Ask Attorney Barney: Indebtedness to Financial Institution

Katanungang legal? May sagot d’yan! Alamin ang mga batas at iyong karapatan dito sa UAE. Kung ikaw man ay nangangamba sa iyong visa, nagbabalak ng annulment, magsisimula ng negosyo, may pinagkakautangan, problema sa pinapasukan, hinaharap na kaso o anumang usaping legal, sasagutin ng ating Kabayan Atty. Barney Almazar ang inyong mga katanungang legal dito sa UAE. Mag-email lamang sa barney@gulflaw.info

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Atty. Barney Almazar

Indebtedness to the financial institution is not extinguished even after imprisonment of the debtor

Atty. Barney, I am an average Filipino worker here in Dubai. In 2017, my younger brother got ill and my family in the Philippines needed my financial support. My monthly income is not enough to support the medication of my brother so I had no choice but to avail loan amounting to AED 70,000 from a financial institution. Due to financial difficulty, I was not able to pay the financial institution. Last September 2018, I was informed by my employer that there is a police case filed against me by the financial institution. Since I do not have the capability to pay, I instead face the case in court. After several court hearings, the judge ordered my confinement in jail for a period of 1 month as punishment. Last week, I was shocked when the financial institution sent me a demand letter for payment of my debt. Can the financial institution still demand payment for my debt even if I was already imprisoned for 1 month? – Lance

Yes, the financial institution may still run after you and collect payment for your debt. The police case filed against you in 2018 is a criminal case for bouncing of checks. Your imprisonment is the penalty for the said criminal charge and it has nothing to do with your indebtedness with the financial institution. Your indebtedness is not extinguished by your imprisonment. The debt still stands and you are still obligated to pay the financial institution. In fact, the financial institution may file a civil case against you for collection of payment.

Still an employee during the 30 day notice period

Atty. Barney, I am a Filipino worker here in Dubai. Just recently, I submitted my resignation letter to the HR Department of our company. My employment contract is unlimited hence, the submission of my resignation letter serves also as my 30 day notice. Only 3 days after I submitted my resignation letter, the company issued a warning letter against me on the allegation that I am not performing my work duties during working hours.  I was shocked since I assumed that when I submitted my resignation letter, I am no longer required to work as an employee of the company and all I need to do is to report to the office for attendance purposes. Kindly enlighten me on this Attorney and am I still require to render work during this notice period? – Paolo

During the notice period prior to termination of your employment contract, you are still an employee of the company and your obligation to perform your work duties still remain. Article 118 of the UAE Labour Law states that the contract shall subsist throughout the 30 day notice period and shall terminate only on expiry of that period. The laborer shall be entitled in respect of the notice period to full pay, calculated on the basis of his last wage and shall continue to perform his duties during that period if the employer so requests. The company may still subject you to disciplinary measures if proven that you are not performing your work duties.

Disgraceful acts in public places

Atty. Barney, my officemate often makes dirty jokes and lewd remarks against me even in public places. I have already admonished him several times but he ignores it. My manager knows this but he does not seem to care. Please advise. – Sharmee

You may file a complaint against your officemate before the police for violation of Article 359 of the Penal Code which states that a punishment of confinement for a period not exceeding one year and a fine not exceeding ten thousand Dirhams or either punishment shall be inflicted on any person who obstructs a female in such a manner as to violate her prudence by word or deed, on a public road or at a frequented place.

The same punishment shall be inflicted on any person who disguises himself and enters a place designated for women as such or that it is prohibited at the moment for other than women to enter. If the person commits a crime in this case, it shall be considered an aggravating circumstance.

Atty. Barney is a Director at the Commercial Department of Gulf Law in the Middle East, Philippines and United Kingdom. Readers can visit www.gulflaw.info or call +971 55 8650 248 for further information.