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Tales from the ESTIA …. Wilderness


The ESTIA scheme has been set up to assist and protect vulnerable households which are facing financial difficulties on repaying their loans which are collateralised on those households’ primary residence.

Further to the above overriding objective, the ESTIA scheme has been proclaimed to be fair and equitable, to have been planned to banish strategic defaulters and to minimise moral hazard.

The following short real-life-like tales give a taste of whether the ESTIA scheme does indeed fulfill its mission.

Wilderness Tale No 1 –A typical strategic defaulter

Hi! I’m young and single, self-employed. Declaring €40k but earning well over €100k.  Have a €100k flashy sports car. Dad gifted me a beautiful €350k penthouse. Mortgaged it to buy a €900k beach house back in 2016, loan €600k – never paid a cent against the loan.

They tell me that I’m eligible for Estia!

Wilderness Tale No 2 –A typical average couple

Hi!  My wife and I are both private company employees earning between us €30k, we have a €150k loan for our reasonably sized apartment, and we also have two mid-sized cars.  Although we struggle with our everyday finances, we have never missed a payment on our loan.

They tell me that we are not eligible for Estia!

Wilderness Tale No 3 – A crisis-struck decent, conscientious family

Hi! I’m the father of two young children, my wife is unemployed since 2013, I earn €36k a year from my paid employment. We have two second-hand cars and we live in a €200k semi-detached three bedroom house which we bought back in 2011 with a loan of €220k; since then we have managed to reduce the loan to €180k.

We haven’t been on holiday for the past 3 years and we have cut down on a number of expenses so as to keep up with our loan which was restructured in 2015. We have made ends meet so far and have been keeping up with the new payments.

They tell me that we are not eligible for Estia!

Wilderness Tale No 4 – A genuinely deprived family

Hi! I’m the father of three young children, my wife and I have been unemployed since 2013. I do the odd job here and there just to get enough to feed my family … some of the time; for the rest of the time we depend on family and friends.

We live in a three-bed apartment which is valued at €150k. I haven’t been able to pay anything towards my loan since 2013 although previously we were duly paying.

They tell me that we are not eligible for Estia! Although we fulfill all criteria, we are currently unable to pay any instalments towards any loan, so Estiais not applicable to us.

They also tell me that there is no social housing scheme, no mortgage-to-rent scheme, nothing of the sort coming from the state, for families like us. Is it foreclosure and homelessness for us then?

Rennos Ioannides

Financial Analyst and Licensed Insolvency Practitioner

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