Final Word from Thursday, March 12, 2020

As housing prices in the Czech Republic start to fall in the coming weeks in an inevitable reaction to the coronavirus pandemic, and as it becomes increasingly difficult for people to make payments on their mortgages and other forms of household debt, many Czechs will have to face a disheartening fact: They are poor. They have debt they can't comfortably service and inadequate assets to cover it in case of default. Many borrowers will soon become intimately familiar with the definition and implications of an underwater mortgage. (One with outstanding principal exceeding the market value of the property.) A moratorium on mortgage or debt payments decreed by the Babiš government might delay this moment and temporarily prolong the illusion endlessly promoted by politicians and others of the CR's having the "best economy ever," but the devastating force of falling debt can't be resisted for long. There is still a window of opportunity for those who realize their predicament and decide to declare a state of personal emergency, but the window will close nearly as quickly as the coronavirus spreads. [ Czech Republic bank homeowner ]

Glossary of difficult words

to dishearten - to cause (someone) to lose determination or confidence;

outstanding - not yet paid, resolved or dealt with;

principal - a sum of money lent or invested, on which interest is paid;

predicament - a difficult, unpleasant or embarrassing situation.


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