Know your rights | The star

If you have not paid your debts that have accumulated and you avoid contacting your lender, you may receive a call or even a visit from a debt collection company.

If lenders have lent you money, they have the right to return the money to you, including the agreed interest rates.

But if you are facing a financial crisis and you are not able to honor your loans, the best thing to do would be to discuss it with your lender. Explain your situation and try to come up with a mutually agreeable plan.

Avoiding contact will only get you into more trouble.

If for some reason you cannot solve your financial problems, you can also seek help from licensed agencies.

One such agency is the Credit Counseling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK). It provides a free financial education, financial counseling and debt service for individuals and small and medium-sized businesses.

But if you are already receiving letters from debt collection companies or if they are calling you and possibly threatening you, you should also know your rights on how to deal with them.

Collection agents or agencies are typically hired by financial institutions, utilities and even telecommunications companies to collect money owed to individuals, businesses or businesses in the event of payment being refused or late, according to a report. .

He added that when an account or loan becomes delinquent, financial institutions or other lenders may choose to sell the delinquent account to a debt collection agency. So, the debt collector’s job is to recover the amount.

Of course, some of these agencies are more aggressive than others. There have been instances in the past where debt collectors harass, threaten and intimidate debtors.

Some even went so far as to also threaten guarantors, throw “red paint” or “lock the doors” from outside a person’s premises.

Bank Negara, in its 2021 annual report, said you should know your rights when dealing with debt collection companies. Ask for an authorization card and written notice from your bank.

The central bank said debt collectors cannot use threatening or abusive language to intimidate you.

They cannot break into your property or destroy or remove your belongings.

They are not allowed to visit you at your place of work unless you cannot be reached at your place of residence or if you have given your consent for the visit.

They cannot harass your family members because the loan is taken by you, not them. Nor can they harass your neighbors, friends, or employer for information about your whereabouts. They can only contact you from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and not at unreasonable hours.

If they repeatedly approach or contact you with the intent to harass you, you can file a complaint with your financial institution.

Although you should know your rights, it is also your responsibility to contact and communicate with your lender and explain your financial situation if you are unable to repay your loans or pay your bills.

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