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The expert explained the risks that can be faced in case of personal bankruptcy – Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Date: July 12, 2024 Time: 18:36:51

But we must not think that the path of a debtor who has decided to declare personal bankruptcy is strewn with roses. Anton Kanunnikov, an expert on the Popular Front project “For the Rights of Borrowers”, told RG about what to take into account.

Anton Yuryevich, the number of bankrupts in Russia at the end of last year exceeded one million, which is equivalent to the population of a large city. It seems that this mechanism is very easy to use, is it really true?

Anton Kanunnikov: Let’s start with the fact that this is the only legal way out of debt bondage. I cannot say that the State encourages personal bankruptcy, but it is interested in ensuring that a citizen can get rid of his debts. So you buy goods, services, invest money in the economy as a whole and do not “serve” one sector for years: banks, microfinance organizations, debt collectors. That is why the State developed this mechanism, and it is demanded, first of all, by the debtors themselves: 95 percent of bankruptcy applications are filed by them, and not by creditors or the tax service.

We see that the State protects debtors who do not have property and their only income is a pension or a childcare subsidy. For them, an extrajudicial bankruptcy procedure has been introduced, free of charge for the debtor, and I am convinced that this direction will develop. So far, the number of those who have resorted to the extrajudicial procedure is many times less than those who have gone to court. Last year the law’s bottleneck widened. Now the maximum amount of debt for an extrajudicial procedure is already one million rubles (previously it was 500 thousand). But most importantly, they eliminated the requirement that all enforcement proceedings against the debtor must be completed due to the impossibility of collection. This was the problem: the bailiffs did not close the case against the pensioners because they have a stable source of income with which they can pay off their debts: a pension. Now the pensioner must have a debt, the collection of which was decided by the court at least a year ago (the so-called “overdue” debt). And this is already enough for him to declare extrajudicial bankruptcy before the MFC. Thanks to this change, the statistics have already started to rise. And I think bankruptcy requirements for pensioners will continue to be relaxed.

An example from our practice: in Omsk, an orphan, a graduate of a correctional school, receives a disability pension and has debts of about one hundred thousand rubles, which were imposed on her, let’s say, in a not entirely honest way. I had a consultation with lawyers and they told me: “Don’t waste your time, don’t file for out-of-court bankruptcy, they will deny you anyway.” They say that everyone who has a pension is denied it, and therefore there is somewhere to write off money from debts.

Anton Kanunnikov: The law does not establish restrictions on the amount of the pension. It is important that the pensioner does not have property; This information will be carefully verified and if even a basement is found on the property, the out-of-court bankruptcy will be canceled. Maybe this is exactly the orphan’s story: some type of housing is listed as his property, for example.

Is it possible to draw up an application and collect documents for the MFC yourself or will you need the help of lawyers? In this case, the free procedure is no longer completely free.

Anton Kanunnikov: Anyone who uses the Internet can do it themselves. If you do not bring all the documents at once, the MFC will ask you to supplement the package, no problem. In a small town, I know from experience that the MFC employees themselves will be happy to advise the debtor. In large cities with a large load on the MFC, this is unlikely to happen, but in general I do not see any insurmountable obstacles.

Obviously, debtors can be divided into two categories: those who have nothing and those who have some property. Often, a lot. We talked about the first, but with the second not everything is so simple. A woman came to our newsroom with tears in her eyes. It turned out that her husband was going through personal bankruptcy proceedings before the Court of Arbitration. A financial administrator is appointed, to whom the debtor pays a fee. And this administrator convinces the judge to recognize that the family’s only dwelling is… the barn next to the house (the only dwelling is excluded from the debtor’s property, which is subject to sale). But the administrator wants to sell the real house, which is several times more expensive, to satisfy the demands of creditors. How is this possible? Should a debtor be prepared to be robbed like this, excuse me?

Anton Kanunnikov: Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case. The debtor from Novosibirsk lived in an apartment in the city center and owned a house on the outskirts, which she left empty after the death of her mother. The house also survived the fire; It had no roof, but in court the financial administrator demanded that it be recognized as the borrower’s only home. Representing her interests, we were able to demonstrate that the house was not suitable for habitation and that the debtor kept the apartment. Why does the manager insist on selling a more expensive property? Because he receives a percentage of the transaction. This is pure commerce.

Let’s find out who is a financial director. Advertisements often promise to “forgive debts,” but these ads, in my opinion, are against the law. The financial administrator and the debtor are not subject to any obligations; The administrator is appointed by the court and must ensure that the rights of both the creditors and the debtor are not violated. How can you promise to “forgive debts” in such a situation? After all, it must be impartial! And how can you be sure that you will be appointed? After all, the debtor indicates in the application to the court not a specific person, but a self-regulatory organization. What, can the manager somehow influence the court, the appointment process? I think this type of advertising should be banned.

One more thing. The amount of the manager’s remuneration according to the law is 25 thousand rubles, it is deposited, but the majority, of course, does not want to work for that amount of money and receives additional remuneration from the debtor, which, in fact, is in a gray zone, these quantities are not confirmed by anything and are not controlled by anyone. Furthermore, the debtor has the illusion that the financial manager is on his side, because he paid him! The shock, like that of the woman who came to you, comes when the debtor realizes that this is not the case. As an expert on the “For Borrowers’ Rights” project, I recommend that anyone filing bankruptcy contact a law firm and reach an agreement with a representative. Who, having signed the agreement, will protect his interests in the legal field, including appealing against the illegal actions of the financial manager.

Another example of this type of actions in Novosibirsk. Two apartments of the debtor in Bulgaria were sold to financial managers for a ridiculous price, 80 percent cheaper than the market price and in violation of local legislation. As it turned out, the buyer simply will not be able to take possession of this property. Well, and most importantly, they were sold when the financial director had already been deprived of his license for another crime. The debtor contacts law enforcement, insists that the transactions were carried out with a doll…

Anton Kanunnikov: Unfortunately, such plans are also known. If a financial manager focuses on personal benefit, he will look for the opportunity to achieve it. We need to fight this, involve law enforcement agencies, write complaints: to Rosreestr, to the court, to a self-regulatory organization. Complaints are effective: An insurance organization, if there are a large number of complaints against a manager, increases the cost of insurance for him, which affects his wallet and is afraid of him.

In general, I repeat, I evaluate personal bankruptcy as an effective tool to get out of debt. I recently spoke to one of the millions of bankrupt Russians and he is full of optimism. He says: “Anton, life has changed drastically! Everything has started to work for me again!” That is why the procedure was introduced.


During 2023, the Rosreestr Office for the Novosibirsk region received 202 complaints about the actions (inaction) of financial administrators in cases of bankruptcy of citizens. Based on the results of their examination, employees of Novosibirsk Rosreestr drew up 49 protocols on administrative violations, which were sent for consideration to the arbitration court of the Novosibirsk region.

“Typical violations concern the obligation to provide financial managers with reports on the progress and results of the sale of a citizen’s property with documents confirming the information contained in the reports to creditors and the court, as well as the inadequate performance of the functions of “The financial manager was expressed in the delay of the debtor’s bankruptcy procedure and in the failure to take measures aimed at reaching an agreement with the debtor’s bankruptcy creditors,” said Ivan Parkhomenko, deputy head of the Rosreestr Office for the Novosibirsk region.

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Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor is a full-time editor for ePrimefeed covering sports and movie news.

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