27.01.2021

What do the Russians, caught in the hands of usurers

More and more citizens are applying for funds not in banks, but in microfinance institutions (MFIs). According to calculations by the National Rating Agency (NRA), the increase in borrowing in companies with a micro prefix last year was almost twice as high as bank lending (about 40% against 22.4%). The ease of obtaining “micro-money” plays a cruel joke with many borrowers – they fail to calculate their strength and repay loans on time. A part of the “bad” debts of the MFI transfers to collectors who behave, to put it mildly, not gentlemanly.

Bank of Russia that year brings order to the segment of the MFI. Already introduced restrictions on rates, the maximum level of cheating on the loan. These days, in the State Duma, a bill is being considered, initiated by a regulator prohibiting MFIs from issuing loans against real estate. In general, the work on the cultivation of the microfinance segment is underway. However, “toxic emissions” abound. Therefore, if there is nowhere else to turn, except for MFIs, potential borrowers should be aware of the “pitfalls” of this industry, and of their own safety precautions – how not to be “blown up” on the loan before the payday.

Dangerous “Wishlist”

In theory, an MFI institute is designed for everyday situations that do not have dramatic consequences. For example, the car was taken to a car parking lot in the pocket of 500 rubles and two days to pay. During these two days, a round sum will come to the fine parking, and if you take 5 thousand in the MFI for a couple of days, you can pick up the car immediately, while the overpayment at the rate of 1.5% will be only 150 rubles.

But more often they get into MFIs either because of stupidity or because of cruel needs. Here are real stories taken from one of the sites:

“In debt, we were somehow unnoticed. It all started like everyone else, the first microloan made out on a cell phone. The official work was not with me or my husband, but we approved the loan. All paid for the year, after some time in the mailbox found an envelope with a credit card. Activated immediately, even thought it was a sign from heaven, just needed a certain amount of money. They decided to take a computer on credit, they issued it to me, again the same story: they repaid the debt, they got the card. In general, in a few years, we had seven cards from different offices, and three microcredit. They themselves did not notice how they found themselves at an impasse.

“I also got involved with these MFIs… Loans of about 20 pieces. Like many, there is no possibility to extend. From today began the delay in one office. Tomorrow will be another. Terribly… I’m afraid… “

But often the reason for applying to an MFI is a real need, an emergency situation. On the same “bitter” site a lot of similar stories. Here is one of them. In one formerly close-knit family, a second-grade son unsuccessfully descended from a hill on skis. Foot surgery, payment for subsequent rehabilitation. Credit, while banking. Then it turned out that another operation was required. Another loan. And then her husband could not stand it and left, and mother stayed with her son, who was still faced with a long rehabilitation, and with a debt of half a million rubles. Loans in banks have not given. Then the microloans went into action. Pay on them now unhappy mother has no opportunity…

In emergency situations, of course, there is no time to calculate the financial consequences. And MFIs offer money here and now, just show your passport. And for some time, you can apply online at all, without getting up from the couch: the funds will be transferred to the card without unnecessary delay. The ease of obtaining a loan played a cruel joke with a considerable number of borrowers.

Most often, according to experts, those who do not give a loan to the bank turn to MFIs – either the income does not correspond to the requested amount, or the borrower has already ruined his credit history, having previously made a delay. A special compromising circumstance is the fact of receiving a microloan in the past: banks are often denied to former clients of MFIs, they are considered to be a marginal group.

But from the fact that banks are denied loans, people who need money do not become less. The number of microloans involved in the debt wheel is estimated at 10 million people, and every year their number increases on average by a third.

Toxic tool

Last year, microinstitutional borrowers increased their debt by how much, in proportion – and could not repay it. According to a study by the NRA, when the market grew at a rate of 40%, the delay grew at a rate of about 35%.

The low solvency of MFI clients is indirectly confirmed by the structure of microloans. According to the NRA, in the fourth quarter of last year, the share of consumer microloans (more expensive analogues of bank loans) in the total portfolio amounted to 51.5%, microloans “before paycheck” – 21.6%. These two types of loans have long been synonymous with the chronic lack of money of those who take them.

The picture of violation of payment discipline by borrowers in this regard is also expressive. According to the same study, payments for almost half (41.4%) of issued consumer microloans are overdue. With payday loans, even worse: the prolongation rate is 26.4%, the delay is 43.7%. This is a pronounced “toxic” tool.

How not to lose a roof over your head

The ease with which MFIs “distribute” money is more than compensated for by the “weight” of knocking out debts from negligent borrowers: collectors, threats… One borrower found an ax stuck in the windshield of his car, on the handle of which was hung a funeral wreath. Another borrower was stuck into a porn site on which, edited in Photoshop, a photo of his child was posted.

Visitors to the MFI debtor site share their own stories. “I wasn’t even in Vkontakte, but they found a brother there, and my brother and I had different names, then we found him on Facebook, and the terror began on him and his family. A nightmare… How do they do it, how do they find it? ” “Next to me was a daughter of 5 years and I am eight months old. I say go to court. And they tell me – we do not go to court, we are not a bank, we are MFO, we are of a different type of work. ” (The spelling of the source is preserved.  – MT ).

