Expiring HFE Letter Issues

Expiring HFE Letter Issues

As a realtor in Singapore, I often encounter clients facing unique challenges in their home-buying journey. Recently, a young couple—first-time buyers and Singapore citizens—found themselves in a tight spot. Working overseas for a few years, they planned their return to Singapore and had their eyes set on a resale flat. However, they encountered an issue with their HFE (Housing Finance Eligibility) letter. Here's their story and some practical advice for anyone in a similar situation.

The Scenario

Our couple had an HFE letter set to expire on 18th July 2024. With an OTP (Option to Purchase) for a resale flat dated 22nd June 2024 and set to expire on 13th July 2024, time was of the essence. The seller requested 60 days for document submission, adding more pressure. Complicating matters, their payslips needed translation due to their overseas employment.

Steps Taken

  1. Initial Inquiry to HDB: On 20th June 2024, they contacted HDB to request an extension on their HFE letter. The officer suggested writing in for an extension to avoid the cost of translating payslips.

  2. Response from HDB: By 25th June 2024, HDB replied that the HFE letter could not be extended. Instead, they advised reapplying for a new HFE letter.

What Should You Do?

Question: Do you advise the buyer to reapply for the HFE letter again?

Answer: Yes, reapply for the HFE letter immediately. The current HFE letter will not be valid throughout the entire purchase process.

Why Reapply?

  1. Validity Issues: HDB does not grant extensions for HFE letters. If the HFE letter expires before the document submission process is complete, the buyer's eligibility may be questioned, potentially jeopardizing the purchase.

  2. Expedited Processing: Buyers should cancel their existing application via the HDB portal and submit a fresh application. Writing to HDB with the reference number for the new application can expedite the process. New HFE letters can be approved within 1-2 weeks if marked as urgent.

Practical Steps to Follow

  1. Cancel Existing Application: Use the HDB portal to cancel your current HFE application.
  2. Reapply for a Fresh HFE Letter: Submit a new application through the HDB portal.
  3. Write to HDB for Expedited Processing: Include your reference number and mention the urgency due to the pending OTP expiration and document submission requirements.

Summary and Highlights

  • Expiration Date: HFE letter expiring on 18th July 2024.
  • OTP Date: 22nd June 2024, expiring on 13th July 2024.
  • Action Required: Reapply for a new HFE letter immediately.
  • HDB's Advice: No extensions granted; fresh applications required.
  • Processing Time: 1-2 weeks for urgent applications.

The process can seem daunting, but understanding the necessary steps can save you time and stress. Reapplying for a new HFE letter is crucial to ensure your eligibility remains intact throughout the purchase process. Following HDB's guidelines and expediting your application can help avoid any delays.

If you're facing similar issues or need assistance with your home-buying process, don't hesitate to reach out. As an experienced realtor, I can guide you through the complexities of the HDB system and ensure a smooth transaction. Stay informed and make your home-buying journey as seamless as possible.

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