SINGAPORE - It was a mistake right from the start, says the cabby who wants to be known only as Mr Wong.
He had agreed to this interview on condition that we do not identify him, as he is worried that the interview may set loan sharks on his trail.
A relative had written in to alert this correspondent of Mr Wong's story.
His life started to unravel after he agreed to a friend's request to be the local sponsor for a study mama and her 10-year-old son. A study mama is a foreign woman who accompanies her child during his education here.
Mr Wong, 48, tells The New Paper on Sunday: "My life is in ruins, my wife attempted suicide twice and my daughters no longer talk to me."
He sits on the cold floor in a two-room Housing Board flat he and his family have taken refuge in since December.
The family of four share two mattresses in the living room. The bedroom is used by a "kind relative" who took pity on them and allowed them to live with her without asking for any payment.
It is a far cry from their five-room HDB flat in the western part of Singapore.
Mr Wong says softly: "The loan sharks kept harassing us and I was afraid that something would happen to my daughters."
He estimates that his initial loan of $10,000 has likely grown to about $30,000, as his payments have been irregular.
Part of the loan, he claims, was given to the study mama, Ah Bing, when they were having an affair.
It started when the then 40-year-old divorcee and her son moved in with the Wong family after they came to Singapore in 2012.
As Mrs Wong was then working at a fast-food restaurant, Ah Bing offered to prepare the family's meals.