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Foreigners Being Financially Ruined by Thai Wives

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FOREIGNERS BEING FINANCIALLY RUINED BY THAI WIVES It appears that the Human Rights of a foreign national living in Thailand merely extend only as far as the size of one’s bank account; that is if a foreigner runs out of money, for whatever reason, they can be and should be deported.

Last week we published an article that was sent to us; it floated the idea that maybe Thailand should change its laws regarding Marriage Visas so that a foreigner could not be deported or required to leave simply if he or she couldn’t provide proof of sufficient income.

Read:

Time for Thailand to Change Marriage Visa

The comments from the readers were wide and varied and some openly disturbing; it appeared that many, who obviously live in Thailand, were completely unsympathetic to anyone who didn’t have the financial means to reside in Thailand; some felt that foreigner’s who don’t have any money, regardless to the fact that they are married with children, should be deported.

The fact is that we all need money to survive but this attitude is disturbing in that money appears to take precedence over the morals of keeping a family unit together.

I decided to do a little digging. Now I’m not that familiar with Thailand although I’ve managed to pick up some internal sources of information and I’ve done my fair share of reading.

Before I wrote this article I asked one of my sources their views on the content. I was told to expect a fair amount of hostility and I’m likely to be told that I don’t have a clue what I’m talking about. Here’s what I was told;

“Most westerners here don’t like being told the truth. Some openly and moan about Thailand and its policies whilst other will defend them to the death. Mostly, when it comes to knowledge and understanding of the ‘Thai Way’ you’ll be faced with a barrage of insults because of your lack of time in the country – you get a lot of petty one-up-manship in that it’s not about what you actually know but how long you’ve been here. Good luck with the article but expect a fair amount of abuse.”

I’ve got the hide of a Rhino; you have to have when you write and I certainly appreciate that we all have differing views; however, time to get on with the article…

Foreigners-Homeless-in-Thailand.jpg

According to some Government officials there is a growing number of foreign national’s now living rough on the streets. Many, they think, are tourists who ran out of money and are unable to return to their home countries; some are retirees who have fallen on hard times or worst duped or robbed of their possessions by unscrupulous Thai wives.

“In some cases, these foreigners – mostly male Westerners – arrived as tourists or retirees and fell into poverty or neglect after settling down in Thailand, often having being duped or robbed by Thai former wives or partners.” Natee Saravari, secretary-general of the Issarachon Foundation

Natee Saravari believes that some system should be set up in order to aid these people as it is often the case that people just pass them by; even other foreign national’s appear to avoid giving them money when they are begging.

While Natee Saravari comments are commendable, in that he wants to set up a system to provide assistance there is a very unnerving development here.

The last part of his statement centered on foreign national’s being duped or robbed of their possession and so I did a bit more digging.

According to our sources it is nothing uncommon for a western male to marry a Thai citizen and then later lose everything to them.

The issue appears mainly to do with land and houses due to a foreigner being unable to legally own them in their own name. The result is that foreigners have a tendency to put property in the spouses name and therefore if the marriage fails then the foreigner appears to lose everything.

According to Thai law; as I can ascertain, it is illegal to purchase land in a Thais name for the sole purpose of the foreigner being able to acquire it. Therefore the title deed must be accompanied by a letter that states that the land is being made over as a gift; therefore removing the foreigners right to any compensation or money in the event of a sale.

It appears to me as nothing more than legislation that sanctions open theft of property. I decided to do a bit more digging and made a few phone calls. After getting through to one person I got this brief account;

“I was one of those trusting foreigners who put the land and house in my Thai wife’s name. Little did I know that she was gambling and she used the house and land as collateral for her mounting debts. In the end I lost 15 million Thai Baht, nearly US$500,000.

She said she was too ashamed to tell me of her habit which is why she kept silent. I came back from my work offshore to find that the house had been taken by a certain police officer for just a 2 million bath debt.

I tried to discuss this with the now new owner; but he wasn’t interested, after all why would he be, he now had a 15 million baht home for 2 million.

Foreigners need to be careful and my advice would be to rent, it’s just easier and will give you peace of mind.”

Considering this is the case I’m not surprised Thailand has a mounting problem with homeless people but surely a simple change in the law could prevent foreign nationals from being duped and robbed and in the process give Thailand’s image a bit of a shine?

