Friday, 3 February 2017

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Must I pay her?

Last year July, I borrowed P8,000 from one lady with the written agreement that I have applied for a loan from my bank and when the loan amount comes I will pay her back her money with 20% interest. The bank turned me down and I could not manage to pay her back. Then December 2016 I started paying her, though I paid as little as P300 with the intention that I will keep on increasing as I still have some financial constraints also its month end and I will deposit P300 by tomorrow and P200 any time before the 5th of February. Now the problem comes on that I owe her P16,000 and she has taken me to her lawyers saying that I owe her P16,000. The lawyers threatened me and said I must pay that amount, otherwise they will write me a letter of demand and ask for a court order to attach my properties to pay her P16,000. I only signed for just P8,000 and 20% interest.

Please help and advice me on the matter.

You’re not going to be able to avoid repaying the debt you incurred but clearly something is wrong here. In fact, lots of things are wrong. Very wrong.

My first question would be whether the woman lent to you in her personal capacity or as a company? Either way, if she’s charging you interest on the amount you borrowed from her, is she registered as a micro-lender with NBFIRA, the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority? If she’s not then she’s going to be in deep trouble with them and could face a fine and even imprisonment.

Also her calculations show something outrageous. She’s not charging you 20% interest per year, she’s charging 20% per month. PER MONTH. That’s the sort of interest rate that loan sharks used to charge before NBFIRA was created to regulate those crooks. It’s an outrageous amount.

Before you even think of paying them a thebe you should ask the lawyers for a full breakdown of the amount they claim you owe the woman. You’re fully entitled to that. That should give you enough time to visit NBFIRA and check whether she’s registered with them.

Let me know what happens.

Are they being fair?

In November 2014 I paid a deposit of P6,000 to buy a jumping castle valued at P11,500 from a company at BBS Mall, Gaborone.

I was informed that the company will start manufacturing the castle as soon as I pay up the remaining balance of P5,500. Unfortunately I went into a financial crisis hence could not raise the balance. In October 2016 I confronted the management to get my money back but I was informed that I can only get P4,000 and that P2,000 would be retained to make up for the costs that the company incurred while purchasing the material for the jumping castle. I wasn’t happy with the decision they made and wanted to know if the jumping castle was sold and I was informed it was sold at the amount of P11,500 that I was charged.

My concern is that I was never informed that the jumping castle was ready for collection because all I knew was that I had to pay up first before they could start manufacturing it. Also they retained P2,000 because they purchased the material but it was sold at the same cost so I feel there were no losses incurred as the company claims.

I just want to know from you if this was a fair decision from the company because I think I have been robbed.

No, I don’t think you’re being robbed but I do think they’re being unreasonable. I don’t have a problem with their original statement that they were retaining P2,000 because they spent some money up front to buy the materials they needed to make the jumping castle for you. That’s reasonable.

But it stopped being reasonable when they confessed that they’d sold the castle to another buyer for exactly the same amount of money they wanted to charge you. It turns out that they haven’t suffered anything other than a slight delay.

Send us their details and we’ll get in touch with them and see if they can be a bit more reasonable.

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