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04 December 2023

Personal Finance: Why debtors must come clean

Theda Muller

By Theda Muller

When you make a commitment to yourself to come clean, erase all of your debt and become debt-free, then your only job is to hold that focus with absolute determination and sincerity and lose the hidden agenda’s of trying to retain any clear credit record for future facilities, or to clean your slate right now in preparation for absconding or skipping.
Realise that when you face a creditor or an experienced creditor representative or consultant, bear in mind that you are not the only desperate debtor they have seen from today, last year or next month.
They have seen it and heard it all, they are experienced enough to immediately identify your red flags whilst you constantly repeat the variations of your desperate story, unbeknown to yourself how many times you actually slip up and they get to see your true intentions.
If you are good at deceiving people then your deceit will surface in some or other way before you have the chance of expediting your plan.
Remember, what you put in you get out, i.e. what you sow, you reap, without exception.

One golden rule about true debt recovery where this applies mostly when you consult with an external remedial company or consultant like myself, is that from day one of committing to your plan, the financial activities in your life no longer belongs to you, because you must then learn to master the art of accountability and here are the crucial points, based on my recent experience:
1.    Present your true financial situation, including delinquency status;

2.    Refrain from assuming you can hide a few liabilities because you can manage them yourself – fact is you can’t for obvious reasons;

3.    Don’t hide spare income you are generating to repay those hidden liabilities or stash money away to serve your hidden agendas, because they will surface when the company inquires about your current debt in delinquency, where perhaps you hid the credit card you have with that bank, so it will be revealed;

4.    Stop planning overseas trips no matter how important especially if it is not generating an income at this stage, because you simply can’t afford it, period;

5.    When you are delinquent in your debt and you decide to travel and your creditor finds your phones out of working order or off, then you earned the legal action you will face if you plan to return;

6.    Stop being irrational and acting out of desperation by calling creditors and bursting out into emotional tantrums as they are face with this every day, they have a job to do and once you do a job long enough, this type of behavior does not affect them and will not serve you, especially if you do not keep your commitments;

7.    When you have handed your debt-crisis situation to a remedial company or a creditor, then don’t start ‘doing your own thing on the side’ by calling creditors and confusing them.
Leave the job to the professionals, because you did not succeed the first or numerous times so what makes you assume you will this time?
You obviously had enough confidence to confide in an external party or the creditor so only follow-up with them as it is a measure of respect;

8.    If you have submitted financial statements don’t go off on your own and start making payments on your accounts whilst negotiations are in progress. Learn to first ask the external company or creditor so they can approve this movement because if you don’t and a restructure or consolidation request is approved, then it means the application must do another round of approvals, so you would be hampering and delaying the process.

9.    When requested for additional clarity or documentation then do it immediately and do not delay your response or submission;

10.    Follow the instructions given to you, don’t act smart or assume you know a short-cut because you don’t and you are not in control until all your accounts are finalized;
Discipline is the only order of the day that will serve you during this process. Learn not to take things personally if the external company or creditor reprimands you for overstepping any line because this is all key components of the process.
This is a huge learning curve for you because they deal with more people like you daily so no, you are not the experienced one and you don’t get to call the shots so don’t take exception, because this is all for your own good.

These people can read you, they know what you are about, they also know where your priorities are and so they serve to guide you to transform your situation and hence your life where during this very critical phase you will become uncomfortable, sometimes angry, frustrated or critical.
My advice to you today is to stop in your tracks for a moment and realise this entire process is only about you and transforming your life.
[Note 1:  Theda Muller is a UAE-based author of two books: Embrace Financial Freedom Volume One: 10 Proven Ways To Release Debt And Emotional Fears In Today’s Economy, and Volume Two: Releasing Fear And Bouncing Back From A Debt Crisis. She also conducts webinars and workshops on debt recovery.]
[Note 2: The views expressed are the author’s own and do not reflect in any way, the views of Emirates 24|7. Readers are advised to carry out their own due diligence before taking any decision.]