- The United Arab Emirates ’ legal system has no bankruptcy laws, leaving debtors unprotected from their creditors and liable to serve several years in prison if they default on loans or their cheques are not honoured by the banks. Many UAE lawyers representing offenders have been calling for the decriminalisation of the offence.
What happens if you leave Dubai with debt?
If you have an outstanding debt in the country, your bank in the UAE will not allow you to close your account when money is still owed. Your bank account will remain open for debt repayments. It may be changed to a non-UAE resident bank account, and will be closed when the outstanding sum is fully paid off.
Can I go to jail for not paying a personal loan in UAE?
The UAE’s justice system comes down hard on those who are unable to pay their debts or fail to repay loans. Bouncing a check is considered a criminal offense, leading to prison time of up to three years or a fine of up to 30,000 dirhams (US$8,200) and a travel ban until the sentence is fulfilled.
What happens if you dont pay your loan in Dubai?
You may not be allowed to travel outside the UAE if you default on repayment of the personal loans or credit card instalments. Furthermore, the lending bank or financial institution may file a civil case against you, based on the personal loan agreement you signed, to recover the outstanding debt.
Can you go to jail for not paying your credit cards in UAE?
The cheque issuer may face one to three months in jail. If the loan defaulter fails to pay up at the police station within 20 days, the case is then referred to the civil court. 2
What is the punishment for not paying loan?
Loan defaulter will not go to jail: Defaulting on loan is a civil dispute. Criminal charges cannot be put on a person for loan default. It means, police just cannot make arrests. Hence, a genuine person, unable to payback the EMI’s, must not become hopeless.
How can UAE get out of debt?
UAE: 8 ways to stay out of debt if you think your job is unstable
- Get real about needs and wants.
- Revisit your shopping habits.
- Make minimum debt payments, if necessary.
- Build an emergency fund.
- Using a credit card?
- Don’t evade the lender, negotiate.
- Cash in on your assets.
- Upskill yourself.
What happens if I don’t pay my loan and leave the country?
When you are away, your creditors can claim any and all assets and estates you hold back in the actual country of residence. They can take just as much as the money you owe them, and lawfully so. One other thing that happens is the continuously adding late fees and other additional charges.
Is loan default a criminal Offence in UAE?
Following a relaxation for Emirati citizens in sentencing laws regarding the criminal offence of defaulting on loan payments, expats who bounce cheques will not now be given jail terms. The relaxed stance on the offence has been confirmed in an article by the National, an Abu Dhabi daily newspaper.
Can I leave UAE without paying fine?
Expatriates who have committed road offences will not be allowed to leave the UAE unless they pay all their traffic fines in line with new Interior Ministry measures.
Can I keep my bank account if I leave UAE?
Once a resident leaves UAE, they are considered as non-resident and non-residents are eligible for a non-resident bank account in UAE. If the bank that you have an account at does not provide a non-resident account, you can always cancel the account and open an account at a bank that offers a non-resident account.
What happens if you have a loan and lose your job in UAE?
In light of your job loss, lawyers confirm you can contact the bank with a request for rescheduling or restructuring of the loan with a lesser EMI (equated monthly installment) and a longer duration so that you can manage to pay it.
Can you sue a friend over borrowed money in UAE?
If there is no answer, or you get a refusal, you shall appoint a lawyer to send him a legal notice in order to settle the matter and return the money immediately. If there is still no positive answer, you can bring a civil lawsuit against him before the courts of UAE asking for the investment [borrowed] amount.
What happens if I don’t pay my credit card for 5 years?
If you don’t pay your credit card bill, expect to pay late fees, receive increased interest rates and incur damages to your credit score. If you continue to miss payments, your card can be frozen, your debt could be sold to a collection agency and the collector of your debt could sue you and have your wages garnished.
Is unpaid credit card a criminal case?
We need our credit cards at this time.” Will you go to jail when you can’t pay your credit card debt? The short answer to this question is No. Romel Regalado Bagares, “ non-payment of debts are only civil in nature and cannot be a basis of a criminal case.
Will you go to jail if you don’t pay your credit card?
There are no longer any debtor’s prisons in the United States – you can’t go to jail for simply failing to make payment on a civil debt (credit cards and loans). Civil cases also usually take a while to work through the system, which may give you time to make payment arrangements with debt collectors
The truth about leaving a debt behind in Dubai.
The debt collection staff of Detained in Dubai dispels some common beliefs. In contrast to Western countries, the United Arab Emirates sees debt as a criminal offense rather than a civil one. A borrower who is late on their payments may be punished to prison for up to three years as a result of this decision. However, the debt is not discharged as a result of this punishment; rather, only the “criminal” conduct of failing to pay the obligation or the instalments due is expunged. Following the initial sentence, the debtor is released for a period of thirty days to allow them to make arrangements for the payment of the money owed.
(This is an update on the new Personal Insolvency Act in the UAE, which will take effect in 2020.) This makes little sense to a Westerner who is accustomed to the security afforded by bankruptcy regulations.
Unfortunately, the banks in Dubai think in a different way than their counterparts in the West.
- When speaking to the Arabian Business Magazine, HSBC UAE country chief Abdulfattah Sharaf explained this disturbing view, saying that debtors should be imprisoned if they fail to make payments. “It has proven to be successful for us.” People swiftly enlist the assistance of others to bail them out and bring the money in. It did, in fact, work in the past. “It was successful in the majority of situations,”
Given the possibility of putting a defaulter in jail for non-payment, banks in Dubai are less motivated to lend responsibly than banks in the West. A common occurrence for most expats is receiving between two and ten phone calls each day, six days a week, from companies attempting to offer them loans and more credit cards. Even the most resilient will eventually crumble and turn to loans to finance their “Dubai Lifestyle.” Occasionally, the borrower’s financial situation changes. People become ill or lose their jobs.
- The banks, on the other hand, are hesitant to bargain.
- There are Indian laborers who have been imprisoned for more than a decade for debts as small as £1000, and they are not the only ones.
- As a result, it comes as no surprise that the defaulter, knowing that he or she may spend the rest of their lives in a desolate desert jail, frequently escapes the nation before the cell doors can close behind them.
- Are the debtor’s concerns alleviated after they return to their own country?
- At Detained in Dubai, we hear from people all the time who have made poor decisions and paid a high price as a result.
