Am I about to lose everything?

Am I about to lose everything?
23 October 2011

THERE are times when I forget that I’m not living a normal life. I go about my daily chores, socialise with friends and family and make plans for the future but, just as I am starting to breathe easy, reality steps in and bursts that bubble with an oversize very sharp pin.

My heart rate increases, my body tenses, I get that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach and I remember that I am, in fact, living a life filled with stress, desperation and fear. I’m unemployed with no prospect of finding employment in the foreseeable future and have a crippling amount of debt that very few people know about.

Totally broke

The harsh reality of my situation is that I am now in serious trouble. Until recently, I was able to service a small portion of my debt on a regular basis. Those who shouted the loudest got paid, but, now, with all my funds depleted, those who shouted the loudest are now starting to get nasty and there seems to be no way out for me.

The banks don’t understand when I tell them that I have no money to make the payments. When I tell them that, their response is simply that I should find it. From where, I wonder? I’ve begged, borrowed and scraped together all the money I can and now I have nothing left to give.

Despite my credit shield insurance claim being approved, the bank concerned continues to push for the arrears. I am now only two installments behind but, if I don’t make another payment within the next day or so the bank is threatening to cancel the insurance, present my security cheque and file a police case.

At this stage, I have no way of knowing whether they are just threatening or whether they are being serious and, as I have no way of raising the money needed, I’m about to throw up my arms in surrender and just let them do what they want.

Now would probably be the time to run, but I can’t even do that anymore. Not only do I not have enough money for an air ticket out of here, but I am unable to pay the penalties due for overstaying on a cancelled visa and I don’t know if any of the banks have placed a travel ban on my passport.

Facing jail

I’ve spent hours on the internet over the past few days Googlingbounced cheques” and “debtor’s prison” hoping to find out what will happen to me when my case is referred to the Dubai Police.

While doing this, I came across a number of posts from people in similar positions to me and I can’t help but wonder why the banks continue to be so short-sighted. When are they going to realise that they have a far better chance of recovering their money if, instead of threatening and bullying, they simply took the time to understand their debtors’ circumstances and, where possible and within reason, tried to help them?

Surely, it’s a no brainer – the bank gets its money and the debtor manages to live a somewhat normal life.

Unfortunately, I think that until the government introduces measures to protect debtors this problem is never going to be resolved.

At this point, I am the closest I have ever been to losing everything that is important to me – including my children. I am scared and I am tired. Tired of life, tired of fighting, tired of feeling discouraged and helpless and I quite simply don’t know what to do any more.

Pic credit: Ambro/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Comments

  • dmm
    dmm
    2011-11-12T16:05:37

    hi, i've read all your posts and I can relate very well. I sincerely hope that your problems  can get resolved soon. If only this country has more options, then not a staggering number of people would be in such a mess, regardless if people have mishandled their finances or because of unavoidable circumstances.

    i am at the initial stage, recently lost my job and struggling to find a new one, with bills to be paid. I've been browsing the net on things that i need to do. I won't be able to keep up with my payments as well if I don't find one very very soon, and things are not really looking good. For someone who had been there, what do you think is the best thing for me to do?

  • nima
    nima
    2011-11-13T13:23:57

    Hi dmm. Sorry to hear about your predicament... Why don't you share what's going on in 'your say'? It's the only way we can all learn from each other - and hopefully get things to change for the better..

    We're planning on launching a support group for people in financial trouble. Would you go to a group like this? Where people who are in a similar situation can at least talk things through and support each other.

    What do you do for a living?

  • nima
    nima
    2011-11-13T13:30:25

    btw. We got the conversation going directly between IDID and a main bank that is owed. So do let us know details - post questions just as IDID has done (In debt in dubai). Being open, honest, and seeking out solutions is the only way. The problem here is that people are (with reason) very apprehensive about what the banks coudl do to them... 

  • indebtindubai
    indebtindubai
    2011-11-19T19:15:19

    Hi dmm - I am really sorry to hear about your situation. The best piece of advice I can give you is to speak to the banks and keep them updated of your situation. Don't let yourself be bullied by them. I now have it on good authority that, if a customer shows willing and a good intent to resolve the situation and repay their debt the bank will work with you and negotiate. I could kick myself that, because I was so scared I would end up in jail, I didn't talk to the banks sooner.

    As Nima mentioned, cashy helped me approach one of my major creditors and I was amazed at how willing they were to help me - I am currently writing another article about this at the moment. 

    Nima also mentioned that cashy are looking to set up a support group for people like us where we can share our stories and maybe even assist each other. Would you attend something like this?

    I'd be happy to share more information with you if you would like - all you need to do is send me a message I will respond.

  • dmm
    dmm
    2011-11-19T22:51:42

    hi IDID and Nima, I've been pre-occupied so I'm only able to reply now. Thank you so much for the encouragement and suggestions. I had to attend to so many things - bills, applications, visa expiration, and lots of others. I would love to join a support group but honestly, I don't think I can as of now. 

    I'm in the middle of deciding if I have to go home since my visa is expiring anyway or do I wait until something comes up - but that means draining all the money I have left. 

    I'm even afraid of talking to the banks. I have not fallen delinquent yet on any of my liabilities but I need to exit because of my expired visa. I don't want to find myself with a travel ban because I made the mistake of informing the banks that I have lost my job.

    So many things to think of and to consider...

  • alexie62
    alexie62
    2014-02-25T01:06:36

    Hi Everyone, this is a while since all these posts were posted but for those who are still facing dire debt problems go to emirates247.com on a saturday and read all of my articles or google my name and you will find all the articles. I can only I totally agree with INDEBTINDUBAI's recent advice, that is the only, continuing to accept being victimised by the banks,means instilling more fear and engulfing your life with fear, not taking the calls, which is the wrong move, because No 1 you must take responsibility, face the creditors and ask for leniency and a restructure and most of the time they will review your situation if they feel your sincerity. Do not go there with an attiutde, pick an argument or act smart, that is the wrong move to make. This lesson teaches you to be humble, say you are sorry, admit your fault and take complete control of your life because only you can! Thanks Theda Muller

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