According to a law passed Tuesday by the state Duma in the second reading, to demand debts from borrowers in Crimea is only Russian credit organizations and legal entities that have submitted proof of purchase rights under the relevant loan agreements.
MOSCOW, 22 Dec. The state Duma on Tuesday adopted in the second reading the bill about the features of maturity and out-of-court settlement of debt of borrowers living in Crimea and Sevastopol before the Ukrainian banks.
The bill would apply to debts borrowers to Ukrainian banks to stop operations in the Crimea after its joining Russia.
According to the document, to demand debts from borrowers in Crimea is only Russian credit organizations and legal entities that have submitted proof of purchase rights under the relevant loan agreements or the right to demand payment of arrears arising out of such contracts. Collectors are required to disclose information about the controlling persons and business reputation of their leaders and their deputies.
The bill prohibits persons who have the right to demand repayment of debt, to apply in respect of the borrower’s physical strength; to destroy or damage his property or to threaten it; and to use expressions and to perform acts degrading the honour and dignity of the borrower and other persons.
The amount of debt of borrowers shall be determined as at 18 March 2014, less any money paid after that date. Payments to repay the debt will only be made in rubles using a separate Bank account of the depositor protection Fund, established by the Agency for Deposit insurance (DIA). If the loan was issued in hryvnias or another currency, the debt will be paid in rubles at the exchange rate of the relevant currency on March 18, 2014.
The bill also defines the procedure for obtaining by the borrower of documentary evidence of the removal of the encumbrance from the property pledged to secure the obligations on the loan.
The document provides for mandatory pre-trial dispute settlement procedure between borrowers and persons entitled to demand repayment of debt. Such persons are obliged to first address a statement about the settlement of disputes in the Fund for the protection of depositors. Turn directly to court without first filing an application to the Fund, such person will be able only with the written consent of the borrower.
Any of the parties to the dispute do not agree with the decision of the Fund, will be entitled to apply to the court for the same subject and on the same grounds, previously notifying the Fund.
The borrower, in turn, may apply to the Fund with a written request for installment repayment, or restructuring. Installment may be granted for a period not exceeding 24 months. Borrowers also have the right to request the court to review earlier court decisions on recovery of debts on the loan taken during the period after 18 March 2014 and up to the date of entry into force of the law.
When considering the draft law in the second reading was excluded the norm on the introduction of administrative fines for persons that require from Crimean borrowers to repay debts, not having the right. The penalty for officials was planned in the amount of from 10 to 20 thousand rubles for legal entities — from 40 to 50 thousand rubles.
A similar amendment on Tuesday was supported by the state Duma in the second reading of another bill on administrative responsibility for the diggers. Thus, the rules on the penalties for unlawful demand repayment of Crimea to Ukrainian banks transferred from one bill to another.
The third reading of both bills will be considered on December 23.
Stop the extortion
The head of the Duma Committee on Finance Nikolai Gonchar explained that the debt obligations of the Crimeans to the Ukrainian banks are now actively sold and purchased by residents of the Russian Federation.
In Crimea, according to him, there are people who begin to “literally extort” money from the borrowers from the Crimea, and make it “extremely aggressive and appropriately advertising their affiliation to the legislation of the Russian Federation and to the fact that they are representatives of Moscow banks”. According to the Deputy, the discount at which such obligations are purchased, up to 50, 70 and 90%.
Gonchar believes that this needs to stop immediately. For this, he said, “between those who have and those who extort from them the means to rise up Russian organization, namely, the Fund of protection of depositors”. All calculations on repayment of debts to Ukrainian banks to be effected through the Fund, then “will become pointless ringing at night” inhabitants of the Crimea and demand from them something, I’m sure the head of the Duma Committee.
According to publications in the Crimean media, one of the organizations that buying up the debt of the Crimean people, is JSC “Stock converse Centre” (FCC). The company with a statutory Fund of 150 thousand rubles, created in Moscow in 1996, started its activity in the Crimea in December 2014. FCC assures that only work with those banks to which the depositor protection Fund has no claim.
The company purchased a loan portfolio of about 27 thousand borrowers of the Ukrainian subsidiaries of Sberbank of Russia and alpha Bank for a total sum about 2 billion rubles.
The position of the Crimean authorities
The Crimean government first proposed to introduce a moratorium on recovery of debts of the Crimeans for loans in Ukrainian banks. Subsequently, the head of the Crimea Sergey Aksenov said that on behalf of the President of Russia should be defined by the authorized body, which will deal with the recovery from the Crimean debts on such loans.
The head of Crimea considers that the recovery of the Crimeans should be fair, without enforcement mechanisms, because the loan agreement with Ukrainian banks “terminated through no fault of the people.”
Loans to Ukrainian banks, according to the Crimean authorities have about 350 thousand inhabitants. And according to the Independent Association of Ukrainian banks, as of 1 February 2014, Ukrainian banks have granted to borrowers of the Crimea the credits for the sum of 16,6 billion UAH that was 1.8% of their total loan portfolio.
In recalculation on roubles based on the exchange rate ruling at that date (4,1856 rubles per hryvnia), this is consistent with 69,48 billion. In terms of 18 March 2014 (3,7784 rubles per hryvnia) the amount of debt of the Crimean people was 62,77 billion rubles, and on December 19, 2015 (3,03496 rubles per hryvnia) – 50,38 billion.
On this basis, the debt repayment at the current exchange rate would reduce the debt burden on the people of Crimea, but it would reduce the profit of the persons who bought its rights under such debt.
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