UAE lawyer urges help for debtors in jail

An Emirati legal expert has called for banks to conduct tougher security checks on customers to ensure they can afford to repay loans, it has been reported.

Banks are partly to blame for the large number of borrowers defaulting and ending up doing time in UAE prisons if they have failed to do adequate due diligence, Dr Mohammed Saeed Abdul Al Fattah, a criminal law lecturer at Al Ain University, warned.

“Banks need to examine more the people’s status and financial records before they grant them big loans,” he said.

“Borrowers should provide banks with a guarantee or genuine security for recovering the loan and interest in case they fail to pay back.”

Al Fattah made the comments in the Ministry of Interior’s 999 magazine, according to 7Days, after official figures revealed that 261 inmates are stuck in Abu Dhabi’s central jail because of bouncing cheques and defaulting on bank loans – both of which are criminal offenses under UAE law.

In most cases, the newspaper said, they cannot leave until the debt has been repaid.

However, Saeed Obaid Makhlouf Al Naqbi, head of Al Wathba Punishment and Correctional Facility in Abu Dhabi, said the prison attempts to help jailed debtors to clear outstanding balances.

“We help the inmates in three ways,” he was quoted as saying. “Raising money through our fund, especially for those with small debts; taking names of those with moderate amount to the Sheikh Khalifa Fund, which helps clear debts; and forwarding names of substantial debtors to the amnesty commission introduced by UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to help them clear unpaid loans.”

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Posted by: solo

All what the government needa to do is to follow the Law exactly without any misinterpretation.. the law says a prison sentence can be imposed if cheque is given with bad intentions .. the government has to prove bad intention before jailing people and stop assuming that all the cheques bouncing for same reasons.
The law should remain the same but practice should change , so first the complaint should be made through civil court and if the judge find bad intention then he should refer the case to police , but what is happening now is Shylock-style collection , by misusing the law and then say the problem is from the wrong law .
The government should be wiser and stop listening to banks and landlords as they never cared nor will ever care about the society destruction due to their irresponsible behaviours.

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