Senate supports crackdown on loan sharks and online loan company scams

THE Senate is set to pass a resolution calling for a crackdown on loan sharks and casting a wider net to catch fraudulent online lending companies beyond the reach of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian, deputy chairman of the Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee, confirmed over the weekend that the panel is also considering “corrective legislation to address possible gaps in existing policies enforced by agencies. regulatory authorities and other relevant agencies. following the emergence of online money lending services from unlicensed lenders.

This while the senator pushed the BSP to quickly issue a notice to the public “not to deal with these types of predatory loans”.

Gatchalian expressed concern over reports of an increase in incidents of death threats and suicides related to unpaid debts of lender syndicates.

“Dahil a marahas na pamamaraan nila ng paniningil, may mga biktimang nabalitang nag-suicide and marami na rin umano an nakararanas ng death threats,” Gatchalian said. [Due to their violent method of billing, some victims have been reported to have committed suicide and many are already experiencing death threats.]

He expressed the hope that this would serve as a lesson for those looking for quick loans.

“Magsilbing aral din sana ito as part of mapag-uutangan nang mabilis. Dapat marunong silang kumilatis kaduda-duda the pamamaraan of pagpapautang of a kumpanya. [May this also serve as a lesson to those who are looking for a quick loan. They should be able to discern if a company’s lending method is questionable.]

The senator noted that his office continued to receive complaints from victims of online loan companies and loan applications, noting that the majority of them claimed to have suffered “various forms of serious threats, intimidation and abuse. public shame on the part of debt collectors ”.

Gatchalian recalled that in December of last year, the SEC revoked the certificate of authority of online company Super Cash Lending Corp. after she was found guilty of unfair debt collection practices. The National Commission for the Protection of Privacy (NPC) last February, on the other hand, recommended the prosecution of Fynamics Lending Inc., the operator of the online lending app PondoPeso, for harassing and humiliating delinquent borrowers and for violating data privacy law.

At the same time, the legislator pushed for the swift passage of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Bill.

Gatchalian Senate Bill 1366 prohibits debt collectors from harassing or threatening the debtor and his or her family with death or bodily harm, damaging the debtor’s reputation, or deceptively claiming that non-payment of the debt will result in arrest, imprisonment, garnishment or sale of any property. It also provides that creditors and debt collectors are also prohibited from accessing the personal information of the debtor without the consent of the person concerned.

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David A. Albanese

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