Serbian moratorium on loan and financial lease repayments explained

The National Bank of Serbia has taken steps to preserve financial stability in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic situation and the associated state of emergency declared in Serbia. Specifically, NBS imposed moratorium on payment obligations of corporate and retail borrowers and payment obligations of corporate and retail debtors under financial leasing contracts. The moratorium will last for the duration of the state of emergency but not less than 90 days starting from expiration of 10 days from publishing the notification on the website.

During the moratorium, the borrowers/financial lessees will be excused from their payment obligations and the banks/financial lessors will not be allowed to calculate default interest on due amounts or initiate judicial proceedings with the aim of collecting their claims. The relevant wording does not restrict moratorium to payments that fall due during the moratorium, so it seems the moratorium extends to amounts that became due and payable prior to its introduction.

Moratorium is for the benefit of the borrowers/financial lessees. Those who wish to continue to settle their repayment obligations during the moratorium will be naturally allowed to do so. Banks/ financial leasing providers are obliged to publish a moratorium offer on their respective websites until 21 March 2020, and such publication will be deemed a notice to all affected borrowers/lessees. The borrowers/lessees who reject the offer within ten days from its publication will be obliged to continue to settle their debts notwithstanding the moratorium, while those who remain silent will be deemed to have accepted the offer to benefit from the moratorium.