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Forged Signature
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Lawyer forged signature

Man forged ex-wife's signature to sell flat
(ST 19/3/1997)
 
A man forged his ex-wife's signatures in two forms relating to the sale of their Housing Board flat at $155,000 to a couple from Hongkong, the High Court has ruled.
 
He had to call off the deal 10 months later when he could not get her consent to sell.
 
The couple eventually had to buy another flat in the neighbourhood which cost them $133,000 more.
 
They sued him for that amount and won their case.
 
The Hongkongers, Mr and Mrs Chan Hoi Cheung, both 35, were already living in the flat in Tampines when Mr Hamsan Omar, then a prisons officer, called off the deal.
 
they sued him for the difference though he offered to refund their $15,000 deposit and pay them 10 per cent of the purchase price, because they had to pay $288,000 to get a similar flat.
 
Justice Warren Khoo said Mr Hamsan had to pay 70 per cent of the $133,000 as well as 6 per cent interest from the date of the writ, Sept 8, 1994, and cost.
 
The housing agent must pay 20 per cent, and Mr Hamsan's present wife, Madam Seri Bulan, 10 per cent.
 
She is the woman the couple had met at the flat on March 7, 1993, two days after agreeing to buy it.
 
She is not the joint owner of the flat but owns an HDB flat in Ang Mo Kio.
 
In his written judgment, Justice Khoo said Mr and Mrs Chan did not know this and they were deceived into thinking they had a contract when there was none.
 
The joint owner was Madam Aziza Mohamed Hanif, whom Mr Hamsan divorced in 1992.
 
After Mr Hamsan called off the deal on Jan 16, 1994, the Hongkongers continued to stay in the flat until they found an alternative in March exactly a year later.
 
The couple subpoenaed Madam Aziza as their witness. She said she agreed to let her ex-husband sell the flat after their divorce.
 
She only wanted to make sure she got half the proceeds.
 
he promised her that share but she did not trust him, she said, because of a previous incident.
 
Justice Khoo decided it was Mr Hamsan, now a businessman, who had put his ex-wife's signatures on the forms without her knowledge or consent.
 
"I realise that this is tantamount to find of a forgery. A court does not make such findings lightly, but in this case I think such a finding is fully justified by the evidence," he said.
 
He accepted Madam Aziza's evidence that she had not consented to the sale, and that housing agent Abdul Halim Mohamed Huzir had nothing to do with the signing of either form.
 
Although Mr Hamsan failed repeatedly to get Madam Aziza to change her mind, he still hoped he would succeed before the crucial January appointment with the HDB.
 
Justice Khoo also said that any additional expenditure and other damages, if any, to be assessed, should be borne by the defendants proportionately.
 
Mr Ong Ying Ping and Mr Lim Seng Siew appeared for the Chans.
 
Mr Mustafa Kamal and Mr Sarjeet Singh acted for Mr Hamsan and his wife, while Mr Ramesh Appoo appeared for Mr Halim.

Lesson Learnt
 
1)  Spouse signature (consent) must be obtained first before signing the Sales and Purchase Agreement even if she/he is not listed as a joint-owner. (Use the Spouse's Consent Form)
 
2) Agent must verify personally with the other spouse and get him/her to sign the consent form.
 
 

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