MOSCOW, January 28 (RAPSI) - Vladimir Gutenev, a State Duma lawmaker and member of the ruling United Russia party, has submitted a bill for consideration that introduces a temporary ban on collection of mortgage debts in foreign currency, TASS reported on Wednesday.

According to the draft bill, during the freeze term, no penalties or fines or other financial sanctions will be charged for full or partial non-fulfillment of loan obligations. Also during this term, property foreclosure will be frozen if ruled upon after October 1, 2014. “Payments towards the main loan and the loan fee overdue after October 1, 2014, and until the introduction of the ban are payable in full until July 1, 2015,” the bill says.

In the explanatory notes, Gutenev clarifies that the proposed measures are to “prevent mass default of individual clients and public tension, protect consumer rights, and prevent the collapse of the real estate market crisis and a banking crisis.”

In December 2014, the ruble rate took the biggest plunge on the currency exchange since the default of 1998. The Central Bank increased the key interest rate from 10.5 percent to 17 percent, explaining the decision by the rapidly increasing devaluation and inflation risks.

The Central Bank’s decision to increase the key interest rate will increase the cost of mortgages and affect individual borrowers. Russian banks are reviewing their interest rates, and the majority of large banks have raised their interest rates on ruble and foreign currency deposits. However, they have not yet made official statements on increasing their mortgage interest rates.