Online lending harassment Philippines – recently the demand for loans has been increasing. The offers furthermore appear more and more often. Nevertheless, this recommendation is not always legal and safe. After all, scammers have seen their interest in online lending and taken advantage of the mistakes of the population. It cannot be said that all lending organizations are illegal. But few people know how to distinguish online lending harassment the Philippines from organizations that legitimately provide their services.
According to the GMA Network news report, more than 45 online lending app employees have been arrested for allegedly harassing and threatening customers who cannot repay their loans on time. Online harassment is a common practice, and numerous people suffer from it. Accordingly, it is essential to know how scammers operate and can check them out.
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How to Recognize an Illegal Organization
Numerous people wonder if online loans in Pilipinas are legal — it is indeed legal. Nevertheless, it is paramount to work with the proofed ones. Entire microfinance organizations clearly and in detail prescribe all the conditions for granting a loan. However, actual lending companies are not entirely conscientious. The first and foremost thing to review is the service registration as a financial organization and the availability of a license to provide loans.
In many cases of providing online loans and microloans, there are no transparent conditions for granting a loan, the company’s website does not display the legal address and contacts of the organization, and there is a condition that the lender can unilaterally change the terms of the loan (interest rate, provisions on penalties). Sometimes the client is not required to fill out various forms, but only passport data and contacts. All this may indicate the desire of the lender to pull off a fraudulent scheme.
In addition, one of the fraudulent activities in online lending is the transfer of personal data about you to third parties (for instance, collectors), who can use them for their purposes. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for lenders to prescribe conditions under which the client gives his property to the lender in the event of a delay in payment. It is worth saying that such situations are unlawful.
The only positive thing about dealing with scammers is that they will not sue you for debt collection. Nonetheless, they will accrue more and more debt and use their proven methods to return the debt (threats, blackmail, attracting collectors). In fact, in all cases, creditors/collectors resort to threats to open criminal proceedings against you, and calls to relatives, and acquaintances, to work. Quite often, people talk about the presence of ads of a different nature with a photo of the debtor. All these methods are also illegal, and only scammers resort to them.
Online Lending Harassment Philippines
Consumer credit is funds provided to the consumer (borrower) to purchase goods (works, services) to meet needs not related to entrepreneurial, independent professional activities, or the performance of an employee’s duties. Many Filipinos apply for a loan online but then become victims of the companies’ misconduct with which they signed a contract. It is called harassment with online loans.
Online lending harassment Philippines 2022 can be considered the unlawful accrual of penalties, fines, and interest, which are ten times higher than the loan amount received by the debtor. You must understand that, in any case, the debt collection procedure must be exclusively legal and take place in strict accordance with the regulation. A lawyer, a specialist in online loans, will help you figure out what is necessary to pay and what conditions and actions of creditors are illegal.
For a borrower with whom the lender communicates within the law but who cannot repay the debt, there is also a way out – you can try to break the payment into parts. As a rule, most representatives of debt collectors agree to this option but have their conditions for such a restructuring.
How to Recognize Stalking Behavior in Online Lending
People wondering if the online loan in Pilipinas is legit should remember that it is legal, but some actions of fraud companies are not. Online debt shaming is a practice practiced by credit service companies. It is a common occurrence that many Filipinos suffer from. The consequences can be difficulties in obtaining a loan and, in some cases, cyberbullying. Creditors use this practice for those clients who cannot always pay their debts on time, so companies resort to intimidation or harassment.
Among the most common types of harassment spoken by thousands of Filipinos are:
- Profanity is used. Creditors frequently employ this sort of harassment to frighten clients, making it one of the most common forms of crime. Creditors believe they can manage their borrowers and persuade them to pay back the money they have borrowed by using threats, insults, and insulting their dignity in this way.
- Several phone calls and text messages are exchanged. Lenders frequently contact and politely request a repayment of the debt in issue. Threats, intimidation, and warnings are immediately replaced by threats, pressure, and alerts if the money is not returned. One of the most prevalent types of harassment is sexual harassment.
- Relatives are being persecuted. When a customer cannot pay his bills, he has several options for avoiding issues. Then, credit companies may turn to intimidate the client’s relatives and associates. The firm possesses these people’s information since the borrower permitted them to apply for a loan ahead of time to meet his needs. It may be a torturous scenario for the borrower and anybody else who is affected by the lender’s fear.
- Threats of violence. When creditors resort to threatening clients with violence, debt collection is no longer merely a hazardous industry; it becomes life-threatening. It is common for black lending firms that operate as underground centralized banks, to collect debt forcibly using methods such as debt collection agencies.
The law contains a direct prohibition on the described actions. It is impossible to exert psychological pressure on the debtor and even more so on his relatives. It is impossible to mislead the debtor and other persons regarding the transfer of the case on the return of the debt to the court, about the possibility of applying administrative and criminal procedural measures, and criminal prosecution of the debtor and his family. You can not threaten arrest or deprivation of all property. So, if a client is thinking about applying for a loan online, it is essential to work with legitimate lending institutions licensed and regulated by government agencies.
How to Deal with Harassment From Online Lenders
Numerous online lending harassing Philippines lenders use illegal methods, so they believe they can get customers to repay quickly. It is the sort of thing many Filipinos face, so it’s essential to be able to tell yourself:
- Keep track of your transactions. Maintain records of all loan documentation and keep track of all contacts and dealings with the lender or agent to protect yourself against fraudsters. Some lending sites may contact you at the end of the day to try to settle your loan. In this scenario, it’s critical to document every aspect of the conversation, including the caller’s identity, agency, purpose, and any improper remarks made.
