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Regarding Debt Collection Agents

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asked on May 28, 2010 at 22:09
by   funny
edited on Sep 29, 2016 at 03:26
 
One of my friend told me his experience with a debt collection agent in Sri Rampai... regarding car loan. Not very serious only few months not paid, as he did not have serious financial difficulty at that time. The agent went to his rented house to 'buat kacau' (make trouble). Since he is staying in the same area... so what he did was go back to their office and scold them loudly there. I guess he was not at home when the debt collector visited him. He said the debt collector visited his house and behaved like gangster and was rude, so he did the same thing at their office! Scold them loudly! Haha... Well, debt collectors are also human being, they also feel scared. They also don't like people to make troubles with them. After that the debt collectors never visit my friend anymore.

Just couldn't understand why banks recruit those debt collection agencies. Banks should be professional in terms of law... not that kind of "unprofessional"... like Ah Long. They can take legal action but not to make people scary and 'malu' (shame). They should respect people or talk to debtors nicely, not raise up their voice to let everybody know. I'm owing money to bank too and don't have money to pay. I did not cheat their whole family or 'rompak' (rob) or 'curi' (steal). I really expect to be respected and have low profile even though I'm owing... that's the reason we go to bank for loan and not Ah long!

If that happens to me, I will first ask them show their IC and prepare my handphone to record their conversation... or just meet up at police station... if they threaten me I will make a police report saying I am being threaten and every time they come I will continue making reports till they feel boring... of course I know they might not show me their IC but if I have their company name and address, I will still go and make a police report.

I think the government should really take action against those debt collection agencies... like news we always read in newspaper was Ah long making troubles at homes and many of them seek help from MCA... but why not the debt collection agency?

Well our Prime Minister did say that he wants to improve the living of Malaysian by increasing salary but in my opinion, they should help those that have serious debt first... many Malaysians having serious debt problems and many of them live in a scary and fearful life being disturbed by debt collectors. In the future many people will also have mental problem due to stress. Increasing salary does not help much as nowadays graduates can also easily apply for credit cards and the problem is no limitation on the number of credit cards they can have, for sure very fast they will face financial problems. Should our government limit the number of cards that can be hold... maybe only 2 or 3 cards each person and increase the annual income to maybe RM36,000 or RM40,000 and above per annum to be qualified to hold a credit card and only can hold 2 or 3 cards maximum.

Can our government help those who really in serious debt now like forcing bank to give discount and reduce the outstanding amount of the debt if they pay back in the time period offer by banks? 50%?

Should all Malaysian that have serious debt protest or write letter to Prime Minister to gain his special attention regarding those debt collection agencies? No more debt collection agency please!!!!!!!
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answered on May 28, 2010 at 22:21
by   funny
edited Sep 29, 2016 at 03:29
 
Some of them make troubles until debtors lost their jobs! Don't say increase salary, now no income at all. How to improve living? This might also lead to increasing social problems like robberies! Those people either no money, no job, too lazy to work or maybe in serious debt!
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answered on May 29, 2010 at 23:32
by   Muzzafar Ali Hassan
edited Sep 29, 2016 at 03:36
 
I lost my job 2 years ago after my company close down. Ever since then, I rely on my credit cards for cash and purchases. My outstanding: Bank A=RM15000, Bank B=RM16000 & Bank C=RM8000. I have stopped payment because I can't afford it. Today I received a letter from Bank A saying they have cancelled the card. I assume that I will be getting a legal letter soon. My question is for the amount RM15000, how long it will take for the bank to declare me bankrupt. CAN SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME WITH THE QUESTION.

By Samuel

............................................................................................

Hi Samuel,

For your debts of RM15k or 16k, it will take many years to reach RM30k, the minimum debt qualified in Malaysian Law to sue a person bankruptcy. Meanwhile, you can still live a normal life but occasionally, you may be harassed or inconvenient with:

(1) Demand letters follow by legal letters
- if you want to contest - file in your defence.
- if not, just ignore attending the court(s), nothing can really happen to u. If you do not attend, a consent judgement is entered against you. After this, by right you should receive its sealed judgement which you can have the last option to contest too. You can even contest it even after the consent judgement is entered against you by arguing that you did not receive the sealed judgement. A sealed judgement handed to you is your final option/chance whether you want to contest or not.
- if you have any properties/assets under your name, transfer them to others or sell them in return for cash.

