Mortgage insurer Genworth Financial has expanded its hardship solutions package for borrowers struggling to get back on their feet following natural disasters.
Working with lenders, the new package expands existing initiatives to support extended loss of income, offering a range of repayment break options such as a 50 per cent repayment break for a further three months on qualifying loans.
The necessity for new borrower relief initiatives was evidenced in the March 2011 Genworth Homebuyer Confidence Index, which showed that over one in five respondents affected by recent natural disasters believed they will not be able to recover for at least six months, while around 45 per cent of affected households are looking to take on more debt to aid their recovery.
Genworth chief executive officer Ellie Comerford said an anticipated spike in hardship applications over January and February, combined with Genworth's determination to continue to assist borrowers during these difficult times, prompted the new initiatives.
"We recognised that flood-affected borrowers were likely to struggle for longer and leveraging our international expertise, we have developed a borrower relief package that recognised the terrible financial strain borrowers can face in the wake of natural disasters," she said.
"Up until now existing measures have, understandably, not been specifically tailored to address natural disaster-related borrower strain and focused on short-term income loss rather than the longer term impacts associated with natural disasters and the economic impact they can have on affected regions," Ms Comerford said.