Jump to content

Negotiate to pay off credit card debts?


Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Started a new account for this one because I don’t want to embarrass anyone involved. 

 

Long story short, my Thai wife has run into a considerable amount of credit card debt in her own name. 
 

I’m sure she would have had more fun spending it on luxury bags and perfume but unfortunately it’s the good ol’ family financial problems/pressure story. 
 

Well, I didn’t know the full extent of it and now I do, and the extent is full let me tell you. 
 

What lead to the debts etc is a separate issue and being dealt with. While I’m sure plenty here would love to give me marriage advice, I’ll leave that to the professionals if you don’t mind. 
 

I’m in a position where:

 

1 - I HATE debt of any kind and want it cleared and accounts closed asap

 

2 - I can pay it off but it’s substantial and I’d like to pay the minimum possible

 

I am well aware of debt settlement procedures abroad and know of others who have gotten 40-50% of credit card debts written off in Thailand so I know it’s possible. 
 

My question is, does anyone have any practical advice based on experience how to approach this in Thailand?

 

- Call each one? And say what?

- Write a formal offer letter? And if so, to whom exactly? My experience writing to anyone in Thailand is it’s usually ignored. 

 

Your help is appreciated. As much as this is something I can and will deal with, it’s stressful and painful not knowing how to approach it. 

Edited by Letmebefree
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, Kenny202 said:

Usually they will call her and try and negotiate but usually only after a long period of non payment. My girl has paid off 3 credit cards with around 30-50k each she had before I met her. I think the debt is sold to collectors for around 10% of its value so they are happy to negotiate down well below the principle with no interest. I believe in Thailand if they havent started legal proceedings within a year or two the debtor goes free. So....I firstly would find out if your wife has offered any collateral on the loans (your house, land, vehicles). If so you are not in a good negotiating position. If not your best course of action would be to stop paying and wait for them to come to you. And may be wrong but if you are married as far as I know debts even in her name may be your debts. Horrible situation know so many people here went through the same thing losing their homes or having to go back home and return to work in their 60s 70s. Mostly due to gambling loans. Best of luck with it all

Thanks for the reply. 

 

There is no collateral so that’s not an issue thankfully. 
 

I have thought the same thing about letting the debts go bad but I’m concerned at that point when you add in (I assume) interest, fines etc that it’s just getting more out of control. 
 

At the moment I can cover them but if it spirals out of control then it becomes less and less likely that I comfortably can. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
54 minutes ago, OneMoreFarang said:

I think it's good that you bring this up here, I am sure you are not alone. And obviously I understand that you opened another account for that.

 

No marriage advice, but maybe people's behavior advice:

If the debts don't go bad then I guess she will be able to get new credit cards with possible new debts in the future.

Are you willing to take that risk?

Because it seems many people who spend too much money do more and more of that as long at it is somehow still possible. Like: I got away with this one, it wasn't so bad, let's get more money.

What will you do if you help her to somehow negotiate a deal and if she then, maybe first unknowingly to you, gets another card? Or maybe debts from a loan shark?

I guess you have to set very strict rules and tell her possible consequences and stick to that.

That won't be easy, not for her and not for you.

So in a way I think maybe you help both of you if you let her debts go bad - with the consequences for her that (I guess) she won't be able to get a new credit card anymore). That's not good but maybe better than the alternative.

Good luck!

I appreciate your response. 
 

I really didn’t want to get into this online, especially as it’s easy for strangers online to judge based on stereotypes. But what have I got to lose I guess?

 

Actually our marriage is generally very good. We’re very close in age, both relatively successful working professionals (although at this time I’m certainly the higher earner), met young and grew from nothing together. 
 

God knows nothing is perfect but as difficult as life is for anyone, my marriage is a bright spot in mine. 
 

Unfortunately she suffers with a manipulative and historically unloving/borderline abusive family who have a secret access code to her guilt buttons. It’s certainly not unique to Thailand, I have my own family issues, but I’m sure many reading this can relate. 
 

