Insider Secrets on how to deal with Debt collecting Agencies from UAE

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Insider Secrets on how to deal with Debt collecting Agencies from UAE

Credit Card Debt

 

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

Debt Collectors

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.

If you need assistance, please get in touch here

Be Blessed

Michelle Kruger

CEO

Charis Global Alliance

photo credit: Got Credit Credit Card Debt via photopin (license)

Michelle Kruger
Michelle Kruger
Michelle Kruger is the CEO & Founder of Charis Global Alliance and have been within the UAE for the past 18 years. She has a great love for people and the UAE with its rich Entrepreneurial culture and most importantly to help others through her skills to create thriving businesses in the UAE online and globally.

47 Comments

  1. ansar80 says:

    Hi

    My name is Ansar and I am from Pakistan, I used to work and live in Dubai, from 2006-2009, I had got 4 credit cards from different banks and 40000dhs. loan, to support family back in Pakistan, I was paying regularly until I lost my job in 2009. I decided to leave country.

    In 2010 I thought to try my luck again in UAE. and I went to Dubai on visit visa, I was arrest at airport because 3 banks already had filed police case. after 2 months I was released. other 2 banks have not filed case yet.

    While I was in jail people told me that when you go to jail, after it you dont have to pay. 

    now some debt collecting agencies start calling me and harassing me. I want to come back again in UAE but fear does not allow me to step in. Is there any way to find any case against me is still there?

    Your help will be highly appreciated.

    Best Regards,

    Ansar

    • Michelle Kruger says:

      Dear Ansar,

      My advise to you would be the following:

      Speak to the banks directly about your debt that is outstanding. They are always willing to resolve things. Secondly, find a good lawyer that can check on the cases for you, and give that lawyer power of attorney so he/she can investigate. It is better to do it this way and therefore resolve things faster.

      I would highly recommend you speak to the banks directly and also just make payment arrangements with them. They are always willing to help people sort this.

      I hope that you are able to resolve these things and come back to the UAE again. Wish you blessings!

      Michelle

  2. Ram says:

    Hi,
    My Name Is rajan, Iam From India. 2014 I Took One Loan Amount Of 75000dhs For 4years From Emirates Nbd And Paying My Emi Correctly. At 2015 I Resigned My Job Return To India Due To Health Issues. But I Countiued To Pay My Emi Correctly. Same Time Due To Some Financial Crisis I Used Enbd Credit Card In My country. i Used The Credit Card Upto My Limit Thatz Around 50000dhs. Now My Whole outstanding debt Is 83kdhs. I Paid My Emi Until October 2016 . Same Time I Am In Big Debt In My Country Also. Now I Have No WaY To Pay The Debt . And I Dont Want To Go Back To Uae Anymore. But The Same Time I Dont Want To Escape From The Debt.

    WhaT I NeeD Is Onetime Debt Settlement WitH Low Amount. Iam Planning To Sell My Wifes Gold , Hope I Will Get Around 20kdhs.

    Can I Negotiate The Bank With This Amount.? Will They Accept 20kdhs for 83kdhs . I Have NO OtheR Choice. Plz Advice Me.
    Thanks
    Rajan

    • admin says:

      Dear Rajan,

      I can’t speak for the bank, but what I would suggest is find the right contact in the bank, email them or speak to them, and explain to them the situation and that you do want to settle and you only have a certain amount. Then they will be able to tell you if it is possible or not. But I have found they are very helpful in finding solutions if they see that clients truly want to sort out their debt and they will tell you what is possible or not. This way is far better than not communicating with them. I am sure they will appreciate your honesty and hopefully will be able to assist you.

      Let me know if I can be of any assistance to you! Blessings and hope that you get it sorted with your bank!

      Michelle

    • admin says:

      Dear Rajan,

      I would suggest you go back to your bank and explain the situation to them and negotiate a settlement with them. They are very understanding and I have found Emiratesbank to be very professional in their dealings. I am sure they will be able to assist you if you just explain. Hope you have this resolved for you and wish you blessings!

  3. Amanda says:

    Hi Michelle,

    this is such a very informative article, thanks a lot.

    I hope i can get in touch with you for some questions / concerns. I am actually on bad situation with my payables since i lost my job. Again , thanks a lot for this info it somehow gave me courage to face it.

    • admin says:

      Hi Amanda,

      It is only my pleasure! Please feel free to get in touch! Remember this too shall pass and there is always ways to resolve things! Be blessed
      Michelle

    • admin says:

      Hi Amanda,

      So glad this helped you and I pray for you that it will resolve itself quickly!

