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Following a story published in Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) on Wednesday (November 26) about the possibility of buyers being evicted from their homes in one of Phuket’s ritzier developments, the developer has responded, denying that December 17 has been set as the date when they are to be thrown out.
In his response, published on the website of Bangkok-based Property Report, Andy Street of Tawan Properties gives his side of the long-standing mess over the Chom Tawan development near Layan, the result of his development company, Napawan, finding itself “overextended” when the 2008 Global Financial Crisis hit.
Mr Street writes, “Like so many development companies in Phuket, indeed globally, Napawan Asia was over extended commercially at the commencement of the Global Financial Crisis.
“A significant difference for Napawan was that we had built and delivered the properties, which were being occupied by the buyers or rented out by them for investment.
“Whereas buyers in other developments have lost everything without a property being built, my partners and I at the time did not take the easier options available.
“I still intend to deliver all that the buyers require. Appropriate research will identify developments where people have lost their money and this is not the case with Chom Tawan.
“The outstanding issues are the mortgage repayment to the bank and the remaining payment to the builder, where a draft agreement has been issued to resolve this outstanding matter. Within weeks of this date there will be firm plans to bring this debt restructuring to a conclusion.”
Property Report notes that Mr Street does not deny that the 48 owners in the project have been asked to contribute cash to a deal that will see the bank repaid and the title deeds released. Nor does he deny that – if an agreement cannot be reach – the creditors may seize the property.
However, he says this is unlikely to be the preferred outcome for the bank, which is negotiating with Tawan on the restructuring.
The date of December 17 relates solely, he says, to a deadline agreed with the bank to agree payment terms and does not mean that the bank will automatically take further action if no agreement is reached by that date.
Also, he points out, the other creditor chasing payment, a local construction company, filed its claim first, so that must be resolved before any claim from the bank.
“Napawan Asia are working with the buyers, with the bank’s consent, to achieve a debt restructuring. The buyers of Chom Tawan and Napawan Asia are both represented by international law firms.
“Both law firms are involved in negotiations in what is referred to as ‘the three way agreement’ – the other party involved is the bank. Both law firms and some of the buyers are in contact with the bank refining the final terms and conditions of the three way agreement, including meetings and discussions over the previous two weeks
“There is a committee of buyers who are the focal point for the remainder.”
Property Report says that the essentials of the deal are that the construction company will receive a title to land on Bang Tao Bay owned by a sister company of Napawan, in place of cash. That would then allow the bank to enter into a deal with the owners to clear the remaining debt and receive their titles.
Concurrently, Tawan will enter into a deal with the owners to repay the debt from its other business activities.