- This (most likely well-intentioned) incorrect advice can be quite damaging.
I was threatened with Interpol by the debt collection agency, but I later learned that Interpol is not permitted to pursue debt collection.
- Correct. It is not within Interpol’s mandate to pursue debt collection. The United Arab Emirates, which is also Interpol’s largest voluntary cash contributor, having donated $54 million in the last year alone, circumvents this law by illegally reclassifying the debt as “fraud,” according to the International Criminal Court. Interpol is under no obligation to examine whether or not the charge is legitimate. They just issue a Red Notice to the debtor, and if the debtor crosses an international border, he or she risks imprisonment while the UAE is asked whether or not they wish to initiate extradition procedures against them.
If the debt is less than a particular amount, isn’t it true that they don’t submit the debtor to Interpol?
- Banks in the United Arab Emirates report individuals to Interpol for receiving minor and big sums of money. Some persons are never reported for significant sums of money, but others are reported for a few thousand dollars or less. It happens that some persons are reported immediately, while others are reported years later, and still others are never reported at all. No one can foresee what the banks will do in the near future. There is no such thing as a conventional “playbook.”
I ran my name through the Interpol checker on the internet and it came up empty. Is that a sign that I’m on the right track?
- Despite the fact that Interpol has an online check website, it does not function for UAE Red Notices. It is entirely up to the issuing country whether or not to make its wanted list available to the general public. The United Arab Emirates has chosen not to disclose theirs
- A search for UAE Red Notices returns zero results, despite the fact that they issue more Red Notices than any other member state of Interpol. You may view the Interpol check page by clicking here.
Should I hire an attorney in the United Arab Emirates to deal with my banks?
- For more than a decade, we have worked with hundreds of customers who first attempted to have their debts handled by law firms in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). We have never heard of any other conclusion than the fees paid to the UAE legal firms being forfeited and the clients being in a worse financial position than they were before they hired those attorneys to represent them. The following are the outcomes that have been reported:
- The law companies in the United Arab Emirates accepted the customers’ money and then progressively stopped communicating with them on any level. The case was not progressed, and the creditors were not contacted by the lawyer
- The banks continued to pursue legal action against the clients (including, on a couple of occasions, issuing Interpol Red Notices)
- There was no way to recover the money from the UAE law firm
- There was no way to recover the money from the creditors. The attorneys in the United Arab Emirates are not governed by any type of enforceable norms of conduct. Certainly nothing that is effective, and certainly not from a customer who is located outside of the UAE
- We have had a huge number of clients come to us after having paid money to a law practice located in the UAE. It has been necessary in every case for them to acknowledge the loss of their money to a UAE corporation and begin the process anew with us.
It has been explained to me that they are unable to lawfully collect the debt in my native country.
- This is also false. This is a very frequent fallacy, even among debt specialists who are otherwise well-versed in the subject. Because of the credit arrangement that the debtor signed in the United Arab Emirates, it is extremely simple for the banks to get jurisdiction in the debtor’s home country and pursue the defaulter’s assets in that jurisdiction. The United Kingdom, in particular, has facilitated this process by signing a unilateral credit enforcement agreement with the United Arab Emirates
- In the United Kingdom, debt recovery is often considered a last resort by banks due to the expense involved and the uncertainty of how much they will recover. Anyone who has accumulated funds or possessions after leaving the UAE, on the other hand, should take this warning carefully. Coyle White Devine is one of the firms that UAE banks often employ in the United Kingdom in order to take assets and savings from UK individuals. Another is IDRWW (International Development Research and Work).
Isn’t it true that debt is completely forgiven after six years?
- Most Western countries would have a similar statute of limits on debt, however the UAE has a 15-year statute of limitations on debt. This 15-year period applies even if you return to your home country because it was stipulated in the credit agreement that was first signed in the United Arab Emirates. Furthermore, the UAE bank has the ability to extend the deadline at any moment by contacting a sympathetic judge in the UAE.
Were you aware that the legislation was changed in 2017 so that a bounced check is no longer a criminal offense punishable by imprisonment?
- It was only in 2017 that a bounced check was no longer a criminal offense punishable by imprisonment.
Isn’t it true that the legislation was changed in 2017 to make bouncing a check a non-jailable offense?
- Yes, bankruptcy rules were heralded in the national press as a significant step forward in the UAE banking industry and as a method of protecting debtors’ rights in the country. Unfortunately, the restrictions only apply to companies, which is regrettable (not private individuals). Furthermore, they are exclusively applicable to Emiratis.
I’ve heard that if I change my name through a deed poll or obtain a new passport, I may avoid paying. Is this true?
- Another one that we hear a lot is this one. I’m afraid it’s just wishful thinking on my part. The new name and passport of a person are digitally connected to their old names and passports. In spite of the fact that someone is listed (for example, with Interpol), they will still be detained upon traveling through an international boundary, such as an airport.
Will they give up on me if they don’t manage to catch up with me after a certain amount of time?
- This is quite unlikely. Many UAE banks argue that they prefer to pursue a debtor many years after the fact since the debtor may now be settled and may have assets such as a home or even a company that the banks might attempt to recover. In the event that several years have passed, it is likely that the initial debt will have accrued significant interest and fees.
There is no way they can imprison me because how would I be able to pay if I was in prison?
- This is not something you should allow yourself to believe. The bank does not anticipate you making a payment from inside the jail. They assume that a wealthy relative would sell a property and provide the necessary funds to bail you out. In the event that no one shows up to bail you out, the UAE banks would prefer to keep a debtor in prison as a deterrent to future would-be defaulters.
They will work with me to restructure my debt if I demonstrate my willingness and request that they do so. After all, they will at the very least receive some compensation in this manner, right?
- Generally speaking, UAE banks are completely reluctant to discuss or modify their loans. Debt collection companies are contacted practically quickly after the debt is incurred. These organizations are well-known for being unprofessional and harsh. Heavily employed by low-skilled, poorly educated young men and women from India’s subcontinent, these collection agencies are compensated based on how much money they can extract from the debtor. There are several tactics used by debt collection agencies, including harassing not only the debtor but also the debtor’s friends, family, new work colleagues, and even customers. Debt collection agents are frequently unprofessional, semi-literate, and aggressive, and are not always trusted by the debtor. In some cases, debtors who claim to have paid their bills in full to a debt collection agency have discovered to their dismay that none of the money they paid was taken from the real amount. As a result, it was gobbled up by dubious “fees and expenditures” that were claimed by the debt collecting business itself. Individuals who wish to settle their financial difficulties should avoid dealing with these debt collection agents directly.
