BNR official: more than 5,000 ongoing house foreclosure cases in Romania

Newsroom 17/02/2016 | 11:11

The Romanian National Bank (BNR) reports having 5,230 ongoing foreclosure cases, with 316 houses having been foreclosed since 2008, according to Liviu Voinea, vice-governor of the central bank, during debates regarding the “passing to pay law” held by the Senate’s committee for budget, finance, bank activity and capital market, according to Agerpres.

The BNR representative also said there weren’t 800,000 mortage loans with issues, referring to comments made by PNL member of parliament (MP) Daniel Zamfir, who initiated the law project last year. “Let’s be clear: there not 800,000 debtors. We have 1.5 million loans, of which 480,000 are mortgages,” stated Voinea.

Moreover, if those with mortgages would use the “passing to pay law” they would lose the down payment and instalments already paid, sums that would go up to approximately RON 10 billion at the country level, says Agerpres.

On Tuesday, the “passing to pay” law initiative underwent several amendments in the Senate, respectively the replacement of the “individual” expression with “consumer” and prolonging of the notification time from 15 to 30 days, time during which any payment of the debtor for the credit and any foreclosing action are suspended. BNR’s proposals for placing an EUR 150,000 ceiling on the credit sum and adding the condition for the debtor to have a degree of debt higher than 65 percent were rejected, and so was Zamfir’s proposal for persons who have already been foreclosed but to have their continued debts at the bank wiped clean, as reported by Agerpres.

Banks have expressed their concerns over the “passing to pay” law throughout the recent weeks, with BCR warning that it could lead to the end of the Prima Casa program given that, according to a study conducted by them, some 60 percent of their clients would lose the ability to make the down payment necessary for taking on a mortgage. BRD’s general director, Philippe Lhotte, said that the Prima Casa program and the passing to pay law cannot exist as they are antinomia. UniCredit Bank has also commented on the topic, saying that banks might launch a new product similar to the leasing one if the law is enforced.

Andreea Tint

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