The Housing Finance Corporation (HFC) is advising people who have taken out loans with it to apply for the ‘Estia’ mortgage-relief scheme as soon as possible.
In a statement on Wednesday, the HFC said the application form for ‘Estia’ is available from its various branches, or online at the following link: http://www.hfc.com.cy/userfiles/hfc/sxedio-estia.pdf
It said its customers/borrowers can also make use of professional consultants associated with the HFC, who can assist with filling out the form.
The deadline to apply for ‘Estia’ is November 15.
Earlier in the week, it emerged that very few applications have been filed for the scheme, a whole month after it went live.
Parliamentarians heard that only about 100 complete applications have been submitted so far, a far cry from the theoretically thousands of interested people.
Duly completed forms are initially screened by the bank where a debtor has a mortgage and then forwarded to the labour ministry which double-checks if the applicant meets income and other criteria for the scheme.
To date, not a single application has reached the ministry, MPs heard.
The labour ministry believes around 7,700 people may be eligible.
The scant interest so far has been attributed to the bulk of paperwork required, as well as people being wary of disclosing information about other assets or income, which might lead to capital or tax audits.
‘Estia’ applies to the first mortgage on a residence and covers loans or credit facilities regardless of currency.
If eligible, an applicant’s loans will be written down to the market value of the primary residence and then the borrower will have to pay two-thirds of the rescheduled loan every month while the taxpayer (the state) will subsidise one-third of the monthly installments on that rescheduled loan.