ABM: Be wary of scammers, use official channels

BE wary of scammers and apply for the targeted repayment assistance through official bank channels, said Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM).

“We also urge borrowers not to deal with any third parties claiming to be agents or representatives of banks, on matters relating to the repayment assistance,” it noted in a statement.

Two days ago, Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz tabled Budget 2021 at the Dewan Rakyat, worth RM322.54 bil.

The expansive budget was an addition to the six stimulus packages worth over RM300 bil announced this year, aimed at reviving the economy and push assistance towards those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The minister also rejected calls for a blanket loan moratorium extension, adding it will only be extended on case-by-case basis.

The first condition was for the B40 group, where they can choose a three-month moratorium or a reduction in monthly instalment payments by half, for six months.

The second condition is for the M40 group, where they can rework their financial packages through a self-declaration process, if they experience an income reduction.

Both plans will commence next month.

ABM said following Tengku Zafrul’s announcement, the targeted loan moratorium will only apply for loans taken before October, with arrears not exceeding 90 days as at date of request.

“For married couples eligible for Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) and Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat (BPR) based on household income, both husband and wife would be eligible for this package if they have bank loans.

“Those who opted out of the blanket moratorium (announced in March) are also eligible for this enhanced targeted repayment assistance,” it said.

ABM added that borrowers may submit their requests and confirmation of the repayment assistance required to their banks via the channels provided by the banks, from Nov 23 until June 30, 2021.

For hire purchase customers who wish to take up the targeted repayment assistance, ABM said they will be required to indicate their acceptance of the revised terms and formally confirm the same with their respective banks.

“This involves the signing of new documentation in relation to the hire purchase facility to ensure that the rights of all parties continue to be protected as required under the the Hire Purchase Act 1967 which governs the financing granted.

“Similar process and documentation requirements would apply to customers with fixed rate Islamic financing facilities,” it said.

For the M40 group, ABM stated banks will accept the borrower’s self-declaration as evidence of reduced household incomes, to ease the application process for targeted repayment assistance.

It further noted that the programme includes those who had their incomes affected due to the pandemic and those who have been retrenched.

“Regardless of whether they are recipients of BSH/BPR or not, they can discuss their financial repayment options with banks and obtain advice on the targeted repayment assistance options available to them.

“Please contact your banks at any time, via their various official channels (e.g. the banks’ websites, branches, customer service hotlines). Our member banks are ready to assist,” it remarked. – Nov 8, 2020

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