Complaints about fraud in the field of purchase and sale of housing often come to the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Russia. There are different situations: people are forced to fraudulently sign papers, apartments are sold with fake documents, and sometimes difficult life circumstances push people to desperate actions — a person mortgages their house and subsequently loses the only roof over his head.
Such a misfortune happened in a family with three young children that made a decision to seek help from the ombudswoman. On March 6, desperate to find the truth and achieve justice, on the verge of eviction, they came to Tatiana Moskalkova, all together, parents and three little sons, to tell their story and ask for help in saving their only house.
The head of the family was the main shareholder and director of a bakery, the
«As the head of the family I acted extremely wrong," the applicant repents. In order to save his «brainchild», his factory, he decided to take a loan from the bank against the apartment where his family lived.
As a result, the proceeds did not help, the enterprise could not be saved due to the unstable economic situation in the country at that time. Subsequently the bank sold the loan to a microfinance organization.
The company decided to speed up the debt collection and filed a lawsuit immediately after buying. The court held to repossess the property. So the apartment was transferred to the bailiff service for sale at auction, and then sold. Moreover, the purchase and sale transaction was doubtful due to the underestimated value of housing.
The family decided to appeal the results of the auction, but was refused. Along with this, the new owner of the apartment, who bought it at the auction, decided to evict the former owners and launched a trial.
«I dread to think about what the future holds for the three boys if they are left without a roof over their heads. I will do everything in my power to help this family. I’ll take them under my protection," Tatiana Moskalkova said having listened to the applicants' story and examined all the documents.
The High Commissioner forwarded the cassation appeal of the applicant and the materials attached to Chairman of the Second Cassation Court of General Jurisdiction Anatoly Bondar. In addition, an appeal was sent to Deputy Prosecutor General of Russia Viktor Grin with a request to consider the stated arguments and take prosecutorial response measures if there are legal grounds.
In defense of the family rights, the federal ombudswoman also appealed to Deputy Mayor of Moscow for Social Development Anastasia Rakova with a request to assist the citizens in resolving this difficult life situation.
In addition, at the request of the High Commissioner, the Federal Property Management Agency reviewed the procedure for selling the apartment at auction. The response stated that «the use by the Contractor of an electronic trading platform, not specified in the list of legal entities for organizing the sale of state and municipal property in electronic form, was a violation» of the corresponding clause of the contract.
On June 18, a representative of the High Commissioner attended the hearing of the Second Court of Cassation of General Jurisdiction on the applicant’s complaint. At the request of the federal ombudswoman, the decision to evict the family from the apartment was reversed. The court invalidated the results of the public tenders for the sale of real estate, the case was sent for a new trial.