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Woman left in debtafter property scam

Writer:   | Editor: Lily A  | From:  | Updated: 2018-April-17

A WOMAN in Shenzhen believed a consultancy firm’s trick and purchased an apartment without making a down payment. However, it turned out the woman was swindled out of money and put in a tight spot by the company, SZTV reported.

The woman, surnamed Ruan, has been living in Shenzhen for more than 10 years and has been living alone since getting divorced. Ruan’s boyfriend introduced her to a consultancy firm where his best friend worked in March last year.

According to the friend, Ruan could buy an apartment without making a down payment and get a loan of over 1 million yuan from a bank. Since Ruan thought she could not only own an apartment but also get money to do business, she agreed.

She was later talked into paying a deposit of 10,000 yuan (US$1,591.17) to the consultancy firm. A staffer from the company took Ruan to look at an apartment in Luohu District that was priced at 1.6 million yuan.

However, since Ruan left Shenzhen for one year during her last marriage, she was not qualified to purchase property due to disrupted payments of social insurance, so the company suggested that she pay another 100,000 yuan for them to help her find a man who is qualified to buy property in the city so she could get a “marriage of convenience” with him and become eligible to buy the apartment.

Under the company’s arrangement, Ruan registered her marriage to a man she had never met and the couple bought the apartment together.

According to the company, the final price of the property was 1.6 million yuan. The money was paid by the consultancy firm, which had borrowed the money from a finance company. Ruan later divorced the man.

Then, using the assessed market value of the property, the consultancy firm secured a loan of 1.26 million yuan from the bank. However, the loan was never transferred to Ruan as promised. Instead, the company kept the loan.

A few months later, when Ruan talked with the former owner of her apartment, the woman was told that the actual price was 1.08 million, which meant the consultancy firm had lied about the price.

It was then that Ruan realized she might have been set up by the company, because she now owes the company a total of 440,000 yuan, including the 100,000 yuan to find the man with purchasing eligibility and the 340,000 yuan to pay the finance company for the property.

The firm later stopped its operations and terminated the loan term for Ruan, which meant that the woman would need to pay the 1.26 million yuan loan by herself. However, since the woman was not able to pay it back, the bank blacklisted her, so Ruan’s credit has been undermined.

“Now I have to pay over 10,000 yuan in interest each month and I can’t even buy a train ticket because my credit rating is broken and my ID card cannot be used to buy a high-speed railway ticket,” said Ruan.

Ruan is not the first victim of such a fraud. Another woman living in Nanshan District also encountered such a case.

A lawyer has concluded that the consultancy firm could be charged for concealing the real price of the property as the practice constitutes fraud.