Minister: state should help people who can’t pay housing loan

Finance Minister Ivari Padar has proposed that the state should rescue those homeowners who cannot repay their housing loans.

Padar told Äripäev that the objective was to help people who are hit worst by the crisis and could lose their home because of unpaid bank loans. “But we would not be helping people who have been buying luxury castles,” he said.
The minister plans to meet with executives of Estonia’s largest banks to hear about their bad debt and discuss possibilities to help people who have defaulted on their housing loans. One possibility is to agree with the banks that they would give the customer in trouble a grace period for the interest payment.

At the end of November banks had issued a total of 100 billion kroons in housing loans which means that about 150,000 households have taken out a housing loan.

“Now about four percent of these borrowers are in trouble. The amount is about six billion kroons,” said Padar, adding that it was important to help people who have taken out reasonable housing loans, but now have lost their job and have not found new employment.

Read more: BBN
Source in Estonian here

Swedbank prefers loan customers who buy housing in its own development

Some Estonian banks such as Swedbank offers favourable housing loans for developments in which the bank itself is a financier, writes Äripäev.

Several real estate developers claimed that they know about numerous cases where banks that otherwise apply strict lending requirements offer more favourable loans for housing that they have been financing.

Andres Teder from ERI Kinnisvara says that this trend has surfaced quite recently. “It is clear that banks that have been financing real estate developments are making special offers, mainly by requiring lower own financing,” he said.

In other cases banks are offering a cheaper interest margin and lower contracting fees to customers who choose a development that has been financed by the same bank.

Read more: BBN

Fifty Estonian tourists stranded in Egypt

About fifty Estonian tourists are forced to remain in Egypt for another week after they missed their home flight.

Eesti Päevaleht writes that the group of 50 travellers who returned from a trip on the Nile were expected to catch an Estonian Air flight from Sharm El Sheikh, but missed the plane and were left behind in Egypt.

The tour operator admits its mistake and has promised to compensate the days that the travellers lose at work. …

A representative of Top Tours said that all travellers are accommodated in a five-star all-inclusive hotel and have their travel insurance extended. “We also offered to write a letter to employers explaining why the person is not back at work. We will compensate all lost workdays,” said the company’s manager.

Source: BBN