Loan arrears – what to do? Ways to solve the problem

Loan delay – now this phrase has become almost a national sign for Russia. Passing detailed statistical studies, it is safe to say that every second adult inhabitant of the Russian Federation took a bank loan.

And every third client got into a situation when it became impossible to make a monthly payment. You can conduct a mini-sociological survey by asking passers-by on the street if they happened to be in the status of a debtor bank. It is difficult to imagine how much the number of positive answers will exceed the number of negative ones.

A loan delay is evidence of a deep systemic crisis in which our country has been living for more than a year. Evidence of artificiality and underdevelopment of the Russian credit system. In Western countries, credit has historically become a necessary part of economic development. In Russia, it originally appeared as a political phenomenon.

Causes of the prevalence of credit problems among the population of the Russian Federation

Causes of the prevalence of credit problems among the population of the Russian Federation

But you should not go into sociology and political science here, but it is worth pointing out the main reasons that contribute to the fact that customers are unable to pay monthly loan installments:

  • unpredictable and precarious situation in the labor market, when you have a job today and tomorrow you will be reduced, which will make it impossible to pay with the bank;
  • severe social and environmental conditions that contribute to the deterioration of health, the emergence of serious injuries and illnesses that often lead to disability, the emergence of the need to buy expensive medicines;
  • annual Western interest rates, nightmarish by Western standards (on average) – 17% for mortgages, 25% for consumer loans and car loans, 30% for loans to small businesses;
  • the severe economic crisis associated with the sanctions in 2014 led to a hurricane of inflation, and as a result, the wages of most clients depreciated by a third or even half. Before many began to get up the obvious choice – buy products or pay a loan;
  • the unfair policies of some banking organizations introducing latent interest and other “small print” in contracts, intentional insufficient awareness of clientele;
  • irresponsible attitude to the loan agreements of the borrowers themselves, when people take out a loan in order to acquire the desired “here and now”, without thinking seriously about the burden of repayment, and not to frighten them by late payment of the loan.

As a result, the borrower becomes a loan debtor. The status of the debtor to the client is assigned after the bank system does not detect a positive change in the client’s credit account on the date appointed for making the next installment (usually, the end of the month). But the debtor to the debtor is different – both for reasons and in terms of debt.

The list of possible sanctions by the bank

The bank, as a creditor and beneficiary, incurring costs due to the termination of client payments, can and will apply the following set of sanctions (on the basis of article 330 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation):

  • minimum fixed additional penalty charges;
  • penalty interest, “dripping” every day from the moment of delay;
  • larger fixed penalty charges;
  • dynamic penalty interest (interest on interest), due to which the total amount of daily penalty charges will constantly increase;
  • regular calls to home and work phones, informing the authorities at work about the loan debt, regular SMS messages demanding to pay off the debt, regular similar messages to the e-mail, and the bank will get it in the early morning. There are similar “repressions” in relation to the relatives and friends of the client, and for those who were the guarantor / co-borrower in the loan transaction, such measures are completely legal. In other cases, the creditor bank has no right to somehow touch the close debtor;
  • resale of credit rights to collectors, although by law the bank is not allowed to do so due to the legally vague and semi-criminal status of the collectors themselves. Collectors use illegal, unlawful and immoral methods of influencing debtors – psychological pressure, property damage, threats, and in some cases even physical abuse was noted. The debtor has the full right to contact the police in a collision with collectors;
  • much more common is another extreme measure – filing a lawsuit with the courts, with the court considering 90% of all such cases in absentia, without the participation of the defendant, deciding in favor of the bank. As a result, the debtor bears administrative responsibility, the case is transferred to the bailiffs, and they arrest all the debtor’s existing accounts (bank cards), make a decision on monthly wage / pension deductions, confiscate the debtor’s property (car, expensive equipment, jewelry) if there is a stock of living space per person, can force to change the apartment for a smaller and cheaper, and take the money difference. In case of large loans with suspicion of fraud, the borrower risks falling no longer under administrative, but criminal liability (article 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).

Penalty interest feature

Of course, that all these sanctions fall on the client not at once, but in stages. As the timing and size of the debt. But first it is worthwhile to take a closer look at the topic of penalties The peculiarity of overdue loan payments is that each bank has its own policy, which is distinguished by one degree or another of “weakness”.

It happens that the interest for non-payment of a loan payment in time covers several times the annual interest rate. One of the many gaps in Russian banking legislation is that the upper threshold of the size of the penalty interest is not defined when there is an overdue loan.

But the bottom is defined. This is the refinancing rate of the Central Bank, which on January 1, 2016 was equated to the Central Bank’s key rate. In principle, these concepts are similar, only the key rate determines the most minimal level. Namely, the level of interest rate at which the Central Bank credits all other banks in Russia.

Plus, exactly the same percentage is set in the reverse lending, when banks open deposits with the Central Bank. Today, the key rate is 10%. This is the lower threshold of penalty interest. That’s just not every bank adheres to the lower threshold. It should be noted that the amount of the fine, penalties is determined by three factors:

  • bank policy;
  • loan size (the larger the loan, the harder the penalty for late payment);
  • debt period (the longer the client pulls with payment, the deeper he digs into the debt trap).

