Parliament: Second credit assessment turns down 51 flat buyers in two years

Some 51 flat buyers were unable to take possession of their new flats in 2013 and 2014, after a second credit assessment conducted by the Housing Board. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Some 51 flat buyers were unable to take possession of their new flats in 2013 and 2014, after a second credit assessment conducted by the Housing Board. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - Some 51 flat buyers were unable to take possession of their new flats in 2013 and 2014, after a second credit assessment conducted by the Housing Board.

This was revealed on Thursday by Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee, who was responding in Parliament to questions from MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC Zainal Sapari about HDB loan eligibility.

Mr Lee explained that the HDB conducts a second credit assessment before it disburses a housing loan to flat buyers when the keys are ready for collection.

He said: "The second assessment is to check that flat buyers' financial positions have not deteriorated in the intervening years, and that they are still able to service the monthly mortgage instalments."

When a flat buyer does not proceed with his or her flat purchase, 5 per cent of the purchase price will be forfeited to the HDB. But in selected cases of "genuine financial hardship", the HDB may consider refunding the forfeited amount, added Mr Lee.

He also noted that allowing the purchase of a new flat based on the first credit assessment was not an option. He said: "It would not be prudent to complete the purchase of if the buyers are no longer able to service a housing loan. It would merely be creating a potential loan defaulter down the road with many other new problems for the family."