YESTERDAY the Cabinet approved a much anticipated draft bill to protect primary residences from seizure according to a report in Stockwatch.
The bill, which will be referred to a plenary session of Parliament, will protect those who have borrowed up to €350,000 to purchase their main residence and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that have used their primary residence as collateral to secure a mortgage.
The bill, if approved by Parliament, will extend the functions of Finance Commissioner Pavlos Ioannou to include the management of mediation procedures for restructuring mortgages, in line with the Central Bank Directive, where a primary residence has been used as collateral and the borrower is unable to maintain repayments.
The government’s original draft bill was put on hold following an acrimonious debate between government and opposition parties in Parliament last month.
At that time Finance Minister Haris Georgiades said that the Government was in favour of protecting primary residences under a comprehensive scheme that would benefit low-income families facing economic problems. However, the legislation proposed by the opposition parties would result in benefitting people who, although in a position to service their loans, would take advantage of the situation by holding back from doing so.