Most UAE banks are adamantly opposed to any form of negotiation or reorganization. After being assigned to debt collection agencies, the debt is almost immediately sold to a third party. There is a well-deserved reputation for being unethical and brutal among these organizations. Heavily employed by low-skilled, poorly educated young men and women from India’s subcontinent, these collections agencies are compensated based on how much money they can extract from the debtor. There are several tactics used by debt collection agencies, including harassing not only the debtor but also the debtor’s friends, family, new work colleagues, and even customers.
In some cases, debtors who claim they have paid their bills in full to a debt collection agency have discovered to their astonishment that none of the money they paid has been removed from their actual obligation.
In order to resolve their financial difficulties, it is not recommended that customers deal with these agents directly.
- In no way, shape, or form. If you return to the UAE, or even another GCC nation, you run the possibility of being arrested as soon as you land at the airport and imprisoned until you can pay the whole sum owed. However, even if the bank has stated that they will drop the lawsuit in order for you to return, there is no guarantee that they are telling the truth. Many creditors have returned to the UAE, believing they are secure since the bank assured them that they were, but in reality, they were detained as soon as they arrived in Dubai. Additionally, there will be a broader GCC warrant, which means that if you go to another GCC nation (even for the purpose of changing flights), you will be detained and extradited to the UAE to face their judicial system
- Qatar is still officially a member of the GCC. While there is now a political impasse between Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, this does not necessarily imply that it is safe to travel to or through the region. Furthermore, the two nations have the ability to resolve any issues at any moment.
What will happen with the new debt decriminalization legislation that will take effect in January 2020? Does this imply that people will no longer be imprisoned for owing money?
- Many in the UAE banking sector feel that this new legislation is likely to be nothing more than window dressing, and that it is unlikely to result in anyone’s actual debt being discharged. Although it has not yet been proven, our financial contacts feel that this new regulation would be equally ineffectual for debt sufferers because of the following reasons:
- It only applies if the client is within the nation at the time of the request for protection. This means that by applying for help, the debt victim is putting themselves on the radar for a potential Travel Ban and/or passport confiscation
- If a debtor requests help through the new legislation, a payment plan will be imposed (by a court appointed expert) that spreads the debt over a maximum of three years will be imposed. If any payment is missed, creditors will still be entitled to take legal action against the debtor, which may include jail time, until the amount is paid in full. In addition, the victim’s passport is likely to be confiscated, and a travel ban is likely to be issued, preventing them from traveling until the debt is fully satisfied.
- The fact that debt has been decriminalized is a sham. Yes, the debt may be subject to a potential criminal punishment, but the bank or creditor can still file a civil lawsuit against the debtor if the obligation is not paid. This lawsuit provides the banks with the ability to continue imprisoning debtors. Since 2018, for example, bounced cheques in the United Arab Emirates have been decriminalised and are no longer considered a criminal offense punishable by imprisonment. The creditors, on the other hand, have the right to litigate in civil court, and the debt sufferer retains the right to be incarcerated. Rather than being imposed through criminal sanctions, the vast majority of prison terms and unjust treatment of UAE debtors are the result of the bank initiating civil action outside of the criminal court system
- As new information becomes available on the 2020 UAE Personal Insolvency Act, we will post it here as soon as it becomes available.
So, what is the most effective strategy to deal with your debt situation?
- Really, you require the services of a professional to deal with your creditors and arrange payment conditions that you can afford while also shielding you from any damaging legal ramifications. If the company is headquartered in an untrustworthy area, the professional or organization should relocate.
If you are outside of the UAE and wider GCC, and in a nation with debt protection laws, your position can be securely rectified without incurring further debt.
For further information and private counsel, please contact our debt team by email at [email protected]. Radha Stirling talked about debtors jail on Facebook in real time:
Jail time is cost for not paying debts in Dubai
Hussein Ali Mubarak is imprisoned in a cell with murderers and criminals surrounding him. His offence was that he failed to make payments on his bank debts. There were more than 1,200 persons in all. DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Hussein Ali Mubarak is imprisoned in a cell with murderers and criminals surrounding him. His offence was that he failed to make payments on his bank debts. More than 1,200 individuals are being held in Dubai’s central jail, accounting for around 40% of the total prison population.
- The practice of imprisoning debtors, which was more widespread in 18th-century England, exemplifies the negative consequences of this Persian Gulf city-frenetic state’s economic expansion.
- Banks are prepared to provide consumer loans with little or no collateral, and because Dubai lacks a central credit-check authority as well as a personal-bankruptcy court system, consumers might rapidly find themselves in financial difficulty.
- This is shown by the instance of Mubarak, a 28-year-old Emirati.
- The fact that he had fallen behind on his payments didn’t stop him from getting two more loans from separate banks, each of which was larger than the one before.
- Following his failure to appear in court, the bank deposited the blank check he had submitted as his only form of collateral.
- If no one steps forward to pay his $44,700 debt, he will be forced to remain in prison for an extended period of time.
However, because there are no laws in Dubai governing defaults on personal loans, a person who is imprisoned for such an offense is likely to remain in prison — even after their sentence has been completed — until a relative, charity organization, wealthy businessman, or even a member of the ruling family pays the debt.
- He believes that if banks were required to bear a portion of the cost of imprisoning debtors, they would be more cautious in their lending practices.
- As previously stated, the Central Bank has committed to establishing a lending authority by end of the year.
- Scotto, general manager of Emirates Bank.
- According to Dubai’s police, once this occurs, they will have no choice but to detain the suspects.
- Khalid Ahmed Omer, a legal counsel to the Dubai police, described the action as “a crime.” “If there is no check, no one has the authority to put you in jail.” However, if you signed a check, you are the one who is liable, not the bank.
“It’s a way of life around here,” said Abdullah al Nasser, a lawyer. “If money comes easily, no one will be able to repay it. Moreover, if I am given the choice between a Toyota and a Mercedes, I will, without a doubt, go for the Mercedes.”
