A BANK WRITES OFF MORE THAN CHF 43,000 AND CLOSES THE LOAN OF A FAMILY FROM BUCHAREST. HOW DID THE CONSUMER REACT?
- Jun 24, 2020
- In Press releases
The case of family of Bucharest stands for a good example of both the solutions that can be achieved with ABDRC, as well as the contribution of conciliators to the negotiation process and the online conciliation work itself, which has been mainstreamed during this period of sanitary restrictions. Thus, a family with three children, who used to struggle to repay two loans denominated in CHF taken from two different banks, was helped by the Centre have one principal written off, and another written down by 30%. All of these were accomplished in less than half a year of submission of the first application.
Irina, ABDRC consumer: “When we were served the solution, I couldn’t believe my eyes, I told to myself that this could not be real. I mean that the bank wrote off all of my principal! It was little over CHF 43,000, considering that, initially, we were only seeking for a write down. The application procedure is rather straightforward. Documents can be easily attached in the online tool. I briefly described the situation and condition of my family, and I attached photos in support of our very difficult situation. We had other attempts in the past in either individual or collective proceedings, but to no avail.”
What does the conciliator who handled the case say
Alina Radu is an attorney specialised in banking law, with more than 20 years of experience in this field, and a high-profile legal background. She has been working as a conciliator for ABDRC since April 2019, and she finds this case special because the outcome of the negotiation, in terms of the amounts and the concessions made by the bank, was more than what the consumer expected.
“In this case, I particularly appreciated the fact that the bank looked very thoroughly into the reasons put forward by the consumer. And this is what we would recommended all banks to do: their representatives taking part in ABDRC negotiations should show patience when it comes to both the claims, and the needs of consumers. They should also be very well acquainted with the case and its particularities when they come up with a solution, so much the more that one of the principles of conciliation is the uniqueness of each case and of the solutions proposed further to negotiations”, says Alina Radu, ABDRC conciliator.
“The support afforded by banks to consumers in distress can only make us happy. Since the year started, there have been already 250 cases where we saw consumers and banks reconciling, considering also the difficult times we went and continue to go through, when financial and banking institutions have been stormed with hundreds of thousands of applications to have repayment of loans stayed. But, beyond these problems, banks have raised the bar also as regards conciliation principles, amicable settlement with consumers, and negotiation flexibility. The largest banks of the system have been advising their clients to take-up this off-court approach, and it wasn’t long before results were seen. Still, the lack of mobilization we see on the part of NBFIs is hard to understand. While consumers have already filed more than 240 applications concerning NBFIs since the beginning of the year, only 11 of them advanced to the negotiation stage”, says Alexandru Păunescu, Chairman of ABDRC Steering Board.
Since the beginning of the year and until March 23, 2020, ABDRC received 972 applications concerning banks, and 255 applications concerning NBFIs. So far, as many as 247 applications were accepted for negotiation by banks, and only 11 by NBFIs.
To these add also the 120 amicably-settled applications (both banks and NBFIs), with the claims having been first referred to ABDRC (these claims do not advance to the negotiation stage anymore because the parties managed to reached a settlement themselves). The remaining application are in screening phase, or have already been rejected by banks/NBFIs for good or no cause. Over the last four years, the benefits obtained by consumers from negotiations are in excess of EUR 3 million.
In approximately 20% of the cases addressed by ABDRC, the benefits awarded to consumers exceeded EUR 5,000 per case, and consisted of principal write downs or even write offs, reductions of fees or interests, and/or refunding of amounts previously collected.
Last year, ABDRC reported the highest number of applications and cases (applications accepted for negotiation) in all its four years of operation: 2,117 applications, 664 cases (applications accepted for negotiation), and 244 amicable settlements (direct settlements between the parties, with the claims having been first referred to ABDRC).
This year presents itself as a year of record benefits obtained by consumers: record amount in RON (RON 298,000 written off for a consumer of Bucharest), and record amount in CHF (CHF 52,000 written off from the principal of a consumer of Oradea) – both occurred in January.
About ABDRC:ABDRC is an entity set up under a European Directive, and intermediates, free of charge and in not more than three months, negotiations between consumers and banks or NBFIs, for contracts/agreements in progress. Consumers from any county of the country may file applications with the Alternative Banking Dispute Resolution Centre (ABDRC) filling-in an online form directly on the website www.csalb.ro.When the bank accepts to enter the conciliation / negotiation procedure, a conciliator is appointed. ABDRC works with 19 conciliators, of the best specialists in law, and with relevant experience also in the financial and banking field. Everything is settled amicably, and the understanding between the parties has the power of court judgment. More information about the work of the Centre is available by phone at 021 9414 (charged a normal rate).