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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 Feb 20, 2013 at 21:16
edited Oct 18, 2016 at 07:54
I owe MBf credit card debt, now Ambank, about RM5,000 in 2004. My last payment was in 2006. Its about 7 years I have not pay. Last conversation with collector the debt amount is RM30,000+ in 2012.

Currently I have changed my handphone number a few month ago and now using new phone number. Yesterday I received call from [K***** name removed] partner & co. The man said wanted to talk about my debt with the bank.. I switched off my phone. This morning he SMSed me to call him immediately.

My questions:
1. Can I ignore the call? I don't have enough money to pay and currently I am working and my company pay our salary by cash money. My saving account still active.
2. What I need to do? Declare myself bankruptcy or let it be?
3. I have kid aged 17 and if she wants to further study to university, for sure she needs PTPTN loan. Will it affect the loan PTPTN? Can she get a PTPTN loan?
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answered on Jan 16, 2016 at 05:19
edited Oct 18, 2016 at 07:27
Dear Malaysians,

This post aims to educate you on your rights when you are faced with calls from debt collection agencies. You will need to understand some basic law in order for you to arm yourself to face these collectors.

1. The very basic truth of the matter is that if a lender can haul you to court and make you a bankrupt or at the least garnish your salary which forces your employer to pay your salary to the court, the lender would have done it.

2. The fact that the lender has engaged a collector simply indicates that he is unable to haul you to court for some reason - it could be that the debt is time barred or he does not have the required documents to sue you in court.

3. A debt becomes time barred once 6 years passes after the debt becomes fully payable and during the six years the lender has not attempted to collect from you legally.

4. Sometimes documents like your loan agreement can go missing like in the case of MBf Finance, Southern Finance, Aliance Resolution, KUBB and credit card debts. In many cases there is internal fraud where loans already settled by the borrower were sold as outstanding debt to institutions like AMBank and Aliance Resolution without proper documentations. Well known culprits such as MBf Finance cause a lot of problem to people who don't actually owe them anything.

5. So, what do you do when a debt collection agency calls you?

(a) Decide if you actually owe this debt or not and if the amount demanded is fair or not.
(b) Ask the agency to email you a statement proving the debt. Never give your home or office address.
(c) Get the name of the caller, company's name and address.
(d) If they do not send you a statement but another person calls, make a police report.
(e) If you can afford, engage a lawyer to 'harass' the debt collector to furnish you a statement of debt and a copy of the loan agreement. This always works.

Good Luck
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answered on Sep 27, 2016 at 23:16
edited Oct 18, 2016 at 07:25
I'm now in that situation, H bank keep calling me few times in a day, I have defaulted the payment for 6 months, I was harassed by H bank collection department that they will send the debts collectors to my workplace tomorrow, what can I do?
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