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Mobilized soldiers and relatives face rejection applying for debt relief

Source: Kommersant

In November, conscripts and their families began complaining about their inability to access the debt relief which was promised to them by the Russian government. Kommersant noticed an increase in references to the “unfair approach” of banks on the forum

Clients of Sberbank, VTB, Tinkoff Bank, Alfa Bank, and others complained about refusals and mistakes.

For example, the author of one of the reviews said that he had attempted to get debt relief due to the mobilization of his father, but that “the bank ignored requests in the chat, and the hotline hung up on him.” Another testimonial said that the bank initially accepted the documents, but later rejected them.

Another client said that he was approved for debt relief, but that his payment schedule still hadn’t been changed, “the arrears are burning and the penalties are dripping.”

VTB, HKF-Bank and MTS-Bank explained that the problems with the relief for mobilized people was due to “technical reasons.” Sberbank reported that during peak periods in early October “there may have been isolated refusals” associated with difficulties in the execution of powers of attorney, but “the problem is not acute at the moment.”

Lawyers interviewed by Kommersant believe that the debt relief program is underdeveloped, so banks are free to refuse clients.

A bill on credit vacations for mobilized people was submitted to the State Duma on September 23 - two days after the announcement of mobilization in Russia. It was later extended to all participants of the war in Ukraine. On October 7, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the law.

According to the document, servicemen or members of their families may apply for debt relief until December 31, 2023, provided that the loan agreement was concluded before mobilization or the conclusion of a contract with the Ministry of Defense. If a serviceman dies or becomes disabled, his obligations under the loan are terminated.

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