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COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

Eurofound's COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the crisis, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for case HU-2020-12/650 Updated – measures in Hungary

Suspension on loan payments for private individuals

Tőke és kamatfizetési kötelezettség felfüggesztése magánszemélyeknek

Country Hungary , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 18 March 2020 – 31 December 2020
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Measures to prevent social hardship
– Preventing over-indebtedness
Author Nóra Krokovay (KOPINT-Tárki) and Eurofound
Case created 15 April 2020 (updated 14 December 2020)
Related ERM support instrument

Background information

Under Section 1 of the 47/2020 (18 March) government decree and 62/2020 on detailed rules concerning the payment moratorium, the reason for the measure is to alleviate the adverse effects of the coronavirus pandemic during the period Hungary is in a ‘state of emergency’ announced by the government on 11 March. The goal is to protect people who lose their income because of the pandemic and cannot make debt repayments. Another goal is to keep lending activities afloat despite the crisis.

Content of measure

Every commercial loan, mortgage or other loan contract signed before 2020 March 18 will receive a freeze on loan repayments, capital repayment and any related fees until at least 31 December 2020 (can be extended). The length of the loan will be extended by the period of the freeze. The Banking Association said the deferred loan payments would amount to about HUF 450 billion in the 9-month period, but our estimations based on partner interviews suggest it would be at most half of that amount. Clients must sign a statement (online) to opt out of the payment freeze scheme, so the default is that they do get the suspension.

Updates

The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

20 October 2020

An extension of the suspension (moratorium) on loan repayments until 30 June 2021:

The law targets certain special social groups (pensioners, parents and expectant parents, registered job-seekers and people in public works schemes) as well as people undergoing a "personal bankruptcy procedure". It is calculated that about 700,000 people will benefit from the extension. Banks will apply the extension automatically, but it is not yet known how they will determine if a client is eligible for it, since they do not store such personal data. It is likely that banks will have to contact clients to ask for this information and also check eligibility. The law states that the debtor cannot be disadvantaged financially by making use of the moratorium, so no fees or any extra interest may be charged

Use of measure

Hundreds of thousands of people or about 30-50% of credit clients have indicated to their banks until April that they would not avail of the payment freeze option and continue to make payments as before. The prediction of the National Bank of Hungary on the uptake was about 30% of all individual clients at the time. In its inflation report of June 2020, the National Bank of Hungary said that the loan suspension for individuals managed to serve its purpose of replacing lost income so that consumption could stay level or flatten out. Out of a total of about HUF 1,100 billion (€3.274 million) in household loan repayments eligible for the deferral, HUF 600 billion worth of repayments were requested for deferral under the scheme. The bank estimates that 50-70% of the amount freed in this way was spent towards consumption by households (private individuals).

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Does not apply to businesses Applies to all citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Company / Companies
Companies

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Unknown Unknown
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown

Involvement

unknown

Views and reactions

The Banking Association was consulted about the measure prior to announcement.

Sources

  • 18 March 2020: Government decree 47/2020 (EN)
  • 19 March 2020: Banking Association on the loan payment moratorium (press release) (www.bankszovetseg.hu)
  • 24 March 2020: Government Decree 62/2020 (EN
  • 14 April 2020: Banks: Hundreds of thousands continue loan payments despite freeze optio (bank360.hu)
  • 25 June 2020: MNB Inflation Report June 2020 pg22
  • 21 October 2020: Extended loan moratorium - all you need to know (hvg.hu)
  • 22 October 2020: Extension of loan moratorium until 30 June 2021 (jogaszvilag.hu)

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Suspension on loan payments for private individuals, case HU-2020-12/650 (measures in Hungary), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, http://eurofound.link/covid19eupolicywatch

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.