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Friend is getting bullied by a big, slimy bank.

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  1. #1

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    Friend is getting bullied by a big, slimy bank.

    A friend is teetering on the brink of financial destruction and claims she has been harassed (illegal) by the HK branch of a major international bank (think top 5) that threatens to sue her in spite of a very good argument that the bank has ignored the terms of an agreement between the bank and the friend.

    The bank very classily set thuggish Chinese collections agents to call her incessantly while her husband was dying of brain cancer.

    The friend could not keep up with payments on something like an HKD20,000 loan, what with cancer being expensive and time consuming. The amount claimed by the bank ballooned to something like HKD95,000, including the cost of the scumbag collections agency. She has doggedly paid every installment and the bank has doggedly marked every single payment late, in spite of it being no such thing.

    Prior to suing her, the bank wants to talk. They offered her a "settlement" amount where she only (!!) has to pay $65,000. Since she has no money, the difference between HKD95k and HKD65k is the answer to "is it easier to walk to the Moon, to to Mars?" Both are impossible.

    I told her to offer dirtballs the original HKD20k, which I will loan her, and not a penny more. My thinking is if they don't like it, they can go ahead and sue and they'll get sweet frack all. She thinks she has a case against the bank for breaking the terms of a payment agreement and for harassing her.

    I am at a loss as to what to suggest. Friend cannot afford a lawyer.

    Are there any charities in HK that help with the debt-ridden and harassed? Law firms that'd take her on pro-bono against a banking colossus? Looking for any and all ideas. Thanks.


  2. #2

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    If you think the bank did something bad, complain to the SFC/Monetary Authority! This is what they are there for! Better yet, start the negotiation by threatening to do so, obviously with the names of the branch manager in the first paragraph of the letter.


  3. #3

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    There are some NGOs listed here that "might" be able to help your friend. (Not the receiver's office.)

    https://www.thechinfamily.hk/web/en/...ying-debt.html

    Also, educate yourself on the HKMA complaints process - make sure that the loan or debt is actually owed to an HKMA licensed entity.

    https://www.hkma.gov.hk/eng/key-func...anks/faq.shtml


  4. #4

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    This page also has a brief outline of your rights when dealing with debt collection agencies.

    https://www.thechinfamily.hk/web/en/...ollection.html


  5. #5

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    It's better to not borrow money and make do with what you have. This situation is going to be a nightmare.


  6. #6

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    She needs proof her payments were not late. How did she pay?

    shri likes this.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by HK_Katherine
    She needs proof her payments were not late. How did she pay?
    Now there I think it's good news: she paid by direct deposit.

    It looks like some automated process handled them correctly for X months, then stopped. Pretty black and white situation.

    She was also blackmarked on her credit report each time the payment was rejected! This is effectively--I have not looked up the law--defamation. She couldn't get a credit card...etc.

    Note: This original statement wasn't quite right: She has doggedly paid every installment and the bank has doggedly marked every single payment late,


    The marking payments late business actually started after a period where she kept up her payments. She continued to keep up the payments, but after this point all were marked late.
    Last edited by BrightSum; 05-03-2019 at 04:28 PM. Reason: clarification

  8. #8

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    It's better to not borrow money and make do with what you have. This situation is going to be a nightmare.
    Her husband went from (outward) good health to incapacitated in the space of two or three months. He had had a good income consulting to HK's financial sector and then suddenly the family was left with three kids in school and HK1000/pill experimental medicine.

    It took quite a while for...you know. He lived past the point where he wanted to be here any longer.

    I hope it doesn't, goodness knows, but it could happen to you. I guess our friend felt she had to take a loan.

  9. #9

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    Ignore the random comments and no need to justify the friend's situation.

    Track down all the paperwork that you can and start assembling the HKMA complaint (again, assuming that the loan is from a HKMA licensed bank and not some random subsidiary running a money lender business).

    jgl and Fiona in HKG like this.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by shri
    Ignore the random comments and no need to justify the friend's situation.

    Track down all the paperwork that you can and start assembling the HKMA complaint (again, assuming that the loan is from a HKMA licensed bank and not some random subsidiary running a money lender business).
    Thanks. We're in the process of drafting a letter threatening to take the bank to the HKMA while simultaneously assembling the paperwork and preparing actually to make the complaint. My friend said she made good progress today.

    This is not a mom 'n pop: it's the fully-licensed main HK branch of a bank with self-named skyscrapers in the heart of Central and of Manhattan.

    I've suggested our friend get in touch with the SCMP, too. Given we are literally talking about widows and orphans, the only thing more detestable would be if the bank is also wood-chipping puppies.

    What happens in HK if, after paying into the system for 25 years, you get crushed by a giant bank for principal of about US3000? They tell you to go home? Well, where is that?

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