updated 2 Mar 2014, 04:09
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Tue, Feb 18, 2014
The New Paper
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Secret squanderers: Husband doesn't know I'm bankrupt
by Maureen Koh

Each month on payday, Michelle sets aside a few hours to make transfers for payment to the Official Assignee and four licensed moneylenders.

The Official Assignee is a public servant who administers a bankrupt's estate.

By the time Michelle is done, the declared bankrupt is left with barely 10 per cent of her $3,000 salary.

Yet her husband is unaware of her financial status.

Michelle, 40, agreed to this interview on condition that we do not identify her.

She tells The New Paper on Sunday: "If he knows the truth, that would be the end of our marriage."

She estimates her total debts to be close to $120,000, of which nearly half is accrued interest on late payment and legal fees.

The Huffington Post reported recently that one in three people admit to lying about money to their partners.

In an informal poll that The New Paper on Sunday conducted with 30 people, 18 confessed that their spouse or partner did not know how much they earn a month.

Half of the same 30 people also said that their spouse or partner did not know the exact extent of their financial assets or liabilities, which can include credit card charges and debt.

Michelle admits that she used to keep details of her splurges away from her businessman husband.

"It's just that I love to shop and I don't think he would fully understand," says the mother of three young children.

"I love luxury brands, from bags to watches to the dresses and shoes, and my husband does try to get me whatever I want."

But there are also times when he has asked her, "Do you really need another bag or another pair of shoes?"

And while he dotes on her, he is more reluctant to spend the money on branded items for their children.


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