Singaporean loses HDB flat, foreign wife runs away

~ By Leong Sze Hian ~

Billy (not his real name) is a 41 year old Singaporean male, who married a foreign spouse. After marrying him, she obtained permanent residency (PR) status. Subsequently, she left Singapore on a flight to Los Angeles in 2007, and has not been contactable since. Her PR status has also lapsed.

As Billy has not been able to earn enough due to business failure to pay for his HDB 3-room resale flat mortgage, he has been served with a Notice of Vesting & To Take Possession. The compulsory acquisition compensation at 90 per cent of valuation is $229,000.

However, according to Billy, the valuation for his flat is about $330,000, excluding cash-over-valuation (COV). Since his wife is a joint tenant of the flat, he is unable to sell or rent out his flat. She did not contribute a single cent for the flat or the household expenses.

Despite numerous communications and appeals to the HDB, Legal Aid Bureau and his Member of Parliament (MP), his flat will now be repossessed on 16 May, as per the HDB's final communication to him on 2 May. Billy said "What's the point of everybody keep asking me to appeal, when I always face rejection all the time?"

Because of the low acquisition compensation of $229,000, Billy is unable to buy even the cheapest resale 2-room flat in the open market. If he can get his flat's current valuation of about $330,000 plus COV, it is likely that he may be able to buy a resale 2-room flat.

Recently, Billy was denied his right to vote in the Home Improvement Programme (HIP) for his block, as the letter said that: "Please note that you are not eligible to vote because you are served the Notice of Intention due to mortgage arrears." "However, you will be required to pay the cost of the HIP and LUP works if the poll for the HIP and LUP works are successful."