Relationship of the terms of debt and bank actions

Relationship of the terms of debt and bank actions


How will the bank act if it finds out that the repayments on the loan have stopped coming? First of all, it all depends on the timing. By this criterion, it is worth considering the sequence:

  1. If a loan is delayed for just a couple of days, there is nothing to worry about. This fact will not even be reflected in the credit history, and the total amount of the fine will not exceed a couple of hundred rubles. However, even here it is recommended to call the bank in order to notify the employee about a small delay and full payment of the monthly fee.
  2. If the delay period is from a week to a month, then penalties will begin to be added to the minimum fixed penalties (500-1,000 rubles). In a month, the total amount of debt can be from a thousand to several thousand rubles. When the first “debt” week expires, calls from bank employees and regular SMS messages with relevant content will begin.
  3. Debt period ranges from one to three months. Fines can already be measured in tens of thousands of rubles. Many customers have to change SIM cards, because calls and SMS messages sometimes happen to pester all day. Small, private banks may begin to threaten out-of-court confiscation of property (which is illegal) or transfer the case of a client to collection firms (which is also illegal).
  4. When there is no news from the borrower for half a year or even a year, most banks file a lawsuit with the courts. As already mentioned, such a submission for the borrower almost always ends negatively. The bank is not an MFI, and the court will probably side with the plaintiff. Moreover, such cases are considered very quickly, without delay. Often, when the debtor finds out about the past trial, only once received a halved salary / pension. Or when bailiffs knock on his door.

Can I not pay completely legally?

Can I not pay completely legally?


And now the main and most important question of the whole topic – what does a client who is in such a binding do? In fact, there are only two options in the Russian lending system: either not to pay a loan legally, or to pay a loan of 110% for the full program.

The problem is that half measures are extremely developed in the Western credit system, when a bank, which at least a little, but pays, is supported and encouraged by the bank. Not surprising, given the peculiarity of the western loan, mentioned at the very beginning of the article.

But in Russia, other banks require excessive conditions from the client. For example, immediately pay in full on penal accruals with the simultaneous payment of a monthly fee. Many borrowers are trying to make at least some amount, but the rate of growth of interest exceeds the rate of repayment.

As a result, the bank continues to call, warn, threaten with court. In such circumstances, they simply give up, and a logical question is formed: “What the hell am I trying to do, if all the same the creditor bank doesn’t appreciate this and in the end sue?”.

If the recipient of the loan is determined not to pay at all, then his only legal support will be the limitation period of 3 years. The bottom line is that if 3 years or more has passed since the last contact of the bank with the client, the loan debt is canceled. After that, the borrower no longer owes the bank a loan.

The trouble is that as always there is one big “but”. Contact with the bank is considered not only a personal visit to the bank’s office or at least a telephone conversation, but also written notifications from the lender sent by regular mail. Of course, it is impossible to prove that the client really received and read the letter, but the court on such trifles, as a rule, does not stop.

Once the letter was sent, it means there was contact with the bank. Even if the loan itself was taken about five years ago. A less suitable option is a change of residence with a change of residence permit. Move, change the SIM card, do not appear in the branches of a credit institution, do not “shine” in social networks (this is important!), And maybe the law on the statute of limitations will work.

But here, too, the court is fully capable of taking the side of the bank on the basis that the defendant did not notify the creditor about the change of residence permit, although it is obliged by contract to report such things. Another legitimate, but even more hopeless loophole for debtors is the law on the bankruptcy of individuals, which entered into force on July 1, 2015.

However, in its real strength, it recalls the Manifesto on the abolition of serfdom. The fact is that in order to recognize an individual as bankrupt it is necessary that:

  • loan size was at least 500 thousand rubles;
  • A lawsuit that begins the procedure of declaring the debtor bankrupt must be filed by the creditor, i.e. the bank, which in 99 cases out of 100 such a turn of business is never beneficial.

There are a couple of moments, but the above are key. Benefits for borrowers from this law even less than the law on the statute of limitations. Is there any other way out?

Options for mutual agreement between the debtor and the lender

Options for mutual agreement between the debtor and the lender

In principle, if the problem with the payment of the loan arose for a really good reason (the closure of the company, downsizing, a serious illness of the borrower or his close), then the bank is able to meet.

In such circumstances, it is important not to delay or delay, but to get in touch with the bank that issued the loan as soon as possible. What are the possible options for concessions? There are several:

  1. Loan restructuring. A new contract is being made on more favorable terms. The remaining credit debt can stretch for a longer period, which will reduce the size of monthly payments. Or reduce the annual interest, which again makes the contributions smaller.
  2. Loan refinancing. In the same or in another bank, another loan is taken (for example, a consumer loan) to pay off an overdue old loan. Some banks automatically include a refinancing service in their credit lines. Customers are advised to cope with such things even at the stage of concluding a loan agreement.
  3. Credit holidays. Everything is simple – a short period of time (1-4 months), the borrower “rests”, that is, he does not pay anything at all according to an official agreement with the bank. Now, due to the crisis situation, net credit holidays do not seem to be left in any bank in the country. But there is a service, when for a month or two, you can pay only interest on the loan or reduce only the loan body. In both options, the monthly fee will be significantly less. But if only interest is paid off, a large percentage overpayment arises, and if you pay only the loan body, there may be confusion with interest calculation.
  4. Forgiveness of part of the debt , when, for example, the bank simply writes off all the fines and penalties. Extremely unlikely scenario.

But for a good reason, it’s worth a try. It is important to correctly write a statement, indicating in the header of your passport data and basic data of the lender. Then describe in detail the reason for the delay. It will be useful to propose a solution to the problem with calculations and calculations, so that it is clear and conclusive.

And most importantly – the application must be accompanied by documents confirming the reasons for the failure in payments. For example, an employer-certified certificate of dismissal that did not happen at the will of the employee. Or a certificate from the doctor from the clinic, if there was a disease.

The statement with all documentation should be made in 2 copies. In general, the likelihood that the bank is at least a little, but will meet, is not so small. This article was written with a practical bias. In order to at least partially help people who find themselves in a difficult situation of debt on a loan.

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