(2) Your creditor banks will most likely out-source the collection work to 3rd party collection agents
- Remember, these collection agents like to act like "lawyers" or as if they are from the "Legal Dept" or "Govt Enforcement Dept" and like to say/voice up a lot of things to threaten/frighten you to pay up. For examples of "unprofessional tactics" commonly used by collection agents to threaten/frighten/scare debtors among others are:

(a) Invoking WSS (Writ of Seizure and Sale): Meaning getting the court's order to possess your contents/belongings in your home. Another legal action is the "distress order/call" which is invoked if the houseowner failed to pay up rentals for many months and this order is also to possess the home contents of the debtor. To possess home contents, normally the time allowed by the court for possession is from 9am to 4pm. If different time is needed, court approval should be applied first. WSS is normally not invoked on poor debtors' homes as the things/belongings recovered from their poor homes may not be enough to recover the debt(s), let alone the extra legal charges, the court bailiff fees, the lorry needed to transport, the storage charges, the workers employed to move things and other charges. It is only worthwhile to be invoked on richmen's homes where there may be very expensive artifacts or on companies with very rich stocks and barrels.

(b) Sometimes if the debtor is staying in his/her parents' house, the collection agents may threaten that they will send officers to even possess all things in your parents' home. Legally they cannot. They can only take possession of those things that belong to the debtor.

(c) Another threat by agents is to scare the debtor by saying they will take legal action to cut the debtor's salary (if working) to pay off monthly for the debt owing.

(d) The collection agents are also fond of threatening that they will visit you (the debtor) often at your working office and make a lot of noise there (like giving a 'ceramah') so that all the people in your office know your personal financial debts/crisis and even have the gut that they want to speak to your boss/CEO to make you feel like 'no face at all' or 'shameful like an outcast' or 'a debt criminal not jailable yet'. Your office has the right not to allow such agents in or ask the security officers not to allow them in as the office is a private area. Ask them for their IC name and IC number, chances are that they may not give you. Tell them off strictly that you cannot entertain strangers at your office and will not hesitate to report them to the Police or MCA Complaints Bureau if they misbehave or threaten you like Ah Longs!

(e) If your debt is now RM25k, the collection agent(s) will/may threaten to invoke bankruptcy on you by saying that they will add another RM5k (legal fees + interests + other charges) to make it RM30k. Remember, the agent(s) cannot simply add the extra amounts without a justified/approved court consent otherwise they can abuse it by adding any amounts they wish. Moreover, it is not the job of the collection agents to decide on invoking legal actions. Their job is mainly functioned as a collector (I would say unprofessional collectors) to ask the debtors to pay up. It is the creditor bank(s) which will decide the legal actions and not the unprofessional collectors who may many times act like "professional Ah Longs" on the phone. Fear them not! The next time they call up, insist to get their full IC name and IC numbers and if they refuse to give, you have the right not to entertain them as they are considered strangers on the phone. You have this right fairly provided in the MCMC act. It they threaten you, you have the right to report them to the authorities like Bank Negara, Police, MCMC, Consumer Supports, MCA Complaints Bureau and the Creditor Bank concerned. Take action without any fear! This is your fundamental human right !!!

(f) Collection agents may also threaten to send people to visit your home regularly to follow-up further on the debt collection. Do not allow them in. If they misbehave or threaten you like Ah Longs, report them to the police. Ask them for their IC name and IC number, chances are that they may not give you. Tell them off strictly that you cannot entertain strangers at your home and will not hesitate to report them to the Police or MCA Complaints Bureau.

(g) Collection agents may raise their voice saying,"If you do not bank in RM1000 or RM3000 by 2pm tomorrow, we will "lelong" or auction your house/any properties or send court officers to your home to invoke the WSS" or "We will freeze all your bank accounts and assets (by caveats) or even has the guts to say they will freeze your EPF money". Remember, EPF money is protected from claims by creditors because the EPF act is enacted for the purpose of old age funds and pensions. Remember to know your rights and do not get bully by these so called "unprofessional collection agents or so called professional Ah Longs". For bankrupts to withdraw their EPF money, get a bankruptcy letter from the Insolvency Dept to submit to the EPF. EPF will advise you on how to withdraw the money. A bankrupt can still open a savings bank account or travel overseas or even work overseas as long as the Insolvency Dept (Jabatan Insolvensi Malaysia) approves it after you submit your application.

