They started by telling debtors they just wanted to talk.
Sometimes, it would lead to raised voices.
The Straits Times recently followed debt collectors from JMS Rogers to the homes of four debtors.
Two who kept to or proposed a payment plan were treated politely. "Please" and "thank you" were exchanged and receipts issued.
A debtor from Tampines had a smile when the collectors left.
Another debtor in Toa Payoh waved goodbye.
But recalcitrant cases were very different.
Another debtor in Tampines was not at home when JMS Rogers owner Roger Rajan showed up at her parents' place with three stern colleagues.
Mr Rajan then asked her elderly parents to call her.
They refused and a shouting match ensued.
Mr Rajan said: "Your daughter cheated my client of $65,000."
The debtor's father spewed vulgarities before Mr Rajan raised his voice to tell him to stop.
The loud exchange attracted neighbours who were peeking out of their doors.
It ended with Mr Rajan telling the parents to inform their daughter to pay up. "Or I will put up banners," he added.
In another case, a man in Toa Payoh who defaulted on his payment plan asked for more time. The debt collectors were firm and only left after a handwritten promissory note to pay $5,000 by the extended deadline.
Later, Mr Rajan told The Straits Times: "We feel provoked. This can be avoided if the debtors would just face us and treat us properly, with respect.
"We are just doing our jobs. We also need to answer to our clients."
This article was first published on November 12, 2014.
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