BSP: Dealing with Credit Card Trouble

Published: August 13, 2015 | Updated: July 7, 2020 | Posted by: Carlo Miguel Castañeda | Credit Card


Credit Card Trouble

Credit card debt is a cautionary tale you hear from all corners. Most people will say that having a credit card is unnecessary and the temptation to use it for every little thing is too great. When you do find yourself deep enough in credit card debt, there’s a chance that you’ll have to deal with collectors.

Being in credit card debt so bad that collectors call you constantly is bad, yes. But it doesn’t mean that you lose all rights as a person. You’re aware that being unable to pay your credit card bills on time means penalties and this has an eventual effect on your credit history.

When your account gets turned over to collections agencies, The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has regulations on Unfair Collection Practices, to prevent the average in-debt individual from being harassed.

What they can and can’t do to collect

Under these regulations, all collection agencies are required to treat you fairly and prohibit certain ways of collecting on someone’s debt. The Manual of Regulations for Banks (MORB) – Section X320.15, specifically – states that collections agencies, credit card companies, counsels, and other agents can resort to “reasonable and legally permissible” means to collect on debts under the agreement.

There are a few things that they cannot do when they want to collect, and here are some of them:

  • Use threats of violence, physical or otherwise, towards the person. This includes threats towards their reputation or property.
  • Use obscenities, insults, or profane language.
  • Disclose publically of the names of credit cardholders who allegedly refuse to pay.
  • Threaten any action that cannot be legally taken.
  • Communicate false credit information and failing to communicate that a debt is under dispute.
  • Use false representation or deceptive means to obtain information regarding a cardholder.
  • Contact the cardholder at unreasonable or otherwise inconvenient times unless the account is 60 days past due.

Section X320.15 also requires that banks and their subsidiary or affiliate credit card companies inform cardholders in writing when their debt is transferred to a collection agency.

What you can do

If you’re having difficulty paying your credit card bills, it is ideal that you contact your credit card company as soon as possible. Most credit card companies do allow you to change the due date for your card.

Here are a few other steps you can take if you feel like you’re in over your head with your credit card:

  • Debt settlement – this means contacting your bank or credit card provider to negotiate the amount you have to pay in order to remove your debt.
  • Amnesty–some banks (like Citibank) offer an amnesty program for their cardholders. This is a contract that allows you to settle the amount you own monthly at a lower interest rate than the total on your Amount Due.

Debt management is dependent on two things: your willingness to rid yourself of debt, and showing your credit card provider that you are willing to settle the amount in good faith. A bank or credit card company is way more willing to negotiate payments in order to settle the amount that you owe them.

How would you deal with credit card trouble? Let us know in the comments below!