EcoHouse: Investors meet with lawyers

Andrew BattNovember 29, 2014

Brazil flag

More than 50 Singapore-based investors in U.K. developer EcoHouse met with lawyers last week to discuss the best course of action in an attempt to recover some or all of their investment.

The meeting, which took place at the Caledonian Club, highlighted confusion about the company which sold anything between 700 and 2,000 Brazil social housing investments to Singapore property investors with the promise of up to 20 percent returns in 12 months.

The “information-sharing exercise” allowed investors to understand the ramifications of EchoHouse being placed into either administration or liquidation, and the fact that unsecured creditors would be unable to take action against in such a scenario.

Most attendees agreed that collective action would be the best way to proceed, and PropertyGuru is aware of at least six cases of legal action being taken against the company from around the world, not only from Asia-Pacific.

It is understood that EcoHouse has recently been reported to the Singapore Police for alleged fraud, and many real estate firms that have been promoting EcoHouse investments around the world are alleging non-payment of commissions and are also taking legal action.

Other law firms are believed to be attempting to mount a class action for affected investors and companies owed money by EcoHouse, including law firms in other parts of Southeast Asia, Australia and Canada.

EcoHouse has failed to respond to countless emails and phone calls from PropertyGuru over the last two months. According to official U.K. government records the company was still active yesterday (Friday) although is two months late filing its annual accounts, which were due in mid-September.

The company was selling social housing investments in the Natal area of north east Brazil to investors around the world for the equivilent of S$46,000 with the promise of up to 20 percent returns within 12 months.

Andrew Batt, International Group Editor of PropertyGuru Group, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories email andrew@propertyguru.com.sg

Malaysia Property Show in Singapore, December 2014

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