Only so much that a bank can do to help

The National has been following Marcus’s story since he approached the paper for help earlier this year.

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A debtor whose monthly repayments are more than his entire salary has failed in his latest attempt to reschedule his debts.

The National has been following Marcus's story since he approached the paper for help earlier this year. He had debts with three banks, totalling Dh284,600. His repayments amount to about Dh11,112 a month. He earns Dh9,283.

Marcus, from the Philippines, who did not want to reveal his full name, took out four loans with annual rates ranging between 28 per cent and 33.36 per cent – two with Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB), one with FGB and one with Dunia Finance.

He borrowed the money to help finance the rebuilding of a family home that was destroyed in a typhoon, and to cover his mother’s medical bills.

Both FGB and Dunia Finance agreed to reduce his repayments, but DIB, to which Marcus pays Dh4,836 each month – almost half of his monthly salary – has now refused following a review. A spokeswoman said: “As soon as we became aware of [Marcus’s] situation, both our service quality and collections teams were closely involved in working with him to find alternative solutions.

“We have thoroughly reviewed his case and due to his financial history, we are constrained by Central Bank regulations and consequently unable to provide any further financial assistance. Dubai Islamic Bank is committed to upholding the highest levels of integrity, compliance with regulations and working with all of its customers to ensure they have a plan in place to effectively manage their finances.”

Marcus now has one last hope. Gaurav Bhalla, of new debt advisory company Lotus Loans and Rescheduling Services, has agreed to look into his case and negotiate with DIB on his behalf. But because of his circumstances it will be difficult, he says.

“There is a remote possibility of arriving at a solution on this case as there are multiple cheque returns as a consequence of which fresh facilities are ruled out,” says Mr Bhalla.

“Nonetheless, not all hope is lost. I have requested for some clarification from Marcus on the basis of which I will then try to take this up. Usually, such cases take about three months to bring the credit history back to normality.”

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