|by Jason Steele|
What happens when you fail to pay your credit card bill. First, you can expect to pay interest and late fees. Next your interest rate will climb to what is called the “penalty APR,” a number much higher than what you normally pay. At the same time, your credit score will plummet while you can expect phone calls, emails, and letter from your bank demanding payment. Finally, the bank will turn your debt over to collections and/or attorneys who will take you to court, receive a judgement, seize your assets and/or garnish your wages to the extent permissible by your state’s laws. If you have no means of support, you can then declare bankruptcy in order to hold of your creditors while you re-organize your finances. It it isn’t a fun process, but at least it is fairly civilized.
How It Works In Indonesia
While the American system sound rough, take a look at what happened to this man in Indonesia who was unable to pay his credit card debt owed to his bank, America’s Citi. It is astonishing to learn that Citi invited him to visit their debt collectors, in person, at a branch location. There, Citi had placed the man in a room that exists for the purpose of interrogating their delinqent account holders. It appears that the individual agreed to the meeting because he was trying to negotiate down his debt with Citi. What happened in that room remains in dispute, with the bank contending he had a brain hemorrhage while multiple medical reports indicate the man suffered from suffocation and blunt force trauma. What is undisputed is that he never left that room alive! The case is so shocking that it has become one of the top stories in Indonesia, with their tabloid press seizing upon the smallest details as they emerge.
How It Works
The article is filled with information about how debt collection is more different there than most American can possibly imagine. Stories of face to face intimidation and violence are so common as to be expected. In contrast, the “harassing” debt collectors in the United States seem quaint by comparison.
The article makes it clear that Citi is suffering a public relations nightmare that has the potential to affect relations between the United States and Indonesia, the largest Muslim nation in the world. Citi has become a symbol of America there, and we are all be tarred with the same brush. The article also notes that Citi lost money on bad loans in the United States and has been working hard to try to make up for the losses by pursuing profits in other countries.
Don’t get into debt in Indonesia, or you might not make it out alive. If an Indonesian owes you money, expect him or her to laugh at your puny threats of debt collectors and court judgements. The rest of you can just be happy to be living in a country that does not tolerate corporate violence against delinquent account holders.