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He borrowed PLN 500, the debt grew to PLN 280,000. There is a decision of the Supreme Court

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The debt of a resident of Bytom, who found himself in a difficult financial situation, turned to a company offering microloans, increased from PLN 500 to PLN 280,000. The case eventually went to the Supreme Court. The judges found that the contract between the man and the company violated the “legal order” and quashed the payment order.

The National Prosecutor’s Office informed PAP about the decision of the Supreme Court on Thursday. This case concerns a debt from July 2005. A difficult family and financial situation forced the man to borrow PLN 500 from a company providing financial services. The debt was to be paid back after 30 days. However, the loan agreement stipulated that in the event of failure to repay the liability on time or its termination from the loan amount interest will be charged daily at the rate of 9%.

In October 2005, the company filed a lawsuit, as a result of which the District Court in Bytom ordered the man to pay the debt with contractual interest. The order became final in November of the same year. However, as it turned out, the man learned about this order only from the bailiff, who in April 2021 enforced over PLN 53,000 from him. PLN, which is over 100 times the amount borrowed. The debtor still has PLN 500 of principal and almost PLN 222,000 to pay back to the debtor. PLN interest.

Intervention of the Attorney General

After the intervention of the prosecutor’s office, the court in Bytom suspended the enforcement proceedings. The Prosecutor General did not agree with the payment order and filed an extraordinary complaint in this case with the Supreme Court. In it, he demanded that the judgment under appeal be set aside and the case re-examined by the court in Bytom. This court was alleged in the complaint failure to take into account the consumer nature of the obligation. At the same time, it was noted that the judgment issued on the basis of the provisions on order for payment sanctioned the conditions contained in the “usury” contract. The prosecutor also pointed out that when taking out a loan man earning about 3,000 PLN per month and had a wife and son to support. “At that time, he had financial liabilities that consumed half of his salary. He was not aware of the amount of interest he had assumed, but he was in such a difficult situation that he would have decided to take out a loan on any terms,” ​​the prosecutor’s office said. She also drew attention to the disproportion between the loan amount and the sum to be paid, including interest in the amount of 3285 percent. annually. As emphasized in the complaint, the contractual interest rate was clearly contrary to the purpose and nature of the contract, and above all to the principles of social coexistence.

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The complaint also accused the court of failing to examine ex officio the potentially unfair nature of the contract provisions. It was also noted that the interest rate on the loan was set at a level prohibited by law and significantly violated the contractual balance to the detriment of the defendant. The prosecutor pointed out that in such a situation the court was obliged to examine the provisions of the contract and refer the case to ordinary proceedings.

Supreme Court decision

As a result, according to the prosecutor’s office on Thursday, Supreme Court upheld the extraordinary complaint of the Prosecutor General. “The Supreme Court fully shared the Prosecutor General’s arguments Zbigniew Ziobro contained in the extraordinary complaint, emphasizing that this type of consequences of concluding an agreement in the scope of remuneration reserved for the lender they violate the legal order and for these reasons must be considered contrary to the principles of social coexistenceand the provisions of the contract specifying grossly excessive interest are invalid to the extent that the principles of social coexistence restrict the principle of freedom of contract.

According to the prosecutor’s office, “in the opinion of the Supreme Court, the challenged order for payment undermines the legal security of the defendant. For this reason, its repeal is necessary to ensure compliance with the principle of a democratic state ruled by law that implements the principles of social justice.”

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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