Selling the soul for cash

  • 2009-07-07
  • TBT Staff

Kontora offers loans of 50-500 lats after signing away the soul

RIGA- A local loan company is getting a lot of international attention, not because it is new on the scene at a time when many loan companies would sooner leave, but because it requires one simple piece of collateral, your soul.

The widely publicized company Kontora is headed by ViktorMiroshenko age 34, the face of Kontora, which offers loans from 50-500 lats(700 euros) to residents of Latvia,requiring only a first name and a signature for the contract, no documentsnecessary.

The two month old Kontora does not use debt collectors tocollect on those who have borrowed money, the threat of soullessness is enough.

 "If they don't give it back, what can you do? They won'thave a soul, that's all," Miroshenko told Reuters.

 The company offers loans at extremely high interest rates of354 percent and higher per year. Kontora provides clients with short termloans, the interest of which is one percent per day beginning after three daysfrom the start of the loan.

 Miroshenko said that over the last two months, approximately200 persons have taken out loans.

Despite the secrecy of the location, (clients have to emailto request an amount and are then invited to the office) the company has yet toreceive any complaints from clients, says Sanita Gertmane, agent of the ConsumerRights Protection Center in Latvia (PTAC).

"Of course from a humanistic standpoint, it is more thanstrange," said Gertmane.

However, the idea of soul collateral is angering the localclergy in Catholic, Lutheran and Orthodox sects, who criticized the company forusing fear to force people to pay their loans.

In a joint statement, the clergy wrote: ""We do notknow what are the lenders' motives for requiring such kind of collateral. Maybethey are absolutely cynical financiers, who to use people's fear of losingtheir souls as the best way to secure their profits. Maybe there are religiousmotives behind this - satanism, occultism or something like that - intended toruin people's souls, making use of their desperate condition,"


The religious leaders warned that such a contract goesagainst the word of god and even non-religious people should think of theconsequences.