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.)

2,559 comments

  1. Atty., ask ko lang po meron po ako unsecured loan sa isng coop bank. Tapos po biglang nagsara ang bngko.. lately po mejo nalalate na rn po ang payment ko. Ano po bng dpat kong gawin? Kung hndi po ba ako mgbabayad madedemanda ako? Slamat po

    1. @ Desperate

      Since the Bank already closed, it is the PDIC who will collect the loans in behalf of the Bank. The PDIC may ask you to pay your loan. Yung tanong kung madedemanda ka, pwede for collection of sum of money if PDIC decided to file the case against you.

  2. Good Morning Active pa po ba ito? I received call on my credit card problem said na mag sherif na pupunta sabi ni SPO1 Dennis Peria and a call from Atty Advincula Jr. na dapat whitiin this day makabayad ako ng 50k kung hindi i sherif yung bahay ng parents ko and may warrant of arrest na ako withiin72 hours.

      1. I think hindi yan totoo. Collection of money is a civil case. Non-payment of debt is not a criminal offense. Kaya walang warrant of arrest.

  3. @barista2016 – nagtataka nga po ako kasi wala nmang akong na re-received any documents from them and i think 1 year na walang tumatawag sa akin and suddenly nakuha nila telephone number ng office namin at yung agad ang bungad ng sinasabing SPO1Dennis Peria sa akin. tapos tawagan ko daw si Atty David Advincula Jr kasi may case number na daw po ako (CC-5290-016) para daw po paki usapan ko si complainant which is si Atty…possible po ba na yung Atty Advincula ang magiging complainant ko since sa eastwest bank nman ako may atraso?

  4. @barista2016
    possible po ba na yung abugado ng eastwest ang complainant kahit may nag email na po sa akin last 2015 from TELANLAW regarding amnesty program. Bka po kasi magbayad ako sa sinasabi nilang 50k tapos matulad sa iba na after a year may tumawag na naman ulit na ganun na naman yung utang sa cc.

  5. Hello Sir,

    Ang case ko po ay nag enter ako ng agreement last November 2016 with Saulog and Deleon Law Offices with my defaulted BPI cc account since 2013. (Wala pa po kasi akong malay sa mga pakana ng mga CA na yan).

    In short ang napagkasunduan namin (they insisted pala) na balance ko ay 53,600.00 payable in two years. Pinag deposit po muna ako ng 3k, tapos 2,300 ang monthly amortization na nag start noong December 2016. Nakabigay na po ako in total ng 12,200, di ako nakahulog ng 4 months (Feb, Mar, Apr, Jul). Hirap na po ako maghulog kasi medyo mabigat din at may hinuhulugan pa rin akong ibang card.

    (Nagsimula po kasi ang financial problem ko nung ma major brain surgery ang mother ko ng December 2012 na halos 500k nagastos naming magkakapatid (galing sa utang ang bulk ng gastos), tapos na stroke uli ng last week ng October 2013, nacomatose at di na nagising. Naka life support na lang siya at nag decide kami magkakapatid na tanggalin na after 10 days kasi di na siya makakarecover. Hundreds of thousands na naman po nagastos at magkakapatid lang kaming nagtutulong tulong magbayad, in addition pa po ito doon sa mga nautang namin nung maoperahan siya.

    Kaya nag research po ako last week lang ano pwede kong option, at isa sa mga natagpuan ko ang blog ninyong ito. Nung mag ff up po sila ng payment, nag message po ako sa CA na before I resume ng pagbabayad, bigyan nila ako ng Statement of Account na certified true and correct ng BPI, para makapag work out kami ng bagong agreement at a lower amount, at dapat written agreement na.

    Ang binigay lang po ay Summary of Payment na may remaining balance pa akong P41,400. Pwede ko po ba panindigan na pag di sila naka provide ng SOA from the bank, pwede huwag ko muna ituloy ang pagbabayad? Wala kasi kami formal na agreement, verbal lang po. Tama po ba ginawa ko?

    Patulong naman po, please…

  6. Hi, i received a letter from bpi saying :
    NOTICE OF EXECUTION
    RE: Warrant to Seized Property against you will be serve on AUGUST 22, 2017 by Court Sheriffs & Autorities for our Deceit Case.
    I have a defaulted account with bpi, pwede po ba ito?

