SINGAPORE (July 1): For Madam Rose (not her real name), 2015 was not a good year. She was in the midst of a divorce and worried about obtaining custody of her three children. She had no income and was saddled with debt incurred by her former husband. He needed money for lawyers’ fees in a criminal case and, on the promise that he would pay it back, she took out a $4,000 loan from a friend’s friend. But he did not pay up, the interest accrued and she was faced with a $6,000 debt and no way to pay it off.

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