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As Consumer Debt Rises in Russia, Collectors Get Violent

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

MOSCOW -- Sergei has watched in horror as Russian television has been flooded with harrowing stories about vicious debt collectors terrorizing households with threats and violence in order to recover overdue loans. He worries his family could be next.
 
In December, the 29-year-old from the southwestern city of Voronezh became one of 11.5 million Russians to fall behind on loan payments, after he was diagnosed with a brain disease that stopped him from earning a paycheck and making payments on two loans. His total debt: $330.
 
Despite the relatively small sum, Sergei says that he and his friends and acquaintances have been hounded for the past month, received threatening phone calls day and night from thuggish-sounding debt collectors demanding that the money be repaid.
 
"I hope this all ends peacefully, but I have my doubts that it will," says Sergei, who does not want his last name published for fear it could worsen his predicament.
 

To read the full story

Copyright (c) 2016. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

As Consumer Debt Rises in Russia, Collectors Get Violent

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