Credit card debts land OFW in jail


OFWs are often beset with problems that have nothing to do with their jobs overseas. One of them is credit card debt.

In rich countries, getting a credit card is easy. Our kababayan there are almost pushed to avail of the plastic money cards.

Some overseas Filipino workers carry not just one or two cards but five or six, or as many as they can.

But some kabayan apparently don’t know how to handle finances wisely. They buy too much on credit, forgetting that they are going to have to pay for the debts eventually.

Signing receipts with no cash on hand is easy. This is evident from the flashy personal things of many OFWs—like their cellular phones and hip gadgets which always seem new and top-of-the-line.

One of our OFWs recalled that her employer scolded her for buying a cellphone that was more extravagant and expensive than the one she was using.

We also have cases of OFWs scheduled for repatriation but who cannot get clearance because he or she is buried in credit card debts.

One Filipino worker thought that he was well on his way to escaping his debts after he bought a plane ticket home to the Philippines. He was shocked when he was not allowed to check in by an immigration officer because their database showed that our kababayan had a bad record of unpaid credit card debts. They checked him into jail instead.

Susan Andes, a.k.a. Susan K is on board at RADYO INQUIRER 990 DZIQ AM, Monday to Friday, 7:00-8: 30 p.m.

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  • Anonymous

    The author of this article failed to mention where that OFW was jailed for not paying his bills.  I know for sure that in the US they don’t put people in jail for failing to pay their bills unless it’s for child support, tax obligation or some kind of debt that was ordered by the court. In that case, you are in contempt of a court order which is where the law man draws the line.  Putting someone in jail for not paying his bill would be counter productive, because how can someone  find money if he/she is in jail?

  • Iggy Ramirez

    kung mayaman ang pinas, 2nd siguro ito sa states pagdating sa consumerism. 

    sabi nila halos hindi ka makapaniwala sa sobrang daling kumuha ng credit card sa dubai. yung iba hindi makapaniwala kung kinaya mong huwag kumuha ng credit card. ang sabi pa daw parang palay na yung lumalapit sa manok.

    pero katulad ng lumang kasabihan, pag kinagat mo yung magandang babae, lagot ka sa misis mo. Ibig sabihin, things that are too good to be true always carry with them a price, if not a consequence.

  • AL

    This news is from UAE… Dubai, Abu Dhabi, etc… most OFW is really an impulsive buyers… wants to have what others have acquired… in simple word… show-off !!! sakit na iyan ng OFW and not only them, pati iyon mga dependent nila sa Pinas as in families and relatives ganyan din… kung humingi ng regalo akala mo pina-pump-out lang ang pera dito sa middle east sa isang money-pump… iyan ang sad state ng iba kapag nabaon na sa utang eh ang makulong… ang tanong eh, gaano katagal, they still need to pay those credit debts… and it earns a lot of surcharge and penalties every month you failed to pay its minimum monthly charge… and who will help these OFW now…a big question mark isn’t? employers is a wrong answer, they don’t encourage OFW to get credit cards… it’s a personal decision of an OFW to get into these kind of bank credit problem…. and I also don’t think that Philippine government will have anything to do about it too… Good Luck!!!

  • Rizaldy Alejo

    mayabang kasi mga pinoy

  • Anonymous

    My impression with Filipinos in the USA is that they believe that no one is going to jail if he or she cannot pay their debts through credit cards. I think the example as shown by this article run counter on the proverbial saying among Pinoys that “Wala naman nakukulong sa utang”. Now it is happening, and it will happen also in the USA and other countries like Pinas. In the USA, well it did not come to my knowledge that someone was put on jail because of non-payment of credit card debts. However, the repercussion is that their credit history is not well established and the worst no company will allow him to purchase anything on credit. Therefore, they have to pay by cash, if they are cash rich otherwise otherwise they will burn into passion. 

  • Jabba

    yeah i think this susan k author of this story is lying. i know people working abroad with lots of unpaid credit cards. credit collectors yes but jail, no. she should state which country. 

  • Dennis Dy

    This is a lesson on how not to write news. A well written news will provide you answers to your who, what where, when, why and how questions.  This one raised more questions than answers. I am a practicing lawyer here in NYC.  I practice bankruptcy laws among others.  I never heard of anyone being sent to jail  because of credit card debts.  Their credit history gets a hit and they can’t get new loans anymore.  Their properties are attached and wages garnished. But if they do not have anything to pay for their debts, tough luck for the banks, but they dont go to jail.  There must be more to this story.  I hope Susan K writes a follow up on this. It is important for OFWs to receive accurate info that can help them and not mislead them. 

  • Anonymous

    Being jailed for unpaid credit card debts is a common practice here in United Arab Emirates, banks have in contacts with the government so they can track all their delinquent clients and customers. The police can arrest you wherever you are if the bank you owed already filed a case on your name. So kung sa atin may kasabihan na walang nakukulong sa utang, dito marami ang nakukulong sa utang.  

  • Reggie

    In case of PH, I hope the Congress would do something to ease up the huge interest charged by banks.

    3% monthly is such an ouch. Effectively, it is more than 40% interest annually!

  • healthywealthph

    Its unfortunate to see how misuse of the credit card can lead people to such problems. Looks more like another case of people not understanding the consequences of getting into debt and not considering the importance of living within their means.
    Hope we can learn some very “valuable” lessons from this sad but informative news article.

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