Retired couple shocked to discover two-thirds of housing loan still owed despite 20 years of repaying

Chong (right) with Mr and Mrs Jee. The elderly couple were shocked to find out they still owed the bank a huge sum of money despite making regular repayments for their housing loan.

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KUCHING, Feb 21: After making regular repayments to their housing loan for 20 years, a retired couple were shocked to find out that they had only repaid one-third of their loan.

The couple identified as Mr and Mrs Jee were distressed and shocked when they found out that after regularly making monthly repayments towards their housing loan for more than 20 years, there is still an amount of more than RM80,000 owed to the bank.

According to a statement by Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) chief Chong Chieng Jen, in the year 2000, Mr and Mrs Jee took a housing loan of RM125,000 from a bank to partly finance the purchase of their house.

Under the loan agreement, the repayment term is 240 months, that is 20 years.

Chong said from the year 2000 till 2021, over a span of 21 years, the couple have dutifully submitted repayments to the bank via monthly instalments.

Though there were a few rare occasions of delayed payments over the years, they made up for the delayed payments.

In 2021, the retired couple approached the bank, with the intention of fully settling the outstanding loan to discharge their house from the bank.

They thought that given that they have been regularly paying their monthly instalments to the bank for more than 20 years and that there is no letter of demand from the bank for any default on the repayment, the loan would have been substantially repaid.

They expected that the outstanding loan amount would, at most, be a few thousand ringgit and planned to use their retirement savings to clear the loan.

“However, that was not the case. They were informed that as at Dec 31, 2020, there was still an outstanding amount of RM80,362.17 owed by them to the bank under the loan.

“They were shocked and totally devastated. Mr and Mrs Jee are now 68-years-old and 63-years-old respectively. Having retired, they would have no income to continue paying their loans. As such, they approached me for help,” said Chong who is also the Padungan assemblyman.

This morning, Chong brought them to the bank to discuss the matter. He helped to draft a letter addressed to the bank, seeking for an explanation.

Chong said in the course of their discussion with the bank’s manager, it was disclosed that there had been some variation of interest by the bank as a result of which, the main bulk of their repayment went mainly to service the interest charged.

Chong, who is also the Stampin MP, asserted that even if this was such the case, there could not have been such a great disparity in the outstanding amount.

“I have also sought the intervention of the Bank Negara Malaysia to ensure that justice be done to the couple,” he said.

Chong added this is a battle between ordinary, helpless people against a giant corporation, on a battlefield where rules are set by the government in favour of the giant corporation.

“We DAP will continue to fend for the ordinary people and continue to fight for their rights and justice.”

On a general note, Chong reminded all borrowers to regularly check their loan accounts to ensure that the interest rates charged by the banks are in accordance with the loan agreement and not unilaterally increased by banks. — DayakDaily