By Zaldy De Layola
MANILA – Davao City 1st District Rep. Paolo Duterte and Benguet Rep. Eric Yap filed a bill seeking to stop violation of debtor’s right to privacy and unfair debt collection practices which have become very common nowadays.
The two proposed House Bill (HB) No. 6681 or the “Fair Debt Collection Practices Act”, which aims to regulate debt collection practices to protect borrowers from abuses, harassment, unfair treatment and misrepresentations.
Duterte and Yap vowed to put an end to these irregularities and believed that HB 6681 is the key to addressing these concerns.
Duterte said online lending collections, particularly online lending sharks, have become rampant following a crackdown on unregistered lending agencies, unfair debt collection practices and cyber harassment.
Meanwhile, Yap said the Department of Justice even highlighted the following acts to be violative of the debtor’s rights such as accessing the debtor’s phone book/contact list for purposes of sending them messages in the event of untimely and/or non-payment; and threatening debtor with debt and physical injuries if they fail to settle their account balances, among others.
“But most importantly, these lending agencies also charge exorbitant interest rates that are unreasonable to the creditors,” Yap said.
The proposed measure also stipulates that financing and lending companies, online financing or lending applications, credit card companies, creditors, debt collectors and third party service providers engaged by creditors may resort to all reasonable and legally permissible means to collect amounts due them under the loan agreement. (PNA)