It is tearing her apart because she knows the truth and yet can’t seem to fully get away and we’ve sought professional help to help her find some kind of resolution which is why I now know the full truth. So that’s a positive. 
 

The debts are nothing major in the scheme of thing. Yes totally unwelcome and I’d definitely rather keep my money for better things but it’s not worth the cost of a great marriage and I’m not going to just dump her when she’s down - as she’s so used to. She wouldn’t do it to me I know that much. 
 

But - how do I know she won’t do it again? I don’t know. 
 

We agree, she knows I have no choice but to walk away if she does, we talk about total honesty in all things financial from here on out etc. 

 

But I have no rights here, no way to stop her getting the very easily available credit. I know she doesn’t want to but abusive relationships are a funny thing that can defy logic, which she certainly isn’t devoid of under “normal” circumstances. 
 

So yes, I’m scared and I don’t know what’s best to do here. 

Edited by Letmebefree
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

57 minutes ago, OneMoreFarang said:

I think it's good that you bring this up here, I am sure you are not alone. And obviously I understand that you opened another account for that.

 

No marriage advice, but maybe people's behavior advice:

If the debts don't go bad then I guess she will be able to get new credit cards with possible new debts in the future.

Are you willing to take that risk?

Because it seems many people who spend too much money do more and more of that as long at it is somehow still possible. Like: I got away with this one, it wasn't so bad, let's get more money.

What will you do if you help her to somehow negotiate a deal and if she then, maybe first unknowingly to you, gets another card? Or maybe debts from a loan shark?

I guess you have to set very strict rules and tell her possible consequences and stick to that.

That won't be easy, not for her and not for you.

So in a way I think maybe you help both of you if you let her debts go bad - with the consequences for her that (I guess) she won't be able to get a new credit card anymore). That's not good but maybe better than the alternative.

Good luck!

This is the poorest advice I have ever read on this forum.

 

Letting debts go bad? My god man.

 

You can run around life "what if" in the future. Foolish as no one can predict what will happen or what she will do in the future.

 

He is married, if debts incurred during the marriage, now his debt/credit as well.

 

Negotiating a payoff will still screw up someone's credit.

 

Best to let him sort it out, he is the one that will have to live with whatever decisions they make.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, KIngsofisaan said:

This is the poorest advice I have ever read on this forum.

 

Letting debts go bad? My god man.

 

You can run around life "what if" in the future. Foolish as no one can predict what will happen or what she will do in the future.

 

He is married, if debts incurred during the marriage, now his debt/credit as well.

 

Negotiating a payoff will still screw up someone's credit.

 

Best to let him sort it out, he is the one that will have to live with whatever decisions they make.

I don’t disagree with the sentiment, having bad debts is the opposite of everything I believe in, but it appears that legally speaking I’m not under any obligation to do so (to be clear these aren’t gambling debts but the legal advice in the link below seems to stand in this case too)

 

https://www.thailandlawonline.com/62-marriage-family-inheritance/58-do-i-have-to-pay-for-my-thai-wife-s-gambling-debts

Edited by Letmebefree
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

If there are no assets, no job reliant on good reputation and no need for future credit then no need to worry. I like to think about better times in the future so hate the idea of having later problems. Chances are the debt will be resold (happened with my Thai ex-wife) and can be settled at a much lower rate. I paid her old CC debt as by then we had aquired land and I wanted no claim on her land title. It amounted to about 25% of the original debt - she got a cash advance on a credit card to lend to a friend who never repaid (or so she said). Not sure you can renegotiate at an early stage though but worth a try. Nothing ventured...

 

Edited by soi3eddie
Link to post
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, KIngsofisaan said:

This is the poorest advice I have ever read on this forum.

 

Letting debts go bad? My god man.

 

You can run around life "what if" in the future. Foolish as no one can predict what will happen or what she will do in the future.