For your RM8k debt, it is as good as write-off because after six years from the date of judgement if you have not pay or service the debt, the bank cannot sue you anymore. In short, you are a free man for this case. After six years is over in this case, the debt the bank can claim is only the principal amount of the debt (all other charges are minus out including lawyer fees, interests, etc). Normally, in this case the bank will just write it off. I think this has to do with the Limitation Act of the law.

A bankrupt is still entitled to work but cannot run business. Perhaps self-employment may be allowed to earn a living. Upon bankruptcy, a bankrupt is required to report to JIM (Jabatan Insolvensi Malaysia) which act like a 'trustee or administrator' of your bankruptcy affair from now onwards. You do not need to report to your employer of your bankruptcy status if there is no necessity. Your bankruptcy status does not affect your other family members unless you are having joint accounts or owners in the banks, properties or assets or any of them acting as a guarantor for you. Your guarantor can only be made a bankrupt too after you are first made a bankrupt by the court.

What I have written above is for our general information/understanding in this forum. For details, refer to professional legal advice. For those who may like to improve or add something here, do not hesitate to improve on this thread. Thanks very much. One last word, bankruptcy is not the end of the world but a beginning of a new life to better manage our lifestyle in finance. Cheers!
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answered on Jul 6, 2010 at 18:04
by   jimmy
edited Sep 29, 2016 at 03:39
 
I have 2 credit cards debt, MBB RM15,000 & CIMB RM12,000. When I first applied for credit card my income was only RM1,800 per month. Initially the credit limit with other banks was around RM3,000 (standard card). But over a period of around 8 years my credit limit increased to RM13,000 (Gold card) but my last salary drawn before I lost my job was only RM2,200.

My question are:

1) On what basis does the bank increase the credit limit?

2) What is my right to settle the above debts? Currently the debt collectors has been harassing me like calling at inconvenient times & demanding me to pay a certain amount or else?

3) Can I tell the debt collectors to remove all the high interest and other charges?

Thank you.
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answered on Jul 7, 2010 at 09:43
by   Drew
edited Sep 29, 2016 at 04:06
 
@Jimmy
1. Many factors. If the card holder payment record is good, i.e. at least the minimum monthly payment has been made every month on time, then the banks are happy to increase the credit limit. Higher limit=more interest charges etc
2. Since these are credit card debts and you've lost your job, maybe you can see my other post (Q&A: Never miss the monthly repayment) but this is not a good long term solution.
3. You can try, but debt collectors usually have no authority to grant this. They act for banks. The more they collect from you, the higher their commission.

Good Luck!
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answered on Jul 7, 2010 at 10:17
by   Drew
Some info on dealing with debt collectors (use this at your own risk):

If they are calling and hassling you, try telling them " I do not wish to speak about this matter over the phone or in person, as I do not know who you are or whether you have been officially appointed by the bank. Please write to me officially on this matter and I will respond". Then hang up.

Debt collectors work by trying to scare or shame people to pay the  debt. They have no authority to sue us in court as they are not lawyers even though they claim to be from Legal Dept.If debt collectors are unable to collect, then the bank may engage a lawyer to commence court action.

Another way you can try is to Refuse To Pay (called RTP by debt collectors). Deny the debt and tell them to sue you because you RTP. Tell them that if they continue to harass you, then a Police Report will be made against them and the bank. Get the debt collector company's name address phone and fax numbers and make a Police Report if they still hassle you after this. This may buy some time, at least until court action.
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answered on Jul 7, 2010 at 12:12
by   LoyerBrook
If you borrowed money from AhLoong, then all those nasty threatening tactics used against you may seem normal, as you can see from newspapers almost daily. But...

If you were talking about Credit Cards and Car Loan, then, you can tell those idiots to go to hell! WHY?

Credits Cards:
Tell the Collectors and Bank that IF they wanted money, at least show some manners and decency, make a Police Report and you will see them in Court.

Also tell them to show their gangster way of bully to those Illegal Immigrants if they dared and were strong enough. The Law-abiding Citizens will thank them.

Car Loan: Tell the Bank to repossess your car, and finished!

Simply after 4th Schedule Reminder had delivered to you by Registered Post or BY Hand, they can repossess "YOUR RENTED CAR". You DO NOT Own the car even from the beginning, until your Final Payment is settled, then they transfer your Owner's Right.

