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Advice on how to get my money back?

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MyEdward
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Advice on how to get my money back?

Postby MyEdward » Sun, 03 Jan 2010 4:03 pm

I am new to the forum and quite new to Singapore. Would like to share my story here and ask for some advice on what should i do now.

I am here 3 years ago and knew a friend 2.5 years ago. After time passed, I got to know him better and was convinced to do some investment through him. I was promised will get return every six months for a period of 5 years, plus a fixed interest of certain percentage of total invest amount.

We have signed a contract and witness by a friend of his. Almost 1.5 years now after the contract, i have not got a single cent back. He kept delaying by saying the economic crisis made the investment lost money and his other funds are stuck. He kept asking for extension.

In our contract, regardless of he making money or not from the investment, he needs to return to me. i did not invest in the property actually, i invested to him only as he short of capital to do the investment (should i say i "loan" to him).

The amount is about 20k plus. How can I go about it now? I dont know should i just pressed him to return at the risk that he may end up paying me zero; or wait for him to return slowly?

I had consulted a friend (a legal student) and was told the contract we signed is not valid legally.

Anyone can please guide me? Many thanks :cry:

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kiwi73
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Postby kiwi73 » Sun, 03 Jan 2010 4:08 pm

Go consult with a certified lawyer to check his view on your contract as a first step. If he agrees with your legal friend that ths contract is invalid then kiss your money goodbye and learn from this huge mistake.
If there is any way forward legally then the lawyer will help you with some suggestions. If this was a proper contract then it should have been drafted or reviewed by a lawyer in the first place.

Caveat Emptor

MyEdward
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Postby MyEdward » Sun, 03 Jan 2010 5:23 pm

thanks kiwi. does it mean i have to spend money first before i can confirm whether i can get the money back? how does a lawyer charge like?

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ksl
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Postby ksl » Sun, 03 Jan 2010 7:26 pm

Drag him to the small claims court! OopS sorry you cannot, i just read it doesn't cover loans or investment. I would put it in the hands of a debt collector!

No recovery No fee: http://collectionagencysingapore.com/index.htm

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x9200
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Postby x9200 » Sun, 03 Jan 2010 9:33 pm

kiwi73 wrote:Go consult with a certified lawyer to check his view on your contract as a first step. If he agrees with your legal friend that ths contract is invalid then kiss your money goodbye and learn from this huge mistake.
If there is any way forward legally then the lawyer will help you with some suggestions. If this was a proper contract then it should have been drafted or reviewed by a lawyer in the first place.

Caveat Emptor

Valid or not the money have changed hands and if this could be proven it should be also possible to get them back. Also as per general principle there is no legal necessity to draft majority of contracts by lawyers - just opposite, in many cases a verbal agreement is sufficient the only tricky part is the ability to prove what the parties agreed upon. Financial contracts could be tricky by themselves and in many countries are pretty strictly controlled by the law so the problem can be here but then again at least the investments should be recoverable to large extent.
And lastly: OP, before taking any legal action you'd better check first whether by entering this kind of agreement or neglecting some further actions you have not violated some law (e.g. tax related).

MyEdward
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Postby MyEdward » Fri, 08 Jan 2010 8:57 pm

Thanks all. Is debt collector efficient?

To x9200: You meant I have good chance to recover the amount if i have documents to prove the transfer of money and his words (emails)? I have both in fact. The thing is, shall i bring all these to a lawyer now? What if the case bring to court? I heard the lawyer fees could be scary in Spore.

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x9200
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Postby x9200 » Fri, 08 Jan 2010 9:59 pm

MyEdward wrote:Thanks all. Is debt collector efficient?
To x9200: You meant I have good chance to recover the amount if i have documents to prove the transfer of money and his words (emails)? I have both in fact. The thing is, shall i bring all these to a lawyer now? What if the case bring to court? I heard the lawyer fees could be scary in Singapore.

You simply need a proof that you lent the money. If you have it, then ok. With emails not sure how is it in SG. In some countries this would be a questionable evidence. Yes, lawyers fees could be high. You can try to claim the lawyer expenses in a separate trial as far as I know but the whole system looks not really too attractive. I would go to a lawyer to get an initial advice and than decide what to do. Good lawyers, like Lee&Lee will charge you something between SGD400-600 for an hour so you may try to find something more affordable but I believe it would be still better than opinions from a forum or a law student.

brittanny
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Postby brittanny » Sat, 09 Jan 2010 10:24 am

Reference to Chapter 11 of The Laws of Credit and Security, Section 2 provides that ordinary individuals can be providers of unsecured loan.

It is further stipulated that a loan from an individual would be treated as a simple contract of loan and the usual contractual principles apply. However, an individual who lends money in return for a larger sum to be repaid may be regulated by the Moneylenders Act 2008 (Act 31 of 2008).
(Paras 11.2.1 and 11.2.2)
source - http://www.singaporelaw.sg/content/Cred ... urity.html


Section 3 & 5 of The Moneylenders Act provides that :
- Any person, other than an excluded moneylender, who lends a sum of money in consideration of a larger sum being repaid shall be presumed, until the contrary is proved, to be a moneylender.
- No person shall carry on or hold himself out in any way as carrying on the business of moneylending in Singapore, whether as principal or as agent, unless (a) he is authorised to do so by a licence; (b) he is an excluded moneylender; or (c) he is an exempt moneylender.

You have to satisfy that you are an "excluded moneylender" (refer to its definition under Section 2 of the Moneylenders Act), else you will be caught under Section 14 for unlicensed lending and that your contract for the loan shall be unenforceable.


The above is on the basis of a basic loan contract or letter agreement, however captioned. I don't know how your contract is written/detailed or what type of contract you have signed: a letter of intent? mou? trust deed investing? You will need to speak with a lawyer for advise, as trust investing is a different ball game altogether.

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Vaucluse
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Postby Vaucluse » Sat, 09 Jan 2010 3:22 pm

As stated above, you didn't just loan him the money, you invested in his venture.

Engaging an Ah Long won't do you much good . . if it was a straight loan . . . he'd have red paint splashed on his door.

I lent someone about the same amount as you, all I had was apiece of paper:

I, xxxxx, owe xxxxx SGD20.000 to be repaid within X years from this date x.xx.xxxx

Signed xxxxx

In effect a legal contract/agreement

He didn't pay a penny for close to five years despite numerous requests, eventually 'engaged' an Ah Long and finally received 10k with just one visit . . . better than nothing

In your case: Get a lawyer
......................................................

'nuff said Image


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