UAE: Foreign Debtor Trapped in Dire Circumstances
(Beirut) – The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and Migrants (UNHCR) has called for an end to discrimination against refugees and Migrants. A human rights organization stated today that officials in the United Arab Emirates have prohibited an Iranian national from leaving the country or working for over seven years because of the country’s oppressive debt rules. Due to the refusal of the authorities to renew Mohammad Reza Bahar’s employment and residency licenses, he has been unable to clear his debts or even fulfill his basic necessities, making it hard for him to support himself and his family.
- Defaulting on a check is regarded as a criminal violation, punishable by imprisonment for up to three years or a fine of up to 30,000 dirhams (US$8,200) in addition to a travel ban until the term is completed.
- He was sentenced to prison in 2015.
- Moreover, Bahar has been successfully prohibited from reconnecting with his wife, who is now having treatment in the United States for metastatic breast cancer.
- Creditors can also move to civil courts to imprison debtors or to impose essentially endless travel bans on debtors who owe more than 10,000 Emirati dirhams ($2,700) in personal or company debts.
- The Civil Procedure Law was amended in 2019, and a court has the authority to overturn a travel ban after three years if the creditor does not request an extension of time.
- Bahar relocated to Dubai in 2001 and established a commercial brokerage firm, during which time he was able to legally reside in the UAE for at least 13 years.
- Individual wealth was shrinking or disappearing at the time as a result of major job layoffs and firm downsizing.
Many people were unable to make their rent payments, defaulted on checks and loans, or ended up in prison.
The court sentenced him to three months in jail, and the sentence was sustained by the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Another foreign investor filed another criminal complaint against him in late 2014, and the court sentenced him to a fine of 10,000 dirhams in January 2015, which was later lowered to 7,000 dirhams after an appeal was lodged with the court.
Bahar’s passport was also taken away by the court in November 2014, and it will not be returned until August 2020.
The courts ordered him to pay a total of 800,565 Emirati dirhams (about $218,000) in fines, which Bahar has been unable to pay due to financial constraints.
“Not now, and certainly not later.” In both instances, the judge ruled that he should not be imprisoned because of his health, but he was nevertheless subject to a travel ban.
However, the court overturned the arrest order and instead reinstated Bahar’s inclusion on the travel restriction list.
He offered to have his adult daughter, who resides in the United Arab Emirates, act as his guarantee in the transaction.
Bahar claims that despite numerous attempts to renew his Emirati ID since it expired in late 2015, immigration officials have told him that he must first resolve his court cases, leaving him trapped in the country without legal residency, which prevents him from working or accessing the majority of basic rights and government services.
- His son, who now resides in the United States, told Human Rights Watch that he spent his funds to pay the charges owed.
- As a result of his bank filing a criminal action against him for credit card debt in January 2019, Bahar was sentenced to further 21 days in prison.
- Human Rights Watch also requested clarification on the process for imposing travel bans, as well as the relationship between travel bans and the ability of foreign residents to renew their residency and work permits.
- Human Rights Watch has not gotten a response to its request.
- Individuals are exempt from the provisions of the federal bankruptcy legislation, which was established in 2016 to assist troubled businesses in avoiding bankruptcy and liquidation.
- In 2019, the UAE implemented a much-heralded insolvency legislation that promises to aid people who are drowning in debt, in a manner comparable to the bankruptcy law for businesses in the United States.
- In addition, in November 2020, the UAE submitted modifications to abolish the criminality of bounced checks, while a creditor would still be allowed to initiate a civil lawsuit against the debtor that might result in incarceration under present legislation.
- According to Human Rights Watch, the United Arab Emirates’ current travel ban rules appear to be in violation of paragraphs 11 and 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
- The imposition of travel bans by the United Arab Emirates solely on the basis of debt is both arbitrary and extremely unfair.
As Page put it, “the UAE government should modify its laws and policies to guarantee that everyone involved in financial disputes has a mechanism to restore their financial position rather than leaving individuals in prison or impoverished.”
UAE ends prison sentences for expat loan defaulters
- The Beirut Times (Beirut) reports that the government of Lebanon is considering a draft law that would allow for the abolition of the death penalty for those who commit suicide. As a result of the country’s harsh debt rules, officials in the United Arab Emirates have prohibited an Iranian national from leaving the country or working for over seven years, Human Rights Watch said today. Due to the refusal of the authorities to renew Mohammad Reza Bahar’s employment and residency licenses, he has been unable to clear his debts or even fulfill his basic demands, leaving him unable to support himself and his family. Those who are unable to pay their debts or who fail to repay loans are subjected to harsh penalties by the UAE’s court system. Cheque fraud is considered a criminal act and may result in jail sentences of up to three years or a fine of up to 30,000 dirhams (US$8,200), as well as a travel ban until the term is completed. Bahar, 68, has served a total of roughly four months in prison since 2015 as a result of his incapacity to pay his creditors. According to Michael Page, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, “the UAE debt system traps people in severe situations from which they have no way out.” “Mohammed Reza Bahar is trapped in a never-ending legal limbo, with no way out and no way to rectify or better his circumstances.” The medical documents submitted by Bahar to Human Rights Watch showed that he suffers from a number of medical concerns, some of which neceSsite surgical intervention, which he is unable to pay for due to the fact that he does not have health insurance coverage. As a result, Bahar is practically banned from rejoining with his wife, who is now receiving treatment in the United States for metastatic breast cancer. If a debtor pays a fine or serves a jail sentence in the United Arab Emirates, he or she is still obligated to pay back the amount. Debtors with outstanding personal or corporate debts in excess of 10,000 Emirati dirhams ($2,700) can be jailed or subjected to practically endless travel bans if creditors file a civil court action. Detention for up to a month, renewable for up to 36 months, can be ordered by a judge if the debtor is deemed capable of paying or if there is reason to believe the debtor will attempt to leave the country. After three years, if a creditor does not request an extension of the travel restriction, a court can withdraw it under changes made to the Civil Procedure Law in 2019. An order to allow a debtor or a family member to travel for medical treatment if they are unable to receive treatment in the nation can also be granted by a judge in some cases. At least 13 years have passed since Bahar relocated to Dubai in 2001, when he established a commercial brokerage firm and lived legitimately in the UAE. He claims that his business suffered severely as a result of the global financial crisis, which began in late 2008 and impacted Dubai’s economy particularly hard, which began in late 2008. Individual wealth was shrinking or disappearing at the time due to major job cutbacks and firm contraction. Previously loose lending rules have been tightened