Piraeus Bank writes off crisis-hit clients’ debts

Piraeus Bank has decided to write off debts of up to 20,000 euros stemming from consumer loans and credit cards for its clients who qualify to benefit from the government’s measures against the humanitarian crisis. The bank will also freeze debts from mortgages for the same category of citizens, it announced yesterday.

In the case of consumer loans, the debt write-off will be total, concerning not only the interest but also the original capital provided the sum is no more than 20,000 euros. If a debt is above that limit in total, the write-off will only concern the first 20,000 euros (e.g. if the total is 50,000 euros, the debt will shrink to 30,000 euros).

As regards mortgage loans, the write-off will only concern the interest imposed for as long as the loan remains frozen, which will apply up to the end of this year.

Piraeus said in its statement that the initiative is aimed at “providing relief to its debtor-clients who now have a very low income” and reflects the bank’s general “mobilization to cover the needs of the economy and Greek society in the changing conditions of the crisis, signaling everyone’s effort for a new beginning.”

Piraeus officials say that it is not yet possible to accurately determine the number of beneficiaries from the decision. However, given that up to 180,000 households and as many as 150,000 people stand to benefit from the government’s measures against the humanitarian crisis, it is estimated that at least 50,000 people could benefit from Piraeus’s move.

The beneficiaries of the government’s measures are those who fulfill a number of income and property criteria: Their annual personal income should not exceed 2,400 euros, or 3,600 euros for a couple, with the ceiling rising by 600 euros per child and 1,200 euros per dependent adult family member; the total taxable value of their properties must not exceed 90,000 euros per person; and any bank deposits should not be more than twice the annual income declared by applicants.

Besides the above program, Piraeus has also created a balloon-type product for all borrowers: It allows them to freeze between 40 and 60 percent of their debt from mortgage loans for 15 to 25 years, while the part of the debt that is frozen will not be charged any interest. This program will be combined with an assessment of the income and property of every borrower.

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