On 31 August 2011, the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation published on its official website a draft law aimed at regulating the activities of collection agencies in respect of overdue debt payments (the "Draft Law").
Specifically, the Draft Law:
- defines the terms "debt collector", "collection activity", "overdue debt", and "agreement on restructuring overdue debt";
- stipulates the collection of overdue debt by: (i) the creditor itself; or (ii) a third party as per an agency agreement with the creditor; or (iii) a new creditor that has obtained the right to demand repayment of the debt under an assignment of an agreement;
- requires the creditor to inform the debtor that the creditor has concluded an agreement with an agency or has granted the right to demand the repayment of the debt pursuant to assigning the agreement;
- outlines the requirements to which collection agencies must adhere; and
- sets out the rights and obligations of debt collectors as well as the guarantees for protecting debtors during the collection of overdue debts.
In line with developing the Draft Law, a number of legislative acts have been proposed for amendment, including the Federal Law "On Banking and Banking Activity". Specifically, the Draft Law sets the rights of a bank to enter into an agency agreement with a collection agency and to transfer the information on a debtor's operations to them.
The authors of the Draft Law believe that adopting it will eliminate the current loophole in the legislation in respect of the activities of collection agencies, which, in turn, will place the banking sector in a more positive light.
[Please see the Federal Draft Law "On the Collection of Overdue Debt" posted in Russian at the official website of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation: http://www.economy.gov.ru/minec/about/structure/depcorp/doc20110829_04]
[Please see the Federal Draft Law "On Amending Separate Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation" in Connection with Adopting the Federal Law "On Collecting Overdue Debt" posted in Russian at the official website of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation: http://www.economy.gov.ru/minec/about/structure/depcorp/doc20110829_05]