as a result of the enormous pressure that banks have put on consumers to pay off individual debts. There have been several instances of people failing to make rent payments, defaulting on checks and loans, and even ending themselves in prison. When a check bounced in June 2014, a foreign investor who had money due to Bahar filed a criminal case against him in the Dubai Criminal Court, accusing him of defrauding him. In the original trial, he was sentenced to three months in jail, and the punishment was maintained in the court of appeals. He was sentenced to prison and completed his term of imprisonment. In late 2014, a second foreign investor filed a criminal complaint against him, and in January 2015, the court sentenced him to a fine of 10,000 dirhams, which was later lowered to 7,000 dirhams after an appeal. The man was subjected to yet another automatic travel ban, which was only revoked when he paid the fee. Bahar’s passport was taken by the court in November 2014, and it will not be returned until August 2020. As a result, in 2015 and 2016, the two investors brought legal lawsuits against Bahar. The courts ordered Bahar to pay a total of 800,565 Emirati dirhams (about $218,000) in fines, which he has been unable to pay due to financial difficulties. In an interview with Human Rights Watch, he stated, “I lost everything.” No, I don’t have anything like that. This isn’t happening now or later.” The court in both cases chose not to imprison him because of his health, but he is still prohibited from traveling. In a new court application on May 15, 2019, one of Bahar’s creditors sought to have him arrested, but the court overturned the decision and instead reinstated his inclusion on the travel restriction list, which he had previously been removed from. The year 2020 will mark the third time that Bahar will ask the court for permission to visit his ailing wife in the United States, according to court documents. The man offered to have his adult daughter, who now resides in the United Arab Emirates, serve as his guarantee. He has received no answer to his email request. Bahar claims that despite numerous attempts to renew his Emirati ID since it expired in late 2015, immigration officials have told him that he must first resolve his court cases, resulting in him remaining trapped in the country without legal residency, which prevents him from working or accessing most basic rights and government benefits. The official informed Bahar that he would have to pay $7,000 in immigration overstay fees before his Emirati identification card could be renewed in the early 2020s. According to his son, who currently resides in the United States, he used his funds to pay the penalty. In spite of the outstanding court matters, Bahar claims that immigration officials have refused to renew his identification card. After his bank filed a criminal prosecution against him for credit card debt in January 2019, Bahar was sentenced to additional 21 days in prison. Foreign citizens who are owed to creditors in the UAE are subjected to an excessive amount of restrictions, according to a Human Rights Watch letter sent to authorities on April 26. Human Rights Watch also requested clarification on the process for imposing travel bans, as well as the relationship between travel bans and the ability of foreign residents to renew their residency and work permits. In addition, Human Rights Watch requested information on relevant laws or regulations that govern creditor-debtor relations, as well as statistics on foreign residents who have been affected by the travel restrictions. Human Rights Watch has not gotten a response to their request. Following a series of changes in recent years, the UAE appears to have focused on providing relief for companies and citizens who were burdened by debt. Individuals are exempt from the provisions of the federal bankruptcy legislation, which was passed in 2016 to assist struggling businesses in avoiding bankruptcy and liquidation. Bounced checks for amounts less than 200,000 Emirati dirhams ($54,500) are punished with a fine instead of imprisonment under a criminal order law implemented in Dubai in 2017. Earlier this year, the UAE implemented a much-heralded insolvency legislation that, like the country’s bankruptcy law for corporations, aims to aid people who are drowning in debt. The law permits people to restructure their debt for up to three years, but if they fail to make a payment, they may still be subject to civil lawsuits and other legal measures. Also in November 2020, the UAE submitted reforms to abolish the criminality of bounced checks, while a creditor would still be allowed to initiate a civil lawsuit against the debtor, which might result in incarceration under present legislation. As reported by the BBC in October 2020, the International Monetary Fund believes that the Middle East is on the verge of an economic depression that will be considerably worse than the global financial crisis of 2008-09, pushed on by the coronavirus epidemic and record-low oil prices. Global human rights organization Human Rights Watch has stated that the UAE’s existing travel ban rules appear to be in violation of paragraphs 11 and 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). No one shall be imprisoned solely on the basis of his or her failure to perform a contractual duty, as stipulated in Article 11. Specifically, Article 12 states that “everyone shall be free to leave any country, including his own,” with the exception of restrictions “provided by law and necessary in order to protect national security, public order (ordre publique), public health or morals,” as well as the rights and freedoms of others. The International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) also safeguards “the right of everyone to the chance to earn his or her livelihood via labor that he or she chooses or accepts,” as stated in article 6 of the Covenant. When the United Arab Emirates imposes travel restrictions solely on the basis of debt, it is both arbitrary and highly disproportionally harsh in comparison. The combined violation of these rights has ramifications for other rights as well, including the right to an acceptable standard of living, the right to family life and family unity, and the enjoyment of the best possible bodily and mental health available. As Page put it, “the UAE government should modify its laws and policies to guarantee that everyone involved in financial disputes has a mechanism to restore their financial position rather than leaving individuals in prison or impoverished.”
(Beirut) – The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and Migrants (UNHCR) has called for an end to discrimination against refugees and migrants. According to Human Rights Watch, officials in the United Arab Emirates have stopped an Iranian national from leaving the country or working for over seven years because of the country’s harsh debt rules. Due to the refusal of the authorities to renew Mohammad Reza Bahar’s job and residency licenses, he would be unable to repay his obligations or even satisfy his basic necessities.
Bouncing a check is considered a criminal act, and may result in jail term of up to three years or a fine of up to 30,000 dirhams (US$8,200), as well as a travel restriction until the sentence is completed.
According to Michael Page, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, “the UAE debt system traps people in desperate situations from which they are unable to escape.” “Mohammed Reza Bahar is trapped in a never-ending legal limbo, with no way to remedy or better his predicament.” Bahar provided Human Rights Watch with medical documents demonstrating that he suffers from a variety of medical ailments, some of which need surgery, which he is unable to pay for since he does not have health insurance.
- Bahar is also effectively barred from reconnecting with his wife, who is now having treatment in the United States for metastatic breast cancer.
- Creditors can also move to civil courts to imprison debtors or to impose essentially endless travel bans on debtors who owe more than 10,000 Emirati dirhams ($2,700) in personal or commercial debt.