  4. Tony says:

    Good article, do you have anyone u recommend as a lawyer I can work with to sort out my debt? I owe 200k DHS, I’m out of dubai now and want to settle I got an amnesty offer from the bank after trying for 6 months to settle and find the right contact to work with.. The offer was 190k, there is no way I can do that.. I could do half.. I just dont know what the norms are for settling in terms of %

    • admin says:

      Dear Tony,

      I am not sure which bank you negotiated with, but I would go back to them and do so. There are many good lawyer firms out there, but do email me on admin@charisglobalalliance.com and I will give you a list of lawyers in the UAE that focuses on assisting clients in this regard.

  5. Miguel boutros says:

    Hi in 2011 I left Dubai with an outstanding loan, I couldn’t pay it anymore, I lost my job.few weeks ago I received an email from a collector agency saying if I pay them in full they will reduce the loan by 50% and hand me a clearance letter. Can I trust the collector agency? Thank you.

    • admin says:

      Dear Miguel,

      I would suggest you contact the bank directly that you have had the debt with and restructure a payment plan. The banks are always willing to assist customers and you would then be assured that you have total trust as it was your bank. I do believe there are good agencies out there that do collecting, however if you feel uncertain about the agency I would suggest you deal with the bank directly and negotiate the same with them. In the end, it is only a decision you can make of what you feel most comfortable going with. Wish you blessings with your negotiations!

  6. John says:

    Hi Michelle.

    I lived in Dubai from 2007-2011 and worked for a company. I had 2 credit cards with HSBC in the ammount of 4000,00 DHs each (very low limits), which due to certain circunstances i couldn’t repay and had to Rush back home.
    What do you think are the odds of the Bank filing a Police case for such a small ammount?

    • admin says:

      Dear John,

      I regrettably cannot speak on behalf of a bank, but I am sure they would have their policies and procedures in order to recoup the funds from you. I would say, rather be in contact with the bank, and show a commitment to paying the funds. HSBC are a very good bank and their credit division and recoupering department are very understanding and willing to negotiate with account holders. Best to sit and wonder if they would file a case, I would suggest to be honourable towards the debt made, acknowledge it, and see how you can pay them back even if it is over a period of time. If you think about it, they believed in you as a party that would pay back, so its just honourable to commit to your word. HSBC is really a good bank with excellent staff wanting to help!

  7. Kim says:

    Hello, great piece!
    I have a question that I hope that you can assist with; I left the UAE over 5 yrs ago and for a short period was making the minimum payments on my credit card with NBAD. Due to financial constrants, I was unable to continue with this. Fast forward 5 years later, a call came into my place of work from a debt collection agency who had been mandated to collect the 31K owed on the card. They have demanded that I pay back the entire sum immediately or a civil court case will proceed. My question is, are they allowed to continue to call me at my place of work, in Paris, France? I know that in the UK and USA there are laws to protect the consumer from harassment from these agencies – but do they apply to debt from the UAE? As the debt has been passed to an outside agency, does it mean that it has been written off and do you know if they will continue to try to retrieve the outstanding balance?
    What I am mostly concerned about is that they have used my LinkedIn profile to track me down and will continue to follow me…
    Thanking you in advance
    Kim

    • admin says:

      Dear Kim,

      Thank you for your comment and i am so glad that it helped you! Regrettably I have heard of many an instance of people beoing abused verbally at their work places and truly this is no way to deal with collecting outstanding funds, but it does happen. The best way to get them off your back as we may say is to initiate contact again with your financial institution and come to an amicable settlement solution. From what I have understood and have experienced, the banks are always willing to negotiate amicable solutions with their clients. I hope this will help you! As always here to answer any questions you may have. Be blessed! 🙂

  8. Patricia says:

    Hi Michelle,

    If we are in India and want to settle this issue with the bank in Dubai directly, how do we do it? Is there a common point of contact or we will have to randomly call the bank from India and get details. Kindly advise.

    • admin says:

      Dear Patricia,

      You should get in contact with the bank with whom you have the debt, if you would like please email me on the above email and I will see if there are direct contacts with whom I can refer you to so you can be in touch with tehm directly.

  9. Raj says:

    Hi,
    I was working in uae 2009 to 2015. That time i have 7 credit card and personal lone. 750000 inr. During the i was using online tradin. My total amout will be lost. Now bank send me legal notice. Now i am not uae. How to slove this problem.

