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Statute of Limitations Law extension

The transition period for the Statute of Limitations Law that Cyprus introduced in 2012 was extended until 31 December 2014 may be extended by a further 6 months or possibly 12 months.

POLITICAL parties DISY, AKEL and EDEK wish to extend the transition period of the Statute of Limitations Law and we understand that a proposal will be put to a plenary session of the House today.

The chairman of the Legal Affairs committee, Sotiris Sampson, said that the committee will put forward a proposal to give banks sufficient time to proceed with debt settlements.

The transition period of the ‘new’ limitations law “The Limitations Law (66(1) 2012)”, which came into force on 1st July 2012, had a one-year transition period. In May 2013 the transition period was extended by six months and in December 2013 it was extended by a further 12 months.

We understand that the proposal being discussed today will further extend the transition period by 6 or possibly 12 months.

The 2012 law provides for different limitation periods depending of the nature of the actionable right. For example:

Actionable Right
Limitation Period
Breach of contractSix years
Damages for nuisance, negligence or breach of Statutory DutiesSix years
Defamation or malicious falsehoodOne year
Tort ActionsThree years
Action for remuneration of self-employed persons (e.g. lawyers, doctors, architects, etc.)Three years
Bills of exchange, Bonds in customary forms, cheques, promissory notesSix years

Among those set to benefit from a further extension to the transition period are those who bought property in Cyprus with loans denominated in Swiss Francs.

As many of these loans were arranged in 2006, time was running out for them to decide whether to bring a claim against the bank for mis-selling.

This possible extension allows them further time to ponder.

Update 5 December

Yesterday MPs voted to suspend the Statute of Limitations law and it will now come into effect on 31 December 2015.

Readers' comments

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  • @Helen on 2014/12/12 at 11:43 am – From emails I’ve received I know that many of those who took home loans denominated in Swiss Francs from the Alpha Bank have reached agreements involving discounts and switching the loans to Euros.

    However, the Bank of Cyprus seems to be taking a very hard line and I have not heard from anyone who has renegotiated their loan. As you say they could be stalling – or perhaps that haven’t set their strategy for dealing with the issue. (They have plenty on their plate at the moment).

  • Helen says:

    Nigel, reading back through old posts on the subject if CHF loans you mentioned in June this year that the issue of CHF loans with Bank of Cyprus were still under discussion. I feel that they are just stalling to see how many lenders actually lodge a legal notice before the limitation period expires hoping that this will reduce the numbers of people they will have to negotiate with.

    Do you have any more current insight into their discussions – if indeed they are? I’m sure many of us have been hoping that they would follow the other banks lead but it doesn’t seem to be happening.

  • @Vladh on 2014/12/08 at 8:16 pm – You can find the full text of the Statute of Limitations Law Law plus the amendments at Ο περί Παραγραφής Αγώγιμων Δικαιωμάτων Νόμος του 2012 (N. 66(I)/2012). Use Google Translate to get the gist of what they say.

  • Vladh says:

    What does the limitation act say about the time limit for actions alleging unjust enrichment which, amongst other things, is the banks’ fall-back position of the homeloan contract itself is, for whatever reason, void? The above article was silent on this

  • mh says:

    This is more in the interest of the Banks than the consumer. Forcing people to take up legal services will bring it to a head far quicker than the banks want. All the while loans continue to grow with interest making the books look good for the bank. With the Troika sniffing around, Cyprus does not want to jeopardise any bailouts.

    The only winners in this situation so far are lawyers! No real surprise.

  • Janine says:

    I am guessing the banks will be non too pleased either – no doubt hoping to move in on 1st Jan 15 to obtain default judgements – without the threat of counterclaims, knowing many would have missed the Dec 14 ‘deadline.

    To date, banks have been stalling for time, and made little or no effort to negotiate – no realistic offers – and simply rejected everything proposed. Now they have to stall for another 12 months!! This is surely good for us victims, but don’t forget – the psychological pressure will continue from the banks – with more debt collectors, hoping we will eventually crumble and run out of funds for the lawyers.

    Unfortunately therefore, life remains on hold, and the uncertainty and persecution continues – whereas bankers may lose their bonuses. (Actually Troika are paying the banks for Christmas, so no worries there – if only there was a Troika for the hapless consumers!).

    Oh, and I would be more than happy to make affordable repayments, providing however there was a realistic chance (eventually) of truly owning a completed saleable property, fully paid for. Yes, of course, I know that’s well too much to ask for in Cyprus!

  • Helen says:

    I really do have to agree with the comment below in that I just want to get my Bank of Cyprus CHF mortgage sorted out fairly. The BOC are waiting to see how many people lodge a legal action and won’t discuss anything in the meantime so now we have to wait another year at least! Who exactly is this benefiting?

  • richard says:

    I agree with you James – but if this law is being extended – the most likely reason behind the extension will NOT be anything recognisable as a benefit for ordinary people caught up in this web of deception.

    Most people (80%+) on the planet just want problems (however complex) sorted out fairly and get closure that’s decent and acceptable so they can move on with their lives.

    Most ordinary ‘work-a-day’ investors in the Republic of Cyprus during the 21st Century (not wealthy banksters or criminals hiding assets) have been right royally shafted. For how much longer is this ‘resolution measures’ FARCE going to continue?

    A year, a decade, a century?

    The majority of the blame rests SQUARELY ON THE SHOULDERS OF THE PRINCIPLE ARCHITECTS. They are also the ones who have the means to clear the enormous debt and created these ‘opportunities’ in the first place. For whatever evil & corrupt reasons – most of them seem to be being protected.

    We know it
    They know it
    Outside observers know it

  • jjames says:

    This law was surely never suited to the Cyprus situation as it stands though the confusion it threw up when announced no doubt played into the hands of the “usual suspects”.

    How many of us are waiting, without Title Deeds, not knowing whether/when we will need to take legal action, maybe not being currently able to demonstrate an actual loss but with the prospect of developer insolvency hanging over us like the sword of Damocles?

    Don’t extend this law – repeal it, until Cyprus’ lawyers are “re-trained” to use ALL laws properly!
    EC? do your stuff!

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