Harassed online by Loansharks? Use licensed moneylenders instead!

Harassed by Loansharks ‘大耳窿’? Use Licensed Moneylender!

The digital age has certainly changed the way business is done. And the illegal moneylender (loansharks) have taken it to new heights. We at Empire Global take a look at how the industry is changing rapidly.

Harassment Online: Name Shaming

Loansharks are now using social media to take their “Owe$Pay$” threats online. One creates a fake account that replicates the borrower’s with similar name and befriends everyone that he knows. And then the big hit comes whereby the loanshark starts placing posts on the account.

They even use postcards with pictures of the victim’s identity card, plastered with O$P$ and plastered them onto the fake account. This is just one such antic being used by them.

By name shaming and cyber bullying the borrower, the unlicensed moneylender gets to publicly let the victim’s closest ones know about his borrowing issue.

Help Yourself from Illegal Moneylender

Firstly, the law is on your side in an online bullying case. Facebook complaints falls the Protection from Harassment Act (POHA) because he had claimed the content on Facebook was false.

Secondly, under the Moneylenders Act, any person who, acting on behalf of an unlicensed moneylender, commits or attempts to use any threatening, abusive or insulting words, behaviour, writing, sign or visible representation, or commits any act likely to cause alarm or annoyance to his borrower or surety, any member of the family of the borrower or surety, or any other person, may face up to five years in jail, a fine between $5,000 and $50,000 and is also liable to get caned.

With the police clamping hard on harassment cases coupled with the use of modern technology plus social media, the police have come up with alternatives to get the public at large to help them.

Posting images of loanshark harassment, with their deeds online, the police appeals to the public to turn n such offenders. Such as Liu Yimin Lynnette, 28, who was charged in court facing seven charges of splashing red paint on doors and pasting envelopes with “O$P$”, the unit numbers of the borrowers, and a mobile number on the walls beside the units.

The young woman (above) whom the police were looking for in relation to loanshark harassment has been charged in court. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

The young woman (above) whom the police were looking for in relation to loanshark harassment has been charged in court. — PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

News publishers such as AsiaOne has taken this another step further by showing a map of the money harassment cases (Loanshark Harassment Hotspots) occurring in Singapore. These are public information gathered from SPH news sources to give the public a better look at the harassment cases by illegal moneylenders.

Borrow from Licensed Moneylender Instead

Simply avoid all these harassments that could ruin your name by going to proper licensed moneylenders instead. There are limited licensed moneylenders and every year it becomes harder for businesses like us to maintain the moneylender license.

This is due to changing policies that improves the safety nets of borrowers. We encourage these moves by the government no doubt as it makes things smoother for us.

With strict regulations by the government and heavy punishments for licensed moneylenders if they made offences. Hence borrowing from licensed moneylenders make a better choice.

Negotiations between lending officers becomes easier too. Tell us your concerns and we can help you.

Licensed Money Lender faces criticism in Singapore. A new set of woes to worry about.

Licensed Money Lender Facing Criticism in Singapore

The licensed money lender industry in Singapore has gotten its run of bad publicity for 2015 given the recent events occurred amongst debt collection. Debates have been brought up on how debt collection can be made better.

Licensed Money Lender Scene

This was due to a recent scene in the licensed money lender industry in Singapore when seven employees of Double Ace Associates confronted a stall owner at Funan DigitalLife Mall foodcourt and created a big scene during the busy lunch hour. All offenders were charged with unlawful assembly just last month.

Debt Collectors in Singapore creating a fuss at Funan Digital Mall Singapore

Debt Collectors in Singapore creating a fuss & harrassment at Funan Digital Mall Singapore

Licensing Debt Collection in Singapore

Debt collection in Singapore. Hired by licensed money lender.

Debt collection in Singapore. Hired by licensed money lender.

Licensed money lender hire debt-collection companies from time to time for long standing debts that they cannot handle and this incident highlighted on how a loan can go horribly wrong.

“Licensing the debt-collection industry could clean up its image, and clamp down on the use of harassment tactics” – suggested by Mr David Poh, President of the Moneylender’s Association of Singapore, has been backed by the Credit Collection Association of Singapore (CCAS).

This matter of debt collection has been raised in Parliament last month when MP Foo Mee Har mentioned whether debt collectors should abide by a code of conduct, and if the Government of Singapore would consider introducing laws that govern fair deb-collection.

Others have mentioned that should such a code of conduct be in place, there will be a lot of infrastructure that needs to be put up for case investigation. Hence the onus should be on the licensed money lender, to ensure their debt collectors do not use violence or high pressure tactics.

“Moneylenders found to have committed offences may have their licences suspended, not renewed or revoked by the registry,” Senior Minister of State for Law Indranee Rajah

Late Fee Charges by Licensed Money Lender

Late Fee charges by Licensed Money Lender

Late Fee charges by Licensed Money Lender

Late last year, an article about how a borrower got a small loan and incurred a large debt due to the late fee charges.

Suggestions have been made to cap the penalty late charges. However this has led to many licensed money lenders protesting that the new rules could kill their business.

This is why at Empire Global we always encourage borrowers to negotiate early and fully understand the terms involved. Terms from different licensed money lender vary greatly. All these could lead up to you getting into greater debt.

Licensed Money Lender Woes & The Review Committee

With the advisory committee proposing major changes of which a controversial interest rate cap of 4 percent per month has led to an outburst in the licensed moneylending industry.

Many licensed money lender in Singapore have mentioned that the cap will lead to borrowers not paying back instead. Without late penalty charges, it will be tougher to collect back their money.

Borrowers have a higher chance to default on their payments. Leading to lower profit margins by the money lenders.

The advisory committee basis on the proposed interest rates is also referred to prevailing interest rates charged by licensed moneylenders in jurisdictions like Hong Kong, Australia, Japan and Britain, which range from 1.5 to 4 per cent.

We at Empire Global are looking at ways to improve our infrastructure and to work with the interest rate cap. Hopefully, the Ministry of Law considerations on relaxing advertising restrictions on newspapers will be implemented.

Most definitely, we want to be geared up to in advance to follow through the new rules imposed.