Choo Hwee Meng wrote to me today to share his property loan "nightmare" story.
He said: "In November 2009 , I was approached through a cold call to refinance my property loan with DBS.
"The agent, after reading my previous loan details with StanChart, convinced me to take up a 3-year fixed loan in February 2010, although my 3-year period was to end in June 2010. I agreed without much thought as I was quite caught up with work then. That was when my "nightmare" started.
"A DBS agent met me subsequently to sign the agreement. However again I did not look into the very important detail of the date. My contract with StandChart was to end only in June.
"It was only when I received a letter from StanChart for the penalty charges that I realised my mistake. I immediately called DBS to change the date of disbursement to June instead of February. (This was in January 2010).
"DBS then deducted $500 from my account without prior informing me (that it was) a penalty for the change in disbursement date. It did not matter that this was five months later. When iI called in to dispute the matter, I was told "a lot of administrative work has gone into this matter".
"To add insult to injury, a few days ago (21 January 2011), I received a letter from DBS telling me that a higher rate will be imposed from February 2011 since the original offer was from February 2010, but the 3-year penalty period will only start from June 2010, the date of dispursement!
"Which means I only enjoy half a year of the promotional rate, but yet (Iam) tied in for 3 years. I now intend to close all my current and saving accounts with DBS and have nothing to do with them after this 3-year period is done.
"Lesson to learn - check the dates carefully and ask plenty of questions before signing any documents, even from reputable banks. "