Credere proposes to the Romanian Government the extension of the measure to postpone the payment of installments for a period of at least 6 months, resizing the costs borne by borrowers for certain categories of loans, maintaining the extended framework of beneficiaries, stopping evictions for debtors in the foreclosure phase, as well as the conferment of attributions to the National Authority for Consumer Protection in order to verify, respectively to sanction, aspects related to the implementation of the measure of postponement of the payment of installments, according to a press release, which also shows:
In accordance with the principles evoked by the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the European Organization of Consumer Associations (BEUC), the Government of Romania has the responsibility to adopt a fair solution that meets the current needs of the coronavirus pandemic.
Based on the directions drawn by the two entities, Credere considers the following measures to be well-founded and necessary in the current context:
1. Extending the measure to defer the payment of installments for a period of at least 6 months, requiring consumers to be thoroughly informed of the costs of this operation. To this end, upon acceptance of the deferral of payment of installments, the lender (bank or other entity) should provide the debtor with an information document containing comparative data of the monthly rate and the total cost, before the measure is applied and after the deferral measure expires. The latter proposal also comes in support of the banking industry, since Credere has constantly received petitions from consumers who are not aware that the measure of postponing the payment of installments involves an additional cost.
2. The application of the measure to defer the payment of installments must be maintained to the widest possible category of consumers whose income has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Restricting the application according to certain sectors of activity is risky, as there may be subjective exclusions or omissions in the legislation, and from another perspective, regardless of the field of activity, consumers may suffer income reductions due to the coronavirus pandemic. Consequently, we believe that the current framework of recipients contained in GEO 37/2020 must be maintained.
3. Reducing the costs borne by consumers, by eliminating the “interest-to-interest” formula for consumer loans, and applying the current cost mechanism for mortgage credit for all other categories of loans. We remind you that according to the provisions of GEO 37/2020, the deferral of the payment of installments involves an additional cost for the borrower, which is higher for consumer loans than for mortgages, which is determined by the application of the formula “interest to interest” (credit restructuring operation capitalization of interest on the credit balance). We therefore support the resettlement of costs in a balanced and equitable manner for both parties, reiterating that the Government has not previously done exactly the right thing in relation to consumers and has the opportunity to remedy this error. The “interest-to-interest” formula cannot be considered acceptable in a global context in which both parties (both the consumer and the financier) are going through an unpredictable and at the same time difficult time.
4. As a measure of humanity, applying the Spanish model, debtors – who are in the process of foreclosure and being evicted from their homes – must be granted the right to remain in that home, by stopping the eviction procedure, until the economy restarts. expected for the summer of 2021.
5. Through the normative act of prolonging the measure of postponement of the payment of installments, the Romanian Government has the duty to confer to the National Authority for Consumer Protection (ANPC) the necessary levers to verify, respectively sanction, aspects related to the implementation of the measure of postponement of installments . We point out that, at this moment, ANPC is not empowered by law to verify whether the financiers properly apply the measure of postponement of the payment of installments, not to apply sanctions in case of violations.
6. Submission of a monthly report by the Ministry of Public Finance on the situation of deferred payment of installments containing data on sectors of activity, types of loans, applications received, applications in progress, applications accepted by financiers, etc. We consider that these data are necessary for the public opinion, in the context in which the banking industry or other financiers present insufficient data necessary to ensure a climate of transparency.
We want to sound a real alarm signal on the fact that both consumer associations and the National Authority for Consumer Protection (from our information) did not take part in the decision-making process of drafting the normative act aimed at postponing the payment of installments, participating in discussions according public statements exclusively the representatives of the banking system and of the National Bank of Romania.