"It is no secret that UAE banks have stepped up their efforts to enforce debts internationally and of course, there is nothing wrong with that. The world is becoming smaller and people don’t expect that a simple relocation will alleviate them of their contractual obligations. In fact, most people have a genuine desire to resolve their obligations as soon as possible and keep the option to return to the UAE open. Some customers have been forced to leave the UAE since the country offers no protection against imprisonment for debts. Others have been forced to return home after losing their employment or business."
The company had taken a loan out, which some months after I had left, fell into default. The bank had then apparently decided to come after me personally as the guarantor.
As a consequence My family and I were subjected to a campaign of harassment and intimidation by a UAE based DCA, Fintrestle, which lasted for months.
We were phoned daily and I was constantly threatened with Interpol Red Notices and other legal actions, which would have resulted in me being unable to work as I had taken on a small consultancy contract since I was not drawing a salary from the UAE company and still had to provide for the family.
After protracted negotiations through Miss Stirling and her organisation, we were not making any progress, in fact Fintrestle admitted that they had not even proposed an offer to the bank. We then approached the bank directly in an effort to resolve the case. This was followed by a period of relative quiet. But after 6 weeks or so I received a Statutory Demand for Payment from a UK solicitor Coyle White Devine, which gave me a limited time to either pay in full, reach a settlement, or lodge a counter claim.
We did manage to reach a settlement figure with the bank through the UK solicitor. However, this was after the time limit had expired for me to be able to lodge a counter-claim. I subsequently discovered the initial Fintrestle who contacted me were never authorised to do so by the bank, yet were able to send me copies of the company loan and bank details as well as copies of my passport, visa etc. This is a clear breach of confidentiality, in violation of internationally accepted banking practise, as well as UAE Federal Law and Constitution. Clear grounds for a claim. I would encourage any and everyone in a situation similar to the one I found myself in to ensure through the bank that any approach for restitution is actually authorised by them.
I would also like to thank Miss Stirling for all her efforts, and again would encourage everyone to seek professional advice in these situations”.
It is almost always with good intentions that customers utilise loans and banking facilities, expecting that they will be able to maintain payments.
Most customers have either lost their employment or company and have simply been unable to make ends meet. The inability to meet financial obligations due to circumstances beyond someone's control do not constitute fraud, and the person should not be dealt with as a criminal.
The use of extremely aggressive tactics in debt recovery has both pros and cons for the bank´s goals. On the one hand, some harassment can motivate customers to take the initial steps to enter communication with the banks or hire a representative to negotiate on their behalf. On the other hand, if harassment continues to be unreasonably aggressive, it drives customers away from striving for a resolution. Most western customers will not tolerate practices that are not legal in their own country.
While some recovery agencies have acted quite professionally in their communications, others have given that appearance initially though when they did not achieve what they want, have acted like tantruming children. The agency that banks employ and the tactics that they apply in the recover of debts naturally reflects on the institution itself.