So what does a foreigner do if they fall foul and lose everything? Certainly most foreign embassies are not interested in getting involved in what is nothing more than a civil matter and unlikely to provide any financial assistance.

This situation worries me for it appears that any foreigner falling foul of the system simply attracts a multitude of abuse from other expats; I’ve seen this on a number of Thai based news websites targeted at foreigners.

I read a couple of cases and found it deplorable that some people would leave such vile comments. I went back to my source and asked for an insight.

“There are many expats that troll the likes of
looking to voice their worthless opinions. They appear to relish the idea of any foreign national falling foul; it’s like they have the upper hand of being intellectually superior because they have been here for so long and understand how the system works.

It’s deplorable in many instances how anyone could be that cold but when you live in Thailand for many years and spend most of your days sitting in a bar it’s understandable how these people have become bitter and disenfranchised and so take to mocking other people’s misfortunes.”

I have to ask the question… Is this how Thailand’s expat community behaves in the mainstream towards their fellow man and their unfortunate circumstance?

I don’t want to cast any dispersion on any one group of people or individuals but it will be interesting to see the response I get, if any, to this article.

It is a shocking realization that a foreigner is so vulnerable to abuse which can leave them penniless. If you have been a victim of this type of loss meebal.com would be most interested in publishing your story; just get in touch with the editor.

Source:

http://meebal.com/foreigners-being-financially-ruined-by-thai-wives/


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The story of the 15 mil baht home taken for 2 mil to me reeks of a scam. Sorry, but there's more to the story.

Perhaps the house went to the Thai boyfriend as part of a scam--that does happen there and elsewhere.

Thailand's culture is simple, though Westerners find it exceedingly complex. It's simple if you realize that every single Thai--whether it be an official, or a maid--in one half second sizes up every person that they meet and categorizes them. The category is either "above" or "below" them.

If above, that person is accorded respect. If below--that person is not accorded, well--anything.

Americans frequently travel about Thailand in shorts, baggy shirts and flip flops in total discordance with what is so simply evident by opening one's eyes. Thais do not travel in shorts--they wear long pants, nice shirts and good shoes, even if they happen to be soaking wet due to the heat.

But I digress a bit. The "sizing up" is highly efficient. The "sizer" looks at clothing but also looks at other aspects such as "where is this person" (on the street or in a posh hotel?) Jewelry is noticed as is how the person is relating to others and others to them. Politeness or the lack thereof is noted as is the person's countenance--a big natural smile in Thailand can get you more than gold can.

Foreigners who ignore the cultural "dress code" are often referred to as ฝรั่งขี้นก (khi nok farang). Khi nok pretty much means "bird poop."

But to understand Thai cultural attitude in relationship to your subject one must understand that the tiered social structure is as old as time itself there. American culture is a mere few hundred years old. Thai's culture is thousands of years old and it has ALWAYS been about wealth. Wealth = status and status sets one's place in the system.

Therefore, for whatever reason, it is the norm for a Thai to look down upon someone who is poorer than themselves. It has been this way for thousands of years and will probably remain this way for a few hundred more.

To a Westerner this seems very odd and self-centered. To a Thai, well, they don't really think about it any more than they do about breathing.

They will tolerate a person down on his luck--if he does not look bedraggled. But if he does, well that person's status is simply ฝรั่งขี้นก.

As far as foreigners being financially ruined I can think of a few things.

First and foremost one must understand that at any time about 11% of all Thai females are in some way engaged in the sex trade. They are largely Isaan (NE Thailand) women. Again the Western mind is shredded by common Isaan cultural logic. To send one's daughter off to lose her virginity for a wide-screen television seems beyond ludicrous. To an Isaan family it's quite logical and so off goes the young ladies to work "in the factory," (but really they become bar girls) and again the Western mind conflicts with Thai culture because these young women are simply supporting their family by the only means they know. Most are good girls (women to a Westerner) who pray and make offerings at Buddhist shrines.

But often these bar girls change a bit. After all since cultural status is defined almost completely by material status these women too become enamored by the trappings of wealth. At the same time they would like children and a family but still they crave wealth. To the unlucky foreigner who falls in love with a bar girl he often finds that she's never quite happy with what he has.

