~ By Leong Sze Hian ~
Billy (not his real name) thanks the numerous valuable suggestions (here) and words of encouragement that he has received from TOC readers on how he can resolve his housing problem. Billy has already taken action based on some of the suggestions that were posted in the comments section. Below are some of the suggestions that he has followed up on. He also seeks further advice from TOC readers on how he can overcome the bureaucratic roadblocks that he has run into.
Billy conveys his gratitude
To TOC Reader ‘Clown’
Thank you for your suggestion to check on the recent resale transactions. According to HDB's web site, the 3-room resale flat transactions in his street over the last two months range from $316,000 to $395,000. This is almost $100,000 higher than the foreclosure value of $229,000 offered by HDB.
To TOC Reader ‘just a suggestion’
Thank you for your suggestion to apply for a court order. Billy has been communicating with the Legal Aid Bureau and in the last letter to him about two months ago, they said the following:
"We refer to the letter dated 13 February 2012 from your Member of Parliament which we received on 21 February 2012. You had previously applied for legal aid to commence Court proceedings such that (your wife's) share of the matrimonial flat is transferred to yourself as the sole owner of the said flat. The Legal Aid Bureau had considered your case and refused aid to you. You were informed in our letter that you have to furnish a copy of the Divorce Court Order granted by the US Courts which would prove that you are no longer married to (her). This order is necessary before any court proceedings in Singapore can be commenced to deal with the matrimonial flat. You were also informed that once you obtain a copy of the said Court Order, you can reapply for legal aid. Please note legal aid was refused for your last application because you did not produce the Divorce Court Order.”
Billy has given the Legal Aid Bureau in Singapore, a copy of a "Notice of Entry of Judgement" which he received from the United States of America in the mail, indicating that (a marriage) dissolution was entered in the Supreme Court of California, Orange County, U.S.A. However, the Legal Aid Bureau does not accept this document as they require the "Divorce Court Order." Billy seeks solutions and suggestions so that he can overcome this deadlock.
Focus on helping Billy now
To TOC reader ‘Chan Joon Yee’
Thank you for your remarks. I concur that we should focus on Billy's predicament and unfortunate circumstances and please continue to give your views and suggestions.
Billy has communicated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and has sought their help in locating or contacting his wife. I am wondering whether it would it be possible to ask MFA and the Singapore Embassy to assist him obtain a copy of the "Divorce Court Order" from the USA that the Legal Aid Bureau requires? Please let us know as to how we can go about getting a copy of this document?
Do keep your suggestions coming so that we can try to help Billy save his home and possibly avert HDB's Compulsory Acquisition on the 16 May 2012.
We also hope that the HDB will give him more time to liaise with the Legal Aid Bureau, MFA and the other relevant authorities.