Credit Cards and Unfair Collection Practices

There are a number of good reasons in favor of having and using a credit card. It’s like owning a gun – it’s really a matter of how you use it. I know, not because I own a gun, but because I’ve handled an international credit card institution for years.

Still, we all know the possible adverse results in the unchecked use of “plastics” or credit cards, such as this one: “THERE’S a credit-card horror story that’s become some sort of an urban legend: A television personality, after losing his job in a top network, resorts to using his plastic money. By the time he finds employment in the rival network, he has wracked up P58,000 in credit card bills. But he figures he’s not yet ready to pay in full, so he pays just the minimum amount due. Yet after five years, he is shocked to realize that his credit card debt had ballooned more than 10 times to P700,000.”

Perhaps you’ve heard, or, most probably, experienced certain “innovative” strategies used by credit card companies and their collection agencies in “persuading” you to pay (they are, of course, entitled to payment). With the rising complaints against these strategies, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) issued a set of rules and regulations governing the credit card operations of banks and affiliate credit card companies. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following are considered unfair collection practices

a) the use or threat of violence or other criminal means to harm the physical person, reputation, or property of any person.

b) the use of obscenities, insults, or profane language which amount to a criminal act or offense under applicable laws.

c) disclosure of the names of credit cardholders who allegedly refuse to pay debts, with certain exceptions.

d) threat to take any action that cannot legally be taken.

e) communicating or threat to communicate to any person credit information which is known to be false, including failure to communicate that a debt is being disputed.

f) any false representation or deceptive means to collect or attempt to collect any debt or to obtain information concerning a cardholder.

g) making contact at unreasonable/inconvenient times or hours which shall be defined as contact before 6:00 a.m. or after 10:00 p.m., unless the account is past due for more than sixty (60) days or the cardholder has given express permission or said times are the only reasonable or convenient opportunities for contact.

As a rule, banks, subsidiary/affiliate credit card companies, collection agencies, counsels and other agents may resort to all reasonable and legally permissible means to collect amounts due them under the credit card agreement. However, in the exercise of their rights and performance of duties, they must observe good faith and reasonable conduct and refrain from engaging in unscrupulous or untoward acts, including those enumerated above.

I was reminded of this topic when, just last week, I handled my first case representing a credit card holder. This is something new to me because, as noted above, I was at the other side of the fence, so to speak. Maybe I should discuss more relevant topics on credit cards. (Read the full text of BSP Circular 454, series of 2004. See also: Credit cards – How to Stay Ahead of Runaway Credit Card Debt.)

2,506 comments

  1. Good day Atty.!

    Gsto q lng po itanong kng dpat prin po bang bayaran ang utang kng mtgal npong expired ang card and hindi q nrn po ginagamit ung card. Until now, nkakareceive prin po aq ng statement of account na may mga unexplainable charges.
    Matulungan nyo po sana aq dhil ngtthreat po ung kausap qng collection agent sa PRIME ALLIANCE (Eastwest Bank).
    Thank you.

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  2. Hi Sir Lito…

    My utang po ako sa credit card 2013 pa po di ko kinaya bayaran dahil nagsara po company na pinapasukan ko at nagloko po asawa ko… wala po ako pagkukunan ng ipambabayad sa utang sa card. ano po ba ung Parmi office? Law firm po ba sua or collection agency?
    Marami po silang pagbabanta, sa akin sa bago kong work na-trace nila. Sabi ng hr namin marami harassment words ang binitiwang salita nung tumawag.. ako po ang bread winner sa amin puro senior citizen po kasama ko bahay ako lang po inaasahan nila. Nabudol budol na po nung minsan ang mother ko nkuha po lahat ng alahas nya muntik pa nya papasukin sa bahay.

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  3. Hi. I received a text from a certain number with regards to my doctor cash loan. It says na they will go to my house daw, will assess my property, tapos may claim daw sa Pasig MTC pero walang details like case number or whatever. Can you help me how to deal with this?

