Support Site for The Unemployed & Underemployed
Wednesday January 17th 2018

Jobless PMET lost $100,000 job due to office politics with foreign talent and facing bankruptcy

Hi Gilbert 

I have came across some bad cases that happened to fellow Singaporean  in your website and I thought of sharing my story with your readers.
I am currently 37 and I have  a 4-year-old kid and  a little one at eight  months old.
Something bad happened  on June 2012.
I was indirectly involved in a very bad office political situation with a Australia FT in a senior sales management position.
Subsequently,  I lost the ground and my job too. 
My last drawn was more than $100k annually as a IT technical professional in a MNC.
Nevertheless, politics is unavoidable when you are at a senior position.
I am currently looking for a job and also in a position what many people termed  ”over-qualified”.
As my wife salary is not more than $3k, I hit a crisis mode and  are now being sued for bankruptcy because I couldn’t service some of the existing  loans. 
Things turn south when I lost my job plus  my new-born kid is just born -  all the medical bills and child care expenses are a burden now.
I am basically stressed everyday but need to focus mentally as all the interviews I am shortlisted for are  very technical in nature whereby you  need to have a clear head.  
I am really on the verge of breaking down trying to juggle my financial stress and  staying  focused and clear headed preparing for those  tough technical interviews.
Are there any advice from you on how  to clear all  these  obstacles?
I am thinking of pleading with the judge or registrar to give me some more time before declaring  me bankrupt over a loan of less than $40k in which I have not much issue if I have a job and going into Debt Repayment Scheme.
I am quite confident of  securing a job if I am given another 2-3 months. Any advice on this?
You can post this mail if you think it  might help someone without my name on it.
Hope to hear your advice soon. Thanks 
Hi Mervyn
Thanks for your mail and sorry to hear about your predicament.
Its true that when the rain comes sometimes it can turn into a  torrent.
I remember staying jobless for 18 months in 2001/02, nearly became bankrupt due to the same reason as you and was suicidal.
I managed to speak with the bank officer and negotiated for a interest payment only for the home mortgage.
It still amounted to about $1900 a month just for interest repayment.
Its good to negotiate with the bank officer and more often than not they want to help us rather than sue for bankruptcy.
It does the banks  no good if we are bankrupt as the loan amount then is lost.
They may even be willing to settle for  a lower amount in a lump sum repayment format.
I hope that you will plan carefully and negotiate your way well as the journey ahead could be rough.
Take time to communicate with your wife however difficult it is.
Its also a time whereby both of your commitment to one another  is tested.
Some wives will leave their husbands if they are involve in financial difficulties as they fear being implicated due to the matrimonial union.
Hopefully, your wife is one who will stand by her man…
An important lesson I learnt out of that awful period is that everything is temporal and material things are not everlasting.
If I can rewind the clock back, I would focus less on accumulating wealth and more on fostering relationship with the family.
We both work very hard for the family but in the end ironically everything is gone now.
I am in fact happier now without a property, a fat bank account, car  and good income.
I learn to live simply within my means and have no frills of the modern lifestyle.
I am attaching my ebook How to survive unemployment for your reading pleasure.
I will also post your mail on my blog leaving out your name to encourage others caught in similar plight.
Take care and stay positive.
We are here for you.
Gilbert Goh
Editor’s Note: We have lost contact with the writer. Please respond to our emails if you are the person who has written in to us  so that we can assist you to  walk through this difficult journey. Its not good to be alone now.
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10 Responses to “Jobless PMET lost $100,000 job due to office politics with foreign talent and facing bankruptcy”

  1. JT says:

    Hi Mervyn

    Sorry to hear about your predicament.
    From my understanding, Credit Counciling Singapore may be able to help restructure your loans without having to file for bankruptcy especially if the amount owed is $40K.

    Give them a call and I hope that you can update us on this and will keep you in my prayers to get a good job soon.

  2. Sye says:

    Since you are confidence to find a job in 1~2 months time, it best to go to take a easy cash bank loan with last pay salary. This will tide you over.

  3. debt expert says:

    Dear Mervyn,

    here are some advice to you.

    (1) speak to the Judgment creditor and try to work out a settlement. Bearing this in mind, your proposal must be within your means.

