Big Hit Music clears BTS’ Jimin after government seizes his $4.7-M apartment

Published April 25, 2022, 11:37 AM

by Jonathan Hicap

Entertainment agency Big Hit Music has cleared BTS’ Jimin of any wrongdoing and said it was at fault after the singer’s luxury apartment worth $4.7 million was seized by the government due to his non-payment of health insurance premiums.

BTS’ Jimin (left) and the Nine One Hannam luxury apartment complex in Hannam, Seoul (Photos: Big Hit Music and Lotte/DS Hannam)

This after Korean media outlet Biz Hankook published an exclusive report on April 24 that Jimin’s apartment at Nine One Hannam located in Hannam, Seoul was seized by the National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) for his failure to pay his health insurance premiums.

The report stated that last Jan. 25, the Yongsan, Seoul branch of NHIS seized the luxury apartment with an area of 244.35 sq. m., which Jimin bought for 5.9 billion won ($4.7 million) in May 2021.

It added that the property was registered under Korea’s Internet Registry Office (IROS) under the name of NHIS with “seizure” as the reason for registration.

Biz Hankook added that Jimin paid the health insurance premiums after the NHIS sent four seizure notices by mail.

The registration of his property in IROS was canceled on April 22, three months after the seizure registration following Jimin’s payment of his health insurance premiums.

The NHIS supervises South Korea’s health insurance and it covers “all citizens who reside in Korea.”

Under Korea’s National Health Insurance Act, it is stated in Article 81 (Overdue Notice of Insurance Contributions and Disposition on Default), “Where a person who is liable to pay insurance contributions, etc. pursuant to Articles 57, 77, 77-2, 78-2, and 101 fails to pay the insurance contributions, etc., the NHIS may make overdue notice by the specified period.”

The law gives the NHIS the right to seize a property if a person fails to pay his insurance contributions.

“Where a person who receives overdue notice referred to in paragraph (1) fails to pay the insurance contributions, etc. by the payment deadline, the NHIS may collect it in the same manner as national taxes in arrears are collected, after obtaining approval from the Minister of Health and Welfare,” according to the law.

The law added, “The NHIS shall, before taking a disposition on delinquency pursuant to paragraph (3), send a written notice containing the details of payment in arrears of the insurance contributions, etc., the kinds of seizable property, the fact of planned seizure, and the fact of prohibition of the seizure of small financial property under subparagraph 14 of Article 31 of the National Tax Collection Act.”

“Where the NHIS determines that an asset seized in the same manner as national taxes in arrears are collected under paragraph (3) is not appropriate to be auctioned directly by it because expert knowledge is necessary for the public auction or because of other special circumstances, the NHIS may have the Korea Asset Management Corporation established under the Act on the Establishment of Korea Asset Management Corporation (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Korea Asset Management Corporation’) conduct the auction on behalf of the NHIS, and in which case the auction shall be deemed to have been conducted by the NHIS.”

Big Hit Music issued a statement to clarify that it was at fault and Jimin was unaware of the overdue payments.

“The company is the first to receive all mail that arrives at the artists’ dorms, and in the process of relaying it to the artist, a portion of the mail was omitted by mistake,” the agency said.

It added, “Jimin was not aware of the matter due to his overseas schedules, extended vacation since the end of last year, and his scheduled activities abroad after that.”

“As soon as he found out about the situation, he paid the full amount of charges, and the case has been resolved at the moment. We apologize for causing concern to the artist and his fans due to the company’s negligence,” Big Hit said, according to SBS News.