Challenging times | FAST DEBT RECOVERY SPECIALIST | Straits Time
With eight years' experience under her belt, Mrs Lyn Ling thought she had seen everything in the debt collection business. But that was until Sept 17, when she and a colleague found themselves in the harrowing situation of desperately holding on to a female debtor who was trying to jump from a 13th-storey ledge. "We went to her flat to serve her notice and talk to her as she had stopped paying her renovation loan," said Mrs Ling, 35, founder of Fast Debt Recovery Specialist. "Suddenly, she shouted at us, unlocked the gate and rushed towards the ledge outside her unit." Before dashing out of the flat, the woman had said in Mandarin: "I can let you see my two bank accounts, the total is zero. I jump down now for you to see." Mrs Ling's colleague Gary Tan, 39, said: "She may have been small in size but she was strong and struggling violently." As the screaming woman raised one leg onto the railing, Mr Tan pulled her away by the shoulders, while Mrs Ling gripped her legs. For the next few minutes, the pair held on tightly to her. The woman eventually regained her composure and Mrs Ling called the police for help. Mrs Ling said the woman had lost her job and her husband was bankrupt. But the woman's problems were not caused solely by the Covid-19 pandemic. Debt recovery agents are hired when debtors go missing or ignore telephone calls by financial institutions. These agents are legally allowed to pursue debtors on behalf of creditors, in contrast with loan sharks. Mrs Ling says that while she has a job to do, she strives to help both the client and the debtor. A win-win situation in these challenging times is to recover some payment for the client from the debtor. "There are options for debtors to apply for government grants and subsidies, and we can advise them on the documents they need." In the case of the female debtor, the woman has been given a deferment up to next January, when she is expected to begin repaying her loan.