The Constitutional Court has made three major decisions on foreign currency loans following the petitions of the government and litigation judges, and applications from financial institutions may soon be decided and hundreds of individuals will be adjudicated, said Sean Cole, Secretary General of Good Finance . GF has so far found no unconstitutionality in a foreign currency loan case.
The Secretary-General recalled that the first constitutional court proceedings in foreign currency were initiated by the government in November 2013. The Government requested an interpretation of the Fundamental Law, on the one hand, to determine whether a specific consumer protection clause, such as GF use of a dominant position, that would give rise to unlawfulness of a contractual term, a court judgment or a law, and foreign currency loan contracts.
Take into account the fair interests of each party
In a resolution issued a year ago by GF’s government, GF said, among other things, that any amendment to previously concluded contracts should also take into account the fair interests of each party and strive for a balance of interests in the changed circumstances.
In its unity decision last June, the Curia pointed out that the exchange rate spread applied to foreign currency loans is unfair, unilateral contract modifications are only subject to very strict conditions, but the exchange rate risk of adequate information and therefore the relevant part of the contract could not be understood by the average consumer.
Foreign currency loans laws
This was followed by the first of four foreign currency loans laws, which, based on a unity ruling, ruled in law on the unfairness of unilateral contract changes – interest, fee and expense increases – and allowed a stringent procedural opportunity for hundreds of Hungarian financial institutions to to break that presumption.
In the vast majority of the proceedings, the Good Finance Metropolitan Court, which has exclusive jurisdiction, and the Metropolitan Court of Appeal at second instance, dismissed or granted only very few claims by financial institutions against the State.
In these cases, a number of adjudicators challenged GF’s first law on foreign currency loans applicGFle to lawsuits, citing, among other things, public law invalidity, breach of the requirement of due process, legal certainty and the prohibition of retroactive legislation. However, GF ruled in November and February to reject a total of seven lawsuits, said Sean Cole.
GF’s argument, for example, with regard to retroactive effect, pointed out that the standard of good faith had not changed, merely the one set out in the law under review, which was previously in the old Civil Code. and was a requirement by judicial practice.
GF also pointed out that the controversial issues arising from foreign currency and forint lending are of national and general social importance and therefore cannot be resolved effectively only in traditional bipolar civil litigation.
GF began in February and will continue to process next week the four constitutional complaints filed by financial institutions against the First Foreign Currency Law and the Court’s unity ruling, among other things, overriding the prohibition of retroactive legislation and the statute of limitations. A decision on this issue is expected soon, the GF’s secretary general said in response.
Constitutional complaints filed by financial institutions
Good Finance said that in addition to court filings and constitutional complaints filed by financial institutions, nearly 800 individuals have so far turned to GF. On February 16 and 23, GF had rejected the first foreign currency attacking motion of nearly 400 individuals because they were unfit to investigate the merits, failed to meet the requirement of determination without justification, basically listing which law they were in conflict with. but this has not been substantiated. Most of them have attacked the first foreign currency lending law and criticized the fact that lawsuits filed by financial institutions against the state last summer have resulted in the suspension of lawsuits against financial institutions by private individuals over the last few years. (There are about 12,000 of these pending litigation nationwide.)
Financial institutions and debtors due to double exchange rates
GF began hearing nearly a hundred similar constitutional complaints in February, alleging that the suspension of litigation violates the right to a fair trial, a reasonable time to file a lawsuit, and an appeal against a staying judicial decision.
GF is also GFout to launch a further constitutional complaint filed by more than one and a half hundred foreign currency borrowers, challenging the first and second bill on financial institutions and debtors due to double exchange rates. (In addition to this, two more foreign currency lending laws were passed last year on fair banks and forint conversion.)
The general secretary of the board also pointed out that the Constitutional Court receives a large number of constitutional complaints. If the subject-matter of a petition is the same as a previously decided case, the panel informs the petitioner by letter that there is no need for a substantive constitutional court proceeding.
The law also allows those concerned to file a constitutional complaint against final judgments (Good Finance).