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Ex-helper borrowed money from loan companies

  1. #9
    crystal88 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by rani View Post
    Yes some will chase in the Philippines. I guess it depends on how much is outstanding.
    Oh, hopefully that's true to my ex-terminated helper. She was able to borrow Hk$15,000 on her 3rd month stay in hk, they gave her big amount as her contract is just new, heard if it's almost the end of 2 yrs, can only borrow small amount. Then i terminated her on the 5th month, the guarantor who was her friend had to shoulder the cost, i guess they didn't bother chasing her as there is a guarantor to pay. Hay, why they like borrowing money.

  2. #10
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    From what I can tell -- according to a friend who works for an agency -- they borrow money for 3 main reasons
    * They desperately want to work in HK but can't afford the agency fee. So they borrow to pay that off, and start their employment in the hole
    * They desperately want their relatives to work in HK. So once they get a HK job, they use that to borrow money for their daughter / sister / cousin / aunt's agency fees. Then it goes in a circle, with each relative paying for other relatives. But if a relative is sacked or quits, then the debt still remains your helper's name.
    * They desperately want to pay off some debt for housing / schooling, etc, back in their home village. While not entirely true, many of the men back home don't make much, so there's a big burden on the wife to send home cash.

    My friend also said that most of these maids either don't have the know-how or access to get a proper bank loan. So they end up using loan services that charge crazy high rates, or have lots of hidden fees.

  3. #11
    Jaan is offline Registered User
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    Our helper came to us recently with a similar story. A 'friend' once lent her a small amount of money ($1000 or so) which she duly paid back. The 'friend' then asked our helper to be a guarantor on a $15000 loan she was taking out. Obviously not thinking straight our helper agreed to this. This 'friend' ended up having her own contract terminated and left for the Philippines. Since then our helper has been receiving calls from the loan company and from time to time we do on our home phone too. Here's the weird bit and we only found out after the last call - our helper actually didn't sign anything but only verbally agreed to be guarantor over the phone. I'm no lawyer but from my understanding unless you actually sign something you aren't a guarantor. We've asked our helper to request any and all documentation from the loan company so we can get to the bottom of this. Has anyone else had a similar experience?

  4. #12
    rani's Avatar
    rani is offline Administrator
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    I think she's right. It could be a verbal agreement. A neighbour's helper also borrowed money, and tried to use my helper as a guarantor. When the company called the house, to verify my helper's details and confirm she would, they got me instead. And I asked them loads of questions. My neighbour's helper may have still been at the loan office, cos she hadn't told my helper she was putting her name down as a guarantor. So they caught her totally off guard, and plus they got ME and I said NO!
    Founder of GeoBaby.Com

  5. #13
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gracey View Post
    From what I can tell -- according to a friend who works for an agency -- they borrow money for 3 main reasons
    * They desperately want to work in HK but can't afford the agency fee. So they borrow to pay that off, and start their employment in the hole
    * They desperately want their relatives to work in HK. So once they get a HK job, they use that to borrow money for their daughter / sister / cousin / aunt's agency fees. Then it goes in a circle, with each relative paying for other relatives. But if a relative is sacked or quits, then the debt still remains your helper's name.
    * They desperately want to pay off some debt for housing / schooling, etc, back in their home village. While not entirely true, many of the men back home don't make much, so there's a big burden on the wife to send home cash.

    My friend also said that most of these maids either don't have the know-how or access to get a proper bank loan. So they end up using loan services that charge crazy high rates, or have lots of hidden fees.
    Yes. The agency fees are enormous--a real racket--especially on the Philippines side with lots and lots of corruption. Our helper has taken out a series of small loans (as much as they would loan her) since she first arrived about 18 months ago. The reason was that she had to pay off the loan sharks that were threatening her husband and children back home due to her husband's gambling debts. In fact, that's the reason why she's here working in HK in the first place--to clean up his messes. Also, he had bought a vehicle to use for a small business and they had to pay that off. She has kept up with all of her payments and is responsible. I admire all that she is going through for her husband and children. Strong mama, that's for sure.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  6. #14
    putput is offline Registered User
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    Unfortunately, some are not so noble. My ex-helper borrowed money to buy extravagant gifts for her children such as laptops and expensive mobile phones, and other 'luxury' items for herself. I was taught to live within my means and therefore resent the idea of somebody who lives in my house doing otherwise and causing us no end of trouble as a result. I feel guilty that I can't warn this family who has taken her on especially if they have children as the stress impacts the whole family.

  7. #15
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by putput View Post
    Unfortunately, some are not so noble. My ex-helper borrowed money to buy extravagant gifts for her children such as laptops and expensive mobile phones, and other 'luxury' items for herself. I was taught to live within my means and therefore resent the idea of somebody who lives in my house doing otherwise and causing us no end of trouble as a result. I feel guilty that I can't warn this family who has taken her on especially if they have children as the stress impacts the whole family.
    That is unfortunate. I might imagine that if you've never had much money before and you kind of "hit the jackpot" by landing a decent job in HK you might go overboard--especially if you've never had a lot of training/understanding on how to handle money. There is a lot of pressure (direct and indirect) to buy, buy, buy here in HK. It's really too bad that you are the ones that got stuck with the mess.

    But, if you are being harassed, I think there must be some legal recourse. I would seek some free legal counsel that is offered through the government (I had to do this once for another issue) and find out what can be done to get these loan sharks off your back. Too bad that you can't warn this other family too--but who knows, maybe you'll meet them in passing or something. I'm the type who would take them aside and let them know what I've gone through. Sure can be risky business hiring a helper in HK. I think one huge factor for my helper and I is that she is a very dedicated Christian and we share a similar moral code--by everything I've seen and experienced with her (and by now our friendship is pretty close) she walks the talk. That has given me a lot of peace of mind.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

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