Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Credit repair

Having recently received an avalanche of junk mail/spam on credit repair, I relented and curiosity paid off with a number of revelations.

Currently, there are no companies in the Philippines who make a business out of repairing credit worthiness damaged by credit card fraud.

A few years back, there had been a slew of cases of credit card fraud where credit cards were swiped in swanky restaurants and then cloned. Of the cases that landed in newspapers and broadcast news, where the perpetrators were caught, there were probably hundreds of other cases that didn't make the news.

One such case happened to a Chinese-Filipino businessman who almost fainted after his wife confronted him with a credit card bill with more than P70,000 in pornsite subscriptions. What was funny was that the man was actually diabetic and was diagnosed with a psychological condition that basically rendered him totally disinterested with sex or anything sexual in nature. Explaining his predicament to the credit card company and after some investigation by the credit card company, the credit card charges were withdrawn.

A few months later, the Chinese businessman applied for a loan from one of the largest banks in the Philippines known for its Chinese Filipino clientele. To his surpise, his loan was denied. The reason: his supposedly unsettled credit card bill for P70,000.

Thoroughly embarassed, the man sued his credit card company.

In the United States, reputations destroyed by fraudulent credit card transactions have some hope of being repaired. A number of companies are actually offering such services online and it is presumed that a lot of them are making a lot of money, as most transactions in the United States are done through credit cards -- by applying the law of averages, even if victims of credit card fraud number just 1 percent of credit card holders, this makes a huge market.

Credit card users in the Philippines are nowhere near that many but it is still sizeable and perhaps in two or three years, the market demand for credit repair services will be large enough.

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