Ban night calls from debt collectors, leftists say in draft bill

RIA Novosti / Alexandr Demyanchuk
Fair Russia MPs claim that night phone calls and messages from creditors can be considered intimidation and should be outlawed.

The new bill would ban night phone calls and messages both for banks and for debt collecting agencies to clients with overdue mortgage payments. The main sponsor of the bill, Oleg Mikheyev called them “the most vulgar and frightening methods” and added that while a daytime call could be considered a simple communication the same call performed at night was definitely psychological pressure.

The bill deals with mortgage credits only because night calls about overdue consumer credits are already banned by the Federal Law on Consumer Credit introduced in 2013.

According to Mikheyev the overall mortgage debt on Russian citizens to banks is currently about 54 billion rubles, over US$1 billion. Collectors forecast that the overdue debt will soon increase by about 20 percent.

Earlier this month the centrist political movement Popular Front suggested introducing a legal limit on the overall number of phone calls that collectors can make to debtors and also to disclose the information about the debt to third parties, such as debtors’ employers. These suggestions are still in the discussion phase and have not been written into a bill.

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