By The Associated Press
WATERSHED RULING: The European Court of Justice ruled Thursday that property repossession laws in Spain that have led to hundreds of thousands of evictions during the country's deep recession violate EU laws on consumer protection.
FORECLOSURES HALTED?: Activists said the decision could lead judges to halt thousands of bank foreclosure proceedings. More than 350,000 Spaniards have received eviction orders since 2008.
BANKS BLAMED: Spain is in its second recession in just over three years and has 26 percent unemployment. Banks, meanwhile, have been blamed for the wave of mortgage foreclosures and homeowner evictions, which have led to at least five suicides since last fall.