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Bank seeks bankruptcy for Paradise Hills developer

A bankruptcy order has been issued against a Brit believed to be a director of MDB Properties Limited, the company that constructed the unfinished Paradise Hills development in Marathounda.

THE BANK of Cyprus has petitioned the bankruptcy of a UK citizen alleged to have fled Cyprus after a failed property development which left UK expatriates occupying an unfinished villa complex.

The bankruptcy order was issued against Martin Dean Bissenden in Canterbury Crown Court on Tuesday (4 June).

It follows a statutory demand for a £2.4m debt made on Bissenden by the bank in October last year.

Bissenden, of 11 Dence Park, Herne Bay, Kent, CT6 6BG, is listed in the UK as a director of a firm called MDB Properties Limited, which was dissolved in 2009.

A firm of the same name went bust in Cyprus during the development of a villa complex in Paphos called Paradise Hills, leaving families which purchased properties there without a proper electricity connection.

ITV’s Homes from Hell subsequently visited the complex to report on the plight of the residents, who were also unable to take full ownership of the homes they had paid for as the title deeds could not be released for an unfinished development.

Subsequent reports also suggested the Bank of Cyprus rejected a rescue plan put forward by One World, the Cyprus-based administrators of MDB Properties, to save the complex in October 2011.

The local media suggested the managing director of the developer had fled the island after the firm went into administration.

Meanwhile, a blog post purporting to be from Lance Hames, one of the Paradise Hills residents, claimed a Martin Bissenden from Herne Bay in Kent had disappeared after running up significant debts with the Bank of Cyprus before the property developer went into administration.

Bissenden has no contact details but Credit Today contacted the Canterbury Crown Court and the Official Receiver’s office, neither of whom could divulge information on the case.

Credit Today was also unable to make contact on the press office number supplied by the Bank of Cyprus.

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Readers' comments

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  • UBoat says:

    @ Nigel
    Thank you, Shame the more local ones are not covered in the press more !
    As by favouring the other stories it tends to alienate the Brits more I am afraid. Its not as if they have not done that enough already.

  • steve says:

    If company was folded in 2009 that has given him 4 years to offload any assets. Should the banks be concentrating on developers nearer to home which wouldn’t cost as much in expenses and send a shiver down the back of local developers. If I was a shareholder in the bank I would be asking questions.

  • @kufrahdog – George sent me his NPL article yesterday and I published it this morning.

    I believe there is (or was) a team here advising the banks including two Brits a Belgian.

  • @UBoat – the banks are pursuing a number of developers in Cyprus. I know of two development companies in Larnaca district, one in Nicosia and another in Paphos.

    Unfortunately these are not widely covered in the local media.

  • UBoat says:

    How come the Bank of Cyprus has gone after a Brit and his company to force bankruptcy? when there are many Cypriot developers in the same position and worse and have been for a long time? Is it because he is non Cypriot?

  • kufrahdog says:

    @Andrew – banks will not necessarily petition for developer bankruptcy, particularly if the collateral assets are equal to or greater than the developer’s debt. May I refer you to the article on reform of non-performing loans in the Cyprus Mail of 6 Jun 13, pp13, by Dr George Mountis of Leaf Research; this is also available in the online edition of the paper.

    In the past lending banks put more emphasis on the ability of a developer to deliver collateral assets thus improving the balance sheet. Now, with NPL reform, loans will only be given to developers who have the ability to service those loans.

    The weakness in the system is that developers are allowed to offer and banks are allowed to accept collateral assets already purchased by property buyers. This is not only morally wrong and crooked but it is just plain bad business; if a developer wants to fund his business he should be required to buy a bank bond and thus his loan becomes a matter between him and his bank.

    Sadly, Dr Mountis has not explored this avenue or how the law should be changed to facilitate change as a result of the MoU.

  • Andrew says:

    Will the banks petition bankruptcy on all developers who have non performing loans. Maybe they will start slowly and make an example of a few dodgy builders from other countries first.

    The way the real estate market has been operating during the last ten years will provide many opportunities for banks to force bankruptcy. Where will it all end, who will be the winners. The losers are the innocent people who invested their life savings in Cyprus

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