Debt Collection agencies from the UAE are certainly not your favorite people to hear from, actually nobody truly likes to hear from them! In 2014, I wrote a very in-depth article on dealing with debt collecting agencies and having interacted with so many people over these past years, has truly given me an insight into what happens behind the scenes for these companies and the individuals at hand.
However, I felt compelled to update this post as there are many things that have changed in the past 3 years, I have so much on the heart to share around this subject, both that are eye opening, self questioning for those reading it and a challenge to those agencies and organisations our there.
We start once again with the situation at hand. Debt can be a thing that is good if you know how to manage it, how to plan properly and take all factors into consideration before signing those papers, and you are well prepared for any loopholes that can occur.
We all know as many say, life happens, things happen around you which at many times are out of your control, and then debt which was your best friend became your worst nightmare.
Note before I even begin to address all these issues, this post is not to put blame on anyone, because that is not a solution focused outcome. This post is to highlight the potential barriers, the current trends in the market, and if all relevant parties would come together, they would form a solution that would impact and serve the community but also them receiving debt repayments and all parties can flourish.
In life, there are many things that are labeled as good or bad, but in effect, if you stand outside the situation, you can think of this in these terms. A TV is good, the medium as a tool can be used for great things, however, it is the person holding the remote that chooses to watch that which is good that comes from it, or that which is bad that comes through it.
The choice is ultimately the individuals.
- Dubai is not the fault – stop blaming Dubai:
It is currently the same as we see the landscape of Dubai. The vision of the countries Rulers, their drive and what they have built over the years as to where they are today. They provided a platform, a place for people to engage, a place where people could thrive if they choose too.
However, do they have control over companies ethics, the way they work and operate and which people they employ? No, they provided the platform, the guidelines and what is acceptable and those that chose to engage in this space has made the decisions of what good or bad comes from it.
The point to make here is… stop blaming Dubai and the country itself, when its actually the individuals running and operating their perspective businesses that should make the change here and us as the individual that has the debt or are managing the debt for our own financial gain.
At all times the government keeps a close eye on what is transpiring and they come up with new initiatives daily in order to make Dubai a place where happiness can be experienced.
Is every initiative perfect? There are no perfects, but only solutions given, given any moment in time to see what would best serve the community and all individuals. What we then choose to do with the new opportunities and solutions that is presented to us, this is up to the individual organisations themselves.
So lets put that aside. Dubai gives you the platform, it’s the companies that choose to operate here that dictate what happens to individuals, even though they have to abide by the laws dictated by the country. It is the way they choose to use these laws to instill fear, threats and ultimately you have the situation of expats doing a runner.
- When hunted, stop retreating!!
I see so many people when they are hunted by debt agencies, they retreat, they are scared, they don’t know what to say, and these agencies, well they feel the fear, and their tactics are to provoke fear. My question to each and every person out there is why do you fear? Take the time and come from the position of strength before you engage with them, or if you choose to engage with them. You only have fear because you have the perceived idea another person has more power over you than you and its because you feel so incredibly guilty over making the decisions that lead you to get into debt.
Most importantly, assess who you are dealing with and their negotiation style. Don’t get upset. Be calm, don’t be reactive, be solution focused. Ultimately it doesn’t matter who is on the other side of the threat, it is purely important that you are focused on one desired outcome, a solution to paying off your debt, responsibly.
Remember: these agencies are there to chase you , because ultimately they bought the debt , or they are asked by the respective bank to hunt you down and recuperate the funds. How do you resolve this? Simple.
Make contact with your bank asap! Don’t loose contact, because this way you will always have open communication with them. Once you have established contact with the bank , you only deal with the bank to resolve the issue.
- Don’t let your guilt and shame inhibit your negotiation style.
I have seen this time and time again. Many of the debt collecting agencies play on people’s guilt, make them feel ashamed that they have so much debt, and condemn them for having debt. I truly pray to God that they never experience something like this themselves, because truthfully, it is not a nice place to be in.
I want to speak to each and every person out there reading this article or the previous one. Yes, you may have debt, yes you may have made some unwise choices, yes you may have skipped the country and not pay your debt, but let no person make you feel ashamed. You are busy making a change and that is what you focus on. You now are accountable are are looking for suitable solutions.
It is always said that you never judge a book by its cover, and that is why it is so imperative, even for agencies reading this, that they would also take into account the reason for the person not being able to pay their debt. Every person had a reason, they knew what the consequences were if they left without paying their debt, however they made choices in that exact moment which they felt was the best for them and for their family.
The point is not to live in the past, but to take accountability for the debt that you made and find a workable solution with the financial institution you made an agreement with and don’t stop until you do!
- Take accountability for your part in the story.
You have the debt, they have found you, you don’t know what is next and you ask yourself, what is next? How will I do this. In order to move forward with resolving anything, you have to take accountability in your part of making the debt. Once you acknowledge yes, you have the debt, and yes you are in the wrong for not keeping contact, well then you can work from thereon to find a suitable solution. See, if a person cannot make you feel guilty and accuse you , they don’t have that guilt card to use as negotiation, because now you come from a position of strength, and you are actually the one looking for a suitable solution. Take your power back!
