I REFER to last Thursday’s Forum Online letter by Mr Paul Chan, ‘New rules on property funds not safe enough’. Mr Chan’s main concern is the role of stakeholder that lawyers play, which allows them to hold conveyancing money pending completion.
The proposed regime of measures offers alternatives for consumers who hold the same view as Mr Chan. In situations where the conveyancing process requires a third party to hold money for the buyer and seller, the Singapore Academy of Law (SAL) will offer a stakeholding service. Buyers may also choose to make payment of transaction proceeds directly to sellers.
Escrow arrangements, where a bank holds money on behalf of both parties, will also be available where it is commercially feasible for the bank to offer the service.
Those who wish to be assisted by their lawyers for commercial convenience can do so using the conveyancing accounts of the law firms under the proposed arrangement. Lawyers will not have unilateral control over the release of money held in the conveyancing accounts. Both sets of lawyers will have to sign off before payment can be made from these accounts.
We are working with lawyers, banks, SAL and other stakeholders to ensure that the new system will not be more time-consuming nor cumbersome for the consumer.
We thank Mr Chan for his feedback, and welcome further views which will help us refine the proposed measures. The public consultation materials are at the Ministry of Law’s website (www.minlaw.gov.sg) and the Reach portal (www.reach.gov.sg).
Chong Wan Yieng (Ms)
Head, Corporate Communications
Ministry of Law
Source: Straits Times, 25 Jan 2010