Pay for your debt now or I will visit you in your office or in your house, and I will bring a sheriff with me…
These words are one of the scare tactics used by credit card collectors to get what they want from you – which is to pay for your credit card dues.
Two years ago when I quit my job, I have an unpaid amount from my credit card that I cannot pay because I have no work anymore. I am really depressed because I was always thinking on how to pay for it without ruining our monthly budget and I am afraid to ask for my family’s help because having those obligations are very shameful.
I received a lot of demand letters and horrible calls from collection agencies that if I took seriously maybe I would have already ended my life lol. I have received a lot of harsh words from them as if they were the one who personally lend me the money. They don’t want to accept explanations and they just treat all my words as excuses for me not to pay for the credit card company that they are “working” for.
My mom teached us not to run from any problems and obligations and because of that, I faced all of these collection agencies. Every time the phone rings, my heart is racing like a horse because I knew it is a collector again and yet I still answered their calls. Why? because they are more pissed off if you answer their calls since they know that they cannot apply the Violation of R.A. 8484 (defrauding of creditors) because you are not hiding from them and that they can still contact you.
Talking to credit card collection agencies is really a pain in the a-s-s, but you need to remember and admit to yourself that you made a mistake and you need to face it bravely.
But since I know my rights, I don’t let them take advantage of me and I think I have protected myself from harassments. Here are some things you should know about these collection agencies:
1. Credit Card collectors will scare you that they will file a case against you and that you can go to prison if you will not pay for your debt!
– okay, no matter what they say, no one in this country can go to prison because of non-payment of debt since it is not a criminal case. Debt collectors cannot claim a warrant of arrest or call the police and order you to pay – via Bill of Rights, Article III section 20 of the 1987 Constitution. On the other hand, a civil action for collection of money may be filed by the credit card company for non-payment after the credit card debts becomes due and demandable.
I think the credit card company only file for a civil case at the trial court if the amount reached is P100,000 or more. I knew someone who received a file case from the trial court, he went to the scheduled date to show his intent to pay without the need of a lawyer (since he can’t afford to have one) and from there, he and the credit company had an amicable settlement on the amount that was beneficial to both of them. He can now breath easily and slept soundly since he will not receive anymore calls from the collection agencies.
2. Credit Card collectors have no right to threaten you or enter your house and confiscate your properties to offset your debt.
– If a collection agency engages in unfair practices like going to your house without your permission or even in your office to embarrass you, you may submit a written complaint or by proceeding personally to the BSP’s Financial Consumers Affairs Group. This is the reason why I always ask for the complete names of the collectors who are talking to me and the name of their agencies. I remember whenever I asked for their names their tone of voice quickly changes and became more respectful.
You can send your complaints here:
Financial Consumer Affairs Group
5/F Multi Storey Building, BSP Complex
A. Mabini St., Malate Manila
Tel# 708-7087 or 708-7701 local 25844
3. Credit Card collectors have no right to contact you any time they wish.
– Good thing I have not experienced collectors who call during midnight or even at the break of dawn. They can contact you between 6AM to 10PM according to BSP Circular no.454, unless you like to talk to them and give them the authority to call you any time of the day.
4. Put everything in writing
– in my Business Law subject way back in college, we were told that whenever we engaged in Business we should put everything in writing. Engaging in these transactions, it is important to remember that teaching and always remember to indicate the date, your name and signature and file a copy duly received by the financial institution.
The same person that I have set as an example on number 1 also made sure that his request were all in writing (whether the credit card company approved it or not) to show to them that he is willing to pay as long as they will agree to the amount he is asking for. I also did this when I realized that I would have to speak to different persons every time they called and that I always repeat what I told to the former agent that I have talked to. Giving them a letter is my way of saying to them “just read what I have to say” rather than saying it again and again.
I already received my Certificate of Full Payment from three of my cards, and I am waiting for the last one to be released this month. I thought it will be impossible for me to pay for all them but as they say ” there is nothing impossible for some one who is eager to do something”.
Change your lifestyle, spend less and try to save every penny you have, look for ways to earn even how little it may be and always remember to ask God for help and guidance. These are the solutions I can think of to solve this problem.
Here is an additional advice, if you don’t want to encounter cruel collectors, then follow the saying:
” Prevention is better than cure”. Don’t use your credit card if you think you can’t afford to pay for all your purchases.
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