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the debtor and the guarantor or surety.
It should be noted that Kazakhstan's law on guaranty and suretyship as
methods of securing obligations differs from Russian law. In the Civil Code
of the Russian Federation, both of these methods are encompassed by the concept
of suretyship; as a general rule the surety is primarily liable with the debtor,
but the contract between the parties may provide otherwise. In Russian law,
the term "guaranty" is used to describe a special agreement between a bank,
other credit institution or insurance company (the guarantor) and a principal,
under which a sum of money is paid to the principal's creditor in accordance
with the guaranty. The guarantor's duty to pay the money is not related to
an obligation secured by the bank guaranty. The Civil Code of Kazakhstan provides
separate legal rules for suretyship and guaranty, which, as we will demonstrate
below, has led to many unnecessary complications in the application of the
law, and has made it impossible to give a logical interpretation to several
provisions of the Civil Code.
Suretyship and guaranty secure only valid claims. However, the surety
and guarantor are not released from liability if they knew in advance that
the debtor lacked capacity and the creditor did not know of this circumstance.
The following table shows the characteristics of guaranty and suretyship
under Kazakhstan law.
For sureties and guarantors, the identity of the creditor - the person
to whom they may be liable - has a certain significance. The traditional civil-law
approach, which is the basis of the rule allowing assignment of claims without
the consent of the debtor but permitting transfer of debts only with the consent
of the creditor, is that the debtor does not care to whom the debt will be
paid, but that the creditor cares a great deal who will pay the debt. In Kazakhstan
today, however, this cannot be said so unequivocally. In our current economic
situation, for example, the guarantor may care very much who will be demanding
payment - a reputable firm or some collection agency owned by former athletes,
policemen or security agents. For this reason, in Russia under a bank guaranty
claims may be assigned only with the consent of the guarantor. In Kazakhstan,
such a proviso may be made in the contract of guaranty or suretyship under
Article 339.2 of the Civil Code.
The law may establish specific requirements regarding who may act as
a guarantor and the manner of issuing guaranties; if these requirements are
followed, the validity of the guaranty may be placed in doubt. Thus, Article
30.3(c) of the Edict of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan "On Banks
and Banking Activity", dated August 31, 1995, provides that banks must have
a license from the National Bank in order to engage in guaranty operations,
i.e. to issue suretyships, guaranties and other obligations for third parties
that contemplate performance in monetary form. In several court cases in which
banks as guarantors were the defendants, the court has dismissed the claims
of creditors on the ground that the guaranties failed to comply with the legislative
requirement that a notation by the National Bank accepting the guaranty must
appear on the contract of guaranty, and on the ground that the banks lacked
the license to issue guaranties.
Because the law now establishes secondary liability for the surety, the
question that caused complications in the assignment of liability to guarantors
still applies to sureties: how should we understand the rule that before making
claims to the surety, the creditor must make reasonable efforts to obtain
satisfaction of the claim from the debtor? Naturally, the Code cannot give
an interpretation of such a subjective concept as "reasonable efforts"; it
merely lists two examples: offset of counterclaims and collection actions
on the debtor's property in the prescribed manner.
In Russia, the arbitration courts have moved toward making it easier
to collect from the surety by interpreting the concept of the primary debtor's
insufficiency of funds as the lack of only monetary funds, without inquiring
into what other property the debtor may have.

