Source: New York Times
SANTIAGO, Chile — For Ana María Silva, what began as purchases of perfume and two pairs of shoes spiraled into a credit card nightmare, as her debt multiplied tenfold in five years — and not all because of her spending.
Ms. Silva was among 418,000 clients in Chile who fell behind on their payments and had their debts repackaged by the retailer La Polar, which raised interest rates and extended loan terms without their knowledge. In early June, it came to light that executives at La Polar had been unilaterally renegotiating clients’ debts for more than six years. The news stunned Chileans and has become one of the biggest financial scandals of Chile’s 20-year economic boom.