In debt in Dubai: my story
“THERE is no more time for you.” That was the message from RAK Bank collections department on 8 June 2011.
I often find myself wondering how many people there are out there who are terrified that they will lose their families if they disclose the full extent of their debt? How many people are thinking of absconding, or, even worse, committing suicide as it seems to be the only way out?
How many people are drowning in debt and are living in constant fear that they will end up in jail? Or am I the only one who has made a complete mess of my finance and my life? Sometimes it certainly feels that way! This is my story...
Wife and mother
I’m a 40-something Western expat who has lived in Dubai for over a decade. I’m a wife and mother.
I’m well educated and, until recently, I had a good job with an international firm. I also have a staggering secret. Debt. And lots of it.
Drowning in debt
Eight banks, three loans and eight credit cards, over AED 800,000 ($217,800) of debt and monthly repayments totaling more than what I was earning in a month.
My debt is my dirty little, or very large, secret. My family and friends (including my husband) are not aware of my situation and, if I can prevent it, nobody will ever know.
I’m ashamed, I’m embarrassed and I’m scared. I don’t know where to turn or how to even start unraveling the mess I’ve created.
My phone rings off the hook with telephone calls from collection departments and I have been threatened with legal action, travel bans and jail more time than I can remember.
Worst of all, though, is dealing with the regular verbal abuse that the debt collectors dish out.
Last week when I was trying to explain that I’m currently unemployed and am looking for a new job so I can resume my payments a bank representative suggested that maybe I should consider going down to the York Hotel to find a “job” so that I could make my payment.
Continual harassment and strong-arm tactics seem to be usual practice and, according to the collections departments, there is absolutely no-one in any of the banks whom I can talk to about trying to negotiate a settlement plan. ‘Pay up or else’ seems to be the only type of settlement plan on offer.
A way out
Don’t get me wrong, I am not looking for sympathy or a free ride. If I’d wanted that, I would have left my car at the airport too. I’ve dug myself a very deep hole and am solely accountable for my actions. Now I just need to find my way out. This is my life.
I am hoping that by writing about my experience and how I got to where I am today, I might be able to help others who find themselves in a similar position and, hopefully, before too long, the light at the end of the tunnel will not see quite so far away.
Pic credit: Ambro/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Is ‘In debt in Dubai’ alone? Do you have similar problems? Or any advice for her? Share below.