When it comes to the world of moneylenders and debt collectors in Singapore, there are crucial insights that demand our attention. Whether you’re grappling with an avalanche of bills or finding it tough to meet your repayments, the likelihood of your debts falling into the hands of a debt recovery agency is high.
Here’s the deal: legal moneylenders bear no direct responsibility for pursuing outstanding debts. Instead, they enlist the services of licensed debt collectors, entrusted with the arduous task of retrieval. These diligent agencies resort to various channels such as letters, emails, and phone calls in their relentless pursuit of collecting overdue payments.
While a personal visit from a debt collector is not a common occurrence, it’s not entirely unheard of either. That’s why it’s wise to stay prepared, just in case you find yourself confronted with an unresolved loan situation.
In this enlightening article, we’ll unveil invaluable tips to adeptly navigate the realm of moneylenders and debt collectors, ensuring you’re equipped for whatever comes your way.
What is the Role of a Licensed Moneylender?
When the need for urgent funds arises, turn your attention to the licensed moneylender, a trusted ally standing ready to lend a helping hand. Consider them as the dependable friend who emerges in your hour of financial strain. These moneylenders extend loans at reasonable interest rates, affording you the flexibility to repay according to your financial capabilities.
What is the Role of a Debt Collector?
Debt collectors emerge as the intermediaries when borrowers, such as yourself, falter in meeting their loan obligations. Imagine them as the couriers who appear at your doorstep, gently reminding you of the outstanding debt. They may either represent the original moneylenders or a distinct agency entrusted with this task. Their primary objective lies in assisting the moneylenders in reclaiming the borrowed sum.
What Can Debt Collectors Do?
Let’s delve into the realm of debt collectors and explore their permissible actions. These professionals operate within a defined set of rules and boundaries outlined in a code of conduct. While this code lacks official legal backing, it’s worth noting that some debt agencies may stretch its limits.
Engage with Your Family and Friends
One thing debt collectors can do is reach out to your family and friends to get information about you. They’ll try to contact you first, but if they can’t reach you directly, they might drop by your workplace or home and ask your colleagues or family members where you’re at. They’ll also let them know about the money you owe. The code of conduct does protect your rights, but it doesn’t mean you can dodge paying back what you borrowed.
Facilitate Negotiation of Repayment Plans
Believe it or not, debt collectors can actually help you negotiate a repayment plan with your creditors. They’re required to explore other options if they see that you can’t make full payments. So, if you can’t pay everything at once, you can suggest paying in smaller installments. The collectors might even have some other ideas to help you out.
What Can Debt Collectors Cannot Do?
Now, let us delve into the realm of prohibited actions for debt collectors. While they possess certain rights, Singapore’s Protection from Harassment Act imposes clear limits on their conduct. Here are the actions that are strictly forbidden:
No Physical Aggression
This prohibition should be self-evident. Debt collection agencies are unequivocally prohibited from any form of physical contact with you. Should they resort to physical threats or acts of violence, do not hesitate to promptly alert the authorities.
No Harassment, Threats, or Intimidation
Disregard those dramatic portrayals witnessed in movies or on television. Debt collectors are explicitly barred from issuing physical threats or attempting to instill fear through the use of weapons. Such behavior is both inappropriate and unacceptable.
No Unlawful Stalking
While debt collectors may initiate contact with you, communicate with your family, or even visit your workplace, they are prohibited from crossing into the territory of invasive stalking. They cannot follow you persistently at your workplace or loiter around your abode. If you feel subjected to constant surveillance, take decisive action and report the matter.
Debt collectors are not authorized to deface your property. While they may leave certain notes at your premises, engaging in spray-painting or causing damage to your residence is strictly off-limits. Should they transgress this boundary, it is imperative to involve law enforcement.
Unveiling the Unscrupulous Tactics of Some Debt Collectors
When it comes to the realm of moneylenders and debt collectors, a disconcerting narrative unfolds. Regrettably, there have been instances where debt collectors, entrusted by licensed moneylenders in Singapore, resorted to alarming tactics and even physical aggression when pursuing borrowers. This lamentable conduct has cast a shadow over the entire moneylending industry.
Nonetheless, a glimmer of hope emerged in 2013 with the establishment of the Credit Collection Association of Singapore (CCAS) by debt collectors themselves. While the Ministry of Law lacks jurisdiction over the CCAS, the association took the initiative to formulate a robust Code of Ethics governing its members’ operations. Consequently, any licensed debt collector is obligated to adhere to this Code, which expressly prohibits any form of licensed moneylender harassment.
By familiarizing oneself with these regulations, one can ascertain the boundaries that must not be crossed. Furthermore, should you encounter a debt collector who violates the law, you possess the authority to report such transgressions.
How Do I Report Unlawful And Illegal Acts?
When you’re dealing with a reputable debt collector who abides by the rules set by CCAS, you can expect ethical practices. However, if you find yourself facing illegal actions from them, here’s what you can do.
- Get in touch with the police: If a debt collector or anyone is harassing you, making threats that could harm your life or property, it’s crucial to reach out to the police right away. When their behavior crosses the line and falls under the Protection against Harassment Act, you can easily file a complaint. This will enable you to obtain a Protection Order against the collector.
- Lodge a complaint with CCAS: As the discerning authority presiding over collection agencies in Singapore, CCAS stands as your ally. Lodge a formal complaint through their online channels. By doing so, you strike at the heart of a debt collector’s violation of the code of conduct.
When life throws you a curveball and you find yourself in a sticky situation with moneylenders and debt collectors hounding you, don’t panic just yet. Take a moment to consider the option of a personal loan from Accredit Moneylender. We’re here to lend a helping hand and guide you through the maze of debt collection, offering a solution that suits your needs.