Guarantors and Sureties

The Civil Code does not impose any restrictions on who may be a guarantor
or surety. Legal entities of all organizational forms and individuals may
perform these roles. Thus, a bank extending credit to an individual may use
another individual's guaranty to secure the repayment of the loan. If the
borrower turns out to be dishonest, or becomes ill or unemployed, etc., the
guaranty allows the bank to collect the loan from the guarantor, who is primarily
liable with the borrower. The law lists no requirements that individual guarantors
must meet. In earlier banking practice, sureties were commonly required to
provide documents verifying that they have a steady income or other property.
Now such requirements must be applied to guarantors.
Because the use of guaranties may be required by law, legislative acts
may set certain restrictions regarding which persons may act as guarantors.
As indicated above, one such restriction expressly provides that banks must
have a license in order to issue guaranties. Sometimes the question is less
clear, for instance the issue of what sorts of institutions1 may act as sureties
and guarantors. There have been instances in practice when various institutions
(provincial departments of the Ministry of Finance, internal affairs administrations,
city administrations, local state-property management committees, etc.) have
assumed the role of guarantor, as a result of which the problem arose of the
extent of their liability for the debtor's non-performance of the obligation.
The particular feature of an institution's liability is that an institution
is liable only to the extent of the monetary resources in its possession;
if it has insufficient resources, then the owner of the institution bears
liability (Civil Code, Article 207). Thus, if state institutions are permitted
to act as sureties and guarantors, then the state will likely be held liable
for the debts of such institutions. Obviously, such a decision would contradict
the logic of the law, which strives to draw a clear distinction between the
status of the state and the status of its agencies in the sphere of civil-law
relations, including in the area of liability.
The situation becomes even more complicated when we move from the spirit
of the law to its letter. Under Article 113.2 of the Civil Code, the Republic
of Kazakhstan can be liable for the debts of legal entities if the Civil Code
or a legislative act establishes such liability. The rules of Article 207
of the Civil Code, taken together with the rules on guaranties and suretyships,
which do not limit the obligations a guarantor or surety may undertake, can
be interpreted as giving institutions the right to act as guarantors or sureties
and simultaneously placing secondary or primary liability for the debts of
the institution on the state as its owner. There is already some precedent
for holding the state liable on guaranties issued by state agencies. In February
1998, the Ministry of Finance froze the bank account of the budget of Western
Kazakhstan Oblast in order to secure the performance of a guaranty by the
akim [governor] of the oblast [province] to repay the debts of agricultural
producers in the oblast to the Atyrau Petroleum Refinery, which supplied petroleum
products to agricultural consumers under a guaranty from the akim.
An institution does not have the right to dispose of property assigned
to it or property acquired through state funding (Civil Code, Article 206.1).
Guaranties and suretyships may be viewed as methods of disposing of property,
and therefore as illegal actions. However, an institution that earns income
may dispose of this income independently; therefore, the issuance of a guaranty
or suretyship to the extent of this portion of the institution's property
would be legal. An institution in this latter category may be liable on guaranties
and suretyships to the extent of property that was acquired using its own
income and that is reflected on its separate balance sheet; beyond this, the
guaranty or suretyship would be void.
The interpretation suggested above is an attempt to find a way out of
a difficult practical situation. Admittedly, this interpretation is something
of a stretch. In the first place, the Civil Code does not envisage that an
institution's liability is limited to the portion of its property that it
received from its own income. Secondly, there is no legal obstacle that would
prevent the state, acting through an authorized agency (the State Property
Committee, for instance), from approving the issuance of a guaranty or suretyship
by an institution; once this approval was received, the same problems of the
state's liability for an insolvent institution would arise.
A fundamental resolution of the problem would consist in prohibiting
state institutions from acting as guarantors or sureties, and requiring all
other institutions to receive the direct approval of their owners to issue
guaranties and sureties. Obviously, a more cautious approach should be taken
to allowing state enterprises to act as guarantors and sureties, because this
is a loophole that could lead to serious financial abuses and squandering
of state funds. The Edict of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan,
Having the Force of Law, "On State Enterprises", dated June 5, 1995, contains
no such prohibition. By contrast, Ukraine's law of July 5, 1995 prohibits
state enterprises from acting as guarantors of bank loans to businesses. A
similar prohibition would be advisable for Kazakhstan as well.

Consequences of Performing a Guaranty or Suretyship

A debtor who performs an obligation that is secured by a suretyship or
guaranty is required to notify the surety or guarantor of this performance
immediately. Failure to give this notice may result in the surety or guarantor
performing the obligation again. In this case, the surety or guarantor has
a choice: it may collect from the creditor on grounds of unjust enrichment,
or it may sue the debtor in subrogation.
When a surety or guarantor performs an obligation, it accedes to the
rights of the creditor to the extent to which it satisfied the creditor's
claims. Unlike a surety, a guarantor has the additional right to claim from
the debtor payment of a penalty or interest on the amount paid to the creditor,
along with other damages it incurred by being liable for the debtor. The rules
governing the consequences of performance of an obligation by a guarantor
are optional: they apply unless otherwise provided by law, contract or the
necessary inference of the relationship between the guarantor and the debtor.