- Safe proof. An important point is also that it is essential to take a screenshot of inappropriate messages on social networks, confirming the correctness of the client. As mentioned earlier, some online lending companies in the Philippines use social networks to pressure the client and manipulate his actions. It is essential to take a screenshot of the post and report it immediately to the NBI Cybercrime Unit or the PNP-ACG.
- Report misconduct to the appropriate authorities. In the end, the client can apply to various government agencies in the Philippines, depending on the nature of the persecution of loan sharks. The SEC can help borrowers harassed by lenders depending on the issues raised if you strive to know where I can report online harassment lending in the Philippines, consider government agencies.
- Get a printout of the details of phone calls from the telecom operator.
- In case of damage to property or injury to health, call law enforcement officers. In the second case, be sure to contact a medical institution. Photos will need to be taken to document the damage.
- Call the police, if you try to break into your home. Try to take a video.
If by expert means it is possible to prove the connection between the collector’s call, for instance, with the threat of criminal prosecution and the debtor’s hypertensive crisis, the collector will lose his place in the register and his job. Along with administrative punishment, compensation for moral damage caused by collectors is also quite possible. Such payment at the expense of the violator is provided for by law. Moreover, compensation for non-pecuniary damage can be demanded in court not only by the debtors themselves but by their relatives, who were affected by the illegal actions of collectors. For example, those whom the collector insulted threatened.
Help From Government Organizations
The Philippine government can help Filipinos save themselves from such misconduct by lending platforms. Such organizations present a list of online lending harassment Philippines in 2022 and help customers deal with fraud. Borrowers who experience illegal foreclosures from online lenders may complain to the National Privacy Commission, mainly if their data is being used illegally. It is also possible to report violations of the cybersecurity law to the following authorized organizations:
- National Bureau of Investigation;
- Prosecutor’s office;
- Philippine National Police Cybercrime Unit;
- Securities and Exchange Commission (for a financial institution registered with this organization).
If you wonder where to report online lending harassment Philippines, keep in mind that the National Privacy Commission is also a company that will help file a complaint about online harassment by creditors. It’s a privacy watchdog, an independent agency tasked with enforcing and administering the Data Privacy Act. Illegal borrowing is well-managed by government entities. These institutions’ specialists accept and process criminal cases and complaints involving illicit borrowing and service mobilization. Anyone seeking assistance from these organizations may expect to be protected.
What Should You Do if a Creditor Harasses You?
In such a case, it is essential to report the incident and communicate any payment agreement or terms with the lender/financial institution to its administering government agency:
- For banks and credit card companies, the customer can contact Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP);
- For lending and finance companies, online lending applications, and microfinance organizations, the borrower can apply to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC);
- For insurance companies, you can contact the Insurance Commission (IC).
Furthermore, the SEC issued Circular No. 18, 2019 Series, banning unjustified debt collection processes by funding agencies and lending institutions, such as the use of threats to take action that is not lawful and the use of any false representation or misleading collection methods or attempts to collect any debt or gather data about the borrower.
What to Do in a Situation if the Debt has Become Huge?
The first option is to file a lawsuit against the online lending companies’ harassment Philippines on your own and challenge the amount of the debt and accrued interest, fines and penalties, and the contract itself. In this case, we are not talking about small amounts of debt. Since litigation takes a lot of time and specific costs for lawyers and accounting services, it is worth noting that if you win a dispute in court, such costs can be reimbursed in court. And also, with a competent approach of a lawyer, you can be compensated for moral damage.
The main advantage of this option is the ability to appeal against all illegally accrued interest and penalties and terminate the loan agreement entirely. Thus, you can permanently get rid of your online loan debt and stop the process of accruing interest and penalties.
The second option is to resolve the issue by negotiating directly with the lender. It is recommended to arrange only in writing through business correspondence in this case. The main advantage of this option is trying to reduce the amount of accrued fines and stop their further accrual through a written agreement with the creditor. It also has its nuances and takes into account some factors. To achieve the desired result in this matter, it is better to use the services of professional lawyers and lawyers.
Negotiate With the Lender Directly
In life, of course, anything can happen. Due to a late salary, illness, or simple forgetfulness, people can no longer pay out all of their debts. If you understand that you will not be able to repay the debt on time for objective reasons, get in touch with your creditor. In a perfect world, before you delay payment and thus ruin your credit history in advance, you can, for instance, ask for a deferment or restructure the loan — change the terms and amounts of payments. The bank, of course, is not obliged to do this, but it can meet you halfway.
Suppose you are still late with the payment and representatives of the bank. In that case, lending organizations are already calling you to determine why the delay and warn of penalties; honestly, explain your situation. Do not be afraid to resolve issues directly — it is more profitable for you and the lender to sort it out without involving specially trained people. You will avoid unnecessary penalties and fines that drip for each day of delay and stress from psychological pressure.
Summing up, it is essential to take out a loan when a person knows that he can close it, and also take a loan only from those organizations that you can trust. Before applying for a loan, it is better to check the lending company several times — so the client can be sure that there are no scammers in front of him. It is a guarantee of a calm payment of the entire amount and the absence of harassment on the part of creditors.