Delay debt payment suggested to help flood-stricken clients

Delay in payment of debts was yesterday suggested to help people who are indebted to banks and non-banks and are heavily affected by the devastating floodings that hit 12 southern provinces currently.

The suggestion came from the National Credit Bureau amid growing concern that many bank and non-bank clients could default payments and could be blacklisted.

In the move to assist people indebted to these financial institutions, the National Credit Bureau advises debtors to contact banks to apply for debt moratorium to prevent black-listing.

Bureau head Suraphon Opas-Sathien stated that he was concerned for the welfare of southern residents in particular those who are indebted to financial institutions.

The bureau has sent notices to its more than 97 members to exercise care and regard for its southern clients who have been hit by the flood crisis, advising them to allow debt moratorium for flood victims in order to help them rebuild their livelihood.

Should their clients agree to the new terms then they will then be classified as regular debtors instead of being black-listed.

He said this was deemed necessary to prevent black marks on their credit records as the majority will be affected by the floods and will face increased difficulty in loan repayments.

Besides, the bureau also advised southern residents to contact their banks as soon as the flood situation abates and enter into the debt moratorium program.

He warned that failure to do so will mean that any default in payments will result in black marks on their credit records.

He said it is a real matter of concern for both financial institutions and their clients as vast areas in the south are still under deep water making travelling to make loan payments inconvenient if not difficult.

The situation is made even worse by the fact that many local branches of financial institutions have themselves been flooded and are still closed.

Therefore, he said, there is no choice but for both clients and banks to wait until the flood situation is back normal and resume transactions.

It is therefore vital that debtors make contact with their banks as soon as possible to their credit records.

But he said even though many debtors have already inadvertently defaulted on recent payments due to the floods, the bureau will allow a grace period if and only when they contact their banks after the floods and agree to the new terms.

Doing so will guarantee that their records will remain unblemished, he said.

He assured that debtors had nothing to worry if they complied with the bureau’s advice.

The bureau will be making monthly credit checks at the end of every month and if the incidence of failed payments continues then the respective banks will be notified to perform another check first before finally officially marking them as defaults.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

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