Tuesday, February 10, 2009

GSIS sells foreclosed housing units by offering low interest

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines’ pension fund manager for government employees has sold housing and property assets it foreclosed by offering a low fixed rate to buyers.

Some 344 house and lot units worth P313.91 million were sold through its asset disposition program, the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) said in a statement.

Launched in May 2007, the program – called Garantisadong Mababang Amortization na House En Lot Para Sa'yo (GMA HeLPS) – offers a six percent interest rate that is “fixed throughout the term of the loan, thus, not subject to re-pricing."

The program is available to both members and non-members.

Installment buyers will be entitled to a maximum repayment term of 30 years but not to exceed the difference between 70 and the buyer’s age at the time of filing the application.

Besides offering easy and multiple payment options, the program allows home buyers to make over-the-counter payments, post-dated checks, and salary deductions for members. A three-month grace period is also given before payment of the first monthly amortization.

To further encourage buyers, the GSIS has waived application fees for interested parties and has required minimal documentary requirements.

Any individual or corporate entity who has the legal capacity to acquire real property in the Philippines may acquire these foreclosed properties either in cash or installment basis. Cash buyers will be entitled to a 10-percent discount on the selling price of the property.

The individual buyer must not be more than 65 years old at the time of filing of the offer to buy; has no delinquent loan account with the GSIS; and not an employee of the GSIS directly involved in the disposition of acquired assets.

Meanwhile, institutional buyers must be a domestic corporation, provident fund, association, local government unit, and the like; must be allowed by its by-laws to purchase a real property in the Philippines; and must have a specific authority to acquire real properties from the GSIS.

The maximum loanable amount shall be the selling price of the property less the P5,000 reservation fee and five percent down payment.

To get a listing of the inventory of properties for sale under this program, a prospective buyer may simply visit the GSIS website at www.gsis.gov.ph or inquire from the nearest GSIS servicing office.

"With the help of GMA HeLPS, which offers the most attractive interest rate there is in the local market, dreams of owning a house is no longer far-fetched," GSIS President and general manager Winston F. Garcia said in the same statement. "This is in line with the vision of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of making owning a house very affordable for everybody."

Majority of the housing units under the program are livable and located in subdivisions with complete amenities and with existing communities in over 70 locations, including key cities in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Rizal, Leyte, Western Samar, and South Cotabato.

Source: GMANews.TV

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Permanent Moratorium on home foreclosure

is planning to ask the Balikatan Housing Finance Inc. () for a permanent moratorium on home foreclosure after the holiday is over. This month, his request for moratorium will expire and might start with its foreclosure proceedings for delinquent homeowners. The Mayor, however, admitted that he is helpless with the situation and that only President Arroyo and Congress can solve the foreclosure problem in his locality. He can only requests for extension or maybe, a permanent moratorium, but, he cannot really force them if the mortgage company will do otherwise. The is currently foreclosing more than 6,000 homes of delinquent owners. House Speaker Prospero Nograles said that indeed, the problem with Balikatan is a national issue that could only be settled by the national government. The complexity involves a transaction where a local financial entity has sold non-performing assets of great magnitude to a foreign investor. The House is now investigating and Speaker Nograles has promised to find the solution. In the meantime, he has warned the Balikatan not to keep on with its foreclosures especially in this city.

Source: Pinoy Herald

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Homeowners ally with leftist groups

Thursday, January 08, 2009

ATTEMPTING to strengthen its force against foreclosure of its home mortgages by Balikatan Housing Finance Inc. (BHFI), the Davao City Federation of Homeowners Associations (DCFHA) has allied with Bayan Muna and Kadamay, an urban poor organization associated with the militants.

Councilor Danilo Dayanghirang, DCFHA founding chairman said, they met with Bayan Muna leader Joel Virador Monday and the latter agreed to help.

