JOHOR BARU: A family here is living in fear due to the constant harassment from a debt collector, believed to be over a refrigerator they bought 11 years ago.
The victim, who only wanted to be known as Salina, 55, from Larkin, claimed that her husband bought the fridge in 2008 before going missing eight years ago.
“My husband bought the fridge from a furniture company and he had about RM1,600 in arrears before he went missing.
“The company’s lawyer recently called us up and told us to pay RM1,000 in order for the account to be closed,” she said, adding that the payment was made in April this year.
Salina, who works as a van driver, said she borrowed RM500 from a friend and used her own savings for the payment.
However, Salina said she was shocked when she and her 17-year-old daughter received calls from an unknown person who demanded RM27,000.
“The person threatened to break into our house in Larkin and take all our belongings after the Hari Raya break.
“He also called up my daughter and told her that he would splash red paint on our door,” she said at a press conference organised by Johor Baru MCA public complaints bureau chief Michael Tay here on Saturday.
The mother of three said this was not the first time the family had been harassed by debt collectors, adding that her husband had gambling debts.
Tay said he checked with the furniture company which admitted to having hired a debt collector.
“But the company’s representatives were shocked when I told them what the debt collector had done to this family.
“I hope the company will reconsider its method of collecting debts because this is an unlawful act and really an absurd standard operating procedure,” he said.
He said he would also hire a lawyer to come out with a letter of demand for the company to review its actions.
“The fridge was bought by the husband who has gone missing and the company also does not have any proof or document that connects Salina and her children to the debt.
“The family has paid the agreed amount to the company’s lawyer for the case to be closed so I hope the company will stick to its word,” said Tay.