Debt in itself is unhealthy – yes I know many will say its necessary etc etc, blah blah, but, I am speaking of experience, of the feelings it leaves you with and the result and impact it has on your life and the stress and fear it impacts you with.
Debt and finances has caused countries to implode, and lives to be ruined. Any system built on debt, well, I have my views on this. When the GFC happened in 2008 in Dubai, everyone was impacted. Companies, and everyone concerned from employees, to the employers to the Entrepreneurs, everyone, including me.
My aim today is to share some advice with you, some tips and some tactics in order to deal with the debt Collectors in the UAE, how to eliminate the fear and anger when speaking to them, and to see what’s really going on behind the scenes and steps for you to resolve this in a way focused on solutions, not on fear based decisions.
I speak from first hand experience, so I’m sharing with you what I had to do when in that predicament when the financial implosion happened in the UAE. Of course everyone’s views changes and it’s for each individual to take make their own choices, so here is my experience , you decide further.
1. Debt Collectors – What you didn’t know
After so many people left the country, skipping because they knew what would await them if they didn’t pay, I too, was hounded by debt collectors whilst still living in Dubai, day in day out and it created such stress, but this is what you need to know.
• These collectors working for banks are sitting in a call centre, either in the UAE, or outsourced and nobody speaks to nobody, they have systems calling you, so to repeat your story constantly and every time you answer you’ll explain and they threaten you.
• The debt collectors are exceptionally young – meaning some have not been given the proper training in order to council people or speak to them in a way that is solutions based. They use scare tactics and they think it will work. Things like, Ill bounce your cheques, if you don’t pay by this time Im reporting you to police and they will collect you and put you in jail, or Ill come to your work and have you arrested. Imagine the stress!
• Its actually so sad to say but they are given such small salaries that they have to make commissions based on the debt they get people to pay, hence, when they call and they threaten you, know why they are doing it, as they purely are attempting to feed their families in the best way possible and make enough commissions to send home.
Is it wrong – so wrong, but this is a vicious circle. How do I know this above, well I went to the head office of one of the banks to go and discuss the scenario that had transpired in my business when the 2008 GFC happened.
Are they use to someone handling a matter in this way – no.. did their tactics and threats work with me – no. Why, because I decided that I don’t act in fear . I knew my rights and that they couldn’t do anything if I wanted to resolve this. My solution was received by their highest manager, because I chose to deal directly with Management to resolve it.
A very big tip for you… huge!!!! – They will threaten you to pay the full amount including interest, but, if you are able to make a payment of some sort on your cards , no matter what and you show activity, it counts in your favour, so don’t let them harass you!
If they threaten you to take the cheque to police if you don’t pay the full amount, inform them that you are aware of the procedures, without loosing your cool or acting in fear.
What they can do is put a travel ban on you until you pay your debt in the UAE, so I strongly advise, I know it can sound like a lot for you, but get legal advise and get a lawyer to deal with it on your behalf. They know what to do, rather pay the lawyer to do this and then the debt collectors will be more forthcoming.
2. Debt collectors that are within UAE with collecting agencies:
My words of advice – don’t interact with them, don’t speak to them, and deal directly with the banks. Deal with the bank I repeat and do it quick!
These collecting agencies have actually bought the debt from the bank and now it’s theirs to make the profit.
Seek legal advice, because they actually have no relationship with you. You have with the bank. Yes they will threaten you, but make sure you deal with your bank, to find a solution and if your bank isn’t forthcoming, go higher in the bank and don’t take no for an answer.
Remember you are there to seek a solution. Follow this step and you will truly eliminate the stress.
3. Debt collecting agencies abroad harassing you over debt in Dubai.
Now this one I am covering, because I was asked to actually expose the bullying that goes on with regards to debt collecting.
• Know that these agencies have bought the debt from the bank and the bank has already written off the debt. – my advice – speak to the bank directly and do not entertain these agencies. They will use scare tactics in order to collect the money
• Don’t believe it when they tell you they will get you a worldwide travel ban and arrest you at any airport – don’t fall for it
• Don’t believe it when they say they will extradite you to the UAE and you will go to jail immediately. Yes, this can be done and has been done in many cases where people have had major fraud cases etc, but if they had to do that for every person that had debt, well you can do the calculations.
• When you are ready so settle your debt, do not pay the debt collecting agency, interact with the bank only. Negotiate a settlement with them only and don’t entertain the debt collecting agency.
• When you make the payment for your debt do this to the bank only. They are the ones that will get the police clearances, which can be used to clear your name with immigration and you will be able to travel there.
• Many people have made the mistake of paying the people who were collecting the debt and they don’t pay it over, and hence you are left with no proof that you have paid your debt.
• When you have negotiated, paid and received police clearances, please ensure you check if you are cleared at immigration and all things taken off so you can travel freely again.
Words of wisdom here that I can suggest: Please find a suitable lawyer who can do the negotiation on your behalf and can get the police clearances for you through the right channels. This way you can ensure that you eliminate the hassles, and time in order to argue with banks etc to provide you with all necessary documentation. It’s the fastest; hassle free way of being able to get this sorted and paid off.
One final word on debt in this UAE. In all of this happening to people, there is always the opportunity for growth and assessing why you landed yourself in debt. It first comes with acknowledgement that you have made debt and are showing your accountability to resolve it, most importantly, it shows you the area of growth in order to learn from this mistake and do proper planning to not run your business on certain forms of debt or even personal debt , but it fosters healthy financial habits!
I hope that this will help anyone that is currently struggling with debt in this region or with debt collectors in UAE. Never act in fear, because then you make unwise choices, act in peace and the results will be solution based.
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Charis Global Alliance