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In Landmark Ruling, Russian Supreme Court Says Mortgages Must Be Paid Back

No longer can mortgage holders just sell their property, run away and keep the cash without paying off the loan. Debtors' lawyers are complaining already

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Thanks to the MSM, we all know about all the rights that Russians supposedly don't have.

But what rights do they have?

<figcaption>Art by Mikhail Zlatkovskii, Novye Izvestia</figcaption>
Art by Mikhail Zlatkovskii, Novye Izvestia

Until last week, a Russian citizen could stop mortgage payments on his primary residence and then sell it (and keep the money) or else rent it out at his own discretion.

Strange as it may sound, there was apparently no clear requirement to let the buyer know of the seller's obligation to the bank.

But no more.

As of Monday, November 30th, the only right a deadbeat mortgage holder has is to continue living on the premises.

Russian Supreme Court Edict Number 50, which clarifies the law regarding debt collection matters, to include seizure of loan collateral, has reaffirmed that one cannot be evicted from one's primary residence (thereby proving that the banks don't own Russia like they own my country.)

However, the edict also states that the deadbeat has no legal right to the home, i.e. to sell or rent.

Moreover, for detached homes, the bank can now sell off pieces of the yard to the neighbors or anyone else, provided that some minimal space is left around the house and that the impounded territory is not essential to the debtor's livelihood.

Proving that lawyers are the same everywhere, attorney Oleg Nikulenko had this to say to Novye Izvestia about the court's decision (my translation):

“…it (the edict) will put people in a no-win situation and, quite possibly, engender a social explosion… Moreover, this edict involves violations of human rights and dignity… Our Constitution states that everyone has a right to their property… People will be forced to defend their rights and property even at the price of their lives and freedom.  And the number of homeless may grow by multiples in this environment.  And ultimately we will see a humanitarian catastrophe.”

From the sound of it, Mr. Nikulenko just might be working himself up as one of those “Putin bad, Russia awful and collapsing” go-to experts for our MSM.

Probably he should expect the call soon.

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