Collection responsibility -

Collection responsibility

The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation has established the boundaries of collectors.

Collection responsibility

Citizens' debts on bank loans can be transferred to collection firms only in one single case - if such an opportunity is recorded in the bank’s agreement with the citizen.
This conclusion was made by the Judicial Collegium for Civil Cases of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, reviewing the outcome of the dispute between the bank's client and collectors who bought her debt. This story began in Novosibirsk with a lawsuit in a district court by a client of a local bank against a collection agency with a pathetic name. Such a story preceded the lawsuit. The citizen received a credit card in the small bank for 35,000 rubles. The rate was 25 percent per annum. After some time, the citizen had personal problems, and she delayed payments several times. With the bank in which she took a loan, problems also arose during this period. After several reorganizations, he entered the structure of a large bank, which transferred the debt to collectors. To inform the client of the bank that the right to recover her debt passed to other persons, no one considered it necessary - neither in the old bank, nor in the new one. And the collectors, having received her duty, immediately went to court.
It should be noted that at the time when the collection agency went to court, the debt of the bank's client grew many times and amounted to almost 865,000 rubles. Of these, the main debt is 494,027 rubles, and the rest is interest.

In the lawsuit, the woman indicated that she was not warned about the transfer of debt. Two local vessels sided with the collectors. The Central District Court of Novosibirsk examined the lawsuit and decided that the client of the bank did not fulfill the loan obligations, and the lawsuit was refused. In the regional court, the district colleagues agreed with this decision and emphasized the following point - approval of the citizen for the transfer of debt was not required, since the identity of the creditor is not important in the matter of fulfilling loan obligations.

In addition, the court noted that in its loan agreement there is no prohibition on transfer of rights to debt to third parties. Having lost all local courts, the citizen reached the Supreme Court with a request to cancel the decisions of local courts. And they listened to her arguments.

The Supreme Court stated the main thing: such a ban in the loan agreement for the transfer of debt is not needed, on the contrary, the possibility of transferring the citizen's debt should be agreed upon by the bank and the client and must be provided for in the agreement.

Making such a statement, the Judicial Collegium for Civil Cases of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation referred to paragraph 51 of the resolution of plenum No. 17 "On the consideration by courts of civil cases in disputes on the protection of consumer rights." In this decision of the plenum, it is said that when it comes to the assignment of claims under credit agreements with individuals, the court should be guided by the Law on the Protection of Consumer Rights. This law does not provide for the right of a credit institution to transfer individual debt "to persons who do not have a license to conduct banking activities," that is, collectors. An exception is possible only if the permission for the transfer of debt is agreed upon by the parties in advance and is recorded in the contract.
It must be emphasized that this is not the first decision of the Supreme Court prohibiting the practice of transferring debt to collectors without indicating this in the contract. And the legal services of large banks are well aware of this. Apparently, therefore, in most of the contracts that offer citizens to sign, the condition on the possibility of assignment of debt is spelled out - although the client may not pay attention to it. Moreover, these very important points are typed in the smallest font and successfully hide among common phrases.

In such situations, experts advise future borrowers to carefully read everything that they put on their signature, especially the places in small print. Although it should be recognized: in order to remove the phrase about third parties from the contract, the borrower will have to show willpower and perseverance. It is often easier to refuse to sign such an agreement altogether and find a bank for which the issue of concession to collectors is not important.

And such a recommendation applies to a huge number of bank borrowers. Indeed, according to statistics, more than half of borrowers in Russia have difficulty repaying debts to banks. There are still no figures for this year, but last year our courts not only examined 5.7 million lawsuits to recover loan debts from citizens, but also satisfied almost everything.

In our case, the Supreme Court quashed the decisions of the Novosibirsk courts and sent the case for a new trial.
Source: Russian newspaper

13.11.2019 05:27:59
(Automatic translation)

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