Again? This happened before (in the late nineties) after the Korean tiger economy collapsed. I was working there in the mid-nineties and everyone I worked with was mad to get on the property ladder or leveraging themselves to buy investment properties off plan. The general impression of the society was that people were rude, greedy and arrogant. There was lots of talk about the uniqueness of the Korean economic miracle. A number of conglomerates (chaebols) basically owned everything (Samsung, Daewoo, Hyundai etc.).
When I was back in 2003, some of the people I had worked with had abandoned their lives and emigrated leaving all their debts behind. The rest were still tied into their massive mortgages and unable to move due to negative equity. People were a lot nicer, though, and the business environment was much more relaxed!
My guess would be that a lot of companies didn’t recover from the crash in the late nineties and struggled on with a mountain of debt using the credit markets to stay solvent. Now they can’t get this credit, their old debts are coming home to roost.