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Law regulating debt collecting activity signed

05 July 2016

On 3 July, President Vladimir Putin signed the law that restricts activity of debt collectors and protects rights of debtors. The need to adopt such a law had been repeatedly voiced by High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation since 2014.

In particular, on 10 February 2016, the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Russia submitted an official petition to the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation requesting to facilitate submission of the draft law On Debt Collecting Activity, which was being under consideration of the Government for a long time, to the State Duma. Also, the High Commissioner addressed Governor of the Central Bank of Russia Elvira Nabiullina regarding the debt collection agencies.

On 17 February, speakers of both chambers of the State Duma, Valentina Matvienko and Sergey Naryshkin, introduced the draft law On Protection of Rights and Legitimate Interests of Individuals During Debt Collection for consideration of the State Duma, which had been adopted in the first reading at the session on 21 June, and approved by the Council of the Federation on 29 June.

According to the new law, a collector has the rights to call to the debtor not more than twice a week and to meet him/her in person not more than once a week. The draft law also prohibits application of physical force. Threats, psychological pressure, and misinformation. Debt collectors will be prohibited to contact minors or mentally disabled persons, to disclose personal information of the debtor to third parties or publish it on the Internet.

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