Thai bar girl/Western male marriages rarely survive (there are exceptions of course). There is an old and wise saying: "You can take the girl out of the bar--but you can never, ever take the bar out of the girl."

Often the problems relate to bar girls marrying Westerners--that is my opinion.

As far as Western/non bar-girl marriages--I think they're fine and are not rife with fraud and ruin. But still here one must realize that wealth sets status and though some Thais are changing in this view, most have not. Foreigners are shocked to find that a man often must pay sin sod (dowry) to his bride's parents. Yet for a Thai male it's a mere shrug of the shoulders--of course, why not? It's proof that he is of adequate status. Note: This area is complex and it's not uncommon for a man to pay a large ($40,000 ^) price and in reality, the parents buy the couple a house, or quietly return money.

But it's the Western view versus the Thai view. Thais are quite happy to share wealth, but ฝรั่งขี้นก are not.

Someplace in your post someone points out that smarts rule. They do. While a Westerner cannot purchase land/house (but can a condo) a Westerner can "lease" land to build a house for 100 years. (I can't remember the name--it's a Germanic word). Had the poor fellow who lost the big house gotten himself a decent lawyer he'd be sipping coconut milk on the veranda today.

It's nice to think that those who fall on hard times will find assistance, but that is largely a Western attitude and pushed to its limits as seems to be the case today one remembers Margaret Thacher's famous quote: ""The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money."

Seems to me these days that we Westerners have pretty much run out of other people's money so we simply print it by the trillions. It seems to me that eventually the nanny state will eventually run out of the ability to support those down on their luck--at least at the current level.

Good luck--perhaps some NGO that supports down on their luck expats might be a wise way to go because I doubt that within my lifetime will the Thais pay much attention to Westerners who are down on their luck within Thailand.



09/29/2012 - Met Online

11/22/2012 - 11/28/2012 - Steve's 1st Visit

02/08/2013 - I129F Submitted

02/12/2013 - NOA1

02/13/2013 - 03/07/2013 - Steve's 2nd Visit

02/14/2013 - Officially Engaged

06/21/2013 - Case transferred from VSC to TSC

07/24/2013 - NOA2

08/21/2013 - File sent to NVC

08/28/2013 - MNL Case Number received through phone

08/30/2013 - Visa Fee Paid

09/04/2013 - Medical Exam at SLEC (Done in 1 day)

09/25/2013 - Interview Appointment (Under AP with 221G)

10/01/2013 - Additional Document dropped at 2GO SM Cebu

10/08/2013 - CEAC Status Updated to READY

10/30/2013 - CEAC Status Updated to AP

10/30/2013 - CEAC Status ISSUED

11/06/2013 - VISA Received

11/11/2013 - CFO Done

11/15/2013 - POE Detroit

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Tis time to punch a new NGO into existence, I'm a thinking....


Sometimes my language usage seems confusing - please feel free to 'read it twice', just in case !
Ya know, you can find the answer to your question with the advanced search tool, when using a PC? Ditch the handphone, come back later on a PC, and try again.

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Usufruct.

Gezuntheit

Oh...sorry, I get it now.... yes, that is the word, thank you.


09/29/2012 - Met Online

11/22/2012 - 11/28/2012 - Steve's 1st Visit

02/08/2013 - I129F Submitted

02/12/2013 - NOA1

02/13/2013 - 03/07/2013 - Steve's 2nd Visit

02/14/2013 - Officially Engaged

06/21/2013 - Case transferred from VSC to TSC

07/24/2013 - NOA2

08/21/2013 - File sent to NVC

08/28/2013 - MNL Case Number received through phone

08/30/2013 - Visa Fee Paid

09/04/2013 - Medical Exam at SLEC (Done in 1 day)

09/25/2013 - Interview Appointment (Under AP with 221G)

10/01/2013 - Additional Document dropped at 2GO SM Cebu

10/08/2013 - CEAC Status Updated to READY

10/30/2013 - CEAC Status Updated to AP

10/30/2013 - CEAC Status ISSUED

11/06/2013 - VISA Received

11/11/2013 - CFO Done

11/15/2013 - POE Detroit

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