The activities of some debt collectors were thrust into the limelight two months ago when more than 1,000 faxes were sent to a hospital's emergency ward by an agent chasing a doctor's allegedly unpaid fuel bill. The Caritas Medical Centre in Shamshuipo had to call police to stop the barrage. It was one of a series of incidents in which the lack of regulations surrounding loansharking and debt collecting has led to a catalogue of torment for people in debt. Cases include: April this year: Chan Yan-chi and his wife Cheung Lai-ping sought a High Court injunction to stop a creditor who sent a debt collector to harass them for repayment of their son's debt. It was alleged the debt collector went to Mr Chan's office and gave him a verbal warning that he must repay the debt or would be shown 'a few trump cards'. February this year: Wong Wai-hing and wife Toby Fung Siu-ling filed a High Court writ seeking an injunction to stop threats in relation to an $805,000 debt the couple allegedly owed to doctor Hui Wei-lee in a joint venture restaurant in Canada. September last year: Cheung Man-sau, 62, and son Cheung Hung-wan, 29, were acquitted in the Court of First Instance of assault on a debt collector who approached their home in February 1998 on the grounds the two were acting in self-defence. August last year: jewellery shop guard Chan Bing-kuen, 35, who gambled away $120,000 borrowed in Macau, fell 18 floors to his death at Chuk Yuen South Estate, Wong Tai Sin, while debt collectors reportedly visited him. June last year: a woman teacher working at the British Council who owed a credit card debt of $2,000 said she was told by debt collectors over the phone that failure to repay would lead to the blowing up of the council building. April last year: former Hongkong Telecom manager Tsui Kit-ching, 39, was convicted of corruption for supplying debt collectors with information about subscribers in return for delayed payment of a debt her husband owed to a credit card company. February 1998: a fire, suspected to have been started by loan sharks, killed four people in the On Hing Building, Kwun Tong. A clinic and a barber's shop in the commercial-residential building had been vandalised by debt collectors before the fire.