Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Nearly 2,000 residents living in an apartment building in HCM City’s Tân Bình District are concerned about a bank’s plan to take back the property because of overdue loan payments from the building’s investor.
On May 24, the Bank for Investment and Development of Việt Nam’s (BIDV) North Sài Gòn branch asked Tân Bình Import Export Material Joint Stock Company (Tamexim), the investor of The Harmona apartment building, to hand over the mortgaged property to the bank.
“The investor must hand over the entire apartment building to the bank at 9am on June 9,” the bank’s statement said.
About 600 families could be forced to leave their apartments for which they have already made full payment.
A resident in the building, who declined to be named, said the residents had not been involved in the investor’s loan with the bank.
“We don’t have an obligation to leave our own apartments. This is an issue between the investor and the bank. We have signed a contract to buy the apartments with the investor, so the bank cannot distraint our apartments,” he added.
Local media have reported that the apartment building was mortgaged to the BIDV North Saigon branch by the investor in 2011.
The loan is due, but the investor has failed to complete its payments.
Nguyễn Văn Liêm, chairman of the board of directors of Thanh Niên Corporation, the project developer, said the firm would make the full payment no later than mid-June.
“We have developed a good credit relationship with BIDV. We once received a loan of up to VNĐ1.2 trillion (US$53.61 million). For this project, we received a loan of VNĐ500-600 billion ($22.34-26.8 million), and still owe only more than VNĐ240 billion ($10.72 million),” Liêm said.
According to Deputy Director of the State Bank of Việt Nam’s branch in HCM City Nguyễn Hoàng Minh, both the bank and investor were at fault. If the investor fails to pay back the loan to the bank by mid-June, the bank would change the classification of the loan to bad debt while the investor would have to seek another source to pay the bank.
Minh said they were not allowed to foreclose the building and evict residents from their apartments.
At a meeting between the investor and residents on Thursday, Trần Sinh Hùng, vice chairman of Ward 14’s People’s Committee of Tân Bình District, asked the investor to work with the bank to resolve the issue.
Tamexim later announced that under an agreement between project developer Thanh Niên Corporation and BIDV, full payment would be made by Thanh Niên Corp by June 15.
“We are sure that a full payment to the bank will be made and the ownership certificates will be given soon to the owners,” Liêm said.
In a document, the bank also said that it would remove its decision as soon as it received the full payment from the project developer.
The company has committed to issuing ownership certificates for the apartments in August.
Nguyễn Huy Hoàng, deputy director of Tamexim, apologised to the residents and promised to work with Thanh Niên Corp to speed up the ownership issuance procedures.
Covering an area of 9,137 square metres, The Harmona apartment located on Trương Công Định Street in Tân Bình District includes three blocks with nearly 600 apartments.
Construction began in late 2009 and was sold at VNĐ20 million ($893.6) per square metre in 2010. The project was completed and delivered to its residents in 2013. — VNS