Saturday 28 October 2023

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Does he owe them?

Good day Richard, my boyfriend needs your help.

He had a loan from and he got retrenched last year June. He went to their office in Kanye to ask them about his balance so that he could make the payment. They did print the balance for him and he paid it. After some months he received a call that he has an outstanding balance but he told the caller he paid. Recently he requested a loan at his bank and he was told that his name is with ITC. He checked and it says he owes P15,000. He was in shock knowing he paid but they said he was supposed to pay P4,000 settlement when he paid the loan for clearing the loan before the agreed time. Now the P4,000 has accumulated interest monthly and it's now P15,000 and there is nothing they can do. Does he have to pay?

What a mess. Your boyfriend seems like a sensible guy who has done his best to manage his debt situation when he lost his job. Clearly he deserves better than this.

The first thing he should do is demand that the lender check their records and find out what's gone wrong here. If they find that they've made a mistake and he doesn't owe them anything they need to correct his credit record immediately so his history is as clean as it should be. And then they need to apologise. Sincerely.

If it emerges that he does owe them some money they need to explain why it's taken them so long to tell him and then they need to agree a reasonable repayment plan.

The lesson here is that lenders can't always be relied on to get things right. That's why, when you settle a debt, make sure you get something in writing from the lender confirming that you've paid everything you owe and the debt is closed forever. Then take a picture of that letter and send to someone you trust as a backup.

I also contacted the lender and they said they're investigating. I'll let you know what they say.

Will it happen again?

Is it possible for an investigation to take a whole month when your salary just disappeared in your account the day the money was transferred to you but you didn't have any links to deduct from your account? A friend of mine has the same issue he asked me to ask for him on his behalf. He got paid and the same day all the money was gone before independence. Right now they saying the matter is still at Head Office and they are still investigating. He asked them how safe it is now to get paid again on the same account. He said they told him they have cut the links that might be linked to his account and they gave him a new card. Is it possible that the bank will give him his salary back?

No, I don't think it's acceptable for a bank to take an entire month to investigate something like this. Don't they understand that very few of us can cope without our salary? A month's salary is probably trivial to them but it means a lot to you and me.

I suspect that they've done all they can to prevent the same problem happening again this month but your friend is still entitled to know where their money went.

I contacted the bank and I'll let you know what they plan to do.

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