Explainer: Need to defer your mortgage payment?

Among the most notable measures announced by the central bank is the option for existing customers to defer mortgage payments for up to four months.

A man enters the main branch of Bank Hapoalim, Israel's biggest bank, in Tel Aviv, Israel July 18, 2016. Picture taken July 18, 2016 (photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)
A man enters the main branch of Bank Hapoalim, Israel's biggest bank, in Tel Aviv, Israel July 18, 2016. Picture taken July 18, 2016
(photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)
As many businesses grind to a halt amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, and households nationwide endure unexpected cash flow shortages, the Bank of Israel has sought to ease the financial burden by introducing a set of regulatory relief measures.
Among the most notable measures announced by the central bank is the option for existing customers to defer mortgage payments for up to four months. Other measures include offering loans to small and medium-sized businesses, offering deposits adjusted to market volatility, and expanding remote digital services.
Demonstrating the scope of financial difficulties caused by the outbreak, over 510,000 new claims for unemployment benefits have been submitted to the Israeli Employment Service since the beginning of March.
"Due to the consequences of the coronavirus crisis, we instructed the banks to enable a deferral of mortgage payments for eligible individuals, in order to help them manage in the near term and maintain their regular sequence of payments," said Accountant-General Rony Hizkiyahu.
For those seeking to defer their mortgage payments, applications can be submitted without going to the physical bank branch.
Bank Leumi: Applications for a three-month deferral can be made via a form available on the bank's website, requiring the mortgage holder's name, ID number and bank account details.
Bank Hapoalim: Customers are requested to leave their details and telephone number, and a representative will be in touch.
Bank Mizrahi-Tefahot: Deferrals up to four months can be requested via a form available on the bank's website, sent to a dedicated email address.
Bank of Jerusalem: Customers seeking a deferral for up to three months are requested to contact the bank's call center.
Bank Otsar Ha-Hayal: Customers are requested to log into their banking account and initiate an online conversation with a bank representative.

Discount Bank:
Customers seeking a deferral for up to three months can either call the bank's mortgage call center or fill out a form which can be emailed or faxed to the bank.
Union Bank of Israel: Customers seeking a deferral for up to three months can submit a request via their online portal.