Arroyo Watch: Sun.Star blog on President Arroyo

"We are separating the advocacy from the legal issues. Bayan Muna will focus more on the advocacy of stopping the foreclosures and having a resolution to the whole problem. The legal area naman will be handled by us and the lawyer provided by the city," Dayanghirang said.

He added that Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has already granted him permission to fly to Manila Thursday to personally follow up their appeal to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo which was coursed through Secretary Silvestre Bello III.

"I will also be gathering documents as we are also pushing for the review of the concept of how Balikatan operates as well as its creation," Dayanghirang said.

Dayanghirang added they do not fear to be branded as left-wingers due to the alliance.

"It is a question of a specific issue, not political stand. Anybody who can and is willing to help, dawaton na namo. Asa man diay mi magayo ug tabang (we will welcome. Where else will we ask help from)? Of course not from the rich people there in Congress. We seek help from those who understand the plight of the poor who are now standing to lose their homes," Dayanghirang said.

Officers of DCFHA present during the interview said about 70 homeowners in Luzville Subdivision in Panacan have already been driven out of their homes.

Buyers of the foreclosed properties reportedly showed up with the sheriff and asked the present occupant to leave.

The BHFI is foreclosing 6,000 homes of delinquent homeowners in the city.

Research on the controversial Balikatan showed it was created sometime in 2004 along with Bahay Financing Services Inc. (BFSI) to help resolve the backlog in mortgage payments in the housing sector.

BFSI was created for servicing, management, and administration of mortgage loans and related collateral property in the Philippines held by BHFI, a holding company set up and owned by DB Real Estate Global Opportunities IB, LP (DBGO) and National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC).

BHFI even received a P1.6-billion loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in May 2005 to help NHMFC collect highly delinquent mortgage loans.

An ADB press release dated May 31, 2005 stated that the non-performing liabilities (NPL) portfolio sold by NHMFC has a total outstanding principal balance of P13.45 billion.

These are from 53,000 individual low- and middle-class housing loans in 500 housing subdivisions all over the country.

"In May 2004, following a competitive auction, DBGO signed a loan sale purchase agreement with NHMFC. DBGO, a $360 million fund that invests globally in real estate and real estate-related assets, is managed by DB Real Estate, the real estate asset management arm of Deutsche Bank AG. Managing more than $56 billion, DB Real Estate is the world's largest real estate fund manager based on assets under management," the press release stated.

In the 2007 Annual Report of the ADB, it recalled how and why BFSI and BHFI were created.

The report said what prompted the creation was NHMFC's difficulty in collecting mortgage payments from those who took out low- and middle-income housing units starting in the late 1980s.

"As the houses were built, NHMFC purchased the mortgage-secured loans extended to home buyers by accredited financial institutions and housing developers using funds borrowed from the Social Security System, Government Service Insurance System, and Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG), the funders," the report said.

But low repayment rates snowballed, thus by 1996, uncollected loan accounts made the funders give more support.

The highly delinquent loans were auctioned off in May 2004 and the DB Real Estate Global Opportunities IB, L.P. (DBGO) won the bid.

"ADB provided debt financing of up to $33 million to Balikatan Housing Finance Inc., the special-purpose vehicle jointly owned by DBGO and NHMFC and which acquired the nonperforming loans from NHMFC. ADB also invested in a 10 percent equity stake in Bahay Financial Services Inc., a loan-servicing company established by DBGO to restructure and service the loans in behalf of Balikatan Housing Finance. A Philippine-peso bond issue -- a first for ADB -- provided the necessary funding," the report said.

"This transaction marked the first time that a local financial entity had sold nonperforming assets (NPAs) of such magnitude to a foreign investor, and showed domestic and international investors that the country was determined to solve its NPA problem," the report continued.

The portion about the NHMFC auction of the NPAs was highlighted in the non-sovereign operations portion of the report as an example of how ADB assisted in "dealing with non-performing loans to bolster housing in the Philippines."

