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Society

Greek Homeowners Get Foreclosure Alleged Protection Extension

December 9, 2019

ATHENS – Greek homeowners unable to pay mortgages on their primary residences after being hammered with austerity measures for nearly a decade won’t have to worry about losing them for now, despite signs a program to save them isn’t working as intended.

The Finance Ministry gave a four-month extension for now, to April 30, 2020, on legal framework protecting the homes from being taken by banks or mortgage holders with that safety bar having been lifted by the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA as then-Premier Alexis Tsipras promised “not one home in the hands of banks” before reneging.

The extension aims to allow more primary residence owners with outstanding debts a chance to apply for a new program, managed by the state in cooperation with commercial banks, that restructures debt payments, offers debt relief, and, in some, instances, subsidizes interest payments.

The system has been in operation for 23 weeks, having seen some 53,539 users benefit, with 35,670 applying and 972 relayed to the banks – who accepted only 50 of them with no report on if that could be appealed.

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