2019. november 03. 09:35

Szakács: European Court of Justice’s Forex Loans Rulings Indeed Applicable in Hungary

Szakács: European Court of Justice’s Forex Loans Rulings Indeed Applicable in Hungary
The Chamber of Debtors has sent a letter with its proposals concerning forex debtors to the president of the Supreme Court and is awaiting a response together with MSZP. In Hungary, despite the rulings of the European Court of Justice, the debtor cannot win court cases against the banks, even if he evidences his case with facts - said deputy president of MSZP László Szakács on Wednesday.
There is a ‘mostly anonymous’ consultative body alongside the Supreme Court, according to which the decisions of the European Court of Justice do not have to be applied in Hungary.
On 11 October, the European Court of Justice ruled in a Polish forex debtor case: if it is found that clients had not been adequately informed about foreign exchange rate risks, the contracts will be void, as if the legal transaction had not taken place. According to the consultative body, this decision should not be applied in Hungary either, since the Polish Civil Code (CC) did not regulate the issue of forex debtors in this way.
"Two out of two of these statements are not true," Szakács emphasized. "Two things are in fact not true: all rulings of the European Courts are binding on Hungarian courts and to be applied in practice, and the other is that the Polish CC has the same rules as the Hungarian CC," he warned.
In Hungary, Viktor Orbán's pact with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) appears to have been enforced, guaranteeing that banks in Hungary would be profitable and that the government would not prevent evictions.
Thus, in Hungary, debtors cannot win a court case even if they can legally substantiate their rightful claim, "because there will always be a (...) consultative body that cannot be held accountable" and who its members are will not be known.
"They obscure and give vague explanations thereby generating further litigation," he underlined.
The Chamber of Debtors, a civil rights organization, undertakes to participate in the work of this body and help interpret the rulings of the European Court of Justice. If the advisory committee of the Supreme Court does not allow for this, then the Chamber of Debtors invites them to public debate to contrast legal and factual arguments.
However, there would be a political solution to the matter. Namely, if the so-called "family-friendly" government finally recognized that there was a problem with forex loans, and "in the year of families they would not have to throw tens of thousands of families out on the street because of the pact they had made."
Szakács reiterated MSZP's long-standing demand that the government terminate the EBRD pact that does not serve the interest of Hungarian people. Furthermore, they should stop the evictions, create new legislation and ensure bank accountability. The new law must state that banks did not adequately inform customers of the exchange rate risks.
"Then there will be no need to start 1,700,000 lawsuits; only the banks that think they have properly informed their clients should initiate court cases."
"We believe the Orbán-government could solve this," Szakács said.

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