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  4. I also have the same case the difference is that i know that my cc account was already closed and then for 6 years they did not send me anything like if i do have unpaid bills which i dont have because i knew in my good faith that it was indeed close. And now exactly today
    Aiqon representatives went to my workplace and gave a letter to my co employees to give it to me and making me pay almost 100k ..i think there is something fishy about this.please do help me regarding this matter. Cause i am a responsible payer.if i do have bills i will settle them

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  5. Hello Sir,

    Is it also applicable on Home Credit?
    My wife get a phone to them , nahulugan namin to for 3 months and then nawalan ako ng work so for 2 months di kami nakapaghulog ng monthly and then nung 5th month na ng installment nagkawork ako so we advise na makakapagbayad na kami but give us the billing statement pero di nila kami binibigyan, sabi namin how can we pay the amount that we dont know, binibigyan lang kami ng amount thru phone na yun ang bayaran pero di naman ako sira na babayaran ang di ko alam, so we said na babayaran namin what is due to us, kaso wala sialang binigay na billing statement and then yung dapat na 4 thousand naging 10 thousand and they calling my relatives and friends , tumawag pa nga at sabi may ksama silang pulis at aarestuhin yung wife ko, anu po pwede action dito. nagaapply pa rin ba dito yung katulad ng credit card?

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  6. Good day po.
    Tanong ko lang po regarding sa cc debt na umabot ng 800k dahil sa interest. Hindi na po kasi na settle ng sister ko yung payment hindi na niya kinaya dahil sa interest. Possible po ba makulong sa ganon issue or ma deport kung wala siya sa pilipinas. Ano po bang pwede gawin. Thabk you po

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  7. Hello po, now ko lng po nabasa tong forum na to and i’m happy na merong ganito at sana active pa. With regards to my CC, I have 2, security bank and rcbc. Hindi nako updated sa payment on both cards kasi nawalan ako ng work since january. Nagkaron ulit ako ng May na and unang sahod was june, hndi rin sapat na pambayad kasi syempre bahay, and everything, kumbaga sapat lang. Last payment ko for them was february pa. Ngayon im receiving demand letters from law offices on weekdays, even on a saturday. Hndi po ako updated sa mga bagong patakaran nila when it comes to their collecting, lalo na on how to transact with them. Parang nakakaano lang na di mo nga mabayaran for now kahit minimum tas ide demand ka nila to pay for the whole amount in 5 daya? D nman sa nang aano ako pero me common sense po ba sila? Isa pa po, pag na endorse kana po ba sa mga agency di ka pwede magbayad sa bank?

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  8. Sir ask ko lng po kung may makukulong po ba sa pagkakaroon ng balance sa home credit?
    May ngtxt po kasi sken na attu europa na pinablocklist na dw po name ko in all govt sectors since dq nbyaran yung balance ko po and sabi p sa txt
    Please settle atleast 2000 pesos po..

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  9. Prime Alliance or PARMI went for a visit sa office. I simply ignored them at parang ayaw pa umalis. Kelangan lang talaga 2 sila ppunta para magpa received ng letter sakin. The two demanded the guard na kakausapin ako but I refused.

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  10. Good afternoon Atty,

    Credit card holder po ng MetroBank..nawalan po kasi ako ng trabaho so na stop po yong pagbabayad ko..last June lng po i receive an email, from ENZI Corp. its an agreement na kelangan ko daw bayaran yong debt ko in just two months..from 38k po kelangan q lng daw magbayad ng 22k 600,so i signed the agreement po..and now q lng po nabasa tong blog na to..and one of the advice po is i should have secure an agreement from the bank..ang tanong ko po valid po ba yong agreement from the agency po na napirmahan ko?kc balak q po sa bank po ako didirekta and hindi na po ako makikipag usap sa agency..baka po kasi gamitin nila yon laban sa kin..

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