The Washington Post reports that Indonesian authorities are accusing Citibank of responsibility for the death of 50 year old Irzen Octa, who was $5,700 in debt on his Citibank credit card. Mr. Ocra was allegedly beaten to death by non-employee debt collectors hired by Citibank to collect a delinquent $5,700 credit card debt.
Citibank denies the allegations but an active police investigation is on-going and Mr. Ocra’s widow is suing Citibank for damages. Citibank offered Mr. Ocra’s widow a monthly stipend, life insurance for his widow and a promise to cover his two daughters’ education, but Ms. Ocra rejected this offer.
Apparently debt collectors in Indonesia are not subject to legal restrictions like the FDCPA. According to the Post article, Ms. Ocra said she first discovered that her husband had money problems when five men showed up uninvited at their Tangerang home one night in October and said they had come to get money. Unable to collect, they slept on a terrace outside the front door.
It goes without saying that this type of outrageous debt collection activity would be a clear violation of the FDCPA and would give rise to punitive damages, although a debt collector does not have to threaten or initiate violence to give you a cause of action for damages.