- After three years, if a creditor does not request an extension of the travel restriction, a court can withdraw it under modifications to the Civil Procedure Law made in 2019.
- Bahar relocated to Dubai in 2001 and established a commercial brokerage firm, during which time he was able to remain legally in the UAE for at least 13 years.
- Individual wealth was shrinking or disappearing at the time due to widespread job cutbacks and corporate downsizing.
- There have been several instances of people failing to make rent payments, defaulting on checks and loans, or even ending themselves in jail.
- The court sentenced him to three months in prison, and the sentence was maintained by the Court of Appeals.
In late 2014, a second foreign investor filed a criminal complaint against him, and the court sentenced him to a fine of 10,000 dirhams in January 2015, which was later lowered to 7,000 dirhams on appeal.
Bahar’s passport was also taken by the court in November 2014, and it will not be returned until August 2020.
The courts ordered Bahar to pay a total of 800,565 Emirati dirhams (about $218,000) in fines, which he has been unable to pay.
On May 15, 2019, one of Bahar’s creditors filed a new application with the courts to have him arrested.
In the year 2020, Bahar applied to the court several times for permission to see his unwell wife in the United States.
He has received no answer to his letter.
Bahar claims that in early 2020, an immigration officer informed him that he would have to spend $7,000 in immigration overstay fees in order to renew his Emirati ID.
However, Bahar claims that immigration officials are still refusing to renew his ID because of the pending legal issues.
Human Rights Watch sent a letter to the UAE government on April 26 expressing concern about the severe restrictions placed on foreign citizens who are owed to creditors in the UAE.
In addition, Human Rights Watch requested information on relevant laws or regulations governing creditor-debtor relations, as well as statistics on foreign residents affected by the travel bans.
In recent years, the UAE has implemented a series of measures that appear to be aimed at providing relief to enterprises and citizens who are burdened by debt.
Bounced checks for amounts less than 200,000 Emirati dirhams ($54,500) are punished with a fine rather than imprisonment under a criminal order law implemented in Dubai in 2017.
It allows a person to restructure their debt for up to three years, but if they skip a payment, they may still be subject to civil lawsuits.
International Monetary Fund predictions, according to the BBC, predict the Middle East is destined for an economic depression that will be considerably worse than the global financial crisis of 2008-09, fueled by the coronavirus outbreak and record low oil prices.
According to Article 11, “No one shall be imprisoned solely on the basis of his or her failure to perform a contractual duty.” Article 12 declares that “Everyone should be free to leave any country, including his own,” subject only to limits that are “established by law, are essential in order to maintain national security, public order (ordre public), public health or morality, or the rights and freedoms of others.” The International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) also safeguards “the right of everyone to the opportunity to earn a livelihood via labor that he freely chooses or accepts,” according to article 6 of the Covenant.
When the United Arab Emirates imposes travel bans solely on the basis of debt, it is both arbitrary and excessively disproportional.
“The UAE government should modify laws and policies to guarantee that everyone involved in financial disputes has a mechanism to restore their financial position rather than leaving individuals incarcerated or penniless,” Page added.
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“Dear Steve, I’m writing to express my gratitude for the time you’ve taken to read this letter. My bank loan and credit card debt are in the United Arab Emirates. What is the policy if I don’t pay and surrender myself to the authorities? How long do you think it will take? And what happens to my debts when this happens? And would I be permitted to re-enter the nation if the United Arab Emirates did not impose a ban on me in Dubai? and also, what if I ever decided to collect my debt by putting myself in jail?
- Do you have a question for Steve that you’d want him to answer?
- I’m not sure what the appropriate sentence would be in your particular scenario.
- It has been brought to my attention that some people’s debts are forgiven after serving time in prison.
- Again, this is why you should consult with a local lawyer or attorney as soon as possible.
- People, on the other hand, have reported no issues when just changing flights.
- If you are a citizen of the United Arab Emirates, you may take advantage of several subsidies and initiatives to help you pay off your debt.
- Sincerly, You are not alone in your feelings.
- There is no longer any need to suffer in solitude.
- Even though today is a bad day, tomorrow may be better.
- Steve Rhode is known as the Get Out of Debt Guy, and he has been assisting good people with horrible debt issues since the year 1994.
- Steve Rhode’s most recent blog entries (see all)
I’m Worried I’m Going to Get Arrested For My Bad Debt in Dubai and Sit in Jail for a Long Time. – William
William “Dear Steve, I’m writing to express my gratitude for the time you’ve taken to read this letter. I’m in a dilemma that’s not easy to get out of. I’m currently residing in Dubai, and as a result of losing my job, I will no longer be able to afford to make the monthly payments on my credit card debt, as well as on a personal loan that I was forced to take out as a result of a Dubai law that requires tenants to pay a full year’s rent in advance of occupancy. Not for a second am I going to sit around and wait for someone to come to my house and arrest me for defaulting on my mortgage.
- I intend to begin returning what I owe as soon as I am situated and have found a new work in my home country, even if it is just in modest sums at first.
- Many of the individuals I know have found themselves in the same predicament as I am and have been forced to leave, even if they did not want to.
- Thank you for taking the time to read this.
- Regards William “Dear William, I’m writing to express my heartfelt gratitude for the time you’ve taken to read this letter.
- Approximately 40% of the detainees in Dubai’s central jail are there because of debt-related issues, according to reports.
- Once you return home, it is quite unlikely that your creditors would pursue you for payment.
- It is possible that your creditor will submit your account to a collection agency in another country, although this is quite unlikely.
To learn more, please visit this page.
“That is something I am permitted to do under the law.” However, if the payments are not made and it is discovered that you have vanished, it is highly probable that criminal charges will be brought against you in the United Arab Emirates.
The bank will deposit those cheques, but they will bounce, and the police will begin their search for you in Dubai at that point.
Once you have returned home and resumed your job, I recommend that you seek out a loan to pay off the debt you owe in Dubai as soon as possible, and then approach your creditor with a payment plan to pay what you owe.
The debt regulations in Dubai are quite antiquated, and it is true that you are left with few viable choices if you are in debt.
In reality, if you are required to return, you should bring documentation that the debt has been settled with you in case there is an outstanding warrant for your arrest.
Sincerly, You are not alone in your feelings.
