l Spain has approved a new voluntary “code of conduct” for banks which aims to help poor homeowners settle their debts and reduce a wave of evictions brought on by the economic crisis.

Under the new guidelines, mortgage debts can be restructured for a period of up to 40 years and surrendering a property as payment may be permitted as a way of freeing a homeowner from their debt in some cases.

Spanish banks currently seize the homes of those who default on their mortgages.

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