20 Jul 2006

Samoa government alters rules on housing loans

9:45 am on 20 July 2006

The Samoan government is to change its housing loan policy, after many public servants who are loan guarantors have had to pay thousands of dollars in loan arrears.

The issue has been raised in parliament debates this week over the annual report of the Housing Corporation.

The Prime Minister , Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, said in parliament that several borrowers left the country in the annual immigration quota for New Zealand without paying back their Housing Corporation loans.

This has left the guarantors with the responsibility of paying the arrears.

Tuila'epa says the practice has persuaded the government to introduce a change by having family members of the borrower guarantee a loan.

He said this will make family members responsible for any arrears

Meanwhile the corporation's annual report says more than 100 thousand US dollars in debts from the last ten years have been written off.

But the prime minister says the corporation will still proceed with legal actions against borrowers in order to recover funds.