Money makes the world go round. Now, more than ever, people need money to build their dream house, to invest in an attractive business venture, or to just make ends meet. It does not matter how poor the debtor is from the time he loans money for as long as he has it when the debt becomes due. Moneylending companies resort to legal debt collection services of a collection agency to ensure payment of both debt and interest rate if any. Debt collectors can become aggressive in debt collection to the detriment of debtors. For this reason, debtors should arm themselves with knowledge of the do’s and don’ts of a debt collector in Singapore code of conduct.
Debt Collectors Can Do the Following:
Talk to Family and Friends
One effective way to ensure repayment of debt is effective communication between debtors and debt collectors. collectors should at least be able to contact the debtor. Failure to do so does not prevent debt collection from taking place. Debt collectors can directly go to the debtor’s workplace or household to ask the latter’s whereabouts from his office mates or family members. In addition, collectors can inform them of the existing debt which can turn out to be embarrassing for the debtor. Although the code of conduct protects the certain rights of debtors, it does not promote running away from the repayment of borrowed money.
Mediate and Negotiate Loan Repayment Plans
There is nothing to be afraid of when collectors start knocking on your doors. They will not go beyond reasonable means in the collection of debt payments because the actions of every debt collector Singapore-based are regulated by the law. A Singapore debt collector does not always resort to the compulsion for the immediate repayment of debt. Debt collectors can actually help debtors to negotiate loan repayment plans with creditors. The Credit Collection Association of Singapore (CCAS) even mandates debt collectors to consider other repayment options upon determining that debtors do not have the money to make full payment. Debtors can suggest repaying debt through an instalment plan instead or debt collectors may offer other repayment solutions.
Debt Collectors Cannot Do the Following:
Having legal borrowed money and the incapacity to repay it is not a ticket for an agent to inflict injury against the debtor. This injury comes in many forms like throwing a punch to the debtor whether or not he was wounded or became unconscious. Just by physically hurting someone is an offense that may entail imprisonment or payment of a fine.
Harassment, Threats or Intimidation
Collectors cannot use harassment, threats, or intimidation in pressuring debtors to make payment. Harassment can be any act or behavior that causes distress or alarm to a debtor such as shaming him in public regarding his debt and vandalizing his car or the walls of his house. Threats or intimidation can be any signal or statement of an intention to inflict future pain and damage shall debts remain unpaid. When confronted with these situations, debtors can directly call the police for proper intervention.
Aside from splashing paints on the walls outside the debtor’s house, vandalism can also be the pasting of the notice of collection onto his workplace or other premises. The Vandalism Act punishes such behavior with imprisonment of at least three years or a fine of at least $2,000.
A debt collector commits unlawful stalking by repeatedly doing an action that eventually makes the debtor anxious and alarmed. The Protection from Harassment Act punishes those who keep on following a person from his house to work and vice-versa, inquiring into his whereabouts and familiarizing his schedule, sending cryptic messages on one’s email address or taking videos or photographs without permission that creates an unsafe and intimidating environment for the debtor
There is unlawful assembly when the debt collection agency sends at least five people with the criminal intent to harass or harm the debtor, damage or take away his property, and any other similar offenses.
Remedies Available to Debtors:
Call the Police
When debtors feel that their rights have been violated, they can immediately call the police to determine whether the behavior of debt collectors constitutes a lawful act. If not, then the police can guide them on what appropriate action should next be undertaken.
Get Protection Order
Once it is proven that collectors violated any of the provisions under the Protection from Harassment Act, debtors are entitled to a Protection Order either from the collectors or their creditors.
File a Complaint
The primary responsibility of the Credit Collection Association of Singapore (CCAS) is to make sure that their members engage only in professional activity. Any violation of the law by debt collectors in Singapore who are also members of CCAS may be sued in the association whose decision is binding among its members.
Financial constraints should not stop you from building your home or venturing into business. For as long as you borrow money from a trusted money lending agency that offers flexible loan repayments, reasonable interest rates, and fair debt collection practices, you are on your way to achieving your dreams.
Bugis Credit Pte Ltd is a licensed moneylender whose services are regulated by the Ministry of Law. It prioritizes efficient customer service by recognizing varying customer needs. Clients are provided with various repayment options like instalment plan and auto-debit. Debt collectors in Singapore should assist rather than intimidate debtors in repaying their debts.
As a licensed money lender, it believes that Singapore debt collection should have a high success rate without compromising the dignity and rights of its clients. Debts are all about extents. Bugis Credit makes sure that their clients are provided a fair assessment in terms of the amount that they need to borrow and their capacity to pay. Its vision is to extend financial assistance to Singaporeans. Debts are all about extents and Bugis Credit makes sure that its clients get the most appropriate loans for their individual circumstances.