Tuesday, 11 August 2015


Link: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/opinion/more-opinion-stories/story/chasing-debts-civilly-20150222
Chasing debts civilly
The issue being discussed is the degrees of harm that can be inflicted on debtors with the now tactic of humiliating them in their workplace or neighbourhood. Due to rigorous law enforcement, the dreaded Ah Longs and their gangster-style tactics are less visible now. However, what we are seeing now are debt collectors harassing debtors in public places by wearing polos emblazoned with "debt recovery unit" tags and displaying banners to boot that read "Attention. Debt collection in progress". The writer agrees that it's is an altogether disturbing development and disapproves the actions and the behavior of such debt collectors.
I agree with the writer's point of view. I feel that collecting debts could be carried out in a more polite and orderly manner instead of humiliating the debtors in the eye of the public and shaming them. Although such actions like shaming borrowers via letters of demand faxed to their workplaces, this is still a form of harm as they are indirectly harrassing them.
If I were to put myself in a debt collector's shoes, I would feel frustrated and annoyed at debtors if they do not return the money borrowed on time and would definitely want them to repay their loans as quickly as possible. However, I will not go to the extend such that the debtor will get harmed in any way. We as citizens, of course, would want and expect them to adopt fair collection practices and abstain from strong-arm tactics: harassing behavior, threats and physical violence. I feel that it is possible for debt collectors to collect in a more polite manner without using any sort of violence, so long as both debt collector and debtor cooperate. As the writer said, to demonstrate professionalism, debt collectors should propose their own code of conduct. If not only debt collectors, but also everybody cooperate with each other,  and not to harrass each other in any form, then we will be able to live in peace and harmony.

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