At the beginning of the sitting, the alternate member of the Riigikogu Tiit Tammsaar took the oath of office.
The Minister of Internal Affairs Ken-Marti Vaher replied to the interpellation concerning the Debt Protection Act for home owners (No 277), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Kalev Kallo, Mihhail Stalnuhhin, Tarmo Tamm and Vladimir Velman on 29 January.
Mihhail Stalnuhhin who spoke on behalf of the interpellators noted that the Debt Restructuring and Debt Protection Act had entered into force in April 2011. Referring to the significant number of people who have lost their homes due to debts, the interpellators claimed that the Act does not seem to serve its intended purpose.
According to Vaher’s explanations, a total of 28 debt restructuring applications had been submitted to county courts in 2012. Five applications had been satisfied during the year. 13 appeals against rulings had been filed with circuit courts and decisions have been declared in 12 cases. Appeals against five rulings regarding appeals against rulings have been filed with the Supreme Court.
In Vaher’s estimation, in more than half of the cases, a debt restructuring application had been submitted because of more than one debt. Mostly the reasons for submitting the application had been connected with debts that had arisen from credit agreements, and about one third of the decisions had contained a reference to a housing loan, the Minister noted. In about one fifth of the cases, the debt had arisen from credit card agreement debts. Debts arising from contracts of suretyship had been indicated as the reason for the application in one quarter of the cases. On some occasions, a debt to the Tax and Customs Board had also been indicated as the reason, Vaher brought examples.
In the words of the Minister of Internal Affairs, the main aim of the Debt Restructuring and Debt Protection Act had been to establish in Estonia an alternative, apart from bankruptcy proceedings, for those people who would like to overcome their difficult situation and to avoid bankruptcy. In April 2011, the debt restructuring proceedings for private persons had been established similarly to the reorganisation proceedings of legal persons. The Act had been intended to grant those persons who have the possibility to cover certain obligations an opportunity to restructure their debts and thereby to overcome the difficult situation and certainly to avoid also other negative impacts, Vaher noted. He underlined that naturally the precondition is that the debtor is able to overcome the temporary solvency problems and consequently to achieve a better agreement.
Vaher replied to three more interpellations. They were the following:
the interpellation concerning crimes of corruption (No 278), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Eldar Efendijev, Lauri Laasi, Mihhail Stalnuhhin, Peeter Võsa, Valeri Korb, Viktor Vassiljev, Vladimir Velman and Yana Toom on 30 January;
the interpellation concerning the additional remuneration of employees of the Security Police (No 280), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Kalev Kallo, Mihhail Stalnuhhin, Peeter Võsa and Yana Toom on 30 January;
the interpellation concerning the statistics of the crimes of corruption committed by employees of the Police and Border Guard Board (No 285), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Kalev Kallo, Mihhail Stalnuhhin and Yana Toom on 11 February.
During the open microphone, Mihhail Stalnuhhin and Vladimir Velman took the floor.
The sitting ended at 5.25 p.m.
The Riigikogu Press Service
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