Third Party Agent
We know how you feel. You were in dire need for someone to come and help you sort out the financial mess you were in. You were vulnerable and almost had to trust anyone who could promise you deliverance from the clutches of debts that were sucking the life out of you.
Then came along a consultant (from a call on your mobile) who managed to convince you, perhaps quite easily, into believing that you have found your saviour. You told your story, released sensitive information and after all that information sharing, then came the bill. You felt compelled to pay for the high-priced service that had not even commenced but you still did despite having some doubts about the transaction.
It turned out that your gut feelings actually proved you right. You have been ‘duped’. You remembered how you were requested to deal with the Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency, or AKPK, to restructure your loans under its Debt Management Programme (DMP) right after you’ve made the payments. This made you realised that this consultant did not have the necessary mandate to assist you. True enough! AKPK that is now handling your case has never appointed any third party agents to enrol you into its programme. In fact, its financial counselling and DMP are free of charge. You have actually paid for a service that you can actually get for free. Even worse, if you had used your credit card to pay the fees as you had just created more debts you wanted to see gone in the first place. The Malay proverb, “Sudah jatuh ditimpa tangga” illustrates this perfectly – referring to problems that come one after another.
An actual case did happen involving a lady from Melaka. She took a loan worth RM200,000 from a credit provider and came to a situation where she began to default on her repayments. Conveniently, a consultant from Kuala Lumpur who claimed to be from AKPK called and offered to assist her to settle her debt, with a fee as much as 10% of her loan value. Drawn by the promise that her financial woes would be over, she was all prepared to pay the fees as agreed. Luckily, a relative mentioned about AKPK’s free services just in time, and after making her own enquiries with the Melaka branch, she quickly enrolled into AKPK’s programme and saved herself from being ripped off of RM20,000. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
So, lesson learned. Money matters are risky when they involve third party agents especially if you are required to pay out a big sum of money. Always check with the authorities or authorised institutions directly on how your financial issues should be resolved and which agents are designated to assist you. In this regard, AKPK is the agency mandated by Bank Negara Malaysia since 2006 to assist and educate consumers in managing their personal finances towards the realisation of a financially savvy society.
The last thing you want to happen is paying a premium price for a service you can actually do on your own or get done for free. That is, if assuming you do get the service. What if, after having paid the hefty ‘fee’, no such service is rendered to you? Disaster.
So, dear readers! For all your financial woes, no matter how desperate you are… “Keep Calm and Call AKPK” at 03-2610 7766 or log on to www.akpk.org.my.
We’ve got your back… FREE OF CHARGE.