I would like to inquire regarding the penalties/interest the developer charged me with regards to the house and lot I purchased from them. I already have a bank loan approval and the bank already sent the bank guarantee to the developer (renewed 3 times) but the developer failed to provide the TCT to my bank since they have pending matters on their side.
They asked me to change to another bank (one of their accredited banks), telling me that their accredited bank can release the loan proceeds even without the TCT (i.e. TCT to follow is acceptable to their accredited bank). I did transfer to their accredited bank, and the bank already released the money to them but I have an amount due because of the interest incurred during the time of non-payment of my loan (this is the time that my initial bank is waiting for the TCT from them). I asked for waiver for all the interest, but they only waived 40% and asked me to pay the rest.
Is this fair to me? I believe that if they have provided the TCT upon my first bank loan approval, then no interest would have been charged to me. Please advise. Thanks.
– DT9, via Ask Geri
Hi DT9. Thank you for your email.
Though not explicitly stated, I would assume that prior to your bank financing, you were under in-house financing with your developer.
It is true that developers and banks have different agreements, that’s why some banks accept a “to-follow” arrangement as long as they have a prior agreement with the developers they trust. It is also the reason why some banks do not grant loans if the collateral is from non-accredited developers. This is the bank’s way of ensuring that the assets they accept as collateral are quality-made, and whose market value can really cover for the loans they have granted. In your case, the developer did not have an existing agreement with your first bank.
You mentioned that while you were waiting for the release of TCT (repeated times), there were no monthly payments made, which is why the developer charged you with fees. If you are under in-house financing, then you have agreed to pay regularly (usually monthly) until the bank financing has covered for the balance. Please check if you signed any agreements with the developer on the in-house financing. Generally, in-house financing charges higher interest and fees compared to bank financing, so non-payment will really incur interest fees and charges. I’m not saying all, but there are developers who process documents slower than usual so that customers remain in-house for as long as possible (since they earn big amounts). Not all. Not all. 🙂
You’re also correct that if the developer released the title immediately, you wouldn’t have additional charges to pay. We can only presume that the developer fell short in explaining to you that they have accredited banks which can expedite the process for you, and that getting a loan from another bank, while still acceptable, will take more time. Still, in the meantime, the in-house payments from you should continue until they tell you otherwise. As such, they still have the right to charge you for missed payments (regardless of which bank), since the bank financing is still pending. The letter of guarantee is only a guarantee, until the loan proceeds are released, you are still obliged to pay.
BUT, the big but is, if they did not tell you at all that you should get a loan from an accredited bank, otherwise, they cannot immediately release the TCT, then you have the right to complain. Your letter of guarantee expired multiple times, so it must have been months that you were waiting for their advice. While there should have been payments from you while waiting, the developer should have at least advised you earlier on to change banks. Or a reminder to you to keep paying while the process is pending.
If they did not tell you immediately that the process will be pended because of your choice of bank, a waiver of penalties is warranted. Both parties had shortcomings, I assume, you failing to pay, and them informing you of the delay.
Good thing they waived a portion of your charges. As to how much is right and just, it really depends on your agreement. Talk to your developer, they might reconsider giving you more waivers. Hope this helps.
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