Limitation Period for Claims Against
a Guarantor or Surety

Under the general contract-law principle of pacta sunt servanda, a suretyship
or guaranty cannot be unilaterally terminated. Therefore, a guarantor or surety
does not have the right to withdraw a guaranty or suretyship and refuse to
perform its obligations. However, these agreements may be terminated on other
grounds. Under Article 336 of the Civil Code, suretyships and guaranties terminate
upon the expiration of the term for which they were given, as stipulated in
the contract of guaranty or suretyship. These contracts sometimes contain
language that the contract of guaranty or suretyship terminates upon the actual
performance of the primary obligation. In that case can we say that with such
language the contract has designated its own termination date? The answer
to this question must be no. Here, the termination of the contract is conditioned
upon an event that is probabilistic in nature. Therefore, this situation is
governed by the provisions of the Civil Code on the validity of contracts
in which no term is specified.1 In the Civil Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan,
these provisions are found in Article 336.4.
If the term of a guaranty or suretyship is not stipulated, then such
contracts terminate if the creditor does not bring a lawsuit against the guarantor
or surety within one year of the date on which the performance of the obligation
secured by the guaranty or suretyship becomes due. If the time of performance
of the primary obligation is not stipulated or cannot be determined, or if
performance is due upon demand, then the suretyship or guaranty terminates
if the creditor does not bring an action against the guarantor or surety within
two years of the date on which the contract of guaranty or suretyship was
formed.
Naturally, the term of a guaranty or suretyship must extend beyond the
term of the primary obligation, and be long enough to allow for all the formalities
related to the possible filing of a lawsuit against the guarantor or surety;
otherwise, these means of securing obligations would lose their practical
significance.
There is a special time limit for making claims against a guarantor or
surety. It differs from other limitation periods in that its expiration serves
as the basis not for a court decision to dismiss a case, but for the termination
of the suretyship or guaranty; therefore, it cannot be reinstated by a court.
This means that if the guarantor or surety fails to pay the debt, the creditor
must make a demand for payment and bring a lawsuit against the guarantor or
surety within the term of the guaranty or suretyship.
The limitation period for claims against guarantors and sureties is a
separate type of limitation period in civil law. Unlike a traditional limitation
period, which does not extinguish the right itself but merely limits the opportunity
to enforce it, the limitation period for claims against guarantors and sureties
extinguishes the right itself. Therefore, if the debtor inadvertently pays
the debt after the expiration of the limitation period, the debtor does not
have right to recover the amount paid; at the same time, however, the payment
of the debt by the guarantor or surety after the term of the guaranty or suretyship
has expired would constitute unjust enrichment of the creditor, and the amount
paid would be subject to refund.
When the law speaks of making a demand against a guarantor or surety,
the context of the rule is important. Usually, a "demand" means a claim in
a lawsuit. In fact, however, the very nature of a guaranty or suretyship implies
an attempt to collect the debt from the guarantor or surety before going to
court. This might not take the form of a legal claim. Moreover, it is not
even mandatory. But sometimes it is important to make formal distinctions,
so, for example, Article 374 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation establishes
that demands to guarantors on bank guaranties must be in writing and specifies
what information the demand must contain. But this is not a legal claim. Failure
to follow the formalities required by law may cause evidentiary problems in
the case, but it will not cause the case to be dismissed, nor can it have
any effect on the limitation period for filing a lawsuit, which under any
circumstances expires on the last day of the term of the guaranty.
Occasionally in practice attempts are made to interpret Article 336.4
of the Civil Code in the following manner. If the term of a contract of guaranty
or suretyship is indeterminate, or if the time of performance of the primary
obligation is indeterminate, then Article 336.4 expressly sets the time limitation
for bringing a lawsuit, but Article 336.4 says nothing about the time limitation
for bringing a lawsuit on such contracts that have a definite term. Therefore,
according to this interpretation, in the latter case the law means that a
demand must be made to the guarantor or surety before the expiration of this
term, but if the guarantor or surety fails to satisfy the demand, then an
action may be brought against them within the general three-year limitation
period. However, the true purpose of the reference in Article 336.4 to the
one-year and two-year time limitations for bringing an action is to determine
the moment at which a suretyship or guaranty expires when that moment is not
stipulated in the contract, and not to create different consequences for guaranties
and suretyships with stipulated terms and those with indefinite terms. The
creditor's right to collect the debt from the guarantor would terminate upon
the expiration of the contract of guaranty or suretyship even if Article 336.4
of the Civil Code said that suretyships and guaranties with no definite term
are terminated after one-year and two-year periods, respectively, without
mentioning that a lawsuit must be brought within this time. Moreover, the
interpretation described above would unfairly complicate the situation of
the surety and guarantor, who would be at risk of liability for the debtor
for three years or more, even though they stipulated an expiration date in
the contract precisely in order to place a time limit on their liability.
Calculating the limitation period for bringing a lawsuit on a guaranty
or suretyship becomes more complicated when the guaranty or suretyship specifies
a particular date for payment of the primary debtor's debt, for example with
this language: "if the debtor fails to perform the obligation by March 1,
1998, then the debt shall be paid by the surety upon demand of the creditor
on May 1, 1998." This would seem to create an absurd situation, in which the
creditor cannot bring a lawsuit against the guarantor or surety before May
1, because the performance of the obligation by the guarantor or surety is
not yet due, yet the creditor cannot bring an action after May 1, because
the guaranty or suretyship has expired. In fact, May 1 is not the date of
termination of the guaranty or suretyship (unless, of course, the contract
provides otherwise); rather, May 1 is the time of performance of the obligation
by the guarantor or surety. Therefore, an action may be brought within one
year from the date that performance of the primary obligation becomes due,
if the term of the guaranty or suretyship is not determined; if the contract
stipulates the term, then the action must be brought before the termination
of the guaranty or suretyship.
Of course, the time limitation for bringing a lawsuit against a guarantor
or surety is in no way related to the time for consideration of the case in
court, which may significantly exceed the term of the guaranty or suretyship.
Apart from the expiration of the limitation period, suretyships and guaranties
terminate in the following circumstances: upon the termination of the obligation
they secure; in the event that changes are made in this obligation without
the consent of the surety or guarantor that have unfavorable consequences
for them; and in the event that the debt under the secured obligation is assigned,
unless the guarantor or surety agrees to be liable for the new debtor.