Source: Sunstar

Friday, January 30, 2009

Bill seeks to bar TROs over foreclosed properties

MANILA, Philippines - A bill pending in the House of Representatives seeks to bar unscrupulous parties from abusing court procedures to delay the auctioning of foreclosed properties.

House Bill 5530 seeks to prohibit courts from issuing restraining orders or preliminary injunction in cases involving public auction sales arising from such foreclosure.

"During this time of global financial recession, there is an imperative need to protect the interest not only of banks but other financial institutions in the country in order to ensure the long-term financial stability of our economy," House committee on banks and financial intermediaries vice chairman Rep. Al Francis Bichara (Albay) said in an article on the House of Representatives website.

The bill also calls for the protection of banks and financial institutions against scheming and unscrupulous debtors to ensure the national economy's long-term financial stability.

Bichara sought the immediate passage of the bill amid the global crisis.

In the Philippines, Bichara said loans, most especially those involving large amounts of money, are usually secured by real estate mortgages.

"Unfortunately, the power of banks to collect and foreclose said real estate mortgages upon default of the debtors are usually hampered by the injunctive power of the courts which are sometimes used by cunning debtors unjustifiably," he said.

Bichara said public auction sales arising from extra-judicial foreclosure of real estate mortgages generally enjoy the presumption of regularity.

"More importantly, even the Supreme Court has already adopted measures to temper the injunctive powers of courts in relation to extra-judicial foreclosure proceedings, in order to fully protect the interest of innocent lenders and, or creditors," he said.

The bill seeks to prohibit courts from issuing restraining orders or preliminary injunction in cases involving public auction sales arising from the foreclosure of real estate mortgages in the Philippines.

It provides that no court shall have the jurisdiction to issue any restraining order, preliminary injunction, or preliminary mandatory injunction in any case, dispute or controversy involving public auction sales arising from foreclosure of real estate mortgages, including the prohibition of any person or persons, entity or governmental official from proceeding with, or continuing the execution or implementation of public auction sales arising from extra-judicial foreclosure of real estate mortgages provided that certain basic essential requisites are duly complied with.

These requisites include that the Notice of Sale has been posted for not less than 20 days in at least three public places of the municipality or city where the property is situated.

If such property is worth more than P50,000, such notice should be published once a week for at least three consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipality or city.

Also, it provides that despite the absence of these basic requisites, no restraining order, preliminary injunction or preliminary mandatory injunction shall be issued when the mortgagee has clearly established that the loan secured by the real estate mortgage is due and demandable and that the mortgagor is delinquent in his payment and or has failed to make payments.

It also provides that no restraining order, preliminary injunction, or preliminary mandatory injunction shall be issued based solely on the following mere allegations of the mortgagee: That the loan secured by the real estate mortgage has been paid, or is not delinquent; and, That the interest in the loan secured by the real estate mortgage is unconscionable. - GMANews.TV

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Holy cow! Banco Filipino conjures up another run

WHAT could have gotten into the heads of the top Banco Filipino executives and their lawyers?

Now, they themselves are predicting that their thrift bank would most likely be hit by another run, to be generated by no less than the Bangko Sentral.

“Given the great economic distress that the world is undergoing right now, it is certain that the said auction sale of [Banco Filipino’s] properties would cause panic amongst its clients and shall surely result in a bank run,” Banco Filipino declared in a new complaint filed against the Bangko Sentral and its policy-making Monetary Board.

The civil complaint, which seeks to stop the central bank from auctioning foreclosed Banco Filipino properties, and the bank run scenario, was conjured up by no less than Perfecto Yasay Jr., the former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission who is now lawyering for the thrift bank, along with Banco Filipino executive vice president Maxy Abad and corporate secretary Francisco Rivera.

Abad and Rivera even disclosed that the Banco Filipino head office in Makati had already been mortgaged to the Bangko Sentral, to partially secure a previous emergency loan.

