A public civil action brought by the Federal Public Ministry (MPF) against Caixa Econômica Federal determines the immediate extension of the period for another 38 days, or the granting of a new period, for the movement of FGTS (Fundo de Garantia do Tempo de Serviço) accounts. ) by the residents affected by heavy rains in February and March this year in Petrópolis, in the mountain region.
In addition to extending the deadline, the MPF requires wide dissemination, with the posting of large banners or posters or banners in front of all bank branches in the city, with the express indication of the start and end dates for the “calamidade” withdrawal. ” of FGTS accounts, as well as publicizing the decision in newspapers, radio and television in the region. On the merits, in addition to confirming the urgent relief, the MPF asks the bank to pay R$ 1 million for compensation for collective off-balance sheet damage.
Before prosecuting the case, the MPF issued, in May this year, a recommendation to Caixa to extend the deadline for FGTS withdrawals to residents of Petrópolis affected by natural disasters. However, the bank did not heed the ministerial recommendation.
According to the agency, the deadline began to count, wrongly, from February 18, and not from the effective registration of the affected areas on March 28. Considering this date, “the 90-day period for making the withdrawals would only end on June 27, and not on May 18, which represents a difference of 40 days to the detriment of residents”, argued, at the time, the District Attorney Charles Stevan, author of the recommendation and also of the public civil action.
In a meeting with the Municipal Secretary of Civil Defense and Caixa, the MPF found that the bank had been abusively demanding that the Municipal Secretary of Civil Defense fill in a spreadsheet (made available by Caixa itself), with the indication of each public place , with the respective building numbers and/or residential units, for the effective registration of the affected areas. The finalization of registration by the CEF only took place on March 28.
“Only as of this date (03/28) that the vast majority of residents of the affected areas could exercise the legitimate right to move their FGTS accounts. It is true to say that only from that date could the 90-day period for exercising the right to move FGTS accounts begin”, explains the prosecutor.
On February 15th of this year, Petrópolis was hit by the biggest natural disaster in its history, resulting from intense rains, which caused 236 deaths, 1 missing and 1,117 homeless citizens. If this disaster weren’t enough, the city was again hit by heavy rains on March 20resulting in five more deaths, in addition to approximately 600 homeless.
Source: BdF Rio de Janeiro
Editing: Jaqueline Deister