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asked on Oct 21, 2004 at 00:28
Every day thousands of people are harassed by debt collection agencies.  At best this harassment is annoying but in many cases it may even be illegal.  You must be aware of the distinction between a creditor and a collection agency.  A creditor is the company to which you owe the money.  A debt collection agency is a third party (sometimes a law firm) that is charged with the task of collecting what you owe.

NEVER give a collection agency your cell phone number.

NEVER give the collection agency your family or friend's phone numbers to call you at their home.  They'll harass your family until you pay your bills.

NEVER offer to pay anything unless the debt collector claims it writing first.  If they call you on the phone, tell them they'll just have to wait.

A federal law called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was created by the FTC to protect us.  Most people are unaware that this law even exists.  Unfortunately this law applies only to third party collection agencies and not to the creditor to which you owe the money, as they are usually banks, and assumed to be decent people.  Here's a brief summary of the FTC law:

1)  You may stop a collector from contacting you by writing them return receipt mail, and telling them to stop. Once the agency receives your letter, they may not contact you again except to say there will be no further contact. The debt collection agency may also notify you if the debt collector or the creditor intends to take some specific action.

2)  Debt collection agencies may NOT contact you outside the hours of  8:00 AM and 9:00 PM.

3)  Debt collection agencies may NOT contact you at unreasonable places.

4)  Debt collection agencies may NOT contact you at work if you have told them that your employer does not approve of the contact.

5)  Debt collection agencies may NOT misrepresent themselves as agents of the government, attorneys, or as employees of credit bureaus.  They can't use false names either, although many do.

6)  Debt collection agencies may NOT make false statements.  For example they may not imply that you have committed a crime (since you have not done so).  They can't say that you'll go to jail, they can't lie about the status of legal documents they are sending you, and they can't say they'll garnish your wages.

7) Debt collection agencies may NOT contact other people about you except to find out where you live or work.  They cannot reveal how much debt you owe to other people or publish a list of people who have bad debt.  They cannot slander your reputation.

8) Debt collection agencies may NOT verbally abuse you, threaten your life, or use profanity.

9) Debt collection agencies may NOT cause your telephone to ring and ring, or engage any person in telephone conversation repeatedly or continuously with intent to annoy, abuse, or harass any person at the called number.

Report violations from a debt collector to your state Attorney General's office to determine your rights.
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answered on Oct 21, 2004 at 01:05
edited Oct 18, 2016 at 07:59
@Hutang, whilst what you say may be true, remember that in many cases, the debt collector may have had an assignment of the debt and in actual fact becomes the creditor. However it does not give them the right to harass.

Their position is such. Harassment is not a hanging offence. It is the money they are after. The methods being used in Malaysia come from two prominent Jewish Law firms in Melbourne who have formed partnerships with Malaysian agencies through their credit collection company arms here and there.

It is most unfortunate that these firms employ a tactic that got many people killed in world war 2 and before for. Their mean, inhumane, degrading, ruthless methods have done nothing to lessen the stereotyping of the Shakespearean definition of who they are.

Fortunately there are many more hopefully that are not like them in the business and elsewhere. You must stand up. If someone harasses you for money they risk being 'dealt' with. There is a defence for this. Intimidation is a form of violence and provocation. It elicits an unpleasant response many a time.

If the agencies who do this persist, remember that in the US, Europe and Australia, there are now counter personnel who for a small fee act as your 'body guards' pursue these villains and perhaps in the ensuing battle put a few noses out of joint (literally and a few knee caps out of place as well). Not your fault. You did not do it. The same as the creditor. He will claim innocence against your charge of harassment. "It was the debt collector that overstepped the line", they say.

It is important to understand in human behaviour in every society that when the levels of human endurance are stretched to the limit the elasticity stretched snaps and there is bound to be injuries.

I am not encouraging violence but telling you what possible outcomes may result if this menace is not checked. Stand up. Don't stand for it. You deserve the society you create and tolerate.
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answered on Oct 21, 2004 at 16:07
edited Oct 18, 2016 at 07:59
Stand back and looking at it, aren't the creditor entitled to get their money back, assuming they did not point a gun to the debtor's head insisting that they borrow the money in the 1st place? From what I have been reading, the creditor are being made up to be the villain. Guess they are not looked that way when the debtor borrows from them. Just a thought.
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answered on Oct 21, 2004 at 19:22
edited Oct 18, 2016 at 08:01
A Bank is an institution that gives you an umbrella when there's sunshine and take it away when it's raining. I've lost faith in these #@%$&!

I agreed, recovery is important but within the judiciary framework BUT if they uses "Mafia" then it's despised.

In any transaction, there's a certain amount of risk involved and I'm sure most Bank would have evaluate before they disperse.
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answered on Oct 21, 2004 at 20:44
edited Oct 18, 2016 at 08:03
Unacceptable debt collection practices

You have a legal right to complain about harassment and other unacceptable debt collection practices. However, you are still obliged to repay your debts, so try to reach an agreement with your creditors regarding repayment. Here are examples of illegal and unacceptable conduct:

Unacceptable conduct Examples

Assault, intimidation, trespass and harassment Using physical force against you or to enter your property. Contact the police immediately.

Intimidating, frightening or 'stand over' tactics.

Blocking access to your premises.

Trespassing on your premises after you tell them to leave, or returning after you tell them they are not permitted on your premises.

Trying to tire you out or exhaust you, for example by phoning more than 2-3 times per week, or late at night or very early in the morning, unless you agree.

