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PSzÁF launches online debt calculator for troubled mortgage holders

MNB

Hungarian financial watchdog PSzÁF has launched an online calculator to help troubled household mortgage holders, reports The Wall Street Journal. The system will help find out how much their monthly instalments would change if they signed up for a government scheme fixing the exchange rate of the Swiss franc, which set a new record against the forint Monday.

A government scheme, once launched, will allow debtors to fix the foreign currency rate for loans, with the difference between the market rate and the fixed rate landing in a designated account. The PSzÁF device calculates the monthly instalment as well as the amount building up on that account during the time when the debtor will be paying lower instalments. It also helps debtors see whether they’re applicable for the scheme, for which, naturally, certain conditions apply.

Some analysts criticized the way the government intends to carry out the measures, saying the administration is overly optimistic about the aid program and that the plan is still “racked with uncertainty.”

“In general however we found no consensus about actually how many people will opt into fix their exchange rates,” Nomura economist Peter Attard Montalto said in a note, adding that “anecdotal evidence suggested however that people realize that they would be seriously increasing their debt burden in the future, by opting for fixed rates, and therefore are more willing to try and hold out as long as possible and pay the current, increased, instalments.”

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