We have received a lot of customer feedback and stories of experiences from our staff.
We would like to introduce some of them here.
"Are you OK??"
I have never before uttered these words with such concern.
This story is about something that happened when I went to the apartment of a tenant who was behind on their rent and who I was unable to contact at all. Normally when I visit tenants like this, I ring the doorbell and call out who I am.
It was early July. The cicadas were chirping noisily and it was very hot. On the day in question I had been visiting various apartments like usual. But one place felt strange.
The power was off, and there was no one entering or leaving the apartment. That wasn't so uncommon, but when I rang the bell and called out, I heard a noise, even though the apartment should have been empty. Surprised, I called out in a loud voice through the mail slot in the door.
"Mr. X, this is Japan Identification."
I heard a noise.
"Rattle, rattle, bang."
"Rattle, rattle, bang."
I called out several times again. Suddenly I heard the lock turn and the door opened a crack. The door was about to close again so I quickly grabbed hold of it. What I saw when I opened the door was a very thin, ill-looking man slumped down in the entranceway.
"Are you OK??"
I rushed over to him.
The man told me that he had no money and had been stuck in the house for ten days with only water to drink. The last time I visited, he thought that I was bringing a payment demand, so he pretended to be out. But since then he had gotten weaker and weaker and now didn't even have enough energy to walk. Seeing this as his last chance, he used the last of his strength to unlock the door.
I immediately called an ambulance and went with him to the hospital.
He was malnourished and, because he couldn't use the air conditioner, he was on the verge of heat stroke. His condition was very serious, and he was immediately put on an IV drip.
The nurse told me that the man was adamant that he didn't want to be admitted to hospital, but that he was estranged from his parents and didn't want the hospital to contact them. I checked the guarantee contract and found that his grandmother was listed as his emergency contact. I contacted her and explained the situation. She agreed that when his IV treatment was finished, and if the hospital agreed to discharge him, I could bring him to her house. I explained this to the hospital, and they agreed.
I put the man in my car and we headed to his grandmother's place. When we got there, his grandmother invited me in and I explained to her that I had visited her grandson's apartment today because he was behind in the rent and had found him in this condition.
Upon hearing this, the grandmother started crying, telling the man, "You should have told me you were in trouble! Not everyone is as kind as this man." She then paid all the rent that was in arrears. The man looked at the floor and also started crying, bowing to us and apologizing repeatedly, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry..."
Once everything was settled, the man's grandmother asked him what he wanted to eat, seeing as he hadn't had a meal for so long. After a bit of thought, the man replied, a little embarrassed:
"Spaghetti with meat sauce."
The tenant was a man in his fifties. He was behind in his rent, but I was unable to contact him by phone, so I decided to pay him a visit. I rang the doorbell, and after hearing a noise from inside the house, I called out who I was. I could hear the tenant hauling himself to the door.
The man told me that he was ill, and spent most days in bed. He was unable to work, and he had almost run out of money. He had been going to the doctor, but his money had gotten so low he could no longer afford doctor's visits or the medicine he needed. Of course the issue of the rent was important, but I was more worried about the state of the tenant's health.
He wasn't so sick that he needed an ambulance, but I advised him to go to his local city hall and discuss with them how he could get help with living expenses and medical costs. He agreed and the next day I took him to city hall. After listening to his story, the city hall officials decided that he would be eligible for public assistance. When I talked to him next, he seemed very relieved about the decision. He decided to move apartments and promised to pay off the rent he owed in installments.
He said to me, "I promise that I will definitely pay the rent I owe. I want to thank you for being there and helping me when I was in such difficulty. "It made me realize that just by doing my job, I can actually help tenants in trouble.
This is something that happened about two years ago. The lessee had rented another apartment in which his ex-wife and two children were living.
The contract was signed on the understanding that the lease would be in the name of the ex-husband because he was an executive in a consumer loan company and would more easily pass the application review, but that the monthly rent itself would be paid by the tenant from the child support she would receive from her ex-husband. However the ex-husband had stopped paying child support and the tenant was refusing to pay the rent so as to force her ex-husband to resume child support payments.
I took on the case when the tenant was three months behind in rent payments. My first attempts to talk with the lessee (ex-husband) did not go well, and his reaction was along the lines of "so sue me." But once I got him to understand that I wasn't there to collect payments; rather that I wanted to help solve the problem, his attitude started to change. Finally, he confessed that he had been demoted, and that although he had continued paying child support for a while, he now couldn't even afford to pay his own rent, but had not been able to tell his ex-wife about his situation.
