Viktor ZALIZNIUK, counsel, attorney
Since the beginning of the russian invasion to Ukraine in 2014, there are frequent and inadmissible cases, when a hero-defender is obliged to fight with debt collectors’ telephone calls concerned both real and fictional debts in between real fights on the battleground. And this, not to mention the fact, that the debt could arise because the Ukrainian soldier, during protection of his own country, has no possibility to go for commercial activity or to earn money at other paid jobs. That issue has become more relevant since full-scale military war of russia against Ukraine.
That is clear, that firstly in such cases the creditor’s and his representatives’ sense of morality is decisive, but obviously this matter should be legislatively regulated.
According to that, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has passed a bill “On amending a certain laws of Ukraine concerned a settlement of overdue debt during the period of martial law in Ukraine” (registration No7414 dated 27th of May, 2022).
Within the mentioned bill a legislator has maken the only right decision to forbid for any creditors, debt collectors, agents to interact with Ukrainian heroes, who protect their country, and their relatives.
Such approach is justified, because if you leave (allow) a little loophole for example “consultive conversation”, “data actualization” etc, that will give an opportunity for debt collectors to mock our soldiers but in a veiled way. That is clear: you are not allowed to initiate any conversation in any way during the period of martial all and during 90 days since its cancellation. This is it.
And now we will go into details.
Firstly, they are a consumer loans. In other words, all loans (money) provided to the consumer for the purchase of goods (works, services) to meet needs. And it is not only a teapot or an iron, it is also a car, a house or an apartment etc. Only funds provided for the development and to conduct an entrepreneurial activity, business, and professional activity are not consumer loans.
The protected categories are:
At the same time the creditors and the debt collectors are not allowed to cooperate not only with the named categories of persons but also with their relatives and representatives (except representative, who is not a close relative of a protected person).
In order to be protected in the way stipulated by the law, it is necessary for the soldier or his close relatives, representatives, successors, guarantors or third parties to notice a creditor or debt collectors that a certain person belongs to the protected category by the any type of communication (we recommend to use types of communication, which you can record) and to provide a creditor or debt collector with supporting documents.
For their part, creditors are obliged to place on the main page of their website the e-mail, location and telephone number (hotline), which can be used to receive notices from consumers and other persons specified in the law concerned belonging to the protected category.
Supporting documents concerned belonging a consumer to the protected category are:
Every creditor, collector, individual and legal entity engaged by the creditor after receiving of such notice with copies of supporting documents must immediately cease any interaction with the consumer (soldier) and his close relatives, representative, successor, guarantor or property guarantor.
In the notice to the creditor, except providing with copies of supporting documents, we recommend to state: “I want to cease any interaction with your company (institution, organization) during the period of martial law and after its cancellation within 90 days in accordance with the law”.