WHO WAS the OWNER? It was the Bank or Finance Co... NOT YOU!

Now that the Bank or Finance Co. repossessed their Ownership, they will usually Take Advantage of you by Collaborating with some "Used Car Dealers" and treat the car as a piece of JUNK or Scrap Metal, by Auctioning at Very CHEAP and BELOW Market Price, thinking that they still can CLAIM ARREARS Balance from YOU!

DO NOT Even BOTHER to pay them any extra RM Sen for the Arrears Balance! WHY? IT IS NON OF YOUR BUSINESS FROM NOW ON!

Your Agreement Terminated right at that moment they Repossessed Ownership of the car and Finished! They have the right to do whatever they want to the car.

As Usual the Bank or Finance Co. will send you "Letter of Demand" Notice written their Lawyer to Threaten YOU for Ignorance of Law, hoping to collect the Arrears and EASY MONEY from you.

Whether you believe me or not, you can learn to be the Rascal at Laws, simply THROW those Letters into the Trash Bin! Do Not Bother to Respond to them.
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answered on Jul 7, 2010 at 13:30
by   notalawyer
If the bank claims more than RM 30k balance from you after auction of the car, they can make you a bankrupt.
This is because you have "agreed" to pay such balances in the HP agreement you signed.

Take care.
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answered on Mar 9, 2011 at 17:57
by   Fyzz
edited Sep 29, 2016 at 04:13
 
I just receive a call from collection agency for my long outstanding payment for credit card from MBB. They said the Bank has pass this case, and ask me to pay a full settlement (nearly RM4,000). I said to them that I have no such amount to pay. I said I am going to pay partially, but they can not accept that.. they just want me to settle it full amount.

I ask them what will happen if I can't give them the full amount?
They said they will come to my home, take picture and bring this case to court.

Can you advise me what should I do, because I really don't have such amount to make a full settlement.
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answered on Mar 9, 2011 at 18:44
by   Fyzz
edited Sep 29, 2016 at 04:17
 
I just called the debt collection agent that called me today... named ZUL, asking him to send me a Letter of Demand, as a proof that I am owing them such an amount of money. Then he told me to contact MBB and request for the letter myself. I then told him, you are the one collecting my money, so you are also the one who should provide me the letter.

Then he became angry, saying to me, "PUAN, BAIK PUAN CAKAP JER NAK BAWA KES NI KE MAHKAMAH!" then he straight away put down the phone.

So, I just want to ask, what is the actual PROCEDURE should lawyer / debt collection agency do before they can bring this matter to court?
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answered on Mar 10, 2011 at 01:25
by   Natalie
Hi Fyzz,

Please do not confuse the roles between bank lawyer and debt collection agency.

The role of the agency is to call up debtors and ask them to pay up. In short, to chase and collect debt on behalf of the bank(s). They are not assigned as lawyer for the bank(s). Though the agency role is to chase and collect
payments for debts owing to the banks, they like to say things like if u don't pay up on such and such a date, we will take legal action like this and that so as to empower their collection methods and sometimes, threatening the debtors but actually they have no empowerment from the bank.

Today I received an SMS, I think from the collection agency threatening me that if finally I do not pay up, they will take legal action like writ of seizure and sales, and garnishing of money. In the SMS, they asked me to call back. I just ignore it as this is the 2nd time I am receiving such type of SMS.

NEXT - then what is the role of the bank lawyer(s)?
Their role is to carry out legal processes like letter of demand, summon you to court, sue you for bankruptcy, may issue writ of seizure & sales, advising the bank and etc. Normally, lawyers do not call up debtors. They normally send legal letters to debtors accordingly. As to what type of legal action is taken, the bank lawyer will act on behalf of the creditor bank. That is why I said earlier that the debt collection agencies are not empowered to decide on the type of legal action to be taken against the debtors but the agencies would have to say some legal actions to be taken otherwise there will be no power in their collection methods. In short, it is like a "friendly threat" to cause fear upon ignorant debtors who may be caught emotionally out of fear to pay up. If you understand the collection agencies' modus operandi in calling and chasing for payment of debt, you will not fear them if they threaten you firmly or aggressively to impose fierce legal action(s) on you should you fail to pay up or comply with whatever demand(s) they tormented persistently upon you. Remember, they have no legal empowerment over you! That's it.
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