Wife walks away with house in 'divorce' property scheme in Xiamen

Updated: 10 Apr 2017
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Married couples in a number of Chinese cities have been temporarily divorcing on paper to jump through local loopholes for better deals on second properties.

But loopholes are tricky things, as one man in Xiamen, Fujian Province found when his now ex-wife seized the chance to walk from their marriage with the house plus 500,000 yuan ($72,641).

A Xiamen court recently upheld the divorce and ordered the man, surnamed Liu, to pay the sum as written in the fine print of an annulment the couple signed five years earlier.

Liu argued the divorce was purely a technicality to secure lower interest rates and a lower down payment on their second apartment.

Liu told the court he and Zhao had verbally agreed to divorce only for the new apartment.

However, when the time came, Liu's ex, surnamed Zhao, refused to re-up, claiming that Liu had "failed in his duties as a husband."

The couple acquired ownership of the property soon after their divorce. The house was put in Zhao's name.

A local judge ruled in Zhao's favor.

Lawyers warn that such property schemes come with certain risks.

"Once you go through the divorce procedures at the civil affairs department, the divorce is conducted regardless of whether you faked it or not," said Lin Minhui, a Xiamen-based lawyer.

SOURCE: Global Times
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Comments Area ( Total Comments: 1 )
MisterWoo Commented on 11 Apr 2017
Stupid laws and regulations beget stupid schemes to bypass those laws and regulations. Governments should do their jobs the KISS way (Keep It Simple Stupid) like hiking mortgage interest rates very high for 2nd to X mortgages, whether in single or divorced names, and enforcing short-term speculative profits tax to 99%, if they want to stop people from speculating in properties. Instead of doing that, they have to come up with so many stupid and unintelligent laws and regulations. The property market in China is in a humongous BUBBLE. What goes UP must come DOWN sooner or later.