Greek gov't, banks agree on debtors' home protection scheme

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ATHENS, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Greek government and the country's systemic banks reached late on Thursday an agreement on the new protection framework for the primary residence of borrowers who have defaulted on their loans to lenders, the country's state Athens-Macedonian News Agency(AMNA) reported citing government sources.

The deal contains two main criteria for debtors to have their main residence protected from confiscation by their creditors: The unpaid portion of their loan must be up to 130,000 euros (147,000 U.S. dollars) and the taxable value of their main residence their loan is secured on should be a maximum of 250,000 euros. Income criteria will also apply.

AMNA reported that this is estimated to cover 90 percent of non-performing loans secured on the main residence of borrowers.

The joint proposal by the government and the banks will be forwarded for approval to eurozone banking regulators, in order to be voted into law by the Greek parliament later this month and start applying from March 1.

The new protection system is set to succeed the provisions of a law expiring on February 28 that has offered protection to the homes of tens of thousands of Greek borrowers in the years of the financial crisis spanning the entire decade of the 2010s.

The completion of the new protection framework is also one of the actions the country's creditors require from Greece in the context of its second post-bailout assessment.

Greek banks had a non-performing exposure (NPE) rate of 46.7 percent of all their loan issues in end-September 2018, according to the latest Bank of Greece data. Non-performing mortgage loans had a 44.7 percent rate. (1 euro = 1.13 U.S. dollars) Enditem

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