Sberbank among first to use new Russian bankruptcy law

Russian courtRussian bankruptcy law: Russia’s courts are bracing themselves for a flood of bankruptcy case being bought by or against individuals after new legislation came into force yesterday that allows Russians with debts of more than RUB 500,000 ($7,600) and who are over three months behind with their payments to file for bankruptcy. Those with debts of less than that can also file if they are unable to repay their loans.
Creditors as well debtors can file petitions, however, and the early indications are that banks could make widespread use of the law to chase up individuals who have so far remained beyond their clutches. Sberbank, for instance, has already used the new law to begin bankruptcy proceedings against Vladimir Kekhman, the former owner of Joint Fruit Company (JFC) that went bankrupt in 2012.
108 personal bankruptcy petitions had been filed at the Moscow Arbitration Court within two hours of the law hitting the statute books, and a substantial number of other cases have also been filed in Tomsk, Yakutia and regions right across the country.
Analysts are predicting a flood of cases due to the high level personal debt Russians accumulated during the recent lending boom which they are now unable to pay off.