*TRS Contribution Piece*


Hello The Real Singapore,

About 6 years ago, my wife and I were out of jobs and we could not afford to pay our monthly instalments to HDB (it was about $500 per month). As a result, we had an outstanding debt of $11K to HDB. One day we received a letter that said HDB wants to force us to sell our 3 room flat to pay back our money owing.

We went to the local MP to seek help and they wrote a letter to HDB on our behalf. We then received a letter from HDB to go down to AMK branch office in order to meet their officer, Mr Chua.

At the end of the session he still insisted we pay another $200 on top of the previous $500 per month!! We went in to ask for help to work out a solution to our financial situation and instead they suggested that we should now pay $700 a month! Is this help?!?!? We gave up realising HDB would not help us. We decided to borrow from wherever we can to pay every month until we can both manage to get a job!

Since then, we have been paying $700/mth as agreed with the officer earlier, but they still called us every month trying to force us to pay additional CASH payments on top of the $700 we already paid using CPF!

Luckily for us, everything went quite smoothly and we are able to pay off most of the outstanding amount. Today, the outstanding balance is only about $1700+.

Recently however, during January 2013, we received a letter from HDB saying that they wanted to force us to sell off our flat again!!! Back then, the outstanding amount was only about $5500.

So we went down to HDB again and asked what happened? What happened to the agreement that was made earlier? They just said that as long as we have an outstanding debt totalling more than 3 months of the monthly instalment amount, they had the right to force us to sell our flat!

Offcourse we need our flat, or where else will we live? So we paid another $2500 from our CPF, then in Feb 2013 they called again saying we hadn’t paid the additional $200… Ok fine, so we went down in March to make a payment of $1000 (again from our CPF) to bring the total amount outstanding down to $1700+.

We thought we had heard the last of it… but clearly we were wrong. About one week later, HDB called again, saying we hadn't paid any additional amount other then the fixed monthly deduction of $500 from our CPF! We argued that we had definitely paid numerous times so the lady on the phone said ‘ok’ and that she will check again. 

On 25/03/2013, Monday night, 8.45pm there was a loud banging on my door! I open the door to find 2 HDB officers from AMK branch! They said we hadn't made any payments other than the monthly instalment of $500! But we already paid $1K!!

After talking to them for some time, they explained that their system hadn’t updated so they could not see my most recent payment!! At that time my neighbours were standing outside and happened to see the officers at my house. Can you imagine the embarrassment and trouble they have caused?

After they left, about 5 minutes later, I received a call from AMK HDB branch office!! They were again asking for payment, saying that we had not paid… again!! I tried to explain to her the situation but all she could tell me was that the system hadn’t updated and so the payment couldn’t be seen. Didn’t update? I paid 2 weeks ago and still the HDB systems had not recorded it?

Yesterday, 26/03/2013 Wednesday, 7.30pm. I again got a call from HDB AMK branch!! This time they were forcing us to pay further top up amounts using CASH not CPF. I told her about our agreement with HDB and that the agreement was to top up another $200 every month. I explained that we already paid an additional 1K in March, just 2 weeks ago!

She seemed to insist that we still have to pay additional cash! I was so furious and told her off. The worst part is, we had a already told them to put a note in their system explaining that we will be able to clear the outstanding amount in May 2013 and that until then, we will continue paying the additional $200 every month! The note clearly wasn’t created or they simply don’t care, because they still call us and bang on our door as if we had never paid!

What the hell is this! If I don’t pay, HDB will harass me, but even if I do pay, HDB will still harass me!! I jokingly said that if the government wont let us pay our outstanding amounts by CPF I may as well go to Ah Long to lend cash to pay.

Why can't we pay for a HDB loan with CPF?! Why do we constantly get harassing calls and house visits despite already making payment? We were constantly told to make additional $50 cash top ups despite fulfilling our end of the agreement and paying $700 every month.

Is it because I was too polite to them in the past? Don't keep telling me your system cock up or whatever!! Do you need 1 year to update your system!?!? Those working for HDB are civil servants; they should help Singaporeans retain their home when they encounter financial problems. They shouldn’t chase us out of our house and force us to live in the streets!!! What has our government become?!?!?

I can only say, don't expect anyone to help you except yourself!! I really can't wait till 2016 election!!!


Editor's Note: This article has been forwarded to HDB for questioning. No update from HDB as of yet.