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How loan apps debt recovery agents operate

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DEBT recovery agents of loan apps in Nigeria have continued to shame defaulting borrowers against the nation’s cyber laws, while the loan app companies charge borrowers high-interest rates.

The digital loan apps mislead borrowers by posting lower interest rates on the Google Play Store but borrowers saw their loan tenor increase as the loan apps raised interest rates by more than 50 per cent.

The interest rates can be as high as 75 per cent to 395 per cent per year.


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How fintech loan sharks in Nigeria cyberbully, trap customer in debt


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Investigations by The ICIR show that LCredit, 9credit, LionCash, Nkash, ForNaira, CycleCash, Cashrain, Mikoloan, Supercash, Xcredit, ICoin, PalmCredit and CashLion are some of the loan apps involved in the deception scheme.

Loan apps on the Google Play Store that offer short-term loans are mandated by Google policy rules to give borrowers no fewer than 60 days from the date of issue to repay any loan.

A message from a debt recovery agent sent to the contacts of the borrower.

 

Loan recovery agents have been declaring defaulters dead, calling and circulating defamatory messages to their family and friends.

Here is how the debt recovery agent operate.

A debt collector identified as Tobilola who works for LCredit with first-hand knowledge of their operations told The ICIR that the recovery agents are split into five teams with a team leader assigned to each.

The teams are headed by a team leader who assigns customers to the debt collectors based on the duration of time they have defaulted on their loans.

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“We are divided into five groups. Most debt collectors prefer the first to the third team because their focus is on short-term overdue loans, which are easier to retrieve than long-term loans.

“We are assigned 400 customers per week to each debt collector at the call centre, and they don’t care whatever you do to recover overdue loans from customers,” he said.

There is no official number of how many loan firms exist in Nigeria; however, debt collection is a critical part of their operations.

The agents get a weekly bonus of three per cent of the total amount they recover if they meet their weekly target.

The monthly salary of a debt collection agent at LCredit is N50,000, while the top three performing agents for the week receive between N10,000 to N15,000 as an incentive.

Another message from a debt recovery agent sent to the contacts of the borrower.

He said clients who defaulted on their loans often asked for more time to escape the constant harassment, but they would continue anyway with the debt collector’s eyes on the bonus.

“The team leaders always threaten to sack us if we don’t meet the target, and when they verbally abuse us, we tend to transfer the aggression on the customers using any means possible to recover the company’s money,” he said.

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On a public group on Facebook, a customer of a loan app, Victoria Eyo Ekpo revealed she was also a victim of bullying from a loan app agent and vowed not to repay the loan.

She borrowed the sum of N15,000 from Deloan and had defaulted in her repayment plan and the next thing she saw was a circulation of her obituary picture.

“This is what Deloan (app) sent to me. I will never pay. They called my mum and insulted her. May God help us,” she said.

There are no guidelines on the training of loan recovery agents and the methods they can adopt for collection.

Author profile

Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. They are bunch of theives and animal. Especially .aimloan. 5k pay 9k. 15k pay 23k 40k pay 68k. All within 7days theives

  2. Most of this loan firms have a High interest, but let’s be factual no one forced us to take a loan from them; We sometimes call them swindlers; whereby we are the swindlers.
    Yes! we the customers are the swindlers! I discovered a group on Facebook early this year who teaches people how to obtain loan fraudulently without Paying back; Now my point is, we want the Govt. to intervene; while we keep committing a crime in disguise.

  3. Regardless of excuses, it is obvious that we have been patient with you till now, your refusal to make repayment has badly affected our business and if we are to take actions against you, we have the right to do so as you have breached all the agreement stated in our business clause.

    Therefore, to avoid you facing terrible sanctions from us, you are advised to log into the app and clear your debt on or before 7pm today. Anything outside this will have us blacklisting your BVN account and also running auto-debit on all your bank accounts lastly publishing your details and image on all social platforms.

    Do know that every of our actions are in accordance with Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission and Nigeria Company and Allied Matters Act that binds our company which is fully stated on the app.