    • admin says:

      Hi Raj,

      I would suggest you get in contact with the banks immediately. The only way you will be able to solve it, is if you start to communicate with each bank directly, explain your situation and start to negotiate with them. I trust that in each bank you will find people willing to do the necessary to ensure that you can get to a suitable solution. Let me know how it goes and wish you well in sorting this.

  10. Arslan says:

    Hello Michelle,

    I want to recruit you for professional assistance on this matter urgently if possible please. Can you please drop me an email with your number on this address arslan@wistech.biz

    Thanks

  11. Rajesh says:

    Hi,
    I have a credit card & Auto Loan outstanding. I had to leave UAE due to medical emergency in family. I am not in a position to pay the total outstanding. Can you assist me with any good lawyers who could help in settling the same

    regards

  12. Anit Rai says:

    Dear Michelle,

    When I was in Dubai in 2009, I had a credit card with NBD with only AED 5000, during the ressission I lost my job and had to return home. I used to get monthly statements in my email, but I could not pay even the minimum as I had no job in my home country. It had been long since I used that email, last week I checked the email and I received a few emails from collection
    agencies demanding AED 275000. I don’t have that kind of money now, could I perhaps email the bank directly and tell them that I can only pay the principal amout that is aed 5000? I can only pay back the principal amount, it has also already been 9 years… since I left Dubai. Is there a statute of limitations for a UAE debt? I heard it is 15 years… I don’t know what to do ..I m scared that they might ask me to pay the full amount ..which I obviously cannot…anyway out of this..need your best advise.

    • admin says:

      Dear Anit,

      Thank you for your email. Yes, make sure you email your bank directly, or even call them and state to them about your situation and ask them what they can give you as settlement. I am sure your bank will be very happy to hear from you. At all times ensure you speak to your bank directly and explain the situation. Please feel free to stay in contact and I trust you will have this resolved speedily!

  13. Anna Marie says:

    Hello Mam,

    I want to check what are the possibilities if I leave UAE and travel abroad that if i comeback to UAE i shall have cases against me. Two banks I have cleared for Criminal Case, Dunia and Dubai First.

    Please advise as I have also have a problem as a I have used my passport as a guarantee in an illegal lending people here in Abu Dhabi. I need my passport to be renewed this month and I do not know what to do.

    Please help me

  14. AN says:

    Hi,

    i have a loan from Dubai Islamic Bank and i am still paying till this moment, i decided to leave UAE on December for better opportunity in US and i want to stay pay my EMI every month as i do now, please advise me if i have to cancel my visa and inform the bank that i am going to US ( as i heared from many people if i do that i will be stopped at the airport and not able to leave unless i pay the full amount) or i just leave the country and after that contact the bank, my other concern is: my bank account will still open after i leave and have no visa anymore and i can deposit or transfer the amount to my account then the bank will deduct the money.

    • admin says:

      Hi there,

      It is always advisable that you follow the rules and regulations and the laws of the UAE. You can refer to them for reading as well. You can also ask your bank what is the process when you leave the UAE and they will guide you accordingly. At all times I would advise you to in all effects be transparent and act in honesty with your banking provider. This way you will both respect the agreement between yourself and the bank. Every bank individual that we have dealt with, has confirmed they do value a client being transparent and clear in their dealings and together you can come to a solution. Wish you the best and do hope that you come to an amicable solution with your banking provider.

  15. David says:

    Hi, I left Dubai in 2015 as my job was at risk and found a new job abroad on much lower pay than what I had in UAE. I’m now contacted by a debt collection agency on behalf of ENBD for the settlement of my outstanding credit card debt but I don’t have any capacity to pay for it. The debt collection agency is constantly sending emails to me & my current employer and colleagues in office regarding this. How can I deal with this situation?

  16. Mark says:

    Excellent article!
    I have a different question fo you.
    I have left Dubai myself with a debt of 20.000AED. I have contacted the bank directly and settled the amount without the interests. They gave me a clearance letter for the credit card, and I asked them to close my bank account as well, which they didn’t, and I kept receiving an e-statement from them showing 0 Dirhans of balance.
    When I asked the agent to close the bank account
    For good he wrote me this message as reply:
    “Good morning,
    Please ignore the received statement, balance amount removed & card closed/cancelled.”
    And so I did.
    But now, after 1 year I decided to open one of these e-statements and it shows:
    Summary of uncollected charges on your Account, Status Dormant: 775.000
    What does that mean?
    Why didn’t they tell me about it before? I have checked all previous e-statements and it has never shown those charges before. And when I go to my online bank account, which I can still acess, it doesn’t show any debts!
    What can be that? Any ideas?