I’m here to lend a hand. There is no longer any need to suffer in solitude. We’ll be able to get through this. Even though today is a bad day, tomorrow may be better. Don’t give up on your dreams. International debt collectors and the jail population in Dubai are two sources of information.
Steve Rhode is known as the Get Out of Debt Guy, and he has been assisting good people with horrible debt issues since the year 1994. You may find out more about Steve by visiting his website. Steve Rhode’s most recent blog entries (see all)
Local laws and customs – United Arab Emirates travel advice
The laws and customs of the United Arab Emirates are vastly different from those of the United Kingdom. Remember to be mindful of your conduct to ensure that you do not insult anybody, especially during the holy month of Ramadan or if you want to visit religious sites. It is possible that you will face harsh consequences for doing something that is not unlawful in the United Kingdom. It is extremely recommended that you become acquainted with, and observe, local laws and customs. The holy month of Ramadan is scheduled to begin on 3 April and end on 2 May in 2022, according to projections.
More information on living in the United Arab Emirates may be found here.
The UAE prohibits the importation of pig products as well as pornographic material. Videos, books, and periodicals may all be subjected to review and censorship in some cases.
Offenses involving illegal narcotics are treated with zero tolerance. Trafficking, smuggling, and possession of narcotics (even in trace amounts) are all punishable by harsh penalties. For drug trafficking, sentences can include life imprisonment as well as death, and possession of even a small amount of illegal narcotics can result in a mandatory minimum 4-year prison term. The presence of narcotics in a person’s blood stream is considered possession by the Emirati authorities. Some herbal highs, such as Spice, are prohibited in the United Arab Emirates.
Because UAE airports are equipped with cutting-edge technology and security, travellers traveling through the country who are found to be in possession of even trace quantities of narcotics may be detained.
Those discovered in possession of such items will have them seized, and you may be subject to criminal prosecution.
Non-Muslim citizens can get a liquor license, which allows them to consume alcoholic beverages at home and at licensed establishments. These licenses are only valid in the Emirate that granted the license in the first place. Residents must also get a permit in order to be permitted to consume alcoholic beverages at licensed establishments. Residents of Abu Dhabi no longer need to get a liquor license in order to purchase alcoholic beverages for personal use. A temporary liquor license for the period of one month can be obtained from one of the two authorised liquor distributors in Dubai if you are visiting the city for the first time.
Unless otherwise specified, this license is only valid for usage inside the Emirate in which it is granted.
However, you should be aware that drinking or being under the influence of alcohol in public is a severe infraction under UAE law and may result in criminal prosecution.
This is the first time the law has been used against them.
The drinking age in Dubai, as well as in all other emirates save Sharjah, is 21 years old. In Sharjah, it is against the law to consume alcoholic beverages. Passengers traveling through the United Arab Emirates while under the influence of alcohol may also be detained.
When women are in public places such as shopping malls, they should dress modestly. Arms and legs should be covered with clothing, and underwear should not be seen on the arms and legs. Clothing appropriate for swimming should be worn solely on beaches or in swimming pools. Cross-dressing is against the law.
It is standard practice for hotels to request a photocopy of your passport or Emirates ID card when you check in. If you are under the age of 18 and not accompanied by an adult, you are not permitted to stay in a hotel.
Swearing and making disrespectful gestures (including those made online) are deemed obscene actions, and those who do them may face imprisonment or deportation. When interacting with the police and other government personnel, exercise extreme caution. Public shows of affection are frowned upon, and there have been a number of arrests for kissing in public in recent history.
Relationships outside marriage
All sex outside of marriage is prohibited in the United Kingdom, regardless of the nature of your connection with your partner. It is possible that you will face prosecution, incarceration, and/or a fine as well as deportation if the UAE authorities learn that you are engaging in a sexual relationship outside of marriage (as defined by them). The act of living together or sharing a hotel room with someone of the opposite sex with whom you are not married or closely related is illegal in the United States of America.
During ante-natal visits, doctors may request proof of marriage from the expectant mother.
It is required that you submit the authorities with a copy of your marriage certificate in order to obtain a birth certificate from them, and it is possible that they will compare the marriage certificate’s date of issue with the estimated date of conception.
All gay intercourse is prohibited, and same-sex marriages are not recognized in the United States. The United Arab Emirates is, in many ways, a tolerant society in which private life is respected, though there have been reports of individuals being punished for homosexual activity and/or sexual activity outside of marriage, particularly where there is a public element or where the behavior has caused offence, in some cases. This applies to both expatriate residents and visitors to the country.
Certain government buildings and military locations are off-limits for photography for security reasons. Do not photograph anyone unless they have given you permission. Men have been detained for photographing women on beaches, according to reports. It’s possible that hobbies such as bird watching and plane spotting will go unnoticed, especially in areas near military bases, government buildings, and airports. It is possible that material (including videos and photographs) posted online that is critical of the UAE government, companies, or individuals, or that is related to incidents in the UAE, or that appears to abuse/ridicule/criticise the country or its authorities, or that is culturally insensitive, will be considered a crime and prosecuted under UAE legal provisions.
Obtaining the relevant approval from the Emirati authorities in advance will be required if you desire to engage in media activity including the creation, transmission, and/or distribution of printed, digital, audio, video, and/or visual material is something you wish to do.
Failure to do so might result in incarceration as well as a significant financial penalty. By enrolling on the National Media Council website, you will be able to receive further information regarding media activities and how to secure the appropriate licences.
If you’re thinking of doing or promoting fundraising or other charitable actions in the UAE (or while traveling through), be in mind that these activities, especially those undertaken online and through social media, are tightly monitored. You should be completely informed of the legal requirements and, if required, seek competent counsel. Criminal consequences, such as substantial fines and/or imprisonment, can be imposed for failure to comply with the law.
If you wish to buy property in the United Arab Emirates, you should get suitable professional advice, just as you would in the United Kingdom, before you do so. On the website of the British Embassy in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, you may find a list of attorneys who practice in those cities.
The commission of financial crimes such as fraud, the bouncing of checks (including post-dated and “security checks”), and the failure to pay bills (including hotel bills) can all result in jail and/or a fine, depending on the circumstances. Bank accounts and other assets might also be frozen at the discretion of the court. Non-residents of the United Arab Emirates who are arrested for financial offences are often denied the right to bail. In most cases, those who have been convicted will not be freed from jail until the debt has been paid in full or waived, and they may even be required to remain in jail after a debt has been paid if there is an outstanding sentence to be served.
