Parliament didn’t approve for a second reading a package of three bills aimed at making consumer loans fairer on February 6.

Independent MPs Lucia Žitňanská and Miroslav Beblavý tried to amend the Civil Code and to fight against unfair conditions for concluding contracts on consumer loans, stipulating a cap for annual interest rates and changing the Distrainment Order, the TASR newswire wrote. They also proposed to let the ordinary courts decide over the distrainment proceedings of debtors; and to limit the period for applying interest rates to three years.

Currently, arbitration courts decide over distrainment proceedings – which, however, are often “satellites” of non-banking companies and the Justice Ministry lacks measures to regulate them effectively, Žitňanská earlier told The Slovak Spectator.

“Without the cap for interest rates, cases can occur now in which the annual percentage rate of costs amounts to 4669.19 percent,” Žitňanská and Beblavý said, adding that court can deem this to be usury, but the consumer can be left in uncertainty.

The Smer-dominated parliament rejected their draft, but passed the bill tabled by two Smer MPs, Anton Martvoň and Otto Brixi, to the second reading on February 4, according to the SITA newswire. It stipulates that the definition of usury and a maximum pay for a loan be included in the Civil Code – and it should not exceed the double of average interest rates in banks.

(Source: TASR, SITA)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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