Feb 25, 2010

Mortgage debt may force Chans out of Everitt Road

By K. C. Vijayan, Law Correspondent

The Chans allegedly missed several of their monthly payments on a loan from DBS bank, which is seeking a High Court order to possess the property. One option is for the Chans to sell the house on their own and settle their debt. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA

A FAMILY whose long-running spat with their Everitt Road neighbours led to several widely publicised stand-offs in court is now facing a suit of a different kind.

A bank wants to turn them out of their home for allegedly missing payments on a loan and is seeking a High Court order to possess the property.

The family, who has lived there for more than 15 years, is made up of retiree Chan Cheng Khoon, 74, his wife Chua Gek Eng, 71, and their daughter, Dr Chan Soo Yin, 47.

A younger married daughter lives elsewhere.

The debt arose out of a loan facility granted by DBS Bank in December 2002. As of May last year, they still owed the bank more than $200,000. It was secured by a mortgage on the house, according to court documents filed. The Chans allegedly missed several of their monthly payments, amounting to almost $29,000, last year.

The family attained media notoriety over their long-running conflict with seven families in the neighbourhood.

The dispute began over a parking space but soon escalated into a tit-for-tat turf war involving chains, video cameras and allegations of abuse on both sides. Three of the families have since moved out.

Dr Chan, an educator, filed 25 magistrate's complaints against her neighbours between 2005 and 2006.

Only one was successful, which saw a former neighbour fined $500 for hurling vulgarities at her but this was set aside last August by the High Court on condition that the woman keeps a clean record. The rest were resolved or mediated.

Dr Chan and her father were also hauled to court a number of times between 2004 and 2006 for insulting and harassing their neighbours. Mr Chan was fined three times and Dr Chan once, racking up total fines of $10,000.

The original mortgage of $376,000 on the three-storey terrace house was granted in December 1994 by CreditPOSB, which later became part of DBS Bank.

The bank is seeking through lawyer Alfonso Ang to foreclose the 2002 loan beca