Seasoned actor Nguyen Chanh Tin, who has been in financial difficulty in recent years, risks losing his house to a local bank over his son’s bad debt of US$500,000.
In recent days, several mass media agencies and social networks have reported that Tin, 62, a well known actor in the 1980s who later became a film producer and businessman, is going to have his house on Ba Vi Street in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 10 reclaimed by Phuong Nam (Southern) Bank.
In July 2008, Tin used the house, priced at some VND9 billion then, as security for a whopping loan of VND8.3 billion ($395,000). The loan was taken by Chanh Tin Film and Media Co., which is run by Tin’s son.
Tin signed a contract to sell his house to Phuong Nam Bank in May 2009 as the firm could not pay the loan plus interest, which amounted to VND10.5 billion ($500,000).
Tin’s house already changed hands
The bank then pledged that if his son’s company could settle its debt within 12 months, Tin would be able to claim his house back.
In September 2009, the ownership of Tin’s house was transferred to Phuong Nam Bank under an agreement between the two sides. However, Tin and his family have stayed there so far.
In 2010, as Chanh Tin Film and Media Co. failed to pay the debt, Phuong Nam Bank took the case to the District 10 People’s Court, demanding that Tin and his family move out of the house.
After the first instance trial in 2012, which recognized the validity of the house ownership transfer and ruled that Tin and his family leave that house, the artist applied for an appeal, petitioning that the agreement between him and Phuong Nam Bank be annulled since the property had already been used as a loan security.
The appeal hearing in March 2013 upheld the first instance trial’s decision.
Phuong Nam Bank later petitioned to the department to execute the appeal court’s decision in June 2013, according to Nguyen Van Hoa, from the District 10 Civilian Case Execution Department.
The department then issued a decision to enforce the court ruling on July 3 the same year.
The bank also offered the actor and his family some VND500 million to rent another place during the first year after leaving the house.
However, the actor said that he had refused the offer and petitioned for an 18-month delay for him to receive medical treatment and get ready for his son’s migration to Canada.
In December 2013, the District 10 Civilian Case Execution Department delayed the execution by 90 days. The delay was over on Tuesday but the bank has yet to force Tin to leave the house.
Hoa added that his office has not received Tin’s petition for another delay. He noted that they have taken great caution in dealing with the case and have not had plans for any forced execution, considering that the man is a celebrity.
Phuong Nam Bank representatives also rejected the rumor that Tin was its vice chair.
Debate over appeal for donations to help Tin
Some newspaper articles have suggested that locals raise funds to help Tin survive his current financial crisis.
Chi Trung, a local artist/art director, recently called for donations to help Tin on his Facebook page, which has sparked mixed opinions among locals.
While some have shown sympathy towards the actor and supported the call to help him, others have dismissed the petition as unnecessary, saying that losses in business are normal.
Nguyen Chanh Tin has starred in many Vietnamese films, including the 1980s classic “Van bai lat ngua” (The Upside-Down Card Game), and worked as a TV host for some local shows such as Rong Vang (The Golden Dragon).
He is also uncle of Charlie Nguyen, a locally famous Vietnamese American film director, and his younger brother Johnny Tri Nguyen, who performed stunts in one of Hollywood’s Spiderman episodes and played a minor role in another American movie.