A Filipina based in Dubai has wiped out a credit card debt worth as much as Dh1m by paying back just Dh11,000. 

The woman, known only as Andrea, settled the debt just two months after she paid off another credit card debt of Dh1.7m by paying back Dh15,000.

The 39-year-old told Gulf Newsthat although the first debt had been settled, she had not expected another bank in the United Arab Emirates to also be generous enough to waive such an enormous part of the outstanding debt, which amounted to her paying back less than Dh12,000, which was the official credit limit of the card in question. 

Both of the credit cards were maxed out by Andrea back in 2009 after she was made unemployed and had no money to live on.

When it became obvious to Andrea that she would have no way of paying back the outstanding credit card debt, she spent the next 10 years hiding from the financial institutions. 

The result was that a series of finance charges and interest caused the the second card’s balance to skyrocket to Dh1,050,933.57 over the course of the decade.

Thankfully for Andrea, Barney Almazar and his team at Gulf Law came to her aid, and the last two months were spent negotiating with the bank in order to settle the amount of money she actually had to pay back. 

Both parties were eventually able to come to an agreement, and Andrea’s mother, who still lives in the Philippines, helped her to immediately pay back the bank, freeing her from what she has described as “70 per cent of the burden” that she was carrying.  

Andrea says that now the payments have been completed, she feels overjoyed and relieved that her financial ordeal is over. 

She says that the massive amount of debt that she had on the two credit cards resulted in her suffering from serious depression for three years. 

Andrea credits God for allowing people to assist her with her problems in the UAE’s Year of Tolerance, but also thanked the bank and Gulf Law for hearing her case and helping to resolve the issue. 

Almazar was also surprised that the bank accepted writing off a total of as much as Dh2.7m worth of debt for just for one individual, but credits the legal framework in Dubai for making the negotiations with them a lot easier than might otherwise have been the case as well as the hard work of his team.

Almazar says that banks had previously shunned the team at his company because they were seen as encouraging those in financial debt to avoid paying what they owed, but that his team never gave up and showed that the firm was sincere and different, particularly given that no one would win should the case end up going to court. Because Gulf Law has now been building relationships with UAE banks for several years, they now view the firm as partners to help borrowers be more responsible. 

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