KT For Good: Is there a way out from my loan?
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I took a personal loan from a bank in mid-2018 to close my old dues of credit cards and an auto loan. Soon after getting the loan I lost my job. For the last nine months I'm jobless and sometimes homeless, too. I have served a jail term for not paying the EMIs for three months (criminal case for bounced cheques). And now, I am being threatened of jail again and a possible travel ban. I'm barely surviving here and struggling for job. Sometimes, I don't have food for three to four days.
People advise me to go back home but I don't want to go back. I want to work here in the UAE. Please provide a solution.
- Name withheld on request
Mehta: Pursuant to your queries, the bank from where you availed personal loans may have deposited your security cheque for collection upon non-repayment of personal loans. It should be noted that dishonour of cheque is a criminal offence in the UAE and the defaulter may undergo imprisonment if the charges are proved by the Public Prosecution related to dishonour of cheque.
This is in accordance with Article 401 of the Federal Law No. 3 of 1987 related to issuance of Penal Code (the 'Criminal Law of UAE'). It states: "Detention or a fine shall be imposed upon anyone who, in bad faith, give a draft (cheque) without a sufficient and drawable balance or who, after giving a cheque, withdraws all or part of the balance, making the balance insufficient for settlement of the cheque, or if he orders a drawee not a cash a cheque or makes or signs the cheque in a manner that prevents it from being cashed.
The same penalty shall apply to any one who endorses a cheque in favor of another or gives him a bearer draft, knowing that there is no sufficient balance to honour the cheque or that it is not drawable."
Based on the aforementioned provisions of law you were detained and the punishment was under the provisions of criminal law of UAE. However, the bank to recover the dues from your end may proceed to file a civil case in the UAE. If the bank files the civil case against you and still you are not able to settle the dues with your bank the court may pronounce a judgement against you to pay the bank all its dues. Based on the judgement in its favour the bank may file an execution against you and request for a travel ban and detention against you.
On the other hand, the bank has right to take necessary legal actions against you if you don't repay the personal loans availed by them. But the bank officials or its agents are not entitled to threaten you. This is in accordance with Article 353 of the Criminal Law of the UAE, which states: "Whoever threatens by words, deeds or signs, in writing or verbally, or indirectly through another person in cases other than those mentioned in the two preceding articles, shall be punished by detention for a period not exceeding one year or by a fine not exceeding Dh10,000."
Based on the aforementioned provision of criminal law you may file a complaint against the bank official or its agent whosoever threatens you verbally or in writing, provided you have evidence to support to complaint.
I was employed with a private company in Abu Dhabi but unfortunately my employer terminated me last week. I have some credit card loan, could you advise me how to settle my amount. I won't get a pay cheque from next month onwards. Please suggest.
- Syed Faruk Hussain
Mehta: You may continue to pay your monthly instalments promptly to avoid any actions by the bank from where you availed the credit card loan. However, it is recommended to keep the bank informed about the loss of your employment and assure them you will pay promptly all the instalments and will look for new employment opportunities in the UAE. Do you have an insurance covering loss of employment?
On the other hand, you may request your bank to deduct the total amount from the end-of-service benefits and clear the dues.