Meets Andrey Kalachynskiy, managing partner of «Vektorstroyfinans»:
What was before
The possibility of providing "mortgage vacation" is not new, it existed before, but the decision to temporarily relieve the financial burden on the borrower was made voluntarily, based on a number of objective factors, and a bank had the opportunity without explanation to refuse the client this service. In addition, at the time of granting the grace period, the client, as a rule, was exempt from payment of the principal, but was obliged to pay interest for the use of funds. Now, if a bank unreasonably refuses to provide the service to the client, the borrower will be able to go to court or file a complaint with the Bank of Russia, and for the duration of the "vacation" he is completely exempt from any payments.
Why do we need a bill
The bill is intended to regulate the process of providing "mortgage vacation" and introduce rules that are understandable for all participants of the mortgage lending market. It is assumed that this measure will facilitate the financial situation of borrowers in a difficult situation, will preserve the only housing, reduce the financial burden on buyers who are waiting for an apartment in a new building are forced to temporarily rent a house. "Mortgage vacation" will help doubting customers to decide on the purchase of an apartment, because now they will have the opportunity to maneuver — in case of difficulties, they will be able to take advantage of deferred payments.
Who and on what terms can count on a"mortgage vacation"
Borrowers who are in a difficult situation — in case of loss of work, disability of group I and group II, in case of temporary disability, death of a close relative, dependent on the disabled family members, with a decrease in the monthly income of the family by 30% will be able to use the right to "mortgage vacation". A bank must verify the validity of the request for a "mortgage vacation" within five days. If there are documents confirming the above situations, the bank shall not be entitled to refuse the client. After confirming the decision to provide "mortgage vacation" the borrower has six months to solve their financial problems and return to the normal schedule of payment of the mortgage loan.
Payments that were not made during the grace period are transferred to the end of the loan repayment period. Accordingly, the service time of the loan is increased exactly for the period for which the "mortgage vacation" was provided. Legislators have provided the opportunity to issue a "mortgage vacation" once during the loan term. But this does not mean that the borrower will not be able to re-use this option when buying the next property. However, a prerequisite is the presence of a single realty in the property. In addition, credit institutions have the right at their discretion to provide additional deferred payments without penalties. Most likely, this practice will become normal, since most families make out a loan for up to 30 years, and during this time, many emergency situations can occur that prevent timely payments.
Certain restrictions are expected to apply to the cost of real estate. Thus, buyers of high-price housing will not be able to qualify for a "mortgage vacation". So far, the value threshold is not defined, but it can be assumed that the exception will be real estate, the price of which is higher than 15-20 million rubles. According to legislators, the measure should support buyers of mass housing, while wealthy citizens are able to solve their temporary financial problems.
Reverse force of law
Traditionally, in Russian lawmaking practice it is not accepted to introduce laws that have retroactive force. However, an exception was made about the "mortgage vacation". In the original version of the draft law, "mortgage vacation" were extended only to newly issued loans. However, on behalf of the President, legislators should provide for the possibility of providing "mortgage vacation" in relation to existing mortgage agreements. Only this approach will help to globally change the situation of most borrowers with difficult financial situation and prevent the growth of overdue loans in the mortgage segment.
Implications for banks
The absolute right to "mortgage vacation" implies losses of banks that will incur financial losses in the light of deferred payments on loans of their borrowers. In addition, the concept of "mortgage vacation" can be interpreted as a restructuring of the loan, and this kind of loans is considered to be problematic. They require an increase in reserves and could lead to higher mortgage rates in the long term. We hope that this will not happen, and mortgage lending in our country will become more affordable.