    If your proposal is not acceptable by them, then

    2) approach CCS for help. Contact no. 1800 2255 227

    BEAR IN MIND that you are to attend the bankruptcy hearing @ supreme court. You may wish to request from the Asst Registrar for adjournment so that you will have sufficient time to raise money to settle the debt.

    If all the above don’t work, inform the Asst Registrar that you might be eligible for Debt Repayment Scheme (under IPTO) since your debt is less than $100k.

  4. Anon says:

    Earn $100K a year, but about to be sued for bankruptcy after just 3 months jobless?? What happened to basic rules of thumb like having at least 6 months of total expenses as emergency savings?

    Sounds like he over-extended himself on an expensive property.

    Nowadays, when you hit 30+, you need to live your life & plan your finances like you’ll be retrenched & jobless for 12 months. That’s why for your own home mortgage, make sure you can finish paying latest by 45 yrs old — ideally you should finish paying up your house when you hit 40.

    I seen too many arrogant fuckers earning $400K-$500K a year, and buy $15 million bungalow + ferrari + lambourghini + bmw etc etc. When they lose their job, many cannot accept downgrading their lifestyle, and spend another few months wasting away their savings hoping for another fat-paying job to come their way. Many don’t even have emergency savings to tide over just 2 months.

    You also need to be able to save at least 25% of your take home pay, every month. There’s no welfare or unemployment insurance in SG, here You Die Your Business. Unlike in US where you can collect minimum $400 per week for 2 years on unemployment insurance, plus food vouchers.

  5. G says:

    I know a guy who went through quite a tough time too. Back in 2007 he was earning roughly S$25k a month, money was not a problem. sent his first kid to med school in Oz in 2008, costing about A$60k a year, but the GFC hit and he lost his job ard mid 2008. managed to get a job after 1 yr in mid 2009 paying $12k a month but the company folded in mid 2010 making him jobless again. furthermore the company owed him some expenses and 2 months pay. and that year his 2nd kid also started uni. Thankfully it was NUS med this time so not as expensive, but he was beginning to feel the pressure . He had to sell off his 2 investment properties in Malaysia and cash out some investments. He did not manage to get another job till mid 2011 but the pay was only 10k a month. Pay was cut again in Jan 2012 due to the weak economy to roughly 5k, but thankfully all his long term investments were maturing and he was able to cash them out. Luckily he managed to find another job around mid 2012 paying $10k.
    Now before people start screaming that $5-10k is more than what the average guy earns, remember this guy is paying for 2 uni fees which total about $98000 a year. or $8333 a month. assuming that his mean income from mid 2011 to mid 2012 was 7.5k a month(pre tax) that means he is digging into his savings just for fees, not to mention food and basic necessities. no support from govt coz well: private property plus high income.
    This guy practically had to live on his savings for the past 4 years. Its amazing that he lasted this long!But what I wanted to highlight is that this guy has lost his retirement savings in 4 short years(except maybe his house and his kids if you consider kids as ‘retirement savings’) even though he had excellent foresight and had amassed a large amount of savings over the course of his career. Also once over the age of 50, it is near impossible to get another job matching the previous one.. unless you’re in the government or lawyer or doctor. so you definitely need more than the 6 months of total expense as emergency savings. I would say that you would need as much as 2 years income(assuming your income is more than your expenditure) as emergency savings in this day and age and especially if you’re over 50.

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  7. sal says:

    Most Sporeans are overstretched with housing mortgage, car loan, student loan and etc …that’s part of living in a materialistic cities. As Spore changed from a fishing village to a metropolis city, Sporeans are more competitive in their standard of living expectation and tends to buy things on credit rather than cash….Good luck.

  8. Sian says:

    I still don’t understand how earning $100K a year can come to bankruptcy.

  9. sal says:

    @Sian, its not what you earn but what you spend. Money management is important, even master or PhD can be bankrupt if you spend more than you earned. Just live simply and don’t follow the Joneses.

  10. anthony says:

    That’s why properties are more than 1 million and cars are 200K and people are still buying. Some people don’t think it’s their lucky stars that they can earn 100k a year, they take it as a God given right due to their exceptional talent and skill. They based their calculations on monthly income vs monthly obligations and think it is affordable and assumed they’ll earn the same or more for the next 30 years. All caution are thrown to the wind, a world gone crazy(not only in Singapore).

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