Freeman Cebu Business

Developers urged to give payment leeway to buyers

Ehda M. Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  Real estate agents are appealing to property developers to give payment extension to buyers following the current stricter quarantine rules implemented in most cities and provinces all over the country.

In a letter sent to 430 property developers across the Philippines, Filipino Homes, which represents thousands of licensed real estate agents and property brokers, formally asked developers to extend payment of buyers’ monthly dues again, while some work and businesses are affected by the ECQ (enhanced community Quarantine) and (Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine) implemented particularly in Luzon and Cebu province.

The Filipino Homes letter, signed by its founder and president Anthony Gerard O. Leuterio, requested developers to waive late payment penalties starting this month.

“Many of our clients who were a few days delayed in their payments incurred late payment penalties. In this still economically uncertain time, it pays to be considerate and understanding of the current situation of some of our buyers. We can recall that our government has requested all lenders to grant extensions and grace periods without interest, penalties or additional charges to all loan payments falling due,” the letter stated.

In an interview with Leuterio, he said that licensed agents and brokers under Filipino Homes are facing this concern as relayed from their buyers.

“In this context, we also now request reconsideration and appeal not to apply these late payment charges yet as we are still experiencing the adverse effects of the ongoing pandemic,” Leuterio’s letter further stated.

According to Leuterio, while the buyers continuous interest  are keeping the residential real estate alive amid pandemic, temporarily waiving payment penalties wouldn’t hurt developers.

“This is the best time to show concern to their buyers,” said Leuterio

Early this year, Leuterio urged developers to create an “account rescue team” to re-consider delinquent payments from residential property buyers who were not able to continue their monthly amortizations due to the pandemic.

The rescue team, which is now adapted by few developers particularly in Cebu, allows buyers to apply for property recovery program with the developer—re-aligning payment schemes, and other unique buyer-developer agreement. A win-win solution that will be agreed upon by both sides.

“The market at this time is weird. It goes on and off. But, wise developers are setting aside buffer funds for account recovery programs for buyers who are having financial difficulties during pandemic,” added Leuterio.

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