Lending, financing firms urged to extend debt relief to borrowers

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is encouraging all lending and financing companies to adopt measures that will help borrowers cope with the impact and challenges brought about by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

In a notice dated March 23, the SEC announced debt relief measures that financing and lending companies may adopt, such as lowering of interest rates, waiver or reduction of penalties, charges, and other fees, loan term extension, suspension of collection, payment holiday and debt consolidation.

Financing and lending companies may also develop and implement their own programs or schemes that will provide financial relief to their borrowers.

The SEC, through its Corporate Governance and Finance Department, is also communicating directly with financing and lending companies, which have been the subject of numerous complaints from the public, to urge them to adopt schemes that will help their borrowers.

“We call on financing and lending companies to adopt all possible measures that will help ease the burden of their borrowers amid this public health emergency, which has disrupted the everyday lives of Filipinos, including their livelihoods,” SEC chairperson Emilio Aquino said in a statement on Tuesday.

A number of financing and lending companies have already adopted debt relief measures.

For one, the Philippine Finance Association has informed the Commission that at least 18 of its members have allowed the extension of payment deadlines, without penalties and fees, for borrowers. Source: Philippines News Agency

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