    1. prior to this have you received any summons & complaint (civil case)? if so, were you able to Answer the summons sent to you? if not, possible na umabot talaga sa ganyan, however, if you have no property or assets under your name, then no need to worry. wala magagawa ang bank or collection agency kung wala kang mababayad. try to email bpi and verify rin.

  7. sir ask ko lang po i have personal loan po kc din n deliquent ung credit card ko po sa citibank may tumawag po sa akin n pag hindi po daw na settle yung cc ko po mg add din daw po cla ng interest and penalty sa personal loan ko po kasi nka link po daw ung loan ko sa cc ko po ask ko lang po if pwde po ba yun and legal po ba??

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  9. Yes my ganyn scenario ang bill q lng is wala p 10k tpoz d nkpagbyad almost 8mants ata tpoz ang naging bill s demant letter eh 6ok+ taz my tumtwag n kelngn byaran n dw khit 2k muna pra mdisclose ung utang o magstop s ganung bills d prob is wala tlga pmbyad khit mgkno dhl emergncy reason narin..tpoz ppabrangay o kesyo ano2 cnsbi n legal action dw..tnx

  10. Sir lito, me nagpunra po sa bahay na collector ng first maharlika, me utang po ako sa allied credit cards na pnb na po ngaun noon pa pong 2005, mdami n pong law firms ang nagppadala ng demNd letter sa akin to pay, hindi ko po un nbayaran dahil nawalan ako ng work, hawak na po now ng first maharlika at pag hindi po daw ako nakipag ugnayan sa knila ay kakasuhan ako, anak ko po ang nakausap, at nid ko daw magbayad within this month, me iniwN na calling card, confuse po ako at nd makatulog..pls help me po…

  11. Hi po ! Ask lang po sna aq regarding po sa first maharlika collection agency kase po may loan po kami ng husband q sa global dominion tapos po ndi po kami nkapgsettle ng payment namin on first and second month tapos ung collection agency po puro twag and txts po na ndi q din nmn po iniignore.ang problema po kase ang sabi sken at txt po sken na kung ndi padin daw pi kami nkapgsettle eh maaring mpababa ang mister q sa barko at papadalhan na daw po aq ng warrant.yung last po na may hwak po ako ngpartial po muna ako ng 4k pero ung monthly po namin is 18k inuupdate q nmn po sila na wala pa po aqng hwak and reason kung bakit po kami ndelay sa payment namin sa knila.kaya lang po hindi na nila yun tinatanggap though inaassure naman po namin sila na hindi namin tatakbuhan or tatalikuran ung utang namin saknla.tama lang po ba na warrant po agad ang ibigay nla kahit ndi pa po kami ngharap sa korte ? Maraming slamat po

  12. Hi poh good evening

    May natanggap po akong credit card last 2010 na Hindi nmn poh ako nag apply..
    Ngtry ako gamitin din nagamit ko xa. Hindi ko alam cno ng apply non skin kc la nmn ako mga saving s banko. Basta dinilever lbg un s work place ko…
    Bgo ako ng abroad para mging dh may nd ako nbyaran n balance maliit LNG nmn poh mga 5000 LNG o baba p ata un basta nd about s 5000 ung nd ko nbyaran DAT tym.
    After a year pinapunta ko mama ko s banko PRA mg inquire s account ko at magkano n ung inabot ng utang ko kso sbi ng staff bayad na at close n ang account.
    Pag uwi ko last 2013 ngcheck ako s banko ulit ng ask ako s staff nla sbi nla wala n daw ung name ko. So pinabayan ko kc la na nga daw..
    Until dis month my ng pm skin s fb n collection agency daw cla at naniningil kc delinquent daw ako.. Bal ko daw 25k my discount daw ako pag bnyaran ko agad agad mga 5100 nlng daw..
    Nong nd ko pinansin my ibang Tao ng msg skn tinakot ako n idemanda .kso ung personal info nla sakin sa knila ung bday ko sa information nla Mali nd ko bday un..
    Ano poh ba dapat gawin k may kso ba ako s knla tsaka 6 years n poh bgo cla ngparamdam..
    Pls bgyan mo ako ng advice para maliwanagan poh ako at alam ko din poh gagawin ko..
    Thank u poh and god bless…

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