The most important fact here is, when a debt collecting agency calls you wanting to make you feel guilty and bad for the decisions you made around the debt at that time, they are just faced with one answer:
“Yes, I have made the debt, however I have taken responsibility for that, and I am now working on following a solution to eliminate that debt with the named banking institution”
- Report what you feel is wrong
I have heard, and encountered many expats that have made contact that has gone through these shaming tactic that many of the debt collecting agencies use. I have heard how they contact their employers in their respective countries, made threats, shame them in front of their whole organization by emailing everyone, only to jeopardise the individuals jobs , which results in that person being made redundant and they are left with no means of collecting the debt.
This is no way to manage a workable solution, and this unfortunately is a growing and alarming trend taking place within the industry.
To those agencies who follow these shaming tactics I can only say – “You leave a very bad impression on your organisations, who aim to act professionally, if you don’t know how to do this specific job, then it is imperative you get the right training. You are ultimately dealing with a persons state of mind, their wellbeing and you have no idea what is going on for them. Your pressure and tacticts could also have an effect that is not favourable for that individual both metally and physically. You are responsible for being professional, if you not, and you don’t realise you have someones well being of mind in your hands, then don’t do this job. Opt for a job where your commissions are made of selling goods, not people’s agony and loosing their jobs because of your unprofessional behaviour!!!”
However, there is a positive here. What I have found that when I reported it to the respective banking institutions and what these agencies had done they were very shocked and addressed these individual companies or people within the bank itself that followed these tactics. It is your right to speak to that banking institution and inform them of these irregularities. They can’t address it and can’t improve their teams if they don’t know of what is transpiring. They have one aim and that is to recuperate the debt, and if one person doesn’t want to listen, then take it to a higher management contact person to inform them of these irregularities.
Currently this is a growing trend taking place, and no its not ok to do it, they still have to perform under certain metrics and ethics in their own organisations. Speak up and inform the banking institution! I am sure they want to know!
- Don’t stop until you find the right contact in the bank.
As I had mentioned when I had these issues back in 2008, I had an attitude of not stopping. I wanted to resolve the issue, wanted to explain the scenario and wanted the banking institution to know and see the commitment I had towards being honorable with my debt. There is a perception that these individuals don’t care, however I have found and engaged with many individuals within the banking sector that was very forthcoming, and are solutions focused.
Yes, I agree, they are only a small percentage of individuals, however that can grow and I remain positive that this will grow. So don’t stop until you get to speak to someone in the bank that can offer a suitable solution for you to resolve your debt issues and you start paying back your debt.
- So what is the solution?
There can be many solutions, many discussions around what would be a possible solution, and discussing how people can get out of debt, or how did they make so much debt. These issues can be discussed until the cows come home, but a suitable solution is what is required.
I do believe if there was a workable solution where expats could turn to, for proper resolution of debt and easier solutions for all parties involved, this will surely ensure that a lot of the work force that has left will be able to return, however I trust and remain positive that such a solution will present itself in the near future. – (that will be PART 3) so I will certainly keep you all following these posts updated.
This is the year of giving in the UAE, and so I trust and remain positive that there would be a working solution to get expats out of debt so they can build healthy debt relationships or even better, live a debt free life!!
To summarise what was written in this article, the following is important to remember.
- If you have debt, don’t keep quite – keep your banking institution in the loop with the current state of your financial affairs.
- Pay , whatever you can on your debt to show your willingness, even though you may be going through a difficult situation, however when the channels of communication are open between yourself and the institution, a good relationship can be established.
- If a debt collecting agency chases you, know the bank is looking for you and stop the harassment by contacting your banking institution immediately.
- Don’t give up. If one person doesn’t want to assist you in your respective banking institution, keep on calling and ask to speak to someone until you find that party!
- Stop blaming yourself, and focus on the solution. It happened, now its to get out of this and find a workable solution.
- Report abuse of these respective agencies to the banking institution so they can take note of this. They also want to give their clients the best service at all times.
- Your bank is not your enemy! Always remember that they lend you the money and they also placed trust in you repaying, so treat them as equals not as an enemy , change the way you see them. They are your financial institution and the people with whom you have made an agreement, so see how you can honour this.
In conclusion, each individuals situation is unique, and if you feel that you would like to discuss it and see how we can connect you with the right parties in each banking institute, please don’t hesitate to get in touch here.
As always, as a fellow entrepreneur , we are here to serve each other and our community so that we all learn from each others experiences and give back to each other . No other person should go through something if someone can present a solution that would impact others so they don’t go through the same mistakes!
Stay positive, stay solution focused, and never give up! This too WILL pass and a solution will come!
CEO – Charis Global Alliance.
Please note that this blog is to give guidance based on experiences within the market and what has been experienced within this regard. Note that each individual should make decisions on what they feel is right for them after gathering enough information and research that would result in them making a decision. We have no benefit in sharing this information, or any financial arrangement with any institution, but are purely sharing guidance to what we have found happening within the industry with selective clients we have assisted in resolving their matters by finding suitable solutions for them.