In the period February – April 2017, 1,609 (71%) of the 2,265 civil cases in the general jurisdiction court of Armenia’s Syunik province were claims filed by banks and loan organizations seeking to recover funds from citizens, according to a monitoring conducted by the Goris-based Rights Information Center NGO in the Goris and Kapan residences of the Syunik court.
Speaking to Epress.am, the organization’s program coordinator Narek Dadunts said the majority of the citizens had of the citizens had gotten involved in loan cases as guarantors out of unawareness and inattention, without having any idea of the consequences. Studies have shown that citizens involved in these cases need legal assistance or advice.
“Villagers mostly say that they were not aware that in case of non-repayment of the loan they [the guarantors] would suffer any consequences. What’s more, people sign contracts without reading them,” Dadunts said, adding that all such court cases inevitably end with the guarantors repaying the loans.
According to the program coordinator, around 20-30 court sessions on loans are held in the province daily, and “every other Syunik citizen is under debts and loans.”
One of the cases that the NGO has been monitoring involves the universal credit organization “Aniv.” According to Dadunts, a Goris resident has told them that the organization had forged his signature to give a loan to another citizen. A criminal investigation has been launched into this claim.