Translated by John Hershey, an attorney with Salans Hertzfeld & Heilbronn

См. вводную часть

Статья 353. Ответственность за неправомерное пользование чужими деньгами

1. Комментируемая статья устанавливает гражданско-правовую ответственность
должника перед кредитором за ненадлежащее исполнение денежных обязательств,
т.е. обязательств, в соответствии с которыми на одном лице лежит обязанность
по выплате определенной суммы денег другому лицу. Такая ответственность является
имущественной и выражается в обязанности лица, нарушившего лежащее на нем
денежное обязательство, выплатить лицу, чье право на получение денег было
нарушено, определенную сумму денег, размер которой устанавливается названной
статьей.
Как показывает практика, применение ст. 353 ГК становится все шире. Данная
норма реально стимулирует должника к исполнению денежных обязательств, что
является особенно актуальным в настоящее время, когда кризис неплатежей в
гражданском обороте может привести к кризису в экономике в целом или в определенной
ее отрасли.
При введении ответственности, предусмотренной ст. 353 ГК, законодатель
преследовал следующие цели:
- во-первых, наказать правонарушителя путем возложения на него дополнительной
(помимо денежного обязательства в соответствии с договором) гражданско-правовой
ответственности (дополнительное обязательство);
- во-вторых, компенсировать (восстановить) потерпевшей стороне те доходы,
которые она могла бы получить при использовании денег, если бы правонарушитель
своевременно исполнил денежное обязательство, причем сделать это за счет правонарушителя.
Таким образом, лицо, право на своевременное получение денег которого
было нарушено, получает за это определенную имущественную компенсацию.
2. Данная статья устанавливает ответственность за ненадлежащее исполнение
именно денежного обязательства, поэтому законодатель установил, что размер
суммы денег, подлежащей выплате за нарушение денежного обязательства, будет
определяться, исходя из официальной ставки рефинансирования Национального
Банка Республики Казахстан.
Согласно ст. 31 Указа Президента Республики Казахстан, имеющего силу
закона, "О Национальном Банке Республики Казахстан" официальная ставка рефинансирования
Национального Банка Республики Казахстан зависит от общего состояния денежного
рынка, спроса и предложений по кредитам, уровня инфляции на момент ее установления,
а также от ожидаемого уровня инфляции в будущем. Официальная ставка рефинансирования
исчисляется в годовых процентах. Из изложенного следует, что применение названной
ставки позволяет вычислить реальный размер той выгоды, которую потерпевшая
сторона могла иметь, если бы правонарушитель своевременно исполнил денежное
обязательство. Кроме того, из-за инфляции идет обесценивание денег, и определенная
сумма денег через год будет иметь уже меньшую покупательную способность.
3. Необходимо отграничивать ответственность, предусмотренную ст. 353
ГК, от возмещения убытков, которые лишь восстанавливают потери потерпевшей
стороны. Эта ответственность именуется сейчас неустойкой в отличие от прежней
редакции комментируемой статьи, где она называлась процентами, что создавало
неясность, понимать ли под последними какую-то разновидность убытков или же
разновидность неустойки. Пункт 1 ст. 353 Гражданского кодекса в прежней редакции
противоречил п. 4 этой же статьи. Так, в п. 1 было указано, что проценты начисляются
на сумму денег, уплата которых, например, просрочена, тогда как в п. 4 указывалось,
что проценты на проценты не начисляются, кроме случаев, когда законодательством
предусмотрено включение процентов за истекший год в основную сумму долга.
Это положение приводило к спорам между субъектами гражданских правоотношений.
Так, банк принял вклад от гр-ки Б., обязуясь по истечении одного года возвратить
его и одновременно уплатить проценты. Однако банк нарушил свое обязательство,
просрочив его исполнение на полгода. При рассмотрении иска в суде гр-ка Б.
просила суд взыскать с банка проценты согласно п. 1 ст. 353, начисленные как
на сумму вклада, так и на проценты на вклад. Банк, в свою очередь, основываясь
на п. 4 этой статьи, настаивал на начислении процентов только на сумму вклада,
без включения в нее процентов на вклад. Кроме того, согласно прежней редакции,