Filed late last month at the Makati Regional Trial Court, the civil complaint is part of the legal strategy of Banco Filipino to force Bangko Sentral to offset the foreclosed properties against their P18.8-billion damage claim it had lodged against the old Central Bank and, now, its successor, for having “├»llegally” closed the thrift bank after it suffered another bank run in the crisis of 1984.

To make the charges stick, Banco Filipino turned on their head the comptroller and oversight functions that the Bangko Sentral has imposed on the troubled thrift bank, claiming that through those roles the banking regulator has been keeping the savings bank “hostage” since it reopened in 1994.

Yasay—yes, the same SEC chairman whom then President Estrada cursed on national television (“Tamaan ka sana ng kidlat,” was Mr. Estrada’s graphic epithet) for allegedly lying—used every derogatory adjective that any ambulance chaser can use to bamboozle its opponents.

The 48-page complaint is peppered with the words like “hostage,” “covetousness,” “greed,” “abuse,” “insidious duplicity,” “abusive,” “constantly finding fault,” “oppressive,” “confiscatory,” “institutional conspiracy”—all directed against past and present Bangko Sentral officials.

(Disclosure: Cocktales is being sued, originally for P3 billion in damages, by the Banco Filipino for a critical article that had appeared in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. The bank later reduced its libel claim, after realizing an elementary legal error on its part, to P1.7 billion,)

Heard through the grapevine

The Monetary Board has cleared the appointment of Emmanuel Hilado as treasurer of the Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., as well as the promotion of seven other RCBC officers, led by incoming first senior vice president Michael “Mister Universe” de Jesus.

(Web site: www.cocktales.ph; E-mail: cocktales_mst@pldtdsl.net)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Buying foreclosed homes? Choose carefully.

By JUDITH BALEA, abs-cbnNEWS.com | 12/05/2008 8:13 PM

Whether it's investors looking to buy cheap and sell for profit, or families who want to bring their renting days to an end, foreclosed homes have a sure market.

In the last couple of years, foreclosed properties being sold by banks have been gaining popularity on the idea that they fit more easily into the budget than brand new homes.

Banks regularly hold auctions to bid out these second- or, sometimes, third-hand homes to prospective buyers. But they also book effortless sales just from taking dozens of calls a day from clients.

The secret is to give people incentives to entice them to take a risk on a foreclosed house, Janette Abad Santos, assistant vice president of Philippine National Bank's (PNB) Asset Management Group, told abs-cbnNEWS.com in an interview.

Foreclosed homes could sell for a fraction of their worth in the market, and may seem like a steal. However, if one's not careful in choosing, these kinds of homes could also harbor unpleasant surprises and could run into a lot of money for those who don't have much of it to start with.

Banks' bad assets

Simply put, foreclosure happens when a buyer fails to make timely repayments for a bank loan it used to pay for a property. The lender, after filing a notice of default, will then initiate the legal process to reclaim ownership of the particular asset.

This is perhaps the last thing in the mind of home buyers. Yet, many times, they are confronted with the problem due to unexpected circumstances like when they lose their jobs or incur huge medical expenses.

Meanwhile, in as much as banks want to repossess a property from a delinquent borrower, they don't really like keeping it.

Once banks take a property back, this falls in the list of their real and other properties acquired (ROPOA), which they sell at market value or below, depending on the condition of the properties.

Banks are in the business of lending and investing money, so naturally, they want cold cash. To them, foreclosed properties are bad assets that if they don't dispose of, would pile up and get too costly.

Bad assets punish banks in three ways. Banks do not only get stuck with an asset they could not collect and earn from, they also have to spend resources--from lawyers to security guards in the property--to justify why the asset should beawarded to them.

And, as a lesson from the 1997 financial crisis when aggressive bank lending fueled a real estate boom, Philippine banks are also mandated to set aside buffer funds--usually resulting in the need for the owners to cough up more funds to increase their capital base. The buffer funds are required to cover the banks' risk of eventually not collecting what they lent out, most of which are actually their depositors' and investors' money.

