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HGC to release titles to homebuyers

(The Philippine Star) Updated March 21, 2012 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines – The Home Guaranty Corp. (HGC) will release 177 titles to fully-paid buyers of housing units in Las Palmas Village in Sto. Tomas, Batangas; Gen. Trias Homes in Cavite; and La Chesa Heights in Quezon City.

This policy gives meaning to the oft-quoted pledge of Vice President and HUDCC chairman Jejomar C. Binay that “poor and hardworking Filipino families should be favored to enjoy the pride of homeownership.”

HGC president Manuel R. Sanchez made the announcement in conjunction with HGC’s continuing review of all its policies on acquired assets and in marketing the same.

HGC, a key shelter agency under HUDCC (Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council) is mandated to mobilize private funds for housing by granting guaranty cover on loans extended by banks for home purchases or housing developments.

In 1996, HGC guaranteed the financing for six housing projects by the La Savoie Development Corp. (LSDC). The project failed and HGC had to pay the obligations to the investors. In exchange, the projects’ assets were conveyed to HGC.

In 2008, LSDC and HGC entered into a compromise agreement to settle LSDC’s indebtedness. LSDC was to transfer the projects’ assets and remit an indicated value of receivables to HGC. HGC shall then deliver to LSDC a total 321 titles, including 177 titles to fully paid buyers, and withdraw the cases filed against LSDC.

At this point, Buenavista Properties, Inc., a creditor of LSDC, surfaced and levied the titles of some properties that would have been conveyed to HGC. As a result, LSDC was not able to transfer the promised assets and HGC could not release the titles, including the 177 titles to fully paid buyers.

LSDC offered to replace the titles levied by Buenavista Properties. But the offered properties were appraised at only P2.168 million as against the P28.56 million worth of properties levied by Buenavista Properties.

HGC may choose not to release the 177 titles to compel LSDC to convey properties of equal value to that levied by Buenavista Properties. “But that,” according to Sanchez, “runs counter to HGC’s and HUDCC’s mission of providing homes to Filipino families.”

“These are hardworking, honest Filipinos who bought from LSDC in good faith, they should not be held hostage by the developer’s faults,” Sanchez declared.

Upon the instruction of Binay, HGC will release the 177 titles to fully paid buyers and enlist their cooperation in going after LSDC. Turning over the titles will not negate the criminal liability of LSDC to the fully paid buyers. The buyers are made whole, not by LSDC but by HGC.

With the cooperation of the fully paid buyers, HGC will pursue both criminal action against LSDC for violating PD 957 (The Subdivision and Condominium Buyers’ Protective Decree) and for civil damages.

HGC is adopting the same policy and strategy in dealing with developers with similar cases.

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