Non-Performing Loans, Non-Performing People

Life and Struggle with Mortgage Debt in Spain

Title Details

Pages: 240

Illustrations: 9 b&w images

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in



Pub Date: 11/15/2022

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6300-4

List Price: $29.95


Pub Date: 11/15/2022

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6299-1

List Price: $114.95

Non-Performing Loans, Non-Performing People

Life and Struggle with Mortgage Debt in Spain

An unorthodox, ground-level account of what happens when people stop paying their mortgages

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  • Description
  • Reviews

Non-Performing Loans, Non-Performing People tells the previously untold stories of those living with mortgage debt in times of precarity and explores how individualized indebtedness can unite resistance in the struggle toward housing justice. The book builds on several years of Melissa García-Lamarca’s engagement with activist research in Barcelona’s housing movement, in particular with its most prominent collective, the Platform for Mortgage-Affected People (PAH). What García-Lamarca learned from fellow activists and the movement in Barcelona pushed her to rethink how lived experiences of indebtedness connect to larger political- economic processes related to housing and debt.

The book is also inspired by feminist scholars who integrate the lens of everyday life into explorations of contemporary political economy and by anthropologists who connect macroprocesses to lived experience. Distinctive in how it integrates a racialized, gendered, and decolonial perspective, García-Lamarca’s research of mortgaged lives in precarious times explores two principal phenomena: first, how financial speculation is experienced in the day-to-day and differentially embedded in the dynamics of (urban) capital accumulation, and second, how collective action can unleash the liberating possibility of indebtedness.

This book is packed with an excellent blend of theory and empirical evidence, presented with eloquence, power, and grace. The unique configuration of subprime lending and debt-law discipline—predatory capital with Spanish characteristics—completely transforms the social experience of space and time, altering the calculus of life, death, and capital. With a potent blend of Marxian political economy, poststructural, feminist, and postcolonial perspectives, Garcia-Lamarca's book will contribute to ongoing struggles to understand and challenge the relentless capitalization of the use-values of daily life into the speculative exchange values of capital accumulation.

—Elvin Wyly, author of The Evolving State of Gentrification

It is a compelling read, using the accounts and experiences of debtors to bring complex theory to life, while giving the reader a clear understanding of the violence of debt-fueled capital accumulation.

—Christopher Harker, author of Spacing Debt: Obligations, Violence, and Endurance in Ramallah, Palestine

About the Author/Editor

MELISSA GARCÍA-LAMARCA is a postdoctoral researcher at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.