Stricter penalties against “abusive” lenders pushed

DEPLORING questionable debt collection practices, Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian advocates the early adoption of remedial legislation imposing sanctions against abusive creditors.

The senator on Sunday renewed his warnings to financial service providers, as well as to online lending platforms, to renounce their practices of “abusive debt collection”, promising to continue the early adoption of an enabling law penalizing such acts.

Gatchalian complained that some of the bold loan companies that sprouted up had become “too aggressive” and were unlikely to stop their abusive practices until a law was passed imposing stiff penalties for breaches. .

(“Masyado nang mapangahas an ibang loan companies nagsulputan. Hindi sila titigil hangga’t walang batas na magpapanagot with gawain nila. Umaabot pa sa puntong pamamahiya and paninirang puri ang ginagawa nila a mga nangutang sa kanila para lang makasingil.”)

The senator observed that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently shut down operations of KingABC Lending Corp., the company behind online lending platforms Pondo Loan, Start Loan, Green Loan, Loan Club and Familyhan Credit Corp. committed unfair debt collection practices, “threatening borrowers on social media and various online platforms on an invented legal basis.”

The senator suggested that “their liability should not be purely administrative, as some of the acts committed against financial consumers already constitute criminal liability, such as data privacy breaches and cyber-harassment, to name a few. only a few ”.

Sitting as Deputy Chairman of the Senate Banking, Financial Institutions and Currency Committee, Gatchalian introduced Senate Bill 2287, known as the “Financial Products and Services Consumer Protection Act” , prohibiting financial service providers “from employing collective abusive or collection practices must respect the privacy and protect the data of their customers.

In addition, the bill includes penal provisions imposing “a term of imprisonment of at least one and not more than five years or a fine of up to 2 million pula or both at the discretion of the court will be imposed on anyone who violates the provisions of the law. invoice or any related rule, regulation, order or instruction issued by financial regulators.

He adds that financial regulators, including the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the SEC and the Insurance Commission (IC) will “be allowed to impose enforcement measures on their respective supervised financial service providers, such as restricting collect excessive or unreasonable interest, fees. , or fees; and the imposition of fines, suspensions or penalties for non-compliance with this Act; among others. “

The senator added that the financial regulator, “in accordance with the public interest and the protection of financial consumers, is authorized to initiate independent civil action on behalf of injured financial consumers”.

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