Dubai: A Filipina based in Dubai recently settled a million MAD credit card debt by paying only 11,000 MAD.
This comes just two months after she paid off a similar debt of Dh 1.7 million with Dh 15,000 on another card.
“Although this has happened to me once, I did not expect a bank to give up a huge portion of the outstanding amount again, even below the credit limit of Dh12,000,” Andrea said * , 39 years old. Gulf News.
She ran out of both credit cards when she lost her job in 2009 and had nothing to live on.
Unable to pay her credit card bills, she hid from the banks.
Financial charges, interest for 10 years
This drove his balance on the second card to MAD 1,050,933.57 in 10 years due to finance charges and interest.
With the help of Gulf Law attorney Barney Almazar and his team, Andrea has spent the past two months negotiating with the banks to settle the amount.
And when both parties agreed, Andrea immediately paid the bank with the help of her mother in the Philippines.
After making the payment, I felt relieved and delighted. I felt like 70 percent of the burden I had been carrying all those years had been taken away.
– Andrea *, 39, Filipino
“After making the payment, I felt relieved and delighted. I felt like 70 percent of the burden I had been carrying all those years had been taken away, ”she said.
Andrea said her massive credit card debt triggered her three-year depression.
When asked if it was luck that her debts had been canceled not once but twice, she replied, “No, it is God’s blessing and favor.
“It was the work of God. He used people to help me with my problems in this year of tolerance here in UAE. I imagined that would happen. And he did.
“I thank God for this. I also thank Gulf Law and the bank for hearing my case.
The turn of events – giving up a total of 2.7 million dirhams for one person – also surprised Almazar. But he also stressed that it was not luck that made it happen.
We are pleased that she is now taking one more step towards closing all of her banking files. The country’s legal framework facilitates negotiations. We can say that the hard work of our team is paying off.
– Lawyer Barney Almazar, Gulf Law
“Our client couldn’t believe that after getting a waiver of Dh 1.7 million two months ago, we were able to waive another Dh million of his unpaid debts. It was like winning the lottery twice, “
“We are pleased that she is now taking one more step towards closing all of her banking records,” Almazar said. Gulf News. “The country’s legal framework facilitates negotiations. We can say that the hard work of our team is paying off.
Almazar said banks used to avoid their team and ban them from their doorstep because they were seen as encouraging debtors not to pay their debt.
“But we never give up. We have shown collectors that we are different, we are sincere. Both sides will lose if the case ends up in court, ”Almazar said.
“After years of building relationships with UAE banks, they now see us as partners in encouraging borrowers to be responsible. We always encourage out-of-court settlements that are fair to the bank and the borrower. It’s a win-win situation, ”he added.
Almazar advised other expats who might be in the same situation to fight.
“There is always hope,” he says.
Journey to debt freedom
“Never feel helpless or overwhelm yourself with unnecessary stress. Complex problems can be solved step by step. We have entered into settlements with banks on the basis of mutual trust and respect. Banks maintain their integrity and defaulters must not lose their dignity.
Andrea’s journey to free herself from her debts is not yet over, but she is happy with her progress. A final settlement with a third bank is pending. After that, there are also fines for exceeding the time limit.
“Once everything is settled, I will finally be able to return home after 10 long years,” she said.
“To those who are facing financial problems, my advice is that you stay focused on your goal to pay it off. Don’t get sidetracked. If the banks know that you are very serious about paying off your debt, they will honor your intention. “
* Name changed on request