  17. Aswin says:

    Hi Sir,
    I have an Outstanding Loan And Credit Card in UAE arounf 200k dhs.I hadto spent a lot on Medical emergency in family and i’m completely bankrupt now..i lost the job also as i had spend a lot of time in india for the medical reason in the family.

    Now i dont have any source to pay back.Please advice, i really like to pay back if i get any chance in UAE later

    • admin says:

      Dear Aswin,

      I would suggest that you contact your banking provider and discuss the situation with them. It is advised that you keep contact with them at all times.

  18. Kimmley says:

    Hi, my question is this. I had to leave Dubai in 2001 with one credit card unpaid and I had 2. I was contacted once right after I left and I referred the bank’s call to my old boss’s office for payment as that was what that the card was used for -mostly on my boss. I had another personal card, which I paid off… Anyways, after i told them to contact my boss’s office I never heard from them again…..until now 2018. After all this time I thought it was paid off…..Now, a debt collector from UAE tried to get information out of my current employer (Canada)…..the employer did not answer the debt collector as they were asking for private information about me and they thought it was spam or phishing message. My question is this….is this debt now time /statute barred?? and can they issue a red notice because back then we didn’t write checks for security on the credit card….so, no check would have bounced in my name…Please advise – thank you so much in advance for your help.

  19. Aadiee says:

    I left uae with outstanding amount 65k now bank calling my home number asking to pay the amount otherwise they will open the case against me in Pakistan.i don’t that much money available with me please assist me how can I solve this problem.

    • admin says:

      HI Adeel, i would suggest you contact the bank directly, and then attempt to negotiate a payment plan with them. It is in your best interest to speak to the bank, as they would like it resolved. The banks are very willing to negotiate, I am not sure of the debt collectors, but I do know the banks are very accommodating to negotiate suitable solutions with their clients.

  20. Shabeer mohamed says:

    Dear Sir
    Myself Shabeer
    I have 37000 AED outstanding in my 2 credit cards. I am currently in Uae and plans to resign and come back uae in a visit visa. Is it possible to travel to India by keeping my credit card amount as outstanding and payback after getting new job. I heard that I can not leave UAE without settlment. Is there any travel ban can be imposed by the bank. I can ensure the EMI payment without any fail. Expecting your advise Sir
    Thanks

  21. Asif says:

    I’m looking for some help

    I had Credit card from NBAD bank in UAE from 2010 to 2014. In 2015 I stopped paying them. They never made a police case in last 4 years. Many debt collector tried to reach. But I didn’t pay because of some financial issue. Now one more debt collector reached out to me at my work place and threathen me for police case. NBAD had merger with FGB now it become FAB . Also in 2015 NBAD sent me email which I still have that they WRITE OFF my account . But Still Credit card which I didn’t pay. Now they have made interest from 15000 AED to 39000

    What you suggest what should i do?

  22. JOCELYN STA MARIA says:

    Dear Michelle,

    Thank you and God Bless for using your life enlightening people like us, suffering from bank collectors.

    my name is Jocelyn. Year 2009 when my sister was terminated from her work because of the scenario that a back collector created in her workplace. She was in the process of restructure with her bank liabilities, again she stops paying the bank, no visa, no EID, no salary, no valid IDs without travelling for five years, she attended court cases in 2014-2015 and finally got clearance after paying all court penalties, early this month another agency TASJEL contacted her, even visited her office asking for payment again .

    We really don’t know now where to start, please help and guide us.

  23. Yara says:

    Dear Michelle,

    Thank you for this very informative article and I hope you can help me. I do not live in the UAE anymore but in an neighbour GCC country. I had acredit cards and a lot of money outstanding to pay. I stupidly traveled through Dubai and got arrested at the airport. I had to take a lawyer as they were not willing to release. All my cases were voided by my lawyer and I was released after a few weeks. After a few month, a debt collection agency contacted my employers and myself by phone and emails acting in a threatening manner. I did not hear from them for 2 years after I forwarded them the Dubai Prosecution order that voided the police case. They continued and then stopped. Now its all starting again and another debt agency has contacted my new employer and started the same vicious threatening cycle. What is your advise? Ignore them as this has been settled in court or pay the outstanding amount as they say I still owe them the money even if the court has issued a judgement….

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