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Febuary 23, 2023

Citizens can get a free consultation on all problematic issues that related to the microcredits. This service is provided by the Center for the Protection of the Rights of Consumers of Microfinance Services and the Microfinance Ombudsman operating under the Association of Microfinance Organizations of Kazakhstan (AMOFK).

Fingramota.kz will tell in more detail, how borrowers resolve disputes with MFO pre-trially.

In September 2022, a special public body was created under AMFOK in Kazakhstan – the Center for the Protection of the Rights of Consumers of Microfinance Services (Center) and a microfinance Ombudsman to resolve disputes and disagreements between borrowers and MFOs, in order to protect the rights of borrowers, who have encountered violations of their rights, when interacting with a microfinance organization, as well as in order to strengthen the mechanism for pre-trial settlement of citizens’ debts.

At the moment, the microfinance Ombudsman is Serikbai Bashanov, who has a long experience in a senior position in the authorized body for financial control and supervision and also in banks.

Principles of operation of the microfinance Ombudsman are:

  1. Independence. AMFOK and its officials are not entitled to interfere in Ombudsman activities, that is related to the consideration of disputes.
  2. Equality of the parties. The microfinance Ombudsman is not entitled to grant any one party an additional right that is hasn’t granted to the other party, when resolving disputes.
  3. Impartiality. The microfinance Ombudsman is obliged to maintain objectivity, that not allow any preference to be shown to any party, and comprehensively consider disagreements, while resolving them.
  4. Observance of the secrecy of the provision of microcredit and other secrets are protected by law. The microfinance Ombudsman is obliged to maintain confidentiality in relation to information received in the course of dispute resolution and don’t to disclose it to third parties without complying with the requirements established by the legislation of the Republic on the Microfinance Ombudsman under AMFOK.
  5. Observance of the rights and respect for the legally protected interests of the parties. The microfinance Ombudsman is obliged not to violate the rights of the parties, and to provide the parties with the conditions for expressing their legally protected interests.
  6. The transparency of the procedure for making and validating of the decision.

Decision-making by the microfinance Ombudsman is carried out in accordance with the procedures established by the Regulations and the Regulations on the microfinance Ombudsman under AMFOK, and when making decisions, he is guided by the current legislation and the terms of the concluded agreements.

What questions can ask MFO borrowers?

Borrowers are experienced a financial difficulties and can contact the center for:

  • to receive a free and prompt assistance in restructuring debt to MFO (provision of a deferment, a new repayment schedule, etc.);
  • to fill the complaints and statements, in case if the MFO refuses to meet the client or does not respond to his request at all;
  • to fill the complaints and statements on the facts of violation of the law or abusive, an unethical treatment of MFO employees.

In turn, the Ombudsman helps to resolve disputes, which is arising from a microcredit agreement between a microfinance organization and a borrower if the MFO refuses to resolve the borrower’s problem.

What should be done before contacting the Ombudsman?

It is first necessary to take measures to independently resolve the disputed issue with the creditor, before submitting an appeal to the microfinance Ombudsman. Be sure to contact the microfinance organization with a written or electronic application, to do this. The MFO is obliged to consider your application and give an answer within 15 calendar days.

If it couldn’t be found a compromise, then you can ask a help from the Center. However, if the decision made by the MFO after contacting the Center, also did not satisfy you, then you have the right to contact the Ombudsman.

 How to apply the Center?

For all issues of protecting the rights of consumers of microfinance services, including granting a deferral for microcredit, you can contact the Center: +77719333444.

 How to contact the Ombudsman?

1 step. Gather a list of documents:

  • ID person;
  • Agreement on the release of microcredit;
  • Exclusion schedule;
  • Additional proposals to the microcredit agreement (if it has);
  • Appeal/ representations to a microfinance organization;
  • Agreement of real estate pledging (if it has);
  • Additional agreements to the real estate pledging (if it has);
  •  Documents confirming attempts to resolve disputes with MFO before contacting the Ombudsman (applications/ appeals/response of MFOs (if it is available);
  • Certification of the balance of loan debt as the current date, which includes the amounts of: the balance of the principal debt, including overdue; accrued remuneration, including overdue; accrued and paid fines; paid principal/remuneration.

2 step. Fill out an application, the form of which can be downloaded on the Ombudsman’s website https://mfohelp.kz/, and send an appeal to the email address manager@mfohelp.kz, attaching all of the above documents.

3 step. You must provide consent to the disclosure of personal data by filling out two forms:

  • Consent to disclose the secrecy of the provision of microcredit;
  • Consent to the collection and processing of personal data.
  • Consent forms are also available on the microfinance Ombudsman’s website.

It should be noted that since November 2023, the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan has been force in Kazakhstan “On personal data and their protection”, as well as amendments and additions to some legislative acts that ensure the implementation of the adopted Law. The state bodies, individuals or legal entities are obliged to collect, thus, the process personal data solely with the consent of the individual to whom the personal data relates, or his legal representative.

Remember that a loan is a big responsibility and be financially literate with Fingramota.kz! Contact the credit institution for restructuring under the current problem debt of settlement procedure, if it is delaying case.

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