PETALING JAYA: After defaulting in payment to a local bank, her house was auctioned off in December 2009 by a foreign-owned debt collection agency that is not regulated by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).
Despite this, the Selangor Land Office still sent her a letter, requiring her to pay land tax for the property, which is now owned by a legal firm.
Hazlinda Hamzah, 48, said her case was "a mess" from the moment she decided to refinance her property with a local bank in 2000 to the auction of the semi-detached house in Kelana Jaya nearly a decade later.
"If the debt collection agency had done everything according to proper procedures, why is the Land Office still asking me to pay the tax? Is it not aware that the property is no longer mine?" she asked.
"Did you know that when I tried to settle my debt with the debt collection agency, Resolution Alliance Sdn Bhd (RASB), they still auctioned off my property without informing me? I paid them RM130,000 in total.
"To make things worse, BNM sent me a letter that my non-performing loan (NPL) was sold to RASB, which is not a company regulated by BNM."
Hazlinda said she was unaware that under the Banking and Financial Institutions Act 1989 (BAFIA), banks could only sell NPLs to financial institutions licensed by BNM.
On June 21, The Malay Mail front-paged an expose on local banks found to breach the BAFIA since 2005 by selling NPLs to foreign-controlled debt collection agencies.
Hazlinda's experience is similar to other cases reported as she was unaware that banks must first inform her and get her written consent before disclosing her financial information to a third party, let alone sell off her NPL.
She said she also received a letter from BNM, dated Sept 18, 2009, informing her that RASB was not a company regulated under the central bank and that she had to deal with it personally.
"When I lost my house, I thought the case was done and over with. I thought it was settled. However, when I saw your front-page article, I was so angry. I believe I have been cheated, deceived and lied to," she said.
"And now, look. Even the Selangor Land Office is still asking me to pay land tax. What is going on!?"