Deco receives 3,600 requests for help

in News · 14-05-2020 09:00:00 · 0 Comments

Deco received 3,600 requests for help, between 18 March and 11 May, from families in financial difficulties due to reduced income caused by unemployment, lay-off or non-payment of wages.

The coordinator of the Financial Protection Office (GPF) of Deco, Natália Nunes, used to dealing with cases of over-indebted families, registered a change in the reasons and in the type of request for help that have come to this office since the country entered the state of emergency and, subsequently, in a state of calamity, due to the covid-19 pandemic.

“These are data that have nothing to do with previous years”, said Natália Nunes, noting that in these almost two months the requests that reached the GPF came from families that “came from a more or less normal situation, who were working and that, from one moment to the next, they stopped having income".

According to Natália Nunes, these are situations "very different from the ones we have already" witnessed.

At the top of the concerns of these families is not the provision of credit for the house, but the lack of money to buy "basic things", such as food or electricity, water and gas bills, the coordinator told Lusa.

The loss of income was the reason that led 27.3 percent of these families to ask for help, in addition to 23.5 percent who resorted to the GPF for being unemployed, 15.5 percent because they were in a precarious situation and 2.6 percent due to unsuccessful business.

“More than 70 percent of the [3,600] requests for help have to do with this aspect of the decrease in income or even the total absence of income”, said Natália Nunes, specifying that in this 70 percent there is “a large part” explained by the loss of informal earnings due to entry into 'lay-off' (temporary reduction of normal working periods or suspension of employment contracts), non-payment of wages and total absence of earnings.

With the moratorium on home loans, the provision of housing is not, at least in the immediate term, the greatest concern of these people.

“The issue of payment for housing loans at this time is not a major concern for families. It will certainly be so from September. It is not yet,” said the coordinator of the Financial Protection office at Deco.

According to the data from the GPF, 42 percent of requests for assistance that reached the office were for advice on the measures taken by the Government within the framework of covid-19, well above the 25.1 percent that sought advice on how to restructure the credits, mainly personal and credit card.

There was also 1.2 percent who asked for advice on how to access existing social support.

The way in which the pandemic and the measures taken to contain its spread have been prolonged over time changed the causes for the use of the Deco GPF, said Natália Nunes, specifying that, in March, families were, already "very concerned", sought essentially information, while in April they were still looking for information, but they mainly wanted help. This month they are already looking for help to be referred to social supports and to restructure the credits.

During April, the GPF initiated 234 intervention processes, through which support is given in debt renegotiation, among other measures. Of this total, 41 percent relate to private sector workers and 17 percent to unemployed.


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