Famous last words and all that ... . In November 2018, the College of Finca Administrators felt able to state that it was confident that debts owed to communities of residents would be coming down "so long as there isn't another financial crisis". Little did the college know.

Part of the reason for that confidence was the tougher action being taken against the big offenders when it came to unpaid community charges - the large owners, typically banks. The new Balearic housing law meant that communities could denounce these owners directly to the housing ministry, which in turn would take action. Nevertheless, getting large owners and indeed government institutions to hand over what is owed can still be a long process. The Spanish state had owed one community a far from insignificant sum; it has now been paid after the property was finally auctioned off.

But then there are the small owners, some of whom - as is common knowledge - have been defaulters for years. It is a familiar story of course. Communities live with unpaid debts, and these obviously have an adverse effect.

The financial crisis had its harmful impact on communities, and now there is the health crisis. It is reckoned that debt across the Balearics normally runs at about seven per cent. The college currently puts this at between 20 and 25 per cent. Getting the really bad debtors to pay will be ever more difficult. Now there are new ones. How many more will there be?

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