Personal finance: Remedial vs Collections… Creditors' choice

Category: Economy & Finance Published: Friday, 11 December 2015 Written by Admin

Five years ago out of a previous experience I took sole responsibility to reach out to the UAE debtor community to try to resolve their debt-crisis problems, where over the years I helped many families to restore their financial situation to absolute recovery.

However at that time I had no clue of the term lsquo;remedial because for me it was instinctive to relentlessly persue this path, but I realised that people facing a debt-crisis were more susceptible to accepting this new technique I applied to convince them to take responsibility and ownership of their problem and apply the necessary action to get them out of debt and it worked!

Fast forward over the latter three years and creditors have suddenly realised that this is the most effective action to take where besides the outcome being that the debtors are able to comfortably repay their debt and that it is a win-win situation for both parties, the outcome of the process also teaches them human compassion and empathy, regardless of whether the situation was self-inflicted or not.

I have personally had heads of departments tell me that they also felt good and walked away feeling like they accomplished something significant by fully supporting a debtor by deriving at an amicable solution for both parties.

However, this is not my subject today, as these individuals are far and few in between, even today.

What I found was the following which left me cold to understand that there is absolutely no conscience of inflicting human pain onto a debtor when the action was unnecessary.

Most creditors have no clue of the emotional turmoil a debtor faces when all roads are blocked and where it did not have to be this way.

One fundamental principle in life is when you are in a position of strength, then refrain from wielding your power when the outcome of your actions is that you could destroy a life as this form of action is linked to dues you pay later in your life when you least expect it.

Heres a latest creditor policy that needs dire reviewing:

1. When a debtor requests a consolidation and/or restructure then it is understood that it is a time-consuming process, give or take 1 to 2 months, where I have experienced 6 months for one of my clients.

2. During this time collections dues are ongoing and that is normal financial policy. However some creditors are able to put these payments on hold whilst request no 1 is in process, awaiting a final decision and once approved, the debtor may be required to make a down payment, which is fully acceptable.

3. The problem arises when the debtor finds it apt to pursue legal action whilst request no 1 is in progress. This means bouncing the guarantee cheque and instituting legal action.

4. So now the debtor is forced to meet the legal action payment request from the creditor before:

a. The legal action instituted can be retracted where the payable amount is normally not only unrealistic but out of the means of the debtor, where the legal action taken against the debtor is at the most critical stage and cannot comply.

b. If approved then the request no 1 will not be issued or signed by the creditor unless payment lsquo;a above is made.

What now?

The debtor has no way of meeting this legal action payment request so the outcome is:

a. The instituted legal action takes its course where the debtor will face the legal consequences with the probability of losing their job and finally losing all;

b. The debtor will never be afforded the opportunity to civilly and respectfully honour their debt payment commitments as they now do not have the means to repay the debt due to facing legal action and losing their job.

Tell me how many creditor employees even have an inkling of a notion of the sad, humiliating, degrading situation they inflict on debtors when the situation could have had an absolute lsquo;Remedial outcome, where both parties achieved their goals and a life was spared?

The key question I ask is how come creditor organizations are so out of sync that their systems are not even updated accordingly as to the progress of request no 1, where most of the time the co-ordination is non-existent and lsquo;nobody knows where request no 1 is, nobody knows who bounced the cheque, some will say legal action is stopped, some will call to detail the legal action in the most derogative way to victimize the debtor and think nothing of their bad actions inflicted on the debtor, including the increased emotional fear piling up on the debtors head, which then has other negative repercussions that could have been avoided.

Creditors, understand debtors are still the people who ensure you have a job today, because without them you too would be joining them. Yet some of you assume you are immune to this form of suffering in the future and this is where you are absolutely wrong.

Debtors can receive lsquo;windfalls, in some instances they can experience some form of good fortune in the form of a better job, bonus, incentive, whatever, but if they hold onto a positive form of existence then for sure their life will change and so will their situation because they have the ability to change it anytime, with the correct mind-set.

Its not nice to place people into a bad situation with no regard or no conscience simply because:

i. Its the easy way out to lose the problem, regardless of the human consequences;

ii. You can achieve your target easier;

iii. Youre playing the number game on another level;

iv. You dont care about people because you are in your fat job, earning your fat salary, sitting on your high chair, where you never assume you can come tumbling down one day;

v. You are oblivious to the true fact that if you extended that reach of support, you would positively participate in your organizations growth and also the growth of the countries economy and finally, continuously increase your Collections service levels;

vi. You are oblivious to the fact that when you sow good seed you get good, so when you sow bad seed, guess what?

vii. Being humane is a sign of growth and maturity which means your progress and success is inevitable. The reverse means you can never achieve your dream.

Creditor employees are unaware that when you are arrogant, abusive, rude, disrespectful and wield your power over a debtor for the sake of desperation for money, then you are building so much resistence that the money you seek, cannot come. That is the law of existence.

My advice is when you opt to rename or reinvent a division called lsquo;Remedial then do your very best to reach out to debtors in the most respectful way, teach them how to fish dont give them a fish and you will make your own job easier and achieve your goals.

You cannot bring in the new and continue with the old on the back-burner, because it is just not effective in any way at all and as far as I am concerned it is unethical and not in line with policy.

We are all humans on this planet so setting an intention to go lsquo;remedial and show the world you are trying to do good has a pure meaning. So you should learn to walk the talk, doing is always more effective than lip-service.

Inflicting suffering on people is not the way to go, not now and not ever in the future again.

[Note 1: Theda Muller is a UAE-based author of two books. She also conducts webinars and workshops on debt recovery and recently launched a company in Dubai to support debtors]

[Note 2: The views expressed are the authors own and do not reflect in any way, the views of Emirates 24|7. Readers are advised to carry out their own due diligence before taking any decision.]

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