GENERICO.ruEconomicsDebts of borrowers who lost their only home were proposed to be written off

Debts of borrowers who lost their only home were proposed to be written off

Experts pointed out the risks of changing the bankruptcy law

A bill that would cancel the bank debts of citizens whose only home was sold at auction due to debts was prepared by the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation. Deputy State Duma Committee on Construction and Housing and Public Utilities Svetlana Razvorotneva spoke about this in her Telegram channel. Issues of observance of housing rights of citizens were discussed at a meeting organized by the Commissioner for Human Rights. However, experts who became familiar with the initiative were very reserved about this idea.

Experts pointed out the risks of changing the bankruptcy law Photo: duma.gov.ru

Borrowers may be left without their only home if they cannot pay off their mortgage, Razvorotneva recalled in her publication. According to her, this is almost the only case when Russians can have their only apartment taken away. The deputy is confident that the bill prohibiting the eviction of even families with children from mortgaged apartments has no prospects. “But it is simply necessary to pass at least a law according to which, after the sale of an apartment at auction, citizens’ debts to banks are canceled, — wrote the parliamentarian. — Similar stories are becoming more common today. Apartments are sold at auction cheaper than they were bought on the market, people are left without apartments, but with debts.” In this regard, the Prosecutor General's Office proposed a draft law that would cancel these debts. Razvorotneva added that this practice exists in many countries. She expressed hope that the same will happen in Russia. However, the risks of this proposal were pointed out by those interviewed by MK. experts.

“Mortgage lending is the most common type of lending in Russia, occupying a share of over 50% in the total portfolio.” citizens. In 2023, lenders recovered 22.23 billion rubles from problem mortgage borrowers through the sale of collateralized apartments, which is 1.4 times more than in 2022 (15.85 billion rubles), 1.3 times compared to 2021 -m (17.5 billion rubles).

At the same time, it is worth noting that starting from 2021, there is a tendency for a serious increase in the cost of a square meter of housing. This means that after the sale of the collateral at auction and the full repayment of obligations to the creditor against the backdrop of rising real estate prices, the debtors will have a balance, and every year the potential size of this balance becomes larger. In addition, according to various sources, 30-40% of collateral real estate sold at auctions is not the only housing of the borrowers.

From a legal point of view, in our opinion, the initiative is only partly justified. Each case must be considered individually. On the one hand, the sale of collateral — This is a non-core business of the credit market. This explains the declared price of lots at auctions below the market. The creditor seeks to return the money not received from the debtor, remove this asset from the balance sheet and not accrue provisions for loan losses on it.

On the other hand, it is important to find out the nature of the debt burden. Taking into account the tightening of regulation by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation from 2023, it is necessary to understand for what reasons lenders approved new applications for a borrower with a high debt load and a history of mortgages. Mortgage — This is the longest and most expensive of the existing types of lending. For the majority of mortgage holders, the monthly payment is more than 50% of monthly income. Therefore, it is completely unclear why lenders who ignore the risks of non-repayment would issue new loans to such clients and should be able to write off these debts and remove them from their balance sheets. And in such situations, are there any signs of dishonest behavior on the part of both the creditor and the debtor? In the end, banks do not give out their own money as loans, but rather the money of depositors. At whose expense will the write-off take place, if we all know that banks habitually shift any of their expenses onto the shoulders of clients?'

“Usually there are not many such people, this can be judged at least by the number of court cases. Few people go so far as to have their only home taken away by the court. You must understand that you can lose your only home only if it is the subject of collateral; in other situations, foreclosure on your only home is not made.

The proposal to write off the loans of citizens who have lost their apartments due to debt looks strange, unreasonable and contrary to current bankruptcy legislation. In this case, we mean that category of citizens who, having nothing – a normal income, an airbag, other property, collect loans, including for the purchase of housing, and then cannot cope with it. That is, these are people who, in principle, could not calculate their own risks. Why the state should protect them when we have a huge number of socially unprotected categories, such as pensioners or disabled people, is unclear.

According to the bankruptcy law, such debts will still be written off if the citizen acted in good faith, that is, at the time of receiving the loan he had no reason to doubt that he would repay the debts. If a person acted in bad faith, in order to accumulate loans and go bankrupt, then why protect him further? Therefore, I believe that there is no need to make changes to the current bankruptcy legislation.”

“The practice of such a rule is actively used in bankruptcy, because in this case it is impossible for an individual deprive him of his only home. The state does not allow people to remain on the street, even those with a deplorable financial condition. In the case of mortgages, it is obvious that in the high price segment it is a very rare story when the only housing is the mortgage collateral. Therefore, the norm is intended to help segments of the population with not the highest income levels. And at the same time, it is likely that the banking industry will be against it, due to the fact that it will bear the main risks and potential losses. Especially considering the high volumes of mortgage loans issued under preferential lending programs. The result may be a tightening of the scoring policy of banks when issuing mortgage loans.

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