размер процентов должен был исчисляться, "исходя из учетной ставки банковского
процента, определяемого Национальным Банком Казахстана". Между тем, Национальный
Банк Казахстана такую ставку никогда не устанавливал.
В целях исключения неоднозначного толкования норм данной статьи Парламентом
Республики Казахстан были внесены изменения в ст. 353 (Закон Республики Казахстан
от 11 июля 1997 года "О внесении изменений и дополнений в некоторые законодательные
акты Республики Казахстан по вопросам банковской деятельности"), в частности,
п. 4 из данной статьи был исключен, а размер суммы, подлежащей уплате на основании
ст. 353 ГК, определяется, исходя из ставки рефинансирования Национального
Банка Республики Казахстан. Кроме того, слово "проценты" заменено словом "неустойка".
В связи с такими изменениями к положениям данной статьи применяются нормы
Гражданского кодекса о неустойке.
4. Наиболее распространенным основанием применения ст. 353 ГК РК (общая
часть) является невыплата денег на момент применения данной санкции или просрочка
в выплате денег. Например, в соответствии с договором покупатель обязался
выплатить поставщику определенную сумму в течение пяти дней после поступления
товара на склад, однако деньги не выплатил совсем или выплатил только спустя
два месяца.
Основанием применения названной статьи также может служить неосновательное
получение денег или сбережение их за счет другого лица. В данном случае имеется
в виду получение денег без законных оснований либо их приобретение на основании
сделки, признанной недействительной. Например, в банк на имя гражданина поступил
перевод денег, которые банк обязан был выплатить ему при первом же обращении.
Однако, банк при первоначальном обращении к нему гражданина сообщил, что перевод
в такой сумме на его имя не поступал. И только спустя один месяц, используя
в течение этого времени причитающиеся гражданину деньги и получив таким образом
определенный доход, банк выплатил гражданину сумму перевода. Гражданин имеет
право взыскать с банка неустойку за пользование его денежными средствами.
Размер неустойки в соответствии с п. 1 ст. 353 исчисляется в зависимости
от ставки рефинансирования, действующей на тот день, когда обязательство было
исполнено. Если спор разрешается в судебном порядке, суд вправе при исчислении
суммы неустойки применить ставку рефинансирования Национального Банка Казахстана,
действовавшую на день, когда потерпевшая сторона предъявила иск в суд, или
ставку, действовавшую на дату вынесения судом решения или на день, когда правонарушитель
фактически произвел платеж. Таким образом, в п. 1 ст. 353 речь идет о размере
ставки, который в зависимости от причин, указанных выше, в течение определенного
периода времени может быть изменен Национальным банком Казахстана.
Необходимо обратить внимание на то обстоятельство, что размер неустойки
может быть исчислен не от ставки рефинансирования Национального банка, а в
порядке, определенном законодательством или договором. Например, должник в
январе выплатил поставщику сумму в размере 10000 тенге (по цене товара в ноябре
прошедшего года), просрочив ее уплату на два месяца. В январе установленная
Национальным Банком ставка составляла 18,5 процента годовых, однако стороны
в договоре между собой установили, что в случае просрочки в оплате товара
покупатель обязан выплатить неустойку в размере 30 процентов годовых. Следовательно,
сумма неустойки, подлежащая уплате, в этом случае будет определяться договором.
5. Пункт 2 ст. 353 ГК определяет сроки, которые берутся во внимание при
исчислении размера неустойки. Например, законодательством или договором при
установлении ответственности за определенный вид нарушения денежного обязательства
может быть установлено, что проценты по ставке рефинансирования будут начисляться
только первые полгода (первый месяц и т.д.) или не сразу после наступления
просрочки, а при наступлении определенного события.
6. Пункт 3 ст. 353 ГК закрепляет зачетный характер неустойки. То есть,
если размер понесенных лицом убытков составил 7500 тенге, а сумма неустойки,
которая ему причитается по ст. 353 ГК, равна 5000 тенге, то лицо имеет право
требовать от должника уплаты неустойки в размере 5000 тенге и возмещения убытков,
не покрытых ею, в размере 2500 тенге.


















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