Where Can You Get Help For Licensed Money Lender Harassment?

 

Sitting on the fence about whether you should approach licensed money lenders to fulfil your financial needs?

You may have heard horror stories of harassment when someone is unable to pay a money lender in Singapore.

However, did you get a chance to clarify if the stories actually involved legally licensed money lenders?

Licensed money lender harassment is real, but not all licensed money lenders would stoop to such a level. More often than not, it is illegal money lenders that are the main culprits of borrower harassment.

But if you are currently facing licensed money lender harassment, there are channels available for you to seek help.

What Can Licensed Money Lenders Do?

In order to understand what licensed money lenders can do, it is important to first understand the process of licensed moneylending in Singapore.

A licensed money lender is a company or individual that provides loans to those in need of financial assistance.

To operate legally, licensed money lenders are required to obtain a license from the Registry of Moneylenders.

As part of the requirements for licensed money lenders, they must adhere to certain rules and regulations set by the Ministry of Law that come under the Moneylenders Act. This also has many rules against licensed money lender harassment.

These rules make sure that licensed money lenders follow rules such as:

Maintaining Confidentiality

A licensed money lender collects certain data and information from a borrower for the loan application.

As per the Moneylenders Rules, licensed money lenders are not allowed to share this information with any unauthorised third party.

Ensuring Privacy

Licensed money lenders are required by law to keep all information about their borrowers private and confidential.

This includes a borrower’s contact information, employment history, financial situation, and personal identity information. Licensed moneylenders cannot share this information with anyone without the borrower’s consent.

If a borrower is unable to pay a licensed money lender in Singapore, most money lenders resort to collecting the debt directly or through licensed debt collectors in Singapore.

However, debt collectors must abide by the Code of Ethics of the Credit Collection Association of Singapore (CCAS).

Under the code:

  • The licensed money lender or the debt collector must send an email notification to a borrower regarding his or her due amount as the first step.
  • It can try calling the borrower.
  • Visiting his or her home or personal space should be the last resort in case none of the above receives a response.
  • The licensed money lender or the debt collector can also negotiate with the borrower in good faith to try and come to an agreeable repayment plan.

What Licensed Money Lenders Cannot Do

Now that you have a basic understanding of licensed money lenders in Singapore, now let’s look at what licensed money lenders cannot do according to the law.

Threaten Or Use Force

No licensed money lender or debt collector can resort to any kind of physical or verbal violence while trying to collect a debt from you.

This includes making threats or obscene gestures, or using profanity.

Stalk

Licensed money lenders and debt collectors are not allowed to stalk or harass you in any way. This includes:

  • Following you or showing up at your home or workplace
  • Calling you multiple times a day or at odd hours
  • Sending you threatening or obscene emails, letters, or text messages

Be Abusive To You Or Your Family

When you are unable to pay a money lender in Singapore, the debt collector or licensed money lender is not allowed to be abusive in any way to you or your family members.

This includes:

  • Shouting abusively in public places
  • Making derogatory comments or obscene gestures
  • Physical or verbal abuse

Cause Injury

It is a basic knowledge that no matter what, nobody has the right to physically harm and cause injury to anyone.

Such crimes are punishable by law. The licensed money lender or debt collector will have to face legal action if they are found guilty of causing any kind of injury to a borrower.

If they knock you off or make you unconscious through physical violence, they will be punished with two years of imprisonment and a fine.

A severe physical injury such as a fracture or disfigurement is punished by imprisonment for up to 10 years and a heavy fine.

If the licensed money lender or debt collector causes the death of a borrower, they will be imprisoned for life and their license is likely to be terminated.

Vandalising Property

Vandalising is the act of damaging or destroying someone’s property without their permission. This includes breaking windows, damaging furniture, spray-painting walls, and more.

Licensed money lenders and debt collectors are not allowed to vandalise the borrower’s property in any way.

They are also not allowed to paste notices or any other kind of advertisement on the borrower’s property without their permission.

If licensed money lenders or debt collectors are found guilty of vandalising the borrower’s property, they will face legal action.

Making False Claims

Licensed money lenders and debt collectors are not allowed to make any false claims while trying to collect a debt from the borrower. This includes:

  • Claiming to be from a government agency
  • Threatening to arrest the borrower
  • Saying that the borrower has committed a crime

They are also not allowed to make any false statements about the borrower’s debt.

Unlawful Assembly

Unlawful assembly is when a group of people gather together to commit a crime or cause a public disturbance. Money lenders must not organise or be a part of any unlawful assembly.

Cyberbullying

When someone abuses or damages your reputation online by posting mean or false comments, it is known as cyberbullying.

Licensed money lenders and debt collectors are not allowed to bully or harass the borrower in any way online.

What Debt Collectors May Resort To

Some licensed debt collectors may carry out the following activities in order to collect a debt from you:

  • Pressurise you into paying the debt
  • Make multiple phone calls during the allowed hours of the day
  • Send you email notifications on the consequences of not paying the debt
  • Visit your home to collect the debt directly from you

They may even resort to verbal abuse or use foul language during the process of collecting a debt.

It is important to note that not all debt collectors take illegal measures to collect a debt from a borrower.

The Singapore government ensures that all debt collectors know the best practices before they are granted a legal debt collector license.

Where To Get Help If You Are Harassed By A Money Lender

Any licensed money lender in Singapore or debt collector is instructed to be reasonable in their actions. If they break the law, you can file a complaint with

the CCAS.

However, if in any case, you encounter any harassment from licensed money lenders or debt collectors, there are certain things you can do.

Contact The Police

The first step you should take if licensed money lenders or debt collectors are harassing you is to contact the police. The police will be able to investigate the matter and let you know if the money lender is acting illegally.

If so, they will take appropriate action against the licensed money lender or debt collector.

For an offence that comes under the Protection of Harassment Act, you will be advised to file a complaint against the money lender under a Protection Order or Expedited Protection Order.

If you are looking for ways to settle a licensed money lender but are hindered by certain illegal actions taken by the lenders, then calling the police can give you the time to settle your debt without any problem.

Contact CCAS

If your money lender or the debt collector is a member of CCAS, you can file a complaint in this association and get a resolution for your complaint.

CCAS will look into the complaint you have made against the lender and take appropriate action.

This will ensure that the licensed money lender or licensed debt collector does not continue to harass you or break any other rules set by the government.

Contact The Registry Of Moneylenders

The Registry of Moneylenders keeps track of licensed money lenders in Singapore.

If your licensed money lender or debt collector is harassing you, you can connect with the Registry and file a complaint.

Never Tolerate Licensed Money Lender Harassment

Now that you know that all licensed money lenders and debt collectors have to follow certain rules, you will know what to do if you experience licensed money lender harassment.

However, if you are still facing some trouble, you know exactly where to go to get help.

Still doubtful about approaching a licensed money lender? Connect now with one of the most trusted licensed money lenders in Singapore – Katong Credit.

We will not tolerate any form of licensed money lender harassment towards our customers and pride ourselves on following the moneylending rules.

We treat all our clients with the respect and care they deserve and strive to serve them with integrity.

Contact us for more information or apply for a loan with us now.

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