Lastly, having too many bad assets in their books doesn't speak well of the banks' claim of business prudence. Bad assets show off their poor lending decisions.

At end-September, Philippine commercial and universal banks' ROPA stood at P142.39 billion, down by 1.97 percent from P145.25 billion in the previous month, data from the central bank showed.

Big discounts

The buildup in banks' bad assets can't be helped, especially when the time between foreclosing a property and selling it takes too long, said Abad Santos.

"Before a property is foreclosed, the owner is given a year or so to remedy the soured loan. If he fails to, then the foreclosure proceeding begins. Even when the property is already transferred to the bank, we cannot sell it until a year after to give the former owner a chance to redeem his property," she explained.

As banks get loaded with foreclosed assets, they become more willing to negotiate with interested buyers who often pull an offer off the table and haggle. Such is the case with PNB.

In the industry, according to Abad Santos, PNB holds the largest inventory of foreclosed properties, with roughly 15,000 real estate products, of which 11,000 are residential houses, lots or the combination of both priced at P1 million and less. The bank's properties in all are worth a hefty P30 billion in market value.

But it does not expect to recover the full amount anymore.

"The bank normally sells a property at market value. However, like a tiangge (flea market), if you want to sell fast you should be willing to bring down your prices," she noted.

Abad Santos said PNB offers discounts of between 10 to 30 percent on homes. Aside from this, the bank also provides in-house financing carrying a fixed interest of as low as 8 percent over a period of one to 10 years, for properties worth P1 million and below; and up to 12 percent over five to 10 years for those that are above P1 million. Industry rates are basically in the same range.

Behind the discount

These discounts have a story that wise homebuyers need to know to fully understand why foreclosed properties are priced as such.

Banks are wise. In this centuries-old business of lending, they are fully aware that it is inevitable to encounter borrowers who couldn't pay up, whether due to bad business bets or because of issues that are beyond their control, such as the tumbling of the entire local economy.

Thus, right at the start when borrowers apply for a loan, banks already asses the collateral offered--usually a real estate property--based on the most conservative of standards. The most prudent banks in the Philippines usually value the collateral property being offered a few notches below their current market price.

For example, a Fort Bonifacio condominium owner might have bought the unit at about P5 million, but the conservative banks would asses it at P4.8 million or lower, depending on the banks' perception of price risks, which could be influenced by oversupply or inflation in construction materials.

It is from this assessed value that the banks would now base how much they will lend to the borrower.

Currently, banks lend only the equivalent 60 percent of the assessed value of the property. In the Fort Bonifacio unit example, that means the bank will only lend P2.88 million to the borrower.

Banks say the property owner should shoulder the remaining 40 percent of the property's value (equivalent to P1.92 million in the Fort Bonifacio example) as a proof of the borrowers earnestness. By shouldering a portion of the property's value, the banks don't end up financing the entire deal.

But that's just one way to put it.

The other way is this: Banks know that when bad assets pile up, they will have to spend that 40 percent (that P1.92 million) in legal fees during numerous court proceedings, and litigation and documentary requirements, and in some instances, even hiring security guards to make sure illegal settlers don't inhabit the property, thus further reducing its resale value.

Obviously, banks would like to recover 100 percent of what they lent out, and hopefully the legal and other costs they incurred in trying to recover the property and cashing it in.

To the second—or third—hand homebuyers, discounts in foreclosed assets that go up to 40 percent mean the banks are already willing to absorb their legal and other costs.

In the Fort Bonifacio example, it means the bank is willing to swallow the P1.92 million (the 40 percent portion) as a foregone resource just so it could recover the P2.88 million (the 60 percent portion) that it lent out.