    Be warned and do the needful.
    Sent On : 2 JUN, 2022 18:35:35
    This was a threat msg again frm cashfarm.
    Pls government shld scrap them

  4. Iam also a victim..They have been sending threat msgs and to the extent of them saying they will send my picture to my contacts calling me a fraudster.
    Government need to do something about them pls…Most especially Cashfarm,Aimloan,wecredit.
    This was one of their msgs frm cashfarm this evening
    YOU WERE GIVEN MORE THAN ENOUGH GRACE AND TIME TO MAKE YOUR PAYMENT WITH A SMILE ON YOUR FACE AND YOUR DIGNITY ON YOUR SHOULDERS, BUT YOU HAVE WITHELD OUR MONEY CAUSING US TO LOOSE BUSINESS TODAY. NOW YOU WILL HAVE TO PAY WITH AGONY AND TEARS BECAUSE WE WONT SPARE YOU. WE WOULD LEAVE YOU DEFENSELESS AGAINST CYBER WOLVES BECAUSE WE WOULD FORWARD YOUR BVN, CARD DETAILS AND NIN TO EACH AND EVERY PLATFORM NOT JUST YOUR WHATSAPP CONTACTS.
    WE SWEAR IT
    DO THE NEEDFUL
    Sent On : 2 JUN, 2022 13:14:18
    Please Government should stop all these loan sharks frm stealing frm people.

  5. Join #TheICIRSpace on Twitter as we discuss issues surrounding cases of Nigerian Fintech companies shaming and threatening customers for late payment of loans.

    Click here to set a reminder: https://twitter.com/i/spaces/1yNGaYvlZPvGj

    Date: 27th May, 2022.
    Time: 7:00PM

    #TheICIRSpace #twitterspace #theicir

  6. They have send a message to my contact, I didn’t even collect any loan from any company

  7. This is the kind of msg u receive 4m their fast money agent on ur due date Pay us our money this night or die❌. WANTED WANTED WANTED!! CRIMINAL *IF U RECEIVE UR PICTURE N BVN IMMEDIATELY HERE BEFORE THE NEXT FEW MINUTES DOT, KNOW DAT YOUR TURN FOR ROBOT WEEP ACTION HAS STARTED IMMEDIATELY❌(WE WARNED YOU SINCE). ENJOY THE EMBARASSMENT. EASYMONI(EASE CASH) ANTI FRAUDULENT TEAM.*Since you have decided to keep mute and refused to pay your debt THE STIPULATED TIME GIVEN TO YOU TODAY.Your intention to DEFRAUD!

  8. THIS IS TO NOTIFY YOU THAT YOUR LOAN IS DUE BY 8am ; WE ARE GIVING YOU TILL 12PM TODAY THE 13th OF MARCH 2022, TO MAKE THE FULL PAYMENT TO US AT NCASH: THROUGH THE STERLING/WEMA BANK ON YOUR APP, OR ELSE WE WILL POUR THE FULL WRATH OF THE LAW UPON YOU. WE PROMISE TO TAKE THIS CASE UP WITH YOU IF WE DONT GET THAT PAYMENT BY THE STATED TIME ABOVE.YOU HAVE PUSHED US TO THE WALL BY DECEIVING OUR AGENTS!! IF YOU DONT WANT TO SUFFER AND SPEND THE REST OF YOUR LIFE IN POVERTY OR IF YOU DONT WANT CALAMITIES TO BEFALL ON YOU,YOUR BUSINESS,CHILDREN OR JOB OVERNIGHT, OR THE CURSES THAT FOLLOW DEBTORS IN BIBLE AND IN QURAN WILL NEVER DEPART FROM YOU , YOU BETTER REIMBURSE YOUR LOAN ON BEFORE 12PM. YOU HAVE PROVEN TO LACK INTEGRITY AND NOT TO BE TRUSTED WITH OUR MONEY, AND WE WILL MAKE SURE TO DEAL WITH YOU ACCORDINGLY. PLEASE DONT PAY BECAUSE WE REALLY WANT TO MAKE A SCAPE GOAT OUT OF YOU TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC, THIS WE PROMISE YOU SWEARING BY THE MOTHER OF THE LAW WHO SEES NO PREFERANCE AND ALWAYS JUSTICE MINDED..NCASH

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