GSIS condones home loan penalties

Published by rudy Date posted on March 11, 2009

The Government Service Insurance System has condoned P41.97 million worth of penalties and surcharges from its previous housing loan programs.

The condonation is part of the one-time rate reduction and restructuring program called SAIS, an offshoot of a Labor Day order of President Arroyo for the lowering of interest rates and amortization on housing loans.

The program was offered in 2007 to qualified borrowers under various housing programs, the pension fund said. It provides for an automatic reduction of interest rate in housing loans to 6 percent from as high as 20 percent. At the same time, the program condoned the penalties and surcharges on the housing loans of borrowers whose accounts are in arrears.

Since the program was launched, P41.97 million in penalties and surcharges were condoned by the GSIS, benefiting some 30,234 home loan borrowers. Of the total, 11,573 availed of low-cost housing, while 18,661 availed of real estate loans.

Total condoned amount for low-cost housing reached P14.45 million, while the total condoned amount for the real estate loans was valued at P27.53 million.

Similarly, the GSIS launched a housing program in 2007 dubbed GMA-HeLPS, which also offers a 6-percent interest rate, compounded annually.

GSIS president and general manager Winston Garcia said SAIS and GMA-HeLPS not only encourage GSIS members to invest in real estate, but also compel banks and other financial institutions to come up with generous housing loan programs.

GMA HeLPS offers pre-owned housing units to both members and non-members of the GSIS.

Installment buyers will be entitled to a maximum repayment term of 30 years but not to exceed the difference between 70 and the buyer’s age at the time of filing the application, Garcia said.

Majority of the housing units under the program are livable and located in subdivisions with complete amenities and with existing communities in over 70 locations, including key cities in Metro Manila and provinces all over the country.

The GSIS was able to sell more than 344 house and lot units last year under the GMA HeLPS, for a total consideration of P313.91 million.- Manila Standard Today

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