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How to deal with harassing credit card accounts collection agents
Debts: Default Credit Cardholders
I have been a default credit cardholder of one of the commercial banks here in the Philippines, and I am being harassed by the rude collection agents for weeks now. First let us discuss the root of the matter.
First of all, I want to make it clear to you that I DID NOT APPLY FOR THE CARD, initially. There came a man to our office, a credit card marketer pushed me to avail of those cards. Financially, that time, I was capable of handling the said card. Later that month, I suddenly received a card without notice. I activated and use it. I was on that time need of a personal laptop for my studies. So, I bought one on an installment basis using the card (it's the only requirement). In the beginning, I was able to settle all the accounts and outstanding balances until one of the family got sick and badly needed financial support for medication. I even used the card to buy costly prescribed medicine and worse, I skip paying monthly dues. I did not go to work for so long, like a couple of months because I was badly needed to stay in the hospital to look after our patient. I was never thinking that the bank would never understand my situation. They are still sending billing statements with many large interests that bloated my total outstanding balance to unacceptable amount of Php 39000 and still increasing because I cannot pay for it. They want me to pay for it fully. Where on earth will I ever get such amount?
When I got back to work and checked my emails, I received an email from the bank informing me that they have endorsed and forwarded my account to their collection agency and that if I want to discuss matters regarding my card, agents from that agency are the ones I need to talk with.
Also the same day, I received the first demand letter from that agency. That letter stated that it was a legal action to demand from me a full payment of my outstanding balance and also pay for legal charges such as attorney's fee and court fees and so may fees. I was really scared and I did not know what to do. So I googled the name of the said agency. There I saw so many complaints from people like me who were also being harassed by those agents. Reading and browsing more, I clicked a link to a blogsite of a man in the name of Mr. Banker (of course it's not his real name).
This blogsite: http://failuretopaycreditcard.blogspot.com/ is a big help for people like me. It let me know the account cycles for default cardholders. Sorry to say that, the language used in this site is "tagalog", our own dialect so you probably won't understand, but not at all because there are some statements in English.
Meanwhile, I can tell you some things I learned from reading the entire site.
1. Once you account has been defaulted for 3 months, the bank will then record it to their write-offs. Meaning, it's already closed and considered it no longer collectible (Bad debts).
2. They sell your account (not the account in the book) to those collection agencies and those collection agents will then start to harass you because the larger the payment you give the higher commission they will get.
3. If you are here in the Philippines, YOU WILL NEVER BE IMPRISONED FOR NON PAYMENT AS LONG AS YOU ARE NOT DEFRAUDING YOUR IDENTITY. So why hide? Don't hide from your debts, face it. If you have nothing to pay, tell them.
4. Those agents are the ones who are giving misleading identities. Police Officer, Lawyer, Officer from the bank, etc. etc. etc... They do that to scare you. Don't be. They did not even go to college.
5. Court (small claims court for cases like this) is your allied. Ask for an amnesty. Ask for a reconstruction of your account. Pay in any way you can. Payment option is in your hands, not them.
6. If these people continue to harass you and scare you, I learned a magic word from Mr. Banker: Tell them "Sue me" .. (they eventually turn into dragons! Become mad because their tactics are being busted)
If you want to help others who are suffering from this situation, let them know. Have them informed about the truth. Share it to them.