Thanks for your comment.

 

First of all, I wrote he should consider the options, one options is letting the debts go bad, and there are obvious other options.

According to the Letmebefree, who wrote he appreciates my response, the current debts was not an accident. They happened because of her long time relationship with her family. And that relationship and the pressure of that relationship does not just go away.

She has to lean not to give her family money which she can't afford to give them. This is a common problem and normally it's not solved by just saying: ok, I don't do that anymore.

 

When you write "one can predict what will happen or what she will do in the future" you are not 100% correct.

No, we can't predict what exactly she will do in the future. But there is a certain probability that people do what they always did. Look at gamblers, alcohol and drug addicts, and and and. Many people do kind of the same again and again. People don't easily chance their behavior. It would be foolish to assume that from now on all will be fine. It could be, but the chances are unfortunately not good (if there is not i.e. therapy, etc.).

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

36 minutes ago, OneMoreFarang said:

Thanks for your comment.

 

First of all, I wrote he should consider the options, one options is letting the debts go bad, and there are obvious other options.

According to the Letmebefree, who wrote he appreciates my response, the current debts was not an accident. They happened because of her long time relationship with her family. And that relationship and the pressure of that relationship does not just go away.

She has to lean not to give her family money which she can't afford to give them. This is a common problem and normally it's not solved by just saying: ok, I don't do that anymore.

 

When you write "one can predict what will happen or what she will do in the future" you are not 100% correct.

No, we can't predict what exactly she will do in the future. But there is a certain probability that people do what they always did. Look at gamblers, alcohol and drug addicts, and and and. Many people do kind of the same again and again. People don't easily chance their behavior. It would be foolish to assume that from now on all will be fine. It could be, but the chances are unfortunately not good (if there is not i.e. therapy, etc.).

I agree wholeheartedly with this, and no marriage advice but there is always a recurring theme in these sort of posts where the other half has clearly made a choice to deceive you and put you and your relationship in a bad situation to the benefit of someone else. And unfortunately these people don't seem to learn and there is every chance that it will re occur. You were the path of least resisitance....ie will she have more problem with her family or you if she doesn't comply? She is not blameless in this nor a victim of her greedy family or past. Having an abusive family isn't an excuse or reason to help them. For me being in a relationship where you are sharing assets, or probably not even sharing...I assume most in her name or under her control you can't afford to have a weak link in your defenses or you stand a good chance of losing everything. And the next port of call after legitimate avenues of credit have been exhausted are the loan sharks, and then it's game over. Heard so many stories of blokes here coming home to be told by the wife their land deeds or other in possession of lenders and if the husband doesn't stump up 2 million or what ever the loan is they need to vacate the house or lose the car in a week. Unfortunately you just can't gamble your future or assets on these people. They will do you every time and you wont be seen as the victim or a kind, trusting person with a good heart as they say... more the idiot who exposed himself. It may actually be her that incurred the debt gambling or whatever. It happens and to the most unlikely of people. My girls Auntie racked up debts of over 7 million baht gambling which only came fully to light after she died. She had taken peoples land deeds and borrowed money against them. Took payments for things from family members overseas for things to pay back home and pocketed the money. One was the money for her nieces Uni tuition fees for 4 years that she though she had paid off.  

 

If I were you get on the front foot and circle the wagons. Make sure there is nothing more than what she has told you. Often these people only tell the truth or admit to something when there is something worse they are trying to hide. And don't in anyway take responsibility for her actions or the debt. She got herself in trouble, let her get herself out of it...or at the least bare most of the anxiety. 