Abusive language Abusive, racist, or obscene language designed to demoralise or humiliate you.

Embarrassing or intimidating you through other people Sending demands for payment through uninvolved neighbours or people at work.

Threatening to tell other people about your situation.

Contacting you at work even if you ask them not to do so and give them another way to contact you.

Talking to your children about your situation or threatening you through your children.

False and misleading conduct Pretending unpaid debts are a criminal offence involving the police or possibly jail. This is false.

Dressing up letters to look like Court documents when they are not. If you get a letter like this from a firm of solicitors, report them to the Attorney General office.
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answered on Oct 21, 2004 at 21:51
edited Oct 18, 2016 at 08:05
Dear Bank

the creditor has every right to collection within the confines of the law. That's what precisely the Merchant of Venice demonstrates in the scene with Shylock and his 'pound of flesh'. Civilized societies provide licenses to institutions and groups that agree to be bound by laws and a code of practice.

The codes of practice do not in any way allow them to harass or to intimidate which is what the practice appears to be these days. They have a right to collect within the confines of rules, laws that govern their conduct. They do not own the person but the debt. They do not own nor have they acquired rights against the persons life or enjoyment of his life nor that of his/ her family's in the event of default. This is a risk they take for which they are compensated adequately with interest and insurance against default apart from their rights protected under law.

The borrower in any even has not signed off his /her freedom to a quite life when becoming a debtor. The creditors unfortunately are too much in a hurry to lend because lending creates their assets. The practice is rampant and unfortunately companies in an effort to bolster their balance sheets do these things in a hurry and without responsibility.

A government that allows these practices and then the consequential bankruptcies to delinquent borrowers, denies itself the economic value of these people later in life. It is not so much the individual that suffers in bankruptcy but all of society.

As far as I am concerned the idea of counter attack is justified against such low life. Don't lend if you can't accept the risk of default and don't borrow more than you can afford o pay back.
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answered on Oct 22, 2004 at 02:05
edited Oct 18, 2016 at 08:07
Yes Unni I think you are right. But maybe this people is silly. They borrow too much then could not pay back. Then ask the bank don't ask me the money. Maybe everybody who borrow must pay back. Don't complain when people ask you back for the money. Too much money face is bad luck also. Why you want to borrow when you cannot pay back? Ask the lawyer who can fight. You borrowing so much money then anted the free advises from me and the Lawyerment. We only helping true and honest people.
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answered on Dec 14, 2012 at 16:48
edited Oct 18, 2016 at 08:20
They called me only to reach my colleague. I don't want to know other people's privacy so I just pass the message to my colleague and when he did not respond to them, they keep calling in. The first time he said he is 'Daniel' calling from a KL legal firm. After that they called me by using different number. When I blocked them with smartphone's app, they call again with unknown number.

They call themselves legal firm, but do they legit to acquire phone numbers of irrelevant person and keep harassing them?

Since I'm not the debtor, I assume the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act can not protect me in this situation, what is the alternative solution that I have?
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answered on Dec 17, 2012 at 02:04
edited Oct 18, 2016 at 08:18
If those greedy banks do not simply give out loans, then people would not suffer after they cannot pay back. Banks have to be responsible for that.
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answered on Feb 20, 2013 at 20:45
edited Oct 18, 2016 at 08:18
Its easy to discount it when people say its very stupid or lame for a person to take up an amount which they  borrow but cannot pay it back. One very good instance would be for Study Loans such as PTPTN Loans. There are thousands of them who do not pay back the sum owed. This is because either the students are unable to pay it back due to unable to seal a good job with good pay, unable to have proper savings after deductions of PTPTN Loans, or worst case scenario Direct refusal or resistance to pay the amount due.

Its not because they are stupid, but circumstances can change a persons income and earning at any point of time. Studies is very important aspect in life, unfortunately even with graduates out there with Degree and Diploma's there are STILL a high rate in unemployment amongst graduates. Imagine the horror of a student who is unable to seal a job but has a life long debt to pay. And furthermore how is this Graduate student going to afford to earn to buy a house or car later on? These same graduates will be stacked with debts that he/she wont be able to pay off. Is there anyone out there who has ever thought of a solution for this REALLY big problem?
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answered on Feb 20, 2013 at 21:02
edited Oct 18, 2016 at 08:17
Exec2Student is right....THAT'S why we all should have LISTEN-ed to Bavani in UUM forum, when she told us to stand up for our rights to gain HIGHER STUDIES for FREE in Malaysia. If there is FREE STUDIES in more stupid PTPTN Loans, no more debts for students and AH-Longs will be out of business.

Ah Longs only get business when individuals who got blacklisted cannot get loan from Banks. There is even some banks like RHB Ezi (Pink one) who approves on the Spot for loans and borrowings even for those blacklisted also. BUT there is a very **** interest to pay off... Ah Longs interest... no need to say more. Daily interest rate, sampai nak mati already to pay it off. The Ah-Long makes it near impossible to pay it off. In RHB Ezi if take RM10,000 within 10 years you pay it off...

After 8 years, when you open and see your installment plan you'll see that you have already paid nearly more RM50,000... plus all interest... You tell me, where got fair one?

I agree with Exec2student, we really do have a major problem. But who's there to settle this problem?

I see the interest level damn high compare with normal bank loans. So what is going to stop even a BANK or other govt ministry to start acting like an Ah-Long tomorrow? What is the guarantee or safety?
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