07 Feb '12, 5am

Loan sharks force debtors to sell flats then pocket COV: The illegal moneylenders recruit r...

Loan sharks force debtors to sell flats then pocket COV: The illegal moneylenders recruit r...

SINGAPORE - Loan sharks are allegedly employing a new method to get debtors to pay up. Insisting on debtors selling their houses, the illegal money lenders will then force debtors to hand over the cash over valuation (COV) as payment. The COV is what buyers pay above the valuation of the flat, as determined by an HDB-approved valuer. The Straits Times reported that the illegal moneylenders recruit real estate agents, some of whom are debtors themselves, to carry out the sales. In return, the agents get commissions of up to 8 per cent, compared with the usual one per cent to five per cent. David Liew, 37, was forced into such a sale last year. The engineer had borrowed $200,000 from loan sharks in 2008 to settle gambling debts. He could not pay off the interest after three years. Mr Liew decided to sell of his four-room HDB flat in Bedok after enduring harassment for the th...

Full article: http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Crime/Story/A1...

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