The date for submission of applications for participation in the ‘Estia’ home scheme has yet to be decided. And everything seems to depend on the memorandum of cooperation to be signed between banks and the State, according to informed sources.
‘Estia’ aimed at addressing the high volume of non-performing loans in the Cypriot banking sector.
The text of the memorandum was submitted to the Legal Service for review three and a half months ago. The memorandum aims to set the process to be followed and commitments to be undertaken by banks.
An informed source has said that the delay is not due to any legal issues but rather to procedural ones. As soon as the Legal Service gives the green light, the memorandum will be sent back to the Finance Ministry which is to send it to all banks for review and approval.
The island’s financial institutions will have a month to review the memorandum’s provisions. At the same time, the setting up of an electronic platform through which all relevant applications will be submitted by loan takers is in process.
Two months after the signing of the memorandum between the government and the banks the platform will be ready for operation, according to ministry insiders.
Due to the Orthodox Easter holiday, it looks like developments on the platform will be announced between May and June.
However, the delay does not seem to worry the government with Finance Minister Secretary Harris Georgiades already making clear that the first payments by the state are to take place by end of 2019. Loan takers who will take part in ‘Estia’ will be subsidised at the end of the year by the government.
They will be getting one-third of their instalment and the remaining two-thirds will have to be paid by them. And if they fail to pay three consecutive instalments then they will be automatically excluded from the Scheme.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Labour has released a list of requirements for the recruitment of five temporary employees for ‘Estia’. They will be tasked with scrutinising all financial and other relevant information of applicants.
Those interested to join ‘Estia’ will have to submit a lot of documents and whatever data is related to loan restructuring and valuations of real estate used as collateral for a non-performing loan to be included in the Scheme.
By Eleftheria Paizanou