How to return the money invested in the MFI if it went bankrupt?

We tell you what to do in such a situation and how to increase the chances of a refund.

In microfinance organizations, you can not only take loans, but also put money in them at interest. However, unlike deposits in banks, investments in MFIs are not protected by the deposit insurance system, therefore, in the event of the collapse of the company, it is not necessary to count on state compensation.

If you entrusted your money to an MFI and did not receive a payment on time, you need to immediately find out what the matter is.

Perhaps there was a technical error – and the transfer was simply delayed. But it is possible that the company's problems are much more serious. It may already be in the process of liquidation or bankruptcy.

What should I do if the MFI did not pay the money on time?

First, try to contact the company itself and clarify the situation. But even if you are told that this is an accidental failure and you will receive a payment in the near future, check the MFIs in the register of microfinance organizations. It may turn out that the bank has excluded it from the register – for MFIs, this means the same thing as revoking a license for a bank.

Usually, MFOs that regularly violate laws are excluded from the state register – for example, they submit fake reports to the bank, deceive customers. Or they conduct too risky financial policy – they give money to unreliable borrowers who cannot return it. If there are too many overdue debts, MFOs have problems with payments to investors – there is not enough money for them.

What if the MFO is really excluded from the register?

You need to try to get your investment back.

  1.  Immediately send a request for a refund to the official postal or e-mail address of the organization.
  2.  Send a copy of the application to the bank. The Bank will analyze all the statements of investors, assess the financial condition of the company and choose the most appropriate scheme for further actions. If the financial situation of the company looks stable, the bank goes to court and asks to start the liquidation procedure of the MFIs. The court appoints a liquidation commission. Often, the regulator immediately sees that there are not enough funds on the accounts of MFOs to return the money to everyone. Then the bankruptcy procedure begins and the court chooses an arbitration manager for it.
  3.  Wait for the notification of liquidation or bankruptcy. The liquidation commission or the manager draws up a list of creditors – that is, people and companies to whom the MFI must pay money. These include investors who have invested savings in the organization. In order for all creditors to find out about the liquidation or bankruptcy of the company and be able to present their claims, the commission or the manager publishes messages about this in the media, on the website of the MFO itself and post information in its offices. In addition, they send letters to creditors with detailed instructions: how and where to apply for payments, which documents need to be attached. The list of mailing addresses is usually taken from contracts concluded by the MFO. But if the contract with you has been lost, there is a risk of not getting into this newsletter. That is why it is important to send your requirements to the MFO as soon as possible – then the commission or the manager will contact you. Just in case, it's worth checking the MFI website – there will definitely be an announcement of liquidation and contacts for creditors' appeals. This information can also be found in the Unified Federal Register of Bankruptcy Information.
  4.  Submit an application for a refund to the commission or the manager. Specify in it how much the MFI owes you. Usually, along with the application, you need to send a copy of the investment agreement, as well as copies of checks or an extract from your bank about transferring money to the MFO. Also specify to which account you need to transfer the money. As a rule, creditors are given two months to file claims from the date of publication of the company's liquidation or bankruptcy. If you miss this deadline, the chances of returning your investments decrease dramatically. First, the commission or the manager will pay off those who managed to submit applications on time. And after that, the company may not have any money left.
  5.  Expect payments. If the MFI has enough money to pay off all creditors, the liquidation commission pays off the debts of the organization. And after that, the MFI ceases to exist. But often, after drawing up a list of creditors, the commission finds out that there are not enough funds for payments. Then the commission goes to court to start the bankruptcy of the organization. The cases are transferred to the arbitration manager.
In the process of bankruptcy, he will sell off all the assets of the MFI and divide the proceeds between creditors. But this procedure lasts more than one month. And it is not a fact that all the invested funds will be able to get back, and even more so with a profit.
The chances of returning the investment also depend on which MFI you invested them in.

Which MFOs can I get money back from?

There is a chance to get at least some of the money if you have signed an investment agreement with a microfinance company (IFC). These are the largest MFOs with large equity. It is he who can be sent to pay creditors in the event of liquidation and bankruptcy of the organization.

By law, only MFCs have the right to accept the savings of individuals. It is assumed that such a substantial amount will make people well assess all the risks before investing money.

But some small MFOs – micro–credit companies (MCCS) - are trying to circumvent the rules. They cannot attract private individuals' money. An exception is made only for their owners or founders. Therefore, unscrupulous MCCS use this loophole. They offer everyone who wants to buy their shares or shares in the capital a certain amount – then people become co-owners of the company and get the right to invest any amount in it.

The risk is that in case of liquidation or bankruptcy of the organization, the co-owners can count on payments in the last place. In addition, the MCC's own capital may be only a couple of million rubles, and this money will not be enough to pay all creditors. If you entrust money to such an MFI, there is practically no chance to return your investments.

What happens in the process of liquidation or bankruptcy of MFOs?

The MFI can offer investors different options for a refund. For example, to pay their investments in installments or to give only the principal amount of investments without accrued interest.

If this option suits the majority of creditors, it will be necessary to conclude a settlement agreement with the MFI. It specifies the amount that the organization undertakes to pay, as well as the terms of the refund. A company that does not fulfill these obligations can be sued.

The decision on the settlement agreement is made at the creditors' meeting. The date of its holding is determined by the liquidation commission or the manager. They also notify all creditors about it. The decision of the meeting must be approved by the arbitration court.

Creditors are not satisfied with the terms of the settlement agreement or the MFO does not offer it at all. What then?

In this case, there is only one option – the sale of property. The arbitration manager organizes the auction, and the proceeds will then be used for payments to investors.

Another source of funds for payments is loans that the company issued while it was in the registry. The company could either sell them to another lender and get money for it, or independently collect debts from its borrowers.

The law determines in what order the MFI pays its debts. If a company has to compensate someone for the harm caused to life or health, then first it will pay off these people.

Then it is obliged to pay money to investors who are not its founders or owners. Each of them can receive no more than the specified amount – and return only the amount that he invested, without interest.

In cases where the investment was larger, the remaining part can be paid only after the MFI pays off its employees.

If, after all these calculations, the company still has money left, the founders and shareholders will divide it among themselves – in proportion to their contributions to the capital of the MFO. But, as a rule, the queue does not reach the owners.

When there is not enough money to satisfy the creditors' claims of one queue, all available funds will be distributed among them in proportion to the amounts owed to them by the MFI.

After all sources of funds — the return of microloans, the sale of MFO property – are exhausted, the company is liquidated. After that, it is no longer possible to get any money from it.

Sometimes, instead of a settlement agreement, MFOs offer to "transfer" their debt to another legal entity, promising to return the money in full after that. In no case should you agree to such an offer. This is usually done in order to stall for time and confuse customers. This company may not have had the money to pay off the debt.

The MFO said that its liability was insured. So, the investment will be returned?

Not always. Some microfinance organizations claim that the money is insured in them. But often this is just a marketing ploy. MFOs may have insurance against the bankruptcy of the bank through which payments are made, or against the destruction of the office in the event of natural disasters. But such a policy will not help customers get their money back in any way if the MFI stops working.

When you signed an investment agreement with the MFI, the organization had to give you a copy of the insurance contract and the insurance rules. Check what is written in them if you haven't done it before.

Find the following information there:

  •  what exactly is insured;
  •  for what amount;
  •  what is considered an insured event and what is not;
  •  insurance period.

This information should also be on the MFI website.

Perhaps the insurance does cover some part of the investments. Then contact the insurance company that issued the policy and specify the payment procedure.