Tuesday January 22, 2013
RM10,000 loan that became a constant nightmare
By R.S.N. MURALI
MALACCA: After getting a loan of RM10,000 last October from a man claiming to be from a bank providing loans for small and medium entrepreneurs, a couple was shocked when the amount they had to pay back ballooned to RM30,000 within three months.
Nevertheless, they saved and toiled to raise the money and settle the amount.
Just when they thought their troubles were over, someone else called on Jan 1 to demand the RM10,000 they had first borrowed.
As they had exhausted their savings, shares and mutual funds, the couple pleaded that they could not afford to pay any more money and, furthermore, they had already settle their dues.
Ignoring their pleas, the second “borrower” imposed daily interest on the alleged loan, which went up to RM30,000 again within a week.
The couple, from Taman Melawati in Kuala Lumpur, was also warned that if they do not settle an interest payment of RM8,500 on the alleged loan by 10am today, the husband and wife would be “separated”.
Following the relentless intimidations, the distraught wife made a desperate trip to The Star bureau here to seek the paper's help.
“I don't know what else to do. I am on the run and my husband is having sleepless nights.
“I love my family and I don't want my family to be split because of a non-existent loan,” said the 37-year-old mother of three girls.
She said their problem started when her husband, also 37, a bank employee, secured the RM10,000 loan believing that it was provided by the Government with a low monthly interest rate.
“A day later, however, the so-called SME representative said there was no more quota for the loan and he offered another package.
“Two days after that, my husband received RM7,500 with the balance of RM2,500 purportedly withheld as processing fee and deposit.
“After a month, the representative demanded an additional RM1,500, allegedly for interest on the principal amount and my husband paid.
“I began to suspect that the so-called SME bank representative was actually acting for an illegal moneylending agency when I noticed the compounding rate was too high,” she said, adding that the principal amount reached close to RM30,000 within three months.
The woman said she helped her husband to settle the amount in staggered online payments, exhausting their savings in the form of assets, shares and mutual funds.
Just when they thought they could breathe a sigh of relief, another loan shark contacted them on Jan 1 to ask for another RM10,000 they never took.
“One of my friends suggested that I seek help from The Star here before any untoward thing occurs to my family,” she said, tears welling in her eyes.