A woman has complained to police that she has been harassed by debt collectors after her former maid borrowed money through at least 10 financial intermediaries.
The victim is the wife of Dr Fang Xinshuo, clinical assistant professor of orthopedics and traumatology Practice at the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine of the University of Hong Kong, Apple Daily reported.
It is understood that Fang’s family had been harassed by calls from debt collectors since the beginning of January.
The callers threatened to splash red paint on their apartment, and on January 10, Mrs Fang received 40 unidentified calls, only hearing swear words when she picked up the phone.
Mrs Fang said she believed her domestic worker had borrowed money through at least 10 financial intermediaries, racking up a total debt of around HK$30,000 (more then US$3,800).
She sent termination letters to the financial intermediaries and tried to settle the Filipino maid’s debts, but some debt collectors refused to back off.
Mrs Fang said the maid had worked for the family for three years with good working performance. Last year, the maid asked to borrow some money from her employer over a family issue, and Mrs Fang agreed.
Afterward, several debt-collection letters arrived, and Mrs Fang reminded her maid not to borrow from loan sharks.
Finally, the maid’s work performance started to deteriorate, so Mrs Fang terminated her employment contract last month.
Mrs Fang said she worried about the worker’s safety, as the debt collectors told her they would find her even she if she went back to the Philippines.
Betty Yung Ma Shan-yee, chairwoman of the Employers of Overseas Domestic Helpers Association, said there were connections among Hong Kong financial intermediaries, but it was rare that a maid could borrow money through 10 intermediaries.
In most cases, financial intermediaries will stop trying to recoup an unpaid debt if they receive proof that the borrower no longer works for the employer.
Yung advised employers to report to the police if they are being harassed continuously.