Moratorium – a delay in repayment of obligations
The COVID-19 virus pandemic and the proclamation of a state of emergency in the Republic of Serbia have resulted in numerous regulations in various fields. The emphasis is, of course, on protecting human health and therefore to prevent the spread of the infection caused by this virus. However, the new situation requires adaptation not only in terms of more intense hygiene and contact avoidance, but also keeping in mind the economic consequences of declaring a state of emergency.
In the previous articles, we have written about the impact of the state of emergency on the work of courts, public prosecutors offices, lawyers and employers. However, in this circumstances, we must not neglect the importance of financial stability of our country, because only a financially stable country can give an appropriate response to the challenges and difficulties which are testing whole world right now.
In order to maintain financial stability, the National Bank of Serbia (NBS) has adopted two regulations, which will be explained below:
- Decision on temporary measures to safeguard the stability of the financial system (“Official Gazette of the RS”, No. 33/2020)
- Decision on temporary measures for leasing providers in order to safeguard the stability of the financial system (“Official Gazette of the RS”, No. 33/2020)
In this Decisions moratorium is predicted for all debtors who want that. In order to make it all clear we are going to answer a few questions.
What is moratorium and how long is it going to last?
A moratorium is a delay in the repayment of obligations which means that your obligation to pay debt to bank or leasing provider is postponed as long as the country is in the state of emergency. In this case, it is stipulated that the delay can not last less than 90 days, but all in accordance with the duration of the state of emergency declared because of the pandemic.
To whom does the moratorium apply?
Long story short, banks and leasing providers are obliged to offer to their debtors and leasing recipients moratorium, which in case of acceptance means that they don’t need to pay their obligations during the state of emergency. So, the following clients can use delay in paying the obligations:
How does moratorium work?
It is important to say that banks/leasing providers are obliged to offer to their debtors/leasing recipients a moratorium-delay in repayment of their obligations, within 3 days from the day on which in this article discussed Decisions come into force. As the Decisions came into force on March 18, 2020 the deadline for making that offer is March 21, 2020.
Bearing in mind the number of debtors/leasing recipients who are able to use this benefit, it is said that the offer is considered delivered from the moment of its publication on the Internet page of the bank/leasing provider.
Because acceptance of the offer is optional, the debtors/leasing recipients have been given the right to refuse the offer within 10 days from the date of its publication on the bank/leasing provider website. So, if the client does not reject the offer of the bank/leasing provider in this period, it is considered that he has accepted the offer which means that he agrees that the delay in repayment of the obligations applies to his obligation too.
Obligations of the bank/leasing provider during the state of emergency
Banks/leasing providers are obliged to, for the duration of the state of emergency, that is as long as before mentioned Decisions are in force:
- do not calculate interest rate on due but unpaid claims
- do not initiate executions procedures or enforced collections
- do not take any other legal action in order to charge their claims from clients
The bank/leasing provider is not entitled to seek any costs from clients related to the application of the above mentioned Decisions.
It is also said that the bank/leasing provider may offer the client some other benefits in connection with repayment of his debt.
For all questions and consultations about this Decisions or any other regulations during the state of emergency, Pavleski Law Firm is at your disposal.