Looking at the tenant's income, it was clear that she could not afford to take over the rent payments, but that it would also take some time to save enough money to cover the costs of moving house. After discussing the situation with the tenant, we agreed that she would borrow enough money from a relative to move house, and that we would advance her the money for the rent she owed.
The rent was high, but she was able to pay off her debt in about a year. Not long after, I got a call from the lessee ex-husband. He explained that he was now in a position to pay child support close to the originally agreed amount and that he had established regular visitation with his kids. He told me that he had viewed us with suspicion at first because he had heard some bad things about guarantee companies in the news?similar to the stories about consumer loan companies. But he now understood that we had come with the aim of helping them solve their problems, and he was very grateful to us.
This is still quite a niche field, and many people don't really understand what we do, so we have to explain ourselves a lot. But these words of thanks really encouraged me to work hard on each case I'm in charge of, because I really want to be part of a company that is fulfilling an important need in society.
(Ms. T, a woman in her thirties)
Ms. T was a single mother. Because she didn't have a steady income, her brother was named as the lessee when she moved into her rental apartment. Making a fresh start, Ms. T was doing her best to raise two growing boys, and even though it was hard at times, the happy faces of her children kept her going. However, one of the major difficulties Ms. T faced as a single mother was having to do everything herself. If one of her children was injured or sick, she had to take time off work. Due to many of these sudden absences, she ended up quitting her job and had not been able to find regular work since.
As a result, she was using all her money just to put food on the table and had gotten behind in her rent. Every day she felt the anxiety of knowing that she had to pay the rent, but having no means to pay it. The fear of a call, visit or letter from JID telling her to pay up or risk being thrown out of the apartment made her stop taking calls or answering the door completely. The situation had reached the point where, if things continued, she was in danger of being served an eviction notice from the court.
Because there was no way to contact Ms. T, my colleague at JID who was in charge of her case contacted Ms. T's brother and explained the urgency of the situation. He suggested that the brother accompany him to Ms. T's apartment seeing as today should be her day off. The brother agreed, and they went together to Ms. T's apartment.
The brother went in first, followed later by my colleague. This was the first time my colleague had managed to talk to Ms. T. Ms. T sat with her hands trembling unable to meet his eyes. Unperturbed, my colleague spoke to her.
"It's been hard, hasn't it? It's OK. We are here to help you. Let's talk about this and find the best way forward."
Ms. T looked up, surprised. She had been mistaken all this time. "I thought guarantee companies were like repossessors. I thought you would sneer and shout at me. I thought that once you came, that would be the end of everything. I would be evicted. I was so worried about what would happen to my children."
My colleague discussed the situation right there with Ms. T and her brother. He first explained her options in terms of welfare benefits and how she could apply for them. He also told her that if things continued as they were now, she would be evicted. He urged her to think about the impact it would have on her children and on her life if she didn't do something about her situation.
On hearing this, Ms. T apologized and said that she wished she had consulted with JID sooner. Even though she was crying, she seemed very relieved. Before he left, my colleague asked her to think about things and let him know her decision?whether she would move or get some help from her family.
The next day he heard from Ms. T that she had decided to move.
On moving day, the real estate company came to inspect the apartment and estimate cleaning and repair costs. At the end of the inspection, the real estate company discussed with Ms. T how to settle the costs, received the keys from Ms. T and left. Just as my colleague was about to leave for his next consulting appointment, Ms. T stopped him, and, together with her friend, Ms. K, who had come to help her move, told my colleague how grateful she was for his help.
"I had read on the Internet that guarantee companies are very ruthless in recovering rent owed by tenants," she said. "That's why I was so afraid to discuss my situation with you. But JID didn't tell me to immediately pay up. When I reread your letter, I realized that all you were asking me to do was come and talk to you. You really wanted to help us. My children think we are simply moving house, and their friends from school who are our neighbors probably don't see anything untoward, but if it was known that we were forcibly evicted, my children might get bullied at school. You also helped negotiate down the repair costs for me. I really have nothing but words of thanks for you. I'm so glad JID was there to help."
After Ms. T had moved into her new house, she gave my colleague a call.
She told him that she was no longer anxious and that she felt very positive for the future. She also said that her children were full of energy and sometimes wore her out, and that she had found a job.
After thanking her for letting him know how she was getting on, my colleague put down the phone and thought to himself, "I just saved a family." That was how this case felt to him.