 

No judgements here, many of us been down the same path. Just saying you are the victim here. Take care of yourself and protect yourself first and foremost. You can't afford to be seen as a soft touch here in Thailand. It always seems to end the same way.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, Letmebefree said:

I don’t disagree with the sentiment, having bad debts is the opposite of everything I believe in, but it appears that legally speaking I’m not under any obligation to do so (to be clear these aren’t gambling debts but the legal advice in the link below seems to stand in this case too)

 

https://www.thailandlawonline.com/62-marriage-family-inheritance/58-do-i-have-to-pay-for-my-thai-wife-s-gambling-debts

The forum certainly isn't going to solve your problem.

 

Only YOU know the cause of these debts, which you haven't shared, therefore you should be the only one that knows the solution.

 

Although the articles does state you are not responsible for her gambling debts, you stated they were not gambling debts?

 

Any debts not used for family purposes, well, if you are not a lawyer, good luck interpreting that. Is helping your family considered family purposes?

 

Also if you read clearly:

 

However, if the house is registered to her as sole personal property, as with foreign - Thai marriages is often the case in Thailand, she IS ABLE to transfer ownership of the house without your consent..

 

There are some things in life that should be considered carefully, legally, with professionals.

 

Any advise other than professional, legal advice, the risk in on you.

 

 

  • Sad 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

@LetmebefreeAn interesting, and slightly worrying post, thanks for taking the time to share your story, I suspect there might be many of us who wondered "what if" and maybe others that have been down that road themselves, and maybe don't want to admit it.

 

I'm sure I'm not the only one who wishes you well and would be interested to see how it all pans out.

 

Good luck

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

On 7/6/2022 at 11:49 PM, Letmebefree said:

Thanks for the reply. 

 

There is no collateral so that’s not an issue thankfully. 
 

I have thought the same thing about letting the debts go bad but I’m concerned at that point when you add in (I assume) interest, fines etc that it’s just getting more out of control. 
 

At the moment I can cover them but if it spirals out of control then it becomes less and less likely that I comfortably can. 

Here is another concern that you may have already done away with, but in a previous relationship the Mother in Law took out loans from loan sharks who she had promised items as collateral.  That debt became a pain to pay off as every time the final payment was made another Vig popped up from the same loan shark.  Eventually the son a RTP Lieutenant Colonel got involved and the loan shark was sent packing.  The family to say the least was devastated as they had no idea.  Luckily my now ex-wife was the one trying to help her mother by sending most of her paycheck from the US, and even she kept quiet about the loan.  Just food for thought.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
On 7/7/2022 at 12:55 AM, Letmebefree said:

So yes, I’m scared and I don’t know what’s best to do here. 

Doing nothing is best. 

If she owns no land or cars there's nothing they can do. 

Worst outcome is not being allowed to own property, car or bank account for 5 years from court judgement. 

 

As you own nothing, that isn't a problem. 

 

My missed owed 500,000bht on a car loan (car 'disappeared'). After the penalty time was over she promptly got a bank loan on a house for 2,000,000bht.

Edited by BritManToo
Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, BritManToo said:

Doing nothing is best. 

 

As you own nothing, that isn't a problem. 

Agree, and there is literally, nothing they can do.  After a certain time period, she will not even be obligated to repay the debt.  Technically, they wouldn't even be able to continue to harrass her trying to recover the debt.

 

Wife went through this, due to ex's bills she co-signed for.

I researched the law, told her what to tell them/creditors, and they gave up, knowing she wasn't ignorant of the law.

 

She has assets now, they couldn't touch if they tried.

Edited by KhunLA
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
On 7/7/2022 at 1:06 AM, KIngsofisaan said:

He is married, if debts incurred during the marriage, now his debt/credit as well.

If a foreigner has no assets in Thailand, there's no risk. 

 

There's a certain type off foreigner that thinks all debts are sacred, but the reality is unsecured debt can just be walked away from with little or no penalty. Problems arise when someone foolishly negotiates and turns unsecured debt into secured debt.

 

Obviously living with a woman who runs up secret debts is more of a problem than the debts ........ but OP doesn't want to discuss that.

