By early February 2021, 6,381 applications had been submitted for participation in the Estia scheme to subsidize mortgage loans for low-income families.
At the moment, banks have managed to process and send for consideration to the Ministry of Labor, which issues a final verdict, about 5,546 out of 6,381 cases.
As for now: 3,473 were fully staffed, in 1,566 cases the applicants did not have certain certificates or other documents, 449 applications were attributed to special cases and 58 applicants were immediately refused.
The Labor Department has already sent out letters with responses to approximately 2,380 applicants for the Estia program, of which only 338 are positive, all other applicants have been refused.
It is worth noting that the main reasons for refusal to participate in the program are non-compliance with the income criteria of applicants, as well as the criteria for a credit line that apply to borrowers with non-performing loans as of September 30, 2017.
According to the finance director of the Ministry of Finance, Marios Stefanides, the Ministry of Labor is conducting a thorough filtering of borrowers, among which there are a lot of strategic defaulters and unstable lenders.
Currently there are about 679 of them.
It is expected that their applications will be sent to the Ministry of Finance for further processing. Another 94 loan applications that have been restructured will follow the same course.
As you may know, only citizens whose loans were declared unserviceable as of September 30, 2017 have the right to apply for participation in the state program Estia.
Loans were to be issued for the only real estate, the value of which did not exceed 350 thousand euros. Applicants had to meet a number of criteria in terms of income and other aspects. In addition, they were required to agree with the bank on the restructuring of their problem loans. After writing off the loan from the bank's balance sheet, the state undertook to subsidize 33% of monthly installments.
At the end of December 2020, Estia was suspended, but the applications submitted are still pending.
The Cypriot government is exploring the possibility of expanding the subsidy scheme for borrowers with 'toxic' mortgages. For example, recently the Cabinet of Ministers instructed Finance Minister Konstantinos Petrides to develop a new support plan for lenders who were denied participation in the Estia program. This means that Cypriot debtors may have another chance to escape the sale of their property.