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Mortgage loan solutions urged
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08:27, May 23, 2008

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· 8.0 Richter scale earthquake hits SW China
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Experts have called on domestic banks to develop mortgage loan solutions, as many borrowers lost their homes in the devastating May 12 earthquake and can't afford to make repayments.

They suggested the government should develop special policies, and banks and third parties should share the burden of the massive property losses. Beijing Guolian Law Firm lawyer Xu Can said the government and insurance companies should act as such third parties.

Ministry of Civil Affairs statistics show the quake destroyed 2.9 million homes and severely damaged 14 million others in Sichuan province, and many borrowers with outstanding mortgage loans died or lost their houses.

Few among them had home insurance. The China Insurance Regulatory Commission said insurers had only received 28,400 home-insurance claims as of Sunday.

Experts also said the expected income decline among survivors without insurance would make their mortgage payments very heavy burdens. Asian Development Bank senior economist Zhuang Jian was quoted as saying the sheerness of property loss would make post-quake reconstruction challenging. He also said the government should adopt special policies and provide large sums of money in aid.

On Monday, the government issued a request to banks to provide special financial support, including extending loan maturities and easing lending requirements, for people affected by the earthquake.

Banks were also asked not to push for loan repayment, or impose fines for defaults or add default notices to borrowers' records.

Source:China Daily

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