How exactly the so-called debt collectors work – on the same site: “The girl offered to sell the apartment – for a debt of 23 thousand, I don’t take the phone anymore.” This, we note, was about the Moscow apartment, which is a thousand times more expensive than the debt.

But at least the stories about how families of borrowers – along with veterans and minor children – find themselves on the street, will be blocked as soon as they pass a law banning lending for real estate. 

Deceptive scantiness

The Bank of Russia, I must give him his due, is trying to restore order in the MFI segment. In January of this year, amendments to the legislation came into force, limiting the daily rate on microloans to a level of 1.5%, the maximum amount of additional charges can no longer be 2.5 times higher than the size of the loan. So, if the borrower took 10 thousand rubles, then with all the interest, penalties, fines he would give no more than 35 thousand rubles. (10 thousand – the debt itself, 25 thousand – marginal cheating). In the case of special loans (up to 10 thousand rubles for a period of up to 15 days), the borrower will overpay no more than 200 rubles per day.

The maximum amount of the daily rate will decrease further: from the current one and a half percent to 1% from July 1. But this deceptive lightness of small numbers should not mislead the borrower. The maximum rate of 1.5% per day means 547.5% per annum. That is, for a couple of days – as in the history of the parking lot – the interest payment is quite acceptable. But in a month it turns out already 45%. And taking a percentage of “for life” for a few months is simply deadly. “No family is able to service such loans without harm to health,” confirms Dmitry Yanin, Chairman of the Board of the International Confederation of Consumer Societies (ConfOP).

In addition, experts assure that MFIs still easily circumvent established restrictions. “Usurers successfully use the trick that citizens do not immediately bite through. MFIs renew their overdue loans an infinite number of times, and they take money for the fact of restructuring, and add to the body of the main debt the accumulated interest, penalties and fines – on which interest, penalties and fines are wound again. The Bank of Russia is unable to track this kind of manipulation. Both he and the legislator pretend that the requirement of the law, which limits the maximum wage, is observed, ”indicates financial ombudsman Pavel Medvedev.

By the way, and the law on collectors is valid from 2017. The powers and norms of behavior of debt collectors on paper are strictly regulated. However, persistent calls to relatives, strong guys on the doorstep and funeral wreaths on the hood is still a reality.

Still, the nuts in the MFI segment – with varying success – are tightened. And, according to the forecast of the NRA, more and more microfinance institutions will begin to observe the purity of the balance sheets seriously and more often to refuse loans to those who, by definition, will not be able to repay. According to agency estimates, the proportion of such failures can be 10–15%, which is equivalent to one million contracts.

“It will be even more difficult for individuals to raise the necessary borrowed funds, and for a significant number of potential borrowers, the possibility of promptly raising funds to meet their vital needs will be cut off: first of all, for the target group with a monthly income of up to 30–35 thousand rubles, this opportunity will drop dramatically. As a result, they may face the risk of completely withdrawing from the field of regulation and legal protection of their interests, ”suggests Karina Artemyeva, senior director of the NRA financial institutions.

In other words, about a million people will not be able to intercept the expensive, but civilized loan “before the payday.” But this does not mean that they can not get involved. With the rejection of the MFIs, their need for money will not disappear. And then they have one road – to the “black” usurers. And with them only phone calls and unpleasant conversations can not get off. The repertoire there is from the “Molotov cocktail” at night through the window to the “forceful” pressing of a single dwelling.

Microcredits: how not to get into debt bondage

Before making a decision:

1. Check if the selected company is in the state register of MFIs – so you will protect yourself from fraudsters.

2. When you contact the MFI and tell you about the conditions of the loan, do not rush to sign the contract immediately. You have 5 days to consider the proposal that you have been made.

If the decision is made:

1. Estimate interest rates, read individual contract terms (they should be in tabular form) and general terms (set by the MFI unilaterally).

2. Carefully review the individual terms of the contract: they may be specified conditions for additional services. They affect the amount you need to return.

3. Check out the full cost of the loan. It must be indicated in the box in the upper right corner on the first page of the individual contract terms.

When the loan is already taken:

1. Timing. Do not forget that the microloan works for you only if you took it for a short time. The faster you pay it off, the less money from your budget you will have to pay.

2. Penalty (fines, penalties). They can be charged only on the overdue part of the principal amount, but not on interest. Penalty for late payment on special loan shall not exceed 0.1% of the debt amount for each day of payment delay.

3. Save your payment documents (check, receipt or cash order). Remember that a loan is considered to be repaid at the moment when the funds are credited to the account or to the MFI cash desk. Ask the lender for a certificate stating that you repaid the loan (part of the loan debt).

4. Powers of collectors. Debt collectors (the creditor or collectors themselves) cannot, by law, abuse their rights and intentionally harm the borrower or guarantor. If you encounter such illegal actions, you need to contact the Federal Bailiff Service.

5. The rights of the borrower. If you believe that the MFI violates your rights, contact the Bank of Russia.

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