decision

A Larissa magistrate's court on Friday issued a ruling writing off the entire 26,000-euro debt owed to a bank by a woman who had since lost her job and was unemployed. This is the first time that a Greek court has taken the historic decision to write off the sum of a debt owed to a bank, opening the way for similar decisions in the future. It is judged particularly significant because the court rejected the bank's arguments that the debtor had not provided proof of how she met the living costs of herself and her family even though she had supplied evidence of a permanent inability to pay and the necessary supporting documents.

Magistrate courts are increasingly issuing rulings in favour of citizens seeking the assistance of the court after they have failed to reach an out-of-court settlement for the debts to banks. The vast majority come out in favour of the debtors, with debt write-offs ranging from 50-60 percent. This is the first time, however, that a debt has been written off in its entirety.

The defence of the debtor had been undertaken by the Larisa Citizens Movement for Debtors with the consumer group INKA and the General Federation of Consumers of Greece.

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