The 'Estia' Scheme

The ‘Estia’ Scheme is a special scheme announced by the government and has been approved by the European Commission for Competition. The Scheme will be available to those borrowers that have non performing facilities as at 30 September 2017. These non performing facilities, mortgaged on their primary residence, must continue to be non performing until the date of application submission.  

The Scheme  provides support  to vulnerable borrowers and contributes to the deleverage of Cypriot banks’ non-performing loans, held by individuals and corporations and secured by a primary residence.

Borrowers who are eligible to participate in the Scheme must come to an arrangement with the Bank to restructure their loan, and must meet certain wealth, income and other criteria.

 

Benefits

This is a one-off Scheme providing vulnerable borrowers a unique opportunity to  reset their financial obligations with the Bank,  join an affordable repayment plan,  and make a fresh start on a new basis.

 “Estia” offers important benefits to eligible borrowers:

  •  Reduced debt burden
  • A contribution from the state of one third of eligible borrowers’ interest and principal payments on the loan
  • Debt relief and lower interest rate
  • Lengthening of repayment period, based on the Scheme’s criteria and under certain conditions.
  • An end to the uncertainty concerning the next steps and obligations of borrowers and their families.
Philosophy

The Scheme’s basic principles are:

  • The Scheme is addressed to borrowers that meet  certain income and wealth eligibility criteria.  
  • Banks participating in the Scheme  will offer all eligible borrowers a standardized restructuring solution with pre-defined terms and conditions. Τhis will depend on the collaterals and the outstanding debt amount secured by the primary residence.
  • The restructured amount will be calculated as the lower value between a) the outstanding debt, secured by a primary residence, at the restructuring date and b) the open market value of the primary residence.
  • A floating interest rate will be charged on the restructured loan; the rate will be  based on the 6-month Euribor rate +2.5%, for the first 7 years with a cap at 3,5%. After that, the interest rate will be set to 6-month Euribor+2% with no cap.
  • The repayment period must not exceed 25 years, depending on the borrower’s age.
  • Borrowers will repay the Bank 2/3 of the loan payments (principal and  interest), according to the terms of the restructured loan.
  • Via the State Agency that will manage the Scheme, the state will cover 1/3 of the payments on the principal and  interest once a year, provided that the borrower continues to service the restructured loan and pay the 2/3.
  • Borrowers with facilities also secured by other collateral will be offered a Residual Loan, in addition to the restructured loan at a value equal to the lower of a) the residual debt amount at the restructuring date  and b) the open market value of other collateral.
  • Any residual amount that might remain post the restructured loan and the residual loan will be parked and the borrower will have no repayment obligation on it, provided that he continues to perform on the restructured loan. It can only be claimed by the Bank if the borrower defaults on the restructured loan.
  • Existing collateral/guarantees continue to apply, and no additional collateral/guarantees shall be requested, unless certain conditions apply.
  • Prior to loan restructuring, the Bank will assess the borrower’s repayment ability and will carry out a viability assessment on the restructuring solution offered.
  • The borrower‘s application and the results of the assessment shall be communicated to the State Agency, which will check and verify the data included in the application and supporting documents.
  • Once the application is approved, the State Agency will enter into a contract with the applicant.
  • For cases that the Bank concludes that a restructuring solution is not viable, the State Agency shall decline the applicant’s participation in the Scheme.

 

 

Criteria & Conditions

The Scheme relates to loans and credit facilities, in any currency, which  fulfil certain conditions during the period from 30th September 2017 until the date of submission application and comply with certain eligibility criteria, as follows:

  • The loan(s)/credit facility/facilities is/are secured by a first or consecutive  mortgages on primary residence (self owned house that is used as primary residence by the borrower and/or family members).
  • The market value of the primary residence shall not exceed €350,000.
  • Borrower was considered as non performing (more than 90 days past due) by the Bank holding a first mortgage or consecutive mortgages on primary residence, with a 20% contagion effect across all obligations of the borrower secured by the primary residence.
  •  Loans restructured after September 30, 2017 are not eligible for the Scheme.

Eligibility criteria:

1)    Annual  gross  household income:

  • Single Households: Up to € 20,000
  • Couple (no kids): up to €35,000
  • Couple with 1 child: up to €45,000
  • Couple with 2 children: up to €50,000
  • Couple with 3 children: up to €55,000
  • Couple with 4 children and above: €60,000 (ceiling amount).

 

2) The household’s net wealth  excluding primary residence and debt secured by primary residence (other assets minus other liabilities) should not exceed, in market prices, 80% of the open market value of the eligible primary residence with a cap at €250.000.

  • Borrowers must be permanent residents of the Republic of Cyprus or have a residency permit  since 2013.
  • Borrowers must provide their  written consent to the State Agency for the confirmation and verification of their financial data.

(Numerical examples and more information on the Scheme are also available at the Ministry of Finance website: www.mof.gov.cy)

How to apply

The launch and duration of the application period will be announced shortly by the Ministry of Finance via a public announcement. However, it will be time limited  and once  the deadline  has elapsed, no applications will be accepted even if applicants meet the eligibility criteria and conditions.

Once the application period is announced, borrowers should submit  their official application, to the Bank along with the relevant documentation and supporting information. All the data will be assessed and, should applications be deemed eligible for the Scheme, they will be forwarded to the State Agency, which will take the final decision on approving or declining an application.

The list of required documentation, as well as a copy of the application form, will be posted on the Bank’s website once they are announced by the State Agency.

For more information about the Scheme, please visit the Ministry of Finance website: www.mof.gov.cy.

We strongly encourage you to engage now with the Bank to learn more about the Scheme and to commence the process of assessing your eligibility.

If you do not qualify for the Scheme, the Bank is willing to offer you workable solutions for repaying your debt, so as to end the uncertainty you are currently experiencing.

 In order to ensure you meet the expected deadline for the scheme, it is important that you immediately take action to declare interest so that the evaluation procedure may commence.

Contact

You may contact the ‘Estia’ team by phone or email:

  • ‘Estia’ call centre: 80005000
  • Call centre service hours: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Email: estia@bankofcyprus.com 

When contacting the Bank, please provide the following information:

  • Name
  • Address of permanent residence
  • Identity No./Company registration No.
  • Title registration number for primary residence.
Contact us
  • Call ‘Estia’ team 80005000
  • Email estia@bankofcyprus.com
For more information about the Scheme, visit the Ministry of Finance website Click here
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