US$50.00raised of $57,000.00 goal goal
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PLEASE HELP ME SAVE MY FRIEND'S HOME
THIS IS NOT ABOUT ME BUT A FRIEND, KHUN SOMKID, WHO GOT HERSELF INTO EXTREME FINANCIAL DIFFICULTY BY HELPING A FAMILY MEMBER, HER COUSIN. FROM WHAT I'VE SEEN AND HEARD IT IS EVIDENT THAT NAIEVITY AND LACK OF FINANCIAL UNDERSTANDING, AS WELL AS THE THAI TRADITION OF HELPING FAMILY HAS GIVEN RISE TO HER PREDICAMENT.
AS SHE SPEAKS AND READS LITTLE ENGLISH I AM STARTING THIS CAMPAIGN TO HELP SAVE HER FAMILY HOME . IT IS A COMPLICATED MATTER BUT ONCE PEOPLE SEE HOW HARSHLY SHE HAS BEEN TREATED THEN THEY WILL UNDERSTAND HOW UNFAIR THE SYSTEM HAS BEEN TO HER. I CAN ONLY PRAY THAT OTHERS CAN & WILL HELP AND TO THOSE WHO DO I OFFER MY HEARTFELT THANKS.
THIS IS SOMKID'S STORY.
A number of years ago her cousin needed money to pay outstanding debts. Being married with a child and employed by the government Somkid and three other friends went guarantor and this is where it all began.
The cousin paid consistently but around six (6) years after the loan had ben taken out she started gambling and drinking heavily. Somkid spoke with her and she continued to pay but after a divorce things got worse owing to gambling and alcohol abuse which resulted in her being fired from her job. Somkid had no idea that she had stopped paying and it was not until about two (2) years later when she received a letter from the creditor wanting her to finalise the debt that she first became aware of the problem.
At this time Somkid had and still does, a mortgage plus other commitments and no savings that would allow her to meet the debt. She told the creditor, however, was informed that if she did not pay then they would take legal action against her.
Not hearing anything further and being unsuccessful in contacting the other guarantors she did not know if they had been contacted or if they were able or even willing to meet their obligations. She also went to speak with her cousin, however she would not speak with her so it was obvious that she was not prepared to help in any way.
About a year later she received a summons to appear at the Debtors' Court, which she did however, the other guarantors did not thus she was left to face the matter alone. Having no idea of what would occur and not being told by the creditor she could have legal representation she admitted the debt and judgement was found against her and the other three (3).
Despite this Somkid tried to negotiate with the creditor but they indicated that as she had been ordered to pay they would continue to press for payment. She again tried to contact the others involved however as they would not answer it became clear that they had not intention of obeying the Court's directions. thus she, Somkid, would be left to meet the debt alone.
About six (6) months later the Creditor contacted Somkid by letter informing her that they were continuing their action against her and would auction her home. On this occasion a lawyer, or a person purporting to be a lawyer, was engaged to help in negotiations with the creditor. This resulted in both her and Somkid attending a meeting with the Creditor but apparently she had little involvement and it was Somkid who actually negotiated a stay on the sale.
After this the "lawyer" located the other guarantors, however all declined to help and wanted no further involvement, as they were all now retired. As the matter could not be taken further the services of the Lawyer was terminated but after Somkid had paid her the fee negotiated (20,000 baht) for her accepting instructions and attending the meeting she informed Somkid that she would be required to pay another 30,000 baht because a contract was in force.
As her services had been terminated and Somkid had paid the negotiated fee she declined to pay as she would be getting money for not undertaking any action on Somkid's behalf, however, she was advised that if she did not pay then legal action would be taken against her. The threats of legal action persisted from not only the "lawyer" but from her foreign husband, however, Somkid insisted that she was not prepared to pay for no work being undertaken. Unfortunately, this resulted in legal action being taken and required Somkid to seek legal advice and subsequently engage another lawyer
The matter stretched out for two years and Somkid attended arbitration on two occasions and It was during this time that it was discovered that the "lawyer was not licensed and was practicing illegally in Thailand. Although this was raised in the second appearance and she admitted she was not licensed she actually lied about acting as a legal advisor in matter.
Being unable to disprove this the Arbitrator indicated that Somkid should meet the costs. With Somkid wanting the matter to end she agreed to pay 23,000 baht to settle the matter as well as paying some another 40,000 baht to the lawyers who represented her, all of which she had to borrow from friends. Again, it has placed her further into debt but although struggling she is making small payments to those who helped her.
Somkid never denied her involvement as guarantor but unfortunately attended the Debtors' Court without representation and admitted the debt. Given that she is now the only one employed, has an asset, her home it appears that the creditor sees her as an easy target. Why, because she attended court, where no one else did, her cousin has no tangible assets, whilst the other guarantors have thumbed their noses at the creditor. So what do they do, continue to threaten Somkid with the forced sale of her home.
Unfortunately not having any savings she is unable to finalise the outstanding debt but is making small monthly payments, which the creditor accepted but as it is a minimal amount they are continuing to pursue her and no one else. On one occasion she asked if the creditor could divide the outstanding amount between the four (4) guarantors, however they declined, telling her she is now responsible for the total amount outstanding.
After matters were explained to her and going through the processes Somkid has come to realise how foolish she was to have gone guarantor and by not seeking legal representation when attending court it has only caused her so much worry and heartache and placed her further into debt.
Somkid has since discovered that her cousin is an alcoholic, does not work, has money or assets and just remains living with her elderly mother in a local village. She also understands why the creditor is not pursuing her, however, cannot understand why they are not pursuing the three (3) other guarantors and are just wanting her to finalise a debt that five (5) people played a role in bringing to fruition.
Given the action being taken by the creditor it is evident that unless Somkid pays the full debt she will end up losing her home something she worked so hard to provide for her family. Being a single mum who has struggled all her life she now realises that through an act of of kindness combined with her foolishness there is a strong possibility that she and her family will be made homeless.
Recently she sought another meeting with the creditor and advised them that she was attempting to raise funds through this campaign so for another fee of 10,000 baht they stayed the sale to allow time for the campaign to be started and hopefully reach her goal. Somkid understands that she has a large amount set as her goal but hopes that people will understand her plight and will help to save the family home.
I do not know what the outcome of this campaign will be but both Somkid and I pray that it will be successful so she can finalise the debt and save her home. I have no idea who will be willing and able to contribute but any amount, be it small or large, even just one (1) dollar, will help, as every dollar counts.
Should the amount raised be in excess of what is required to satisfy the debt than that amount will be donated to the Cancer Council of Thailand. If it is less, than that amount will be given to the creditor in order to reduce the debt. At this time I and Somkid want to take the opportunity to thank anyone and everyone who does contribute from the bottom of our hearts. KHOB KHUN MAK KRUP -KA.
- Geoffrey Baker
- Campaign Owner
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