Edited by BritManToo
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

On 7/7/2022 at 1:06 AM, KIngsofisaan said:

This is the poorest advice I have ever read on this forum.

 

Letting debts go bad? My god man.

 

You can run around life "what if" in the future. Foolish as no one can predict what will happen or what she will do in the future.

 

He is married, if debts incurred during the marriage, now his debt/credit as well.

 

Negotiating a payoff will still screw up someone's credit.

 

Best to let him sort it out, he is the one that will have to live with whatever decisions they make.

Worrying about someone else's debts that were made when there is no collateral at all is actually very stupid, as there is no way it can come back on them if they have nothing.  So a judgement is made against the debtor, it in no way affects the partner unless the partner was listed in the judgement.  Credit here is not like credit in the west.  One can always obtain a co-signatory and get credit again....it is stupid but it does happen.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
On 7/6/2022 at 11:38 PM, Kenny202 said:

And may be wrong but if you are married as far as I know debts even in her name may be your debts.

You are, 100%, wrong with that.

Edited by Liverpool Lou
Link to post
Share on other sites

On 7/7/2022 at 1:06 AM, KIngsofisaan said:

He is married, if debts incurred during the marriage, now his debt/credit as well.

Only if the debts were incurred in joint names.   If she incurred the debts in her sole name, those debts do not become his.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

This article has some general information on the process here 

https://mahanakornpartners.com/

debt-recovery-practices-in-thailand/

 

As you acknowledge you have two issues to resolve: The current debt and the possibility of a repeat situation.

 

 

Edited by Farmerslife
Web address amended
Link to post
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, KhunLA said:

Agree, and there is literally, nothing they can do.  After a certain time period, she will not even be obligated to repay the debt. 

How long is that period? 30 years or something like that?

I know from other countries that is the person/company who wants the money stays active then the debts don't just disappear. It depends on how much hope they have to ever see any money.

I have no idea if that is similar in Thailand. Luckily (until now) I never had to learn about this. But it is for sure interesting to know.

Link to post
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, OneMoreFarang said:

How long is that period? 30 years or something like that?

I know from other countries that is the person/company who wants the money stays active then the debts don't just disappear. It depends on how much hope they have to ever see any money.

I have no idea if that is similar in Thailand. Luckily (until now) I never had to learn about this. But it is for sure interesting to know.

My girlfriend had 4 maxed credit cards when I met her, as do many others. She was out of work for a long period and simply stopped paying them. I was going to say she negotiated every loan down but she didn't have to. They called her and offered a payout of about 50% principal owing for repayment plan over a year or two. We were told in a couple of cases the loans had been sold to a collection company, I believe usually for about 10% of their value and the principal lender simply writes the debt off. Many of these people are low income....move around a lot (no fixed address) and in any case usually have no savings. It is just pointless for the loan companies to pursue them. Even if they do take it to court little hope of getting anything and where do they send the court order or file a case without contact details anyway. So anything they can collect above what it cost them to buy the loan they are in front. What really make the mind boggle and how shaky Thailand may really be is I have seen figures that 90+ % of Thailands GDP is household debt. how much of that is unsecured or even recoverable? the banks must be shaking in their shoes waiting for the hammer to fall.

Link to post
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, OneMoreFarang said:

How long is that period? 30 years or something like that?

I know from other countries that is the person/company who wants the money stays active then the debts don't just disappear. It depends on how much hope they have to ever see any money.

I have no idea if that is similar in Thailand. Luckily (until now) I never had to learn about this. But it is for sure interesting to know.

The time starts at the last 'payment' (?) ...

"The statue of limitations in Thailand states that commercial debts need to be recovered within 2 years of delivery. Loans need to be recovered within 10 years"

https://www.aaacoth.com/thailand-debt-collection/#:~:text=The statue of limitations in,ensure you get your cash.

In the USA, as always, 50 state, 50 sets of rules.  Some states can take your house for a $1 debt (force sale to collect), why many banks are registered in DE, use to be able to charge highest CC interest rate.

