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Mortgage bailout deal to be announced on Thursday

National Economy Minister György Matolcsy and the chairman of the Hungarian Bank Association will announce on Thursday measures to help Hungarians who are having trouble making repayments on their foreign currency-denominated loans, prime minister's spokesman Péter Szijjártó said on Tuesday.

There are just a few small questions that must be clarified and one or two calculations that must be finalized in the matter, Szijjártó said.

The government and banks have been hammering out the assistance plan for months.

Retail borrowers with Swiss franc-based mortgages ─ more popular than forint mortgages before they were banned ─ saw their repayments rise as the forint weakened during the crisis, prompting Hungary's previous government to introduce moratoriums on foreclosures and evictions by lenders. The moratoriums have been extended several times, most recently until July 1, 2011.

Overdue payments on Swiss franc-based loans affected more than 90,000 homes at the end of last year, about a quarter more than the number of homes that were bought and sold during the year, according to experts.