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300,000 families expected to benefit from loan restructuring legislation

Thursday, February 26, 2009 [ ]

Some 370,000 families who took home loans not exceeding P2.5 million from government financial institutions (GFIs) and housing agencies and with at least three months of unpaid monthly amortizations stand to benefit from Congress’ approval of the Loan Restructuring Law, Vice President Noli de Castro said Wednesday.

De Castro, also the chairman of the Housing Urban and Development Coordinating Council, said that the law would prevent foreclosures of houses, especially those belonging to the low-income bracket.

“With this law in place, people will be able to pay their monthly loan amortization without disruptions,” he said.

He said all penalties and surcharges of a loan not exceeding P2.5 million and approved for restructuring under this program would be condoned. A reasonable portion of the accrued interest may also be condoned at the discretion of the respective boards of the concerned GFIs or housing agencies.

Moreover, the law applies to accounts that have been previously restructured and condoned.

The remaining accrued interest will then be treated as a non-interest bearing principal to be equally paid during the term of the restructured loan. The restructured loan will also be charged an interest rate equal to that of the original loan, or not more than 12 percent, whichever is lower.

To further lower the monthly amortizations, the payment period may be extended up to the borrower’s 70th year.

It must be noted that there is no processing fees or down payment is required to apply for loan restructuring and condonation.

The program will be implemented for 18 months from the issuance of the implementing rules and regulations, but the governing boards of the respective institutions are given the authority to continue the program beyond that period.

The law covers housing loan accounts with the Government Service Insurance System, Social Security System, Pag-IBIG Fund, National Home Mortgage Finance Corp., Social Housing Finance Corp., Home Guaranty Corp. and National Housing Authority.-- Llanesca T. Panti


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