When the bills accumulated become too large to be repaid on time, or if you’ve neglected your repayments badly, there is a good chance that your debts would be given over to a debt recovery firm to collect your debts.
The majority of debt collection agencies will just send out multiple mails or emails and contact you via telephone calls to try and collect your outstanding repayments. The chance that a debt recovery agency will visit you at your home is rather small, however, it is still possible and it does happen in real-life scenarios.
Having an agent of a debt collector Singapore visit you, collecting debt that you owe doesn’t happen often. However, you should still prepare yourself for it if you ever have an unpaid loan. In this article, we will provide you with some tips on how to deal with debt collectors.
What can a legal Singapore debt collector do?
Try to get a settlement on an expired loan
Loans also have a statute of limitations similar to medical bills and credit card bills. After the date in the statute of limitations has passed, the loan will “expire”.This means that you will no longer be able to be sued for settlement.
However, this doesn’t remove your obligation to pay off the loan, and debt collection agencies can still seek payment from you by calling, mailing, or going personally at your house.
Pressure you into paying
Even though debt collectors are not allowed to use force or threaten you in order to make you pay, they can pressure you into paying. What do we mean by “pressure”?
It means that they are allowed to call you every day, send you letters from time to time, or discuss about a possible lawsuit to get their payment.
File a lawsuit for settlement on a loan
Debt collection companies can certainly follow up on their talks of taking you up to court. If they win the lawsuit, they can lead to wage garnishments to the sued party. Remember that they have all the evidence of trying to make you pay, like their phone calls, letters, and personal visits so they will most likely win.
Additionally, sued debtors have a tendency to not show to their court summons, which will cause a judgment to be rendered automatically at the loan company’s favor. As such, try to settle a loan before it reaches this stage.
Sell your loan to another company
A loan collector has the ability to “sell” your loan to another company if they are not able to collect any amount from you.
As such, if a debt collector has stopped calling or mailing you about a debt, it doesn’t mean that they have given up.
The process of debt collection
Financial institutions typically employ the services of Debt collection Singapore companies to help them collect due debts from their clients.
They can also choose to do the debt collection themselves with an in-house department dedicated to collecting debts. The debt collection process exists as far as the concept of debt and loan goes.
Things that debt collectors cannot do
1. Show up at the place you work
Debt collectors are not allowed to reveal your debts to the public, and visiting you at your workplace to collect your debt is a way of breaking that restriction. As such, it is illegal for debt collectors to show up to your workplace.
2. Harass you into paying
A debt collector is forbidden by law to use harassment in order to make you pay. Harassment includes threatening violence, publishing your information, use of abusive language or obscenities, and repeatedly calling you either at home or at work.
3. Have you arrested for your debts
As a general rule, you cannot be arrested for failure to pay a debt. However, if a debt collector decided to take matters into court and you don’t attend the hearing, you will lose the case by default. The judge may serve an order for payment, and if you didn’t follow that court order, the debt collector might go after a warrant for arrest.
4. Badger you for loans erroneously attributed to you
There are many cases of errors and blunders within debt collection companies that can cause them to erroneously attribute a loan to the wrong person, or mark a loan as unpaid even if it’s already settled.
This problem is not rare, however, it is against the law. If you are being pestered for a loan that you don’t remember taking or a loan that was already settled, verify it by consulting your credit history.
If it is proven that the loan does not belong to you, or it is already paid, the loan collection agency should cease all collection activities regarding that loan immediately.
5. Contact you anytime they prefer
Under the Fair Debt Collection Act, a debt collection agency can only contact you on normal hours. They cannot call you in the middle of the night, early morning or late at night.
It is also possible to demand a debt collector to stop calling or sending mails in their collection efforts. Doing that, however, does not remove your obligation to pay the loan.
How to deal with debt collectors showing up at your home
To be able to properly deal with debt collectors showing up at your doorstep, it is important that you know your rights and what they are legally allowed to do. By being informed, you will not fall to their threats.
Who can you seek help from if they did an illegal action against you?
If you believe that a debt collection agency did something illegal to you, you can file a complaint to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under the Fair Debt Collection Act.
If you find yourself in a sticky situation with debt collectors going after you, it can be really handy to take out a personal loan to refinance your due loans.
If you are interested, try getting a loan from Raffles Credit, the leading licensed money lender in Raffles Place, Singapore. Click here to visit their website, or give them a call at 6235 1788.