In other words, the discounts depend on how desperate the individual banks are to convert these foreclosed properties into cash. The more foreclosed properties they have, the more the probability that they are selling these foreclosed assets at firesale prices.

Buyer beware

Buyers also need to beware of deep discounts. More often than not, there is a catch.

Usually, foreclosed properties at rock-bottom prices have "defects"-- from an impending legal case to the perennial problem of squatters. Sometimes, it could be that the title of the property has not been transferred under the bank's name yet, the reason why an irked former owner won't leave the place.

"These are some of the encumbrances that a buyer will have to take on when purchasing cheap properties. They have to keep in mind that all banks sell properties on an 'as-is, where is' basis," said Abad Santos.

A buyer is therefore advised to thoroughly inspect a foreclosed home before purchasing it. Or else, he could be snatching up a deal that's not as good as he first thought.

Diverse market

Abad Santos described the market for foreclosed homes as "vast."

"We have buyers coming from the A, B and C segments. These include big businesses, individual investors, overseas Filipinos and start-up families," she said.

And behind every home purchase she witnessed was an interesting sub story.

There were those who have turned buying and selling properties into a business while some just wanted an affordable place they can call their own.

Abad Santos recalled that they had foreign clients who got homes for retirement purposes or simply to have a proof of investment in the Philippines.

Overseas Filipinos, in particular, would usually buy homes for their families in their hometowns.

Many times, however, a former owner of a foreclosed home and his family would share expenses to win the property back because of its sentimental value.

"Largely, purchases here are emotional. But you see, that's how we Filipinos value our families and the things we share with them like our homes," she added.

as of 12/05/2008 8:13 PM

Monday, December 8, 2008

TBs’ NPL ratio up in August ‘08

December 3, 2008 5:44 pm by pna

MANILA, Dec. 3 -– Non-performing loans (NPLs) of thrift banks (TBs) in the country increased by 4.82 percent month-on-month in August 2008 resulting to a 0.29 percentage point jump of the industry’s NPL ratio to 6.63 percent.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Wednesday said that amid the increase in TBs NPL ratio from the previous month’s 6.34 percent, the latest figure is 0.23 percentage point lower against year-ago’s 6.86 percent ratio.

It also said that “the industry was able to sustain a single-digit NPL ratio for the past 41 months and pinned it below the pre-crisis ratio of 7.74 percent (as of end-June 1997) for the past 14 months.”

Relatively, the industry’s NPL ratio exclusive of interbank loans (IBL) also rose to 7.08 percent from month-ago’s 6.90 percent since the higher NPLs surpassed the 2.20 percent growth in core lending, which amounted to P279.38 billion.

The central bank, however, said that the latest NPL ratio exclusive of IBL is better than the 9.12 percent during the same period last year after core lending went up by 19.17 percent year-on-year.

Restructured loans (RLs) also went up to P4.57 billion last August, 2.48 percent higher month-on-month, making the RLs to total loan portfolio (TLP) ratio higher at 1.52 percent from the previous month’s 1.49 percent.

An increase was also noted in the industry’s ratio on real and other properties acquired (ROPA), otherwise known as foreclosed assets, over gross assets (GAs) to 5.53 percent from 5.44 percent a month ago after foreclosed assets jump by 1.70 percent to P27.49 billion, “offsetting the negligible increment in GAs.” Year-ago’s ratio is lower at 6.83 percent.

And because of the higher NPLs, TBs non-performing assets (NPA) ratio went up to 9.55 percent from month-ago’s 9.28 percent but is better than year-ago’s 10.18 percent.

The NPL coverage ratio went down by 0.61 percentage points to 50.89 percent from last July’s 51.50 percent but this is better than year-ago’s 50.40 percent.

NPA coverage ratio stood at 27.89 percent from 27.79 percent last July because of the 3.33 percent improvement in NPA reserves. The latest NPA coverage ratio is better than year-ago’s 26.79 percent ratio. (PNA)

posted at: balita.ph