 

PA, where I always kept an address, nobody but the Fed Govt can garnish your income, or force a sale of your home to collect, an unsecured debt (CC).   Of course if they find the 'asset', ex: car, then they can repo it.  Secured loan, bank can foreclose on you home or car, have you evicted, then sell to recover.  Cars routinely get repo'd if found.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know about Thailand but in the USA, if a credit card or any lender "forgives" a portion of debt the government considers that income that is taxable. 

Better to sign an agreement "not to sue"  You negotiate a price for the agreement and since the lender agrees not to sue you there is no enforcement mechanism for them to recover any money from you. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Longwood50 said:

I don't know about Thailand but in the USA, if a credit card or any lender "forgives" a portion of debt the government considers that income that is taxable. 

Better to sign an agreement "not to sue"  You negotiate a price for the agreement and since the lender agrees not to sue you there is no enforcement mechanism for them to recover any money from you. 

Yeah none of that applies here. All negotiations done over the phone and never threatening or intimidating. Even with all my wife's credit card debts each 30-50k and majorly over due (at least 2+ years) which isn't huge but substantial. All they did was keep calling offering payment plans which was a lot less than even the OS principal owed let alone any interest or penalties. 2 of them just gave up and onsold the debt to collectors who seemed were happy to recover whatever they could. At no point was legal action threatened. I don't know how they do it?

Link to post
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Kenny202 said:

 . I don't know how they do it?

 

 

You mean your wife's fraud with the cards - or the sloppy collection methods?

Link to post
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Kenny202 said:

Yeah none of that applies here. All negotiations done over the phone and never threatening or intimidating

I don't know about here.  I am a bit surprised since most of the banks only offer secure cards where the person has to deposit money into an account that the bank holds as collateral. 

For unsecured debts the credit card company could sue and obtain a judgement against any assets or a wage assignment.  
They may do it or may not.  

If the income for debt forgiveness does not apply here, then certainly negotiating a debt forgiveness is the best approach.  I would say best to have whatever document they present looked at by an attorney lest you find out that it means something totally different than you thought it did. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

35 minutes ago, Longwood50 said:

I don't know about here.  I am a bit surprised since most of the banks only offer secure cards where the person has to deposit money into an account that the bank holds as collateral. 

For unsecured debts the credit card company could sue and obtain a judgement against any assets or a wage assignment.  
They may do it or may not.  

If the income for debt forgiveness does not apply here, then certainly negotiating a debt forgiveness is the best approach.  I would say best to have whatever document they present looked at by an attorney lest you find out that it means something totally different than you thought it did. 

It cost 2000-4000 baht to go and see a lawyer here. Do you think a Thai person with no job or limited income is going to gamble that much for an opinion? You need to be realistic with your statements. it's not the US here were everyone runs to a lawyer at the drop of a hat. Most of these people change jobs, addresses, phone contact etc regularly and most low income Thais would be lucky to have 200 baht in their pocket. They live hand to mouth and paying off their debts is the least of their concerns. If you have ever loaned a Thai money you will know this. Will do or say anything to borrow money without any thought or care how they will pay it back. Promise you the world and give you an atlas. In fact in Thai culture I think little blame falls on the debtor. The creditor is seen as a fool for loaning them money. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

On 7/11/2022 at 5:00 PM, Kenny202 said:

It cost 2000-4000 baht to go and see a lawyer here. Do you think a Thai person with no job or limited income is going to gamble that much for an opinion? You need to be realistic with your statements

There are free services for those who can not pay.  Many lawyers will give you a free 30 minute consultation.  I went to one of the top lawyers in Pattaya for an initial consultation on a real estate matter and is was 1,000 baht for a 1 hour consultation.  

If the amount was small, then I would agree its a waste of money.  I would "guess" the amount to be more than that because the OP wanted advise and likely would not if the amount was small.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...