Mobile App Lenders Invade Privacy & Harass Debtors to Recover Loans

  • There has been an outcry by debtors who claim that mobile lenders have been employing cruel methods to recover their loans.

    These claims were substantiated by users who complained that the mobile lenders are reaching the debtor's personal phone contacts to inform them of his/her pending loan in an attempt to remind them to pay.

    A Google user on playstore disclosed that one of the mobile lending apps had been on the receiving end of a number of Kenyans wrath, due to what was referred to as unethical ways of contacting debtors whose loans were overdue.

    “Kindly inform the debtor of phone number x to pay his/her loan of amount x TODAY before we proceed and take legal action to retrieve the debt. We have tried calling in vain. This is the last reminder. Many thanks.” a Facebook user posted.

    On their part, the debtors claim that this gruesome method was devised in a bid to embarrass defaulters before their friends, relatives and even bosses thereby prompting them to honour the obligation to pay.

    A similar fast-loan app has also been accused of sending threats to people after every hour even before the due date.

    However, upon inquiry, the app owner, was apologetic and asked affected clients to contact them in order to remedy the error, going on to add that trying to get a hold of loan defaulters through their private contact lists was common practice.

    According to a US-based survey released in October 2018, 6.1 million digital borrowers in Kenya are mostly between the ages of 26 and 35, and their biggest concern is the high interest rates charged which range from 6 to 8 per cent for a one-month loan.

    In April 2019, Starehe MP Charles Njagua alias Jaguar warned Kenyans of being duped by these mobile lenders, only to end up in a vicious cycle of high dependency on constant debt.

    Interestingly, despite all the complaints against these mobile app lenders and their unorthodox debt collection methods, their downloads on google playstore are on a constant upward trajectory.