Weapons and related equipment
Weapons, ammunition, body protection, and associated equipment (such as cleaning kits, gun belts, and so on), no matter how small the number or what the purpose, all require approval before being brought into or transiting through the UAE or transiting through it.
Satellite phones, listening or recording equipment, radio transmitters, powerful cameras, and binoculars, among other items, may require a permit to be used in the United Arab Emirates. Consult with the UAE Embassy in London for guidance.
How To Deal With Debt Collectors
We at Bankrate are dedicated to assisting you in making more informed financial decisions. Despite the fact that we adhere to stringent guidelines, this post may include references to items offered by our partners. Here’s what you need to know about Receiving a phone call from a debt collector may be an unpleasant and stressful experience. However, if you receive a phone call from a collection agency, don’t become overly concerned. Consider pausing and making a strategy so that you can deal with future calls and have your debt paid off if the situation calls for it.
Let’s go through exactly what a debt collector may and cannot do in accordance with the law so that you can develop a strategy for dealing with debt collectors that is successful.
How debt collectors get your information
You may be able to sell your debt to an agency or hire an agency to collect your debt if you haven’t paid a debt to a creditor (for a loan or a medical bill, for example). The debt collection agency is then entrusted with the job of collecting the debt. The creditor will very certainly provide the collection agency with some of your personal information, such as your address and phone number, so that the agency may contact you. Alternatively, if the information provided is wrong, they may do an online search to locate your current contact details.
If you’re working with professional debt collectors, you shouldn’t have any problems with them exchanging information about your debt with other parties.
5 ways to deal with debt collectors
Whether you’re dealing with a third-party debt collector or a collection agency, there are five things you can do to deal with the problem effectively.
1. Don’t ignore them
Debt collectors will contact you on a regular basis until the debt is paid in full. It is possible to create extra damage to your credit score and report by ignoring a debt collector when you owe money to them.
2. Get information on the debt
Debt collectors will contact you on a regular basis until the debt is fully paid off. It is possible to create extra damage to your credit score and report by ignoring a debt collector while you owe the bill in question.
3. Get it in writing
The law requires that legitimate debt collectors send you a letter in the mail explaining your outstanding obligation, including the identity of the original creditor and the amount owed. You should also obtain information on how to file a debt dispute, which might be useful if the debt in question is not your own. To ensure that your request for a verification letter from the debtor is properly documented, submit your request in writing. As soon as you receive a letter from the creditor containing details on the debt, double-check that it is in fact your debt.
4. Don’t give personal details over the phone
Regardless matter whether you are able to pay the bill or not, refrain from excessive speech. Don’t provide any information over the phone, including whether or not you are able to pay and how you intend to do so. Instead, you should obtain a letter containing the original debt details.
5. Try settling or negotiating
In the event that you receive a letter and are able to verify that the debt is yours, inquire as to whether the debt collector will settle for a percentage of the cost if you pay in full up front. If they insist on receiving the entire amount owing, inquire as to whether you can set up a payment plan.
Understand your rights when dealing with debt collectors
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ensures that certain debt collection regulations are observed by all debt collectors in compliance with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). It’s critical to understand these laws so that you can determine whether or not your rights are being infringed by a debt collection agency. All debt collectors are required to adhere to the following rules:
- They have procedures in place for reaching you. Debt collectors are only permitted to contact you between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m., and they are not permitted to contact you at your place of employment. If you receive a call outside of these hours, it is possible that you are the victim of a debt collection scam. It should be no trouble for a professional debt collection firm to provide you with corporate information, including a callback number, company name, and address
- They are not allowed to mislead or harass you. Debt collectors are not allowed to force you to pay more than you owe or to threaten you with arrest, prison time, property liens, or wage garnishment if you fail to pay your debt. Your state may allow for wage garnishment, but the debt collector will need to take you to court first before they can proceed. The Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau can be notified of any threats to arrest you made by a debt collector pretending to be police officers. Debt collectors are legally obligated to provide you with information about your outstanding debt, so if you receive such a threat, contact the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. They are required to provide you with a few important data regarding your debt, which is referred to as “validation information.” What you owe, who the original debtor was, and what you may do if you don’t believe this is your obligation are all included in your debtor’s statement.
if you believe that any of your debt collection rights are being violated, you should contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or your state attorney general.
How to spot a debt collection scam
Having debt might put you at risk of falling victim to debt collection schemes. If you don’t have any legitimate debt, you may still be a victim of one of these sorts of scams. In order to determine whether a debt collector is legitimate, look for the following signs:
- Keep an eye on your mailbox. When dealing with a debt collector, it’s important to be certain that you’re working with a genuine company. In the event that you have received a phone call from an alleged debt collector, you should acquire a validation letter before making any attempt to pay off the debt in issue. Please double-check your information. Even if the firm is legitimate and the debt is legitimate, there is a possibility that the debt is not yours. Request personal information regarding the debt, such as the name of the original creditor and the amount of the obligation. While the debt may be legitimate, it may also be for someone else who shares your name, or it may be the result of an act of identity theft
- Be sure you are able to pay the bill in the manner that you choose. if the person on the other end of the phone tells you that you can only make payments by bank wire transfer or prepaid debit card, you may be dealing with a scammer. Despite the fact that debt collection isn’t the most pleasant scenario, most organizations will work with you to have a debt paid on terms that are acceptable to both parties involved. You could also attempt negotiating with the debt collector – many debt collectors are prepared to work with you to come up with a payment plan that works for you.
Knowing what to do if you receive a phone call from a debt collector might make dealing with the situation easier. There are guidelines that debt collectors must follow in order to collect on past-due debt, so it’s crucial to understand your rights if you find yourself in this position.
Never ignore debt collectors; get as much information as possible from them, and get it in writing if at all feasible. It is best not to provide personal information over the phone in order to prevent falling victim to debt collection scams or restarting the clock on an existing debt.
- The following methods might assist you in dealing with an unsolicited phone contact from a debt collector. As a result, it is critical that you understand your rights in this case if you are dealing with a debt collector who is attempting to collect an old debt. Never ignore debt collectors
- Get as much information as you can, and make sure it is in writing, before paying them. It is best not to provide personal information over the phone so that you do not fall prey to debt collection scammers or risk having an existing debt reactivated.