An expert questioned the effectiveness of the debt restructuring mechanism proposed by the Central Bank
It’s good for those Russians who don’t get into debt, realizing that you are borrowing someone else’s money for a while, but giving away your hard-earned money forever . But many of our fellow citizens do not profess this principle, they take loans “to the eyeballs”. And then they do not know how to pay their heavy debts. The Bank of Russia decided to meet the unfortunate borrowers. And he developed recommendations for debt restructuring. Eases for all loans in banks and microfinance organizations can be obtained even at the stage of bankruptcy.
As stated in the published recommendations, individuals with any loans other than those taken for business purposes can apply for such a comprehensive restructuring. You can request relief at any stage of the delay in debt, even if there is a court decision on bankruptcy or the sale of property. The issue will be resolved positively if the borrower, as stated in the document, “finds himself in a difficult life situation.”
Such force majeure circumstances, from which no one is insured, include: temporary disability of the borrower lasting more than two months; decrease in average monthly income by more than 30%; conscription for urgent military service; death and inheritance, and maternity or parental leave. It is clear that all these good reasons must be supported by documents.
If the borrower has not one, but many loans, he must report this in his application. In this case, the first bank notifies the others about such a desire of the client. And this bank becomes the “operator” of the restructuring of all debts of the borrower.
To make a final decision on the client's handling of debts, the creditor is given a period of 30 days, which can be increased once, but not more than 20 days. Until a common decision is made, creditors cannot continue to collect debts. If the request is rejected, the borrower has the right to apply again, including to one bank.
Undoubtedly, such recommendations are a real lifeline for the multi-million dollar army of Russian borrowers. At the end of 2022, the volume of overdue loans increased sharply in the country – by as much as 16%. And reached more than 1 trillion rubles. And the total number of citizens who are under this yoke is approximately 43 million people – in fact, every third Russian lives in debt.
But when, from what moment, will all these provisions come into force? We are asking the Financial Ombudsman of the Association of Russian Banks, Doctor of Economics Pavel Medvedev.
– Recommendations of the Central Bank are often not binding, – he says. – Of course, sometimes documents are arranged in such a way that it is impossible to evade them. But, as a rule, this is just advice that banks may not follow.
– I agree. At one time, about 15-20 years ago, I tried to build a similar system. Then the market was relatively safe, there were not so many borrowers, including hopeless ones. It seemed to me that through cooperation with other banks, the restructuring procedure could be simplified. Banks were inclined to take such steps. And borrowers from several creditors have already appeared.
– Nothing. She stopped because of jealousy. Banks that agreed to the restructuring began to suspect that the borrower, first of all, began to service debts to another bank at the expense of the released funds. So everything stalled.
As you can see, the problem has already arisen and it was not possible to solve it. Why decide now? As Albert Einstein said, if you do the same thing, don't be surprised that you get exactly the same result.
– I'm not going to name the exact figure. They are incorrectly accounted for. The indicator by which the credit burden is measured is not perfect. It's like measuring the distance between Moscow and St. Petersburg not in kilometers, but in kilograms. This is how this indicator is arranged.
– They can and do it very actively. My clients are overwhelmingly poor people. Those who took a loan of 10-15 thousand rubles and are completely sincerely unable to repay it.
– I want to remind you that a very good law has been in force in Russia since February 1 last year. Any citizen from whom money is collected by court in payment of his debts has the right to write a letter to the holder of the writ of execution with a request to make sure that after the withdrawal of the necessary amount in payment of the debt, he would have a living wage. But many Russians still do not know about it. Meanwhile, the law is still in effect. Although it happens that in order to achieve this, the applicant must make two or even three attempts.