I am being harassed by loan sharks for a debt my helper took out, what can I do?

If the behaviour is violent or potentially a threat to you or your helper, report the loan shark/collecting agent to the Hong Kong Police (999) immediately.

As an employer, you are not legally liable to pay your domestic workers’ loans (unless you have signed as a guarantor), but you may face harassment or threats from collecting agents/loan sharks, particularly via phone calls. The Investor and Financial Education Council clarify that debt collection companies cannot attempt to recover debts from any one other than the debtor or guarantor, and they also cannot employ methods to humiliate/harass the debtor, guarantor, family members or any one else to recover debts.

Know that terminating your helper should not be the first option and it won’t necessarily stop the loan sharks contact you. Working together to resolve the issue can actually result in a better relationship with your helper.

If loan sharks are harassing you or your helper make sure your helper gets assistance as soon as possible. Encourage her not to procrastinate and to address the issue in a constructive way. Suggest meeting Enrich for a confidential one-to-one financial counselling session. We provide impartial advice and will help her evaluate her finances and come up with a plan to move forward. 

Besides calling 999 for potentially violent or threatening behaviour, if you feel the loan shark or money lender is harassing you and your helper, you can also make complaints to the following institutions:

  • +852 2827 8281 for The Licensed Money Lenders Association (if the lender is licensed with them)

  • +852 2860 3574 for the Hong Kong Police, Money Lenders Licensing Section

  • 18222 for the Hong Kong Police Anti-Deception Coordination Centre if you are concerned that this is a scam (e.g. a loans scam)