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The authorities have proposed 3 year to prohibit the collection of debts from residents of Donbass

The authorities have proposed 3 year to prohibit the collection of debts from residents of Donbass

The Ministry of Justice offered for residents of the DPR, LC, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions enter moratorium to collect debts to banks and collectors. He will have to act 1 January 2026 y, comes from the bill.

The authorities proposed to introduce a moratorium on the collection of debts from citizens, living in the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (DPR, LC), as well as in Kherson and Zaporozhye regions. The ban can be up to 1 January 2026 y.

The relevant amendments to the Federal Law “On the protection of the rights and legitimate interests of individuals in the course of activities to return overdue debts and on amendments to the federal law “On microfinance activities and microfinance organizations” were developed by the Ministry of Justice. RBC got acquainted with the document, its authenticity was confirmed by a source, familiar with the content of the initiative, as well as a representative of the Ministry of Justice.

“The bill proposes to establish a ban on the implementation of activities to return overdue debts of individuals in the territories of these entities”, — stated in the explanatory note to the document. The moratorium applies to the debt of individuals to professional creditors, that is, before banks and microfinance organizations. The ban does not apply to debts to individuals, Debts on business loans and debts on housing and communal services, follows from the text of the bill.

The draft law was prepared by the Ministry of Justice of Russia jointly with interested state authorities, department spokesman said. "To 1 January 2026 year there is a transitional period, during which the issues of integration of new entities into the economic, financial, credit and legal systems of the Russian Federation, into the system of public authorities of the Russian Federation", he explained.

Document approved by the Ministry of Finance, Federal bailiff service, as well as with the state-legal department of the President of Russia and is included in the government. The press service of the Ministry of Finance redirected questions from RBC to the Ministry of Justice. The FSSP reminded, that do not regulate their activities (The Ministry of Justice is also a regulator for the service.). The Central Bank and the government apparatus did not respond to requests.

On the territories of the DPR, LC, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions now have only one large Russian bank - Promsvyazbank. The Central Republican Bank also operates on the territory of the DPR., on the territory of the LPR - State Bank of the LPR, also in the DPR, LPR and Zaporizhzhia Russian CMR Bank launched in October, at the same time, he announced plans to open branches in the Kherson region. Promsvyazbank launched consumer lending for payroll clients in the DPR and LPR in November 2022 y. TsMRBank in October reported that, that has begun to consider applications for the issuance of loans. Loan programs also have the State Bank of the LPR and the Central Bank of the DPR. In autumn, the Bank of Russia discussed the range of services with credit institutions, which they can begin to provide in the specified territories, including measures for simplified lending to individuals.

According to the President of the National Association of Collection Agencies (NAPKA) Elmana Mekhtieva, adoption of the bill without taking into account the realities of business, tasked with providing all services in the DPR, LC, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, can create significant difficulties for banks. Such a long-term moratorium may be perceived by market participants with concern and significantly reduce the activity of financial institutions, taking into account the difficulties in returning overdue payments., agrees Head of the Expert Center for Criminal Law Policy and Enforcement of Judicial Acts at Delovaya Rossiya, ambassador “business officer” Ekaterina Avdeeva. “Credit organizations are involved in the collection of overdue debts and collection agencies, and their departments, which, in fact, explain the consequences to debtors and often contribute to the settlement of the issue with the debtor at the pre-trial stage”, - reminds Avdeev.

Russian collection agencies are unlikely to start operating in these territories in the coming years due to lack of demand for the service, continues Mehdiyev: “The average term for a creditor to mature to work with professional debt collectors in any new territories is the same three years (for this period it is proposed to establish a moratorium. — RBC). Therefore, such restrictions will not affect the participants of the recovery market.”.

Important, that under the moratorium there will be no debts for housing and communal services, considers Avdeev. “That is, you will have to pay for utility services in a timely manner, they have the right to actively remind, otherwise, it will be possible to initiate enforcement after the issuance of a court order, which is most often used due to the small amounts in this category of disputes, or court decisions, - notes the lawyer.

The draft law proposes a different model of regulation compared to the one, what was used after 2014 years in the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol. Then the debtor could refuse to communicate with the creditor or his representative, if the bank ceased to operate in these territories after 18 March 2014 y, reminiscent of Mehtiyev, in this case, the creditor or his representative had to apply to the Depositor Protection Fund. Only Russian companies could demand repayment of the debt from the inhabitants of the peninsula, who purchased debts from Ukrainian banks and accredited with the FZV.

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