At the end of March, the moratoriums on housing credit of the private banking regime also come to an end. Many families will now have to resume the payment of the benefits of the house, something that they had not done for many months and that can bring new challenges, which add to those that have been experienced since the pandemic arrived in Portugal.
According to data recently released by Banco de Portugal, there are 3.7 billion euros of mortgage loans in moratorium that are under the private regime of the Portuguese Association of Banks. However, this figure concerns only 21.6% of the house moratoriums, with the remaining contracts being covered by the public scheme.
Two families spoke to ECO about this situation, telling the reasons that led them to resort to the moratoriums on home credit and what it has been like to live without this burden, at a time when the next challenge is to face the expense again.
Nuno Gonçalves is the father of three children, resident in Lisbon. Both he and his wife are dentists and, when the first confinement was imposed on national territory, they were both without income. "We worked on a service provision regime and, in the first confinement, we were prevented from having any kind of clinical activity," he tells ECO.
They were "forbidden to work" at a time when they had just bought a new home for the family. "We did the deed on March 13," a few days before the first confinement began. Faced with this additional burden and lack of income, Nuno Gonçalves' family was forced to adhere to the private moratorium.
Even so, it was not easy to meet the remaining family expenses. "Day care, social security benefits, food, water, light... all of this continued to be paid," Nuno recalls. Moreover, the fact that the "children" are "longer at home" has even caused overall spending to "increase". Thus, it assumes that they had "to ask family members for help for a month or two", because they could not meet the expenses.
Although it was "easier" for the family, the second confinement also had its challenges. Although the Government did not impose a "suspension of the activity" of dentists, as happened in March last year, both parents could only work for half the day, "because schools were closed" and had to ensure that children were accompanied. This resulted in a further "decrease in income".
Still, the truth is that adhering to the moratoriums has brought some opportunities to this family. "The fact that we have a moratorium has allowed us, in a phase of uncertainty, to start putting some money aside, so that if there is a new confinement we are assured of money," he said.
The moratoriums thus contributed to the couple's "having saving habits" again, in order to prepare for "a possible financial clash" in the future. For Nuno, these habits are currently the real "secret" to deal with unforeseen events of this nature. And that's how
And what will it be like from now on? According to the father of this family, this is not currently in a "tragic situation". "From the moment the moratoriums are over", both he and the woman will already have their "normal activity" of work and therefore will have money to face this burden.
For this reason, public moratoriums, which last until the end of September, are not a possibility for this family. "I realize that for some families it is necessary to postpone until September, but the more you postpone the problem, the worse. He won't leave," Says Nuno, noting that there may be "penalties, in terms of interest" for those who continue to postpone payments.
The situation experienced by Rui Nascimento during the pandemic, and which led him to resort to the moratorium of banking for the credit of the house, is a little different. With three daughters and living in Cascais, Rui works in the area of television and events, on his own. With the arrival of the pandemic in Portugal, he says he was "a little scared that he could see incomes almost reduced to 0%," he tells ECO.
Faced with this fear, he chose to "take this opportunity to resort to the moratorium" offered by the banks, because he "never knew what the next month" would be like at work level. Thus, he called for a "moratorium on credit, but not on interest", so as not to run "the risk of walking several months to offset unpaid interest" during the last few months.
Nuno reports as soon as monetary "relief" was high. Also, with the family per house, there were "more burdens" with the "overheads" of the home, namely with "electricity, water and gas". Still, the "increase" derived from these additional "expenses" "were no greater than the relief" taken thanks to "the moratorium". "What I had help from the moratorium was more rewarding than the extra expenses I had because we were in the context of a pandemic," he tells ECO.
This family's financial situation has remained relatively stable. Firstly, because his wife was “telecommuting” and had no reductions “at the salary level”. And because, on certain occasions, the "workload" for Rui ended up being "higher" compared to the same months "of previous years", having managed to continue to "earn". As a matter of fact, he also mentions that he could even “be enjoying the support of the State”, but that he does not do so because he recognizes that there are “colleagues who need 30 times more”, because they have not had “work” for several months.
Now that the house's credit default is about to end, there are no reasons for alarms. "We already knew that the moratorium was going to end and that it wouldn't be many months from now," he explains. However, he hoped that, similarly to what happened earlier, the moratorium would be “extended, at least, for a period of another three months”, because of the new confinement.
Still, “there is no problem”, as it was “a satisfactory help”. "It would have been even more useful if I had really had a big budget breakdown, which it hasn't," he adds. As a result of this option, he only highlights the fact that he has to see the payment of his house credit extend for some time. "Instead of ending in September 2047, I just paid it in February 2048", he concludes.
Source: eco.sapo.pt, by Ema Gil Pires | March 31, 2021