The Federal law No. 230-FL “About protection of the rights and legitimate interests of physical persons when implementing activities for return of the overdue debt and about introduction of amendments to the Federal law ” came into effect on January 1, 2017.

The new law governs the business activities of debt collection involving physical persons (private individuals). The key provisions of the law are:

  • Use of physical force or threat of using it, personal or property injury, bullying and circumvention are forbidden by law.
  • Collector is entitled to communicate with the debtor a maximum of twice a week on the phone and to meet in person once a week, communication with the debtor at night is forbidden.
  • Collectors have no right to hide the phone numbers and e-mail addresses they use.
  • Debt collection will be controlled by the Federal Bailiffs Service, which is empowered to keep the Register of legal entities engaged in collection of overdue debts.
  • It is forbidden to carry out debt collection activities without being registered in this Register. Thus, activities for forced and extrajudicial debt collection is shared between subdivisions of the Federal Bailiffs Service and debt collection agencies.

In its April 2016 publication “New Debt Collection Regulations Introduced in Russia”, Credinform highlighted the history of the law and mentioned that tough legal requirements to legal entities could reverse the debt collection market in Russia. According to the Information and Analytical system Globas-i®, maintained by Credinform, the number of Russian companies illustrating the business activity of “collection agency” in their company names reduced from 890 as of April to 414 as of December 2016.  Only 66 companies have registered primary activity directly related to debt collection (OKVED2 82.91) “Activities of collection agencies and credit bureaus”. 29% of them are